I’ll try and get a few copies out before sentencing next month, on the 18th of May. It might be a long spell in between issues after that.
Umtali Road is getting to be a deserted canyon. A neighbor across the dirt road and up the canyon a ways had a flat tire on his horse trailer right before my blue barn. His girlfriend was driving the U-Haul truck towing it. As I helped him out with my crane’s floor jack, I got the whole story on the move out. A divorce, the house is now deserted. Both parties made a go of living at the place. Both ended up almost losing it. Now it’s just empty.
Good luck going through the joint and finding some treasure at another’s misery. The ‘Watchers’ will put a stop to that. In the nine months we’ve lived here, we’re the only ones that talk to everyone. All other neighbors have some grudge or hard on for theirs.
When the local hooligans kicked over the thirty-eight mailboxes on the paved road off our dirt trail, eleven never have been picked up. They’re slowly being driven over as the winds blow them into Sand Canyon Road. Soon, flattened like odd-shaped license plates, I’m thinking of doing the side of the new barn with them for a folksy look. So, minus the latest mail box casualties, it looks like about sixteen folks still have mail delivered. You can’t count the canyon residents from these boxes, though. You also have to consider the bunker people, the illegals hiding on someone else’s property, out and out squatters, then, people like us, having post office boxes in town. I like my mail. I don’t mind traveling to get it. Oh sure, we could get an armored set of mail boxes. That would take some doing since you have to have your neighbors request it, too. Not in this canyon.
I was using my tractor to smooth out the deep ruts in our road that could easily hide Ward Bond and his entire wagon train, no problem. I figured on some smiles and knowing nods of happiness from neighbors driving past while I forged ahead. Nope. Just like the god-damned mailboxes, no one agrees. One gal slowed to a stop so I shut off my loader to get the well-deserved thanks. She rolls down her window, spits into her hand to put her cigarette out in the small pool, then lays into me. “What in the hell are you doing?” Amazed, I start to stutter out a reply. Nope, not fast enough. “You smooth out the road and the sons-of-bitches will just cause more damn dust. Knock this shit off!”
After she drove off, I thought to myself that she had a point. About ten days after we moved in with our little incentive push by L.A. County, I made up my mind that I would never be passed on our road again. Sure, I’d let the maniacs pass me on the 10 mile dead end to hell Sand Canyon. Can’t stop those psychos (ours is the only road in Tehachapi that isn’t on the local Thomas guide. It’s just shown as a dirt squiggle. No speed limit, either. The locals say the road takes care of the speeders sooner or later, all on its own). The one spot it actually has a sign says 15 mph and MEANS IT. I can’t squeeze over 26 mph with my dually dump and it tracks like a slot car with a load in the back. The wreckage of cars’ doing over 27 mph in icy conditions are soon lay out in the field smashed and rusted. Why doesn’t someone tow them out and make some good dough scrapping them? Who needs a .306 round through the noggin. Remember Fred Kirpsie’s sad ‘year in jail’ sentencing for hoarding a couple of weeks ago? There’s THOUSANDS of Kirpsie-types in every canyon you care to drive up. Most full of hard scrabbles watching you through high powered binoculars as they stir their meth tubs.
I’m kidding? Every week there’s a murder or a lab blowing up. It’s like a wild west ‘Blade Runner’ scene at night. We’ve had Sheriff search teams through our place three times and we haven’t hit a year here yet. In the Tule fog, the mounted search guys were forced on foot from all the barbed wire everywhere. The fences you say? Screw that. I’m still pulling downed barb wire out of dirt piles and from the scrub oak brush piles. Its easy to spot tangled around by bucket and front wheels. When it shoots back at you from tension as you have to use both hands to cut it with bolt cutters, it’s quite a little slice of heaven.
Our last visit by about 100 search team members was when Drunken Tits rolled up her old man in a throw carpet as he was passed out, then beat him with a small wood stove ash removal shovel. She would of used a larger one but the first one she could find had to do. Oh man, what a shelaking that guy took. I could see the lumps on his face from five acres away. After she raped her son (or, so he told us at 3 am one dark night wanting succor) they finally moved away three months ago to avoid court. The guy moving out gave me some new gossip on that but save it for another edition, back to cars passing me on Umtali, I drifted away again. Since hardly anyone reads this stuff, big deal. As stated I’m no Hemingway. But, since he’s wasn’t here, I’ll have to do.
