Playing Hide And Seek In Plain Sight

21756761One late afternoon I was piddling around in my shop when I get a text message from my son. He wanted to try out the effectiveness of his newly finished ghillie suit. He sent me some real general directions to the back of the property where I was to look for him hiding in plain sight. Now, I haven’t seen his new suit so I have no idea what I’m looking for. As I set off on my trek I remembered my Air Force field training which was to look for a few things. First, look for that piece of nature which looks too perfect because nature is one imperfection after another. Second, look for un-natural shapes and oddities which don’t look out of place. Third, look for the straight lines and solid colors. Now, these are good skills to know what to look for when someone is hiding from you to either elude you or to kill you. There are also good to know because the reverse goes into play when making oneself invisible in the environment. When I get to the described location I see that I’m in the area we have roped off to play paint ball with friends and family. All I can think is this will be an ambush of some sorts.

I walked past the back side of the downed tree twice, once going out towards the ridge facing the river and the return trip. It was not until I came around to head back to the river when something caught my eyes, solid color gloves. Busted. Being color blind I have a true unfair advantage because I focus more on the shapes in the woods and not the colors. I would have walked right past him another time if it weren’t for the gloves. But, I wanted to screw with him a bit before I let him know he had been found. I pull out my cell phone and call his mother to tell her we will be a little late for dinner and why. I put my phone in my pocket, turned, and walked away, but not before snapping a picture. I headed to the house and texted him to tell him he did a great job and to head back in. I don’t know if he knew I knew he was mere feet from me so I sent him the picture.

His reaction was different than what I expected. He text me back and told me he will fix the glove visibility. That was it at that time. At dinner time he explained how he watched me walk by him both times and how easily it would have been to unleash a barrage of orange paint balls onto me. He said he considered it but I was wearing my good jacket and my good boots so he waived embarrassing me at that point in time in history. He bragged quite a bit, which is great, because he did an awesome job. We both know I would have been a kill. So, dinner was full of excitement and stories. It’s nice, for me at least, to be able to still go outside and not have to wonder if my kids are still on their phones for whatever reason. You know it’s not enough to be un-plugged any more, we have to have something that competes for their time. Just let it be known that when it is time out here, there isn’t too much competition.

I look forward to our next time out back in our  woods, I better bring my “A Game” because I know I will not be given a second chance twice. Perhaps the next time I bring re-enforcements because multiple sets of eyes are always better than one. My son is always amazing me with what he can come up with and I think that is one reason why he always keeps us guessing as he gets older. Until our next time in the woods ………………

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Moving Madness Multiplied

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I like to think that I’m real easy-going most of the time. In person, people know that I usually have no problem helping out someone when asked. People know I have certain equipment and that I usually work pretty cheap. With that being said, a few weeks ago I was asked by my wife to contact her pastor so I could sit down with him because he had a “favor” to ask of me. At first I was in shock because she had the absolute brass balls to come to me with something he wants. You see, the pastor and I have a little history of bad blood. In other words, I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire. Get the connection. I don’t like him or what he stands for. However, money is money if there is money involved. She told me that they would “rent” my time and the use of my dually and my 48′ box trailer. Rent me? apparently my time and equipment is worth money now, who knew. Perhaps I could chat with the jackass and see what he has in mind. The whole meeting was real uncomfortable for me because, in no fewer words, I despise him as a human being. The meeting was short and involved the details, which were pretty sketchy if you ask me. Anyway, I needed to be in place at the church by no later that 6 a.m. on Saturday 14 September 2013 with my truck and trailer and should be done somewhere around 3 p.m. that same day. I was pre-paid the entire “rental fee” as it was listed on his receipt I signed and noted as “other church services” at the bottom. What was I paid? I was paid $1,500.00 for my services. Which, after doing a little research was real cheap since most rentals of the same caliber, like a 48′ box truck, had a $1,5000.00 deposit, $495.00 per day rental, $1.09 per mile, and the cost of the amount of fuel used. So, I was real cheap in comparison. He never asked me what I wanted to charge, he just told me what he needed and what he was willing to pay, take it or leave it. I should have left it right on the table. I shouldn’t have just returned his call and told him to kiss my ass and never looked back. But, for some reason, my wife gets involved and she asked me nicely. Her, I respect her opinion.

