Bad News Travels Fast

Bad News Travels Fast


The workday had come to an end on a summer Friday afternoon, and the worn out trucks were filing their way down the unforgiving mountain back to the Saticoy yard. They had worked out on the steep oil lease all week, and the boys were anticipating a cold shower and a colder beer. Some showed it more than others, especially the driver of a certain bent and rickety 1960’s Jeep Gladiator.

“Weenie” was a terrible driver, they all knew it, but nobody dared bring it to his attention. Somehow this particular afternoon he had managed a passenger— a brave soul they all called “Geno GaVino.”

The brief list of the Gladiator’s features left much to be desired— no bells, no whistles, surely boasting no air conditioning. The truck, a 4x4 had a manual transmission that clearly wasn’t being utilized to it’s full potential, as the only thing hotter than the summer air was the Gladiator’s brake shoes. By the time they reached the oilfield gates, the wobbly brakes told their story of the sweet protesting stench of vehicle distress.

As they made their approach to the paved valley floor, Geno GaVino looked to Weenie with wide eyes. He was unsure how it be possible, but Weenie’s driving had gotten worse. The hell-bent Jeep truck was barreling stiffly around the corners, and scraps from the job were at this point littering the road. Weenie had smoked the brakes.

The vessel was now was reduced to a coffin-for-two with a steering wheel that was looking for the fastest way to be planted into the fertile Ventura County soil.

Hanging on for their lives at 80 miles per hour on the paved downhill, focused on the chaos within the cab, "Weenie" & "Geno" looked up just in time to see the sun kiss the chrome of two shined up sports cars in the distance. They were parked side by side on a bridge with their backs to the drama unfolding above. The sports cars were forming a large metal door that the Gladiator was going to have to force open.

In terror, “Weenie” pounded out a silent warning on a horn that didn’t work, while his giant work boots were braced firmly on the two left pedals— He and "Geno" yelling louder than the horn ever could.

The wheeled coffin careened further down the hill and was inching dangerously closer to the two stopped cars, when suddenly the two sports cars found the green light and the gas.

"… Ladies and Gentlemen: Broadcasted live from Ventura County’s own Lemon Peel drag strip… a real don’t ask, don’t tell treat, a real live, rare, illegal three car jalopy street race: What looks to be one 1950’s Chevy versus a Pontiac something-or-other, and a… Hang on… a… Late entry.. Is that a 1960 Heep Gladiator? Yes, a Late entry… A Jeep Gladiator, sponsored by Saticoy's own, Delta Electric….”

A close race, folks, the Chevy takes it— the Jeep Gladiator nipping at the Pontiac’s heels for a close second!!!! Wow, What a race!!!!!!

The Chevy continued off to celebrate, while the Pontiac pulled off to lick it’s wounds. By this time, Weenie had managed to regain control of his coffin & mortality, pulled up next to the unsuspecting, ignorant Pontiac.

He stalled the Gladiator into an abrupt and welcomed position, ripped the truck’s door open and marched toward the passenger side of the Pontiac. The cute blonde gal in the front seat had the window all the way down, somehow allowing enough room for the giant man. "Weenie" dove across the  girl and grabbled the teenaged driver by his collar— "Weenie's" greasy rough hands landing righteously on the kid’s peach fuzzed face.

Geno GaVino sat in shock on the bench seat of the Gladiator— recovering from one trauma and moving on to another, watching in awe as the Pontiac swerved off with his coworker’s dirty boots dangling out the passenger window.

At a loss of what to do, Geno slid over and tried to get the Gladiator to cooperate for Weenie’s rescue. From the cracked windshield, he watched Weenie’s panicked victim swerve to his destination, clearly having no idea why he was being attacked by the giant man.

The Pontiac swerved into a liquor store, (which was probably where they all were headed anyhow,) and to the kid’s coincidental rescue, a Sheriff was parked out front. Bleeding from his lip, he ran to the squad car to tattle on the crazed man who had assaulted him all the way to the liquor store.

When Geno limped the barefoot Gladiator into the lot, they were able to get to the bottom of it, as Weenie was still trying to beat some sense into the kid who was physically hiding behind the cop. The teenage driver of the Pontiac caught an attitude with the Delta Electric employees - not realizing that in his telling the officer the truth, he had admitted to breaking the law himself. The Sheriff clearly took a side once informed of the circumstances, and made sure the little rich kid knew it:

“You’d better pipe down, Kid, or I’m gonna let him (Weenie) loose on you again so you can have a little more…”