At first, I thought these locals had the same courtesy we had grown accustomed to in Acton. After running our street for thirty years, we had everyone slowed down twenty five years ago. Take a beat-up bike that will still roll, place a dummy kid on it made from old clothes and filled with smashed newspapers topped with an old helmet, Voila! One freshly killed kid when rolled out of the thick Olive trees across from the old place, right into the headlights of Mr. Speeder. Until they shine their flashlight underneath the skidded-to-a-stop vehicle and see it’s a dummy, it tends to stick in their speeding little brains. If still reticent, two boxes of one-inch roofing nails down their one-mile dirt drive way. I’ve seen them with four flats at the stop sign at Sierra Highway after the nail treatment. No, on our new dirt road, it’s one Road Warrior after another. Especially at five thirty am, taking Leo to his bus stop eight miles away. I’m proud to say that since my new policy not one car or truck has ever passed us. And they NEVER WILL.
Our second week here while still moving, I’m going slow to keep the dust down. In a top ten of suck ass dirt roads, ours should at the least get an honorable mention. A gal in a big black SUV blows around me like I’m standing still. As she heads up the road her gigantic dust trail is blocking out the entire road. That was it for me.
I handle a few punks and old geezers in beat-up pickups while honing my skills for payback with Metro girl. I carried two scoops of one-inch gravel in my dump bed for no reason, other then better traction and less bounce until we finally had our Ali-Frasier of Umtali Road. Waiting for Leo down the road one day, I forget all about the little zipperhead as my eyes behold the black SUV coming up Sand Canyon at a high rate of speed. Firing up the F-550 Diesel turbo my hands are shaking at the steering wheel. I force my heart to stop trying to burst out of my chest as I race to get around the aforementioned dead man’s curve. Once around it I’m into really twisty canyons of rock formations that surround the Indian burial grounds to my right. Cliff dwellings and all. Checking my rear view mirror, I see that I’ve pulled it off. Flooring it around every tight curve, I try and get a good lead to pull off my plan.
What plan was this? To get across the road from the mailboxes, then to hide in the goat herder’s dirt driveway directly across from Umtali. I gave him a steel rabbit cage for helping Leo with his bike once, so we’re tight. Once Metro girl does one of two things, her ass will still be mine. If she stops for her mail is the best scenario. If she powers on up the twisty dirt road so be it. Since it’s to be to the death, I could care less. My heart is beating like it’s going to jump out of my rib cage. My mouth is dry as a desert lake bed. Blinking my eyes to un-cloud my contact lenses, I keep my foot on the brake but the tranny is in drive. She powers up the road. Checking for cross traffic and also looking for telltale dirt swirls showing a car on the dirt road ahead, I punch it. I came up on her so fast I was next to her and past her before she could step on it. Oh, she tried. I have to give her that. Too bad bitch, I had planned my moves many a night like a gibbering maniac planned building an atomic bomb. Once across the dreaded whoop te doo’s of molded clay troughs half-full of old exhaust systems, I put the pedal to the medal. Wearing my seat belt for the first time since buying the truck six years ago, I pull it a bit snugger as I begin whipping my dually wheels back in forth at well over sixty mph. Catching a glimpse of myself in my useless window rear view because of my high dump bed behind my head, I see the look of a stranger peering back at me. A wild eyed lunatic with white spittle built up at the corners of his gaping mouth. One quick wink of an glazed eye back at me then back to looking for a possible head on around the next brushy curve.
Slowing as I came to my drive way I pull up onto the property a good hundred feet to see past the atomic dust cloud. Creeping out at twenty miles an hour she appears. Covered with dust and dirt clods she glares at me as I wave a frantic hello back at her. Why humiliate a worthy opponent. Now it’s a polite wave and reasonable speeds between us. In a small town, word gets around fast. Sure, I’ve had to drive a few square pegs into round holes to get the passing thing over with but it was for a good cause. Once Leo starts to drive, God help us all.
PHONEHENGE NORTH NEWS: Oh, I forgot to tell you about the drunken cowboy that passed Leo and I in front of the MONOLITH, then, had the gall to flip us off. We ran him off the road at the ten-mile-an-hour railroad crossing leaving his Camaro facing the wrong way and hung up on the second set of tracks. I lost my right mud flap but it was well worth it. Leo needs guidance in these formative years…