So, anyway, Friday evening my son and I prepped the trailer, meaning we swept it out and made sure all the tires were aired up properly since this trailer has been sitting in the same spot for over a year. Everything checked out which was a relief. We went into town and fueled up the dually then returned and hooked the trailer up. Again, no problems. We were ready to go in the morning. My son and I arrived to the church at 5:30 in the morning. While we waited we ate our breakfast burritos we got on the way, my sons request. At just after 7 in the morning not one person has shown up yet, not one. I called the pastor and my call went straight to voicemail. Seriously. I called my wife, who in turn was on her way to the church to collect my son to go to get his hair cut and do a few errands. She has not heard from the pastor. Promptly at 8 the pastor showed up, parks, and comes to my truck. He asked why I was here so early at the same time I was asking where everyone was. He apologized as he must have “forgotten” to call me, there was a change of plans because a few people couldn’t show up until 8 in the morning. According to him he did tell me when this all developed 2 weeks ago. Thinking back, that would have been the perfect time to just drive away. It was breach of contract on his part. But, I’m a sucker for punishment I don’t deserve, so I stayed. Immediately I was being told to move so I could back up across a sidewalk and across a section of grass, about 30 feet. Doesn’t this idiot know how heavy this truck and trailer are? Come to find out, nobody cared, it will all be okay. Piss on that, I will not pay to get towed out. So, I continue backing up, I hear screeching as the tree branches slide down the sides of the trailer. I’m thinking it just keeps getting better at this point. It made ruts going in I can’t wait to see the ruts when I pull out. Have y’all ever just known that something was going to turn into a great story. I knew that it would be a factoid when I was first told about this crap. Sometimes I can see the future.

Pretty much the entire day I either sat in the a/c in my truck or I would walk around a bit to stretch and see how loaded the trailer was becoming. According to my wife, somebody donated a large sum of money to the administration of the church so the church could update their offices, the two classrooms, and the day care. So, that is what they were loading, all the furniture coming out. I was supposed to take the loaded trailer to a warehouse where the people who bought all the furniture at auction were to unload it. At almost 7 p.m. they finished up. They almost completely had the trailer full and packed pretty well, I was almost impressed. After closing it up one of the men guided me out back into the parking lot. I thought I was stuck coming across the sidewalk, but after the trailer snapped it as it rolled over it everything was smooth getting out. I wonder what will be said about that because I told them it was going to happen, not maybe, but that it would get broken, my opinion was dismissed by the pastor. So, the pastor gives me the address and directions to the warehouse, it was about 30 minutes away. The only thing I can think is I hope they unload it faster than the trailer got loaded. When I arrived to the address I was presented with a rather tight turn into the driveway, it took me a little time to negotiate it but I got it. I went up to the office and explained who I was and I was told that I didn’t have permission to be in here number one and I needed a copy of the manifest or receipt before they would accept it. I was told to hurry up because they closed at 9 p.m. and would not be back until Tuesday. After multiple calls to the good pastor and to my wife I was getting nowhere fast. I was, however, growing more pissed by the minute. At 9 I was asked to remove my truck and trailer from the property. At 9:15 I finally get a call from the pastor who explained he had taken the men and woman who helped him all day out to dinner which is why he couldn’t take my calls. He says he was unaware that I needed paperwork and would talk to his contact about making arrangements. I told him I was going home. When he asked where his stuff was going to be I explained it will be at my house tucked away out of my way. I waited all day Sunday for his call. Finally around 3 I called him and he actually answered the phone. He has been busy all day and has not been able to make arrangements and rushed to get off the phone with me.

Today, being Monday, I still have their stuff inside my trailer which is parked out at my house. At this point I really don’t know when he thinks I will be able to take it to the warehouse. I work, I have a day job that I can’t just up and leave at the drop of a phone call. After Wednesday when I get off work if he has not arranged anything then he will be having to wait until the end of the following week since I have foot surgery scheduled bright and early this Thursday morning. I told my wife I am charging him storage, $150.00 a day and that started Sunday. Snidely, she told me to do what I am comfortable doing and hung up. This has worked out well so far I think. Should be an interesting week. I have a feeling when this is said and done I will never be available to assist these people again. Everytime I do it turns into a complete clusterfuck on their part.