Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Cabbie Who Vaporized His Hand

Ray drove a taxi at the airport and the "county official" in charge of the airport taxis kept telling the starter to fire Ray. He never did.

Good thing because it would have been a major lawsuit.

Incidentially the starter is the guy in a little booth who calls up the taxis from in line to pick up passengers.

In the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles the angry man who grabs Steve Martin by his balls and drags him along the concrete is the starter.

The reason I know this is because the scene is set at Lambert Field in St. Louis, which is where Ray worked.

Later Ray moved to a local cab company, the one at which I owned a cab.

Ray did not have a left hand. That's why the old bastard, who was as corrupt as hell and is now dead, thank God, wanted Ray fired.

I was one of the few people who knew why Ray was missing his left hand.

When he was 21 years old he took an empty toilet tissue roll, put in it what he described as the gunpowder from "a thousand firecrackers," wrapped it in duct tape, then lit the fuse.

Before he could even throw it the fuse went ZIP and the bomb went BOOM! The FBI later said the explosion was equal to one-quarter of a stick of dynamite.

Ray, who was left-handed, had his left hand vaporized.

He told me he didn't remember much after that until he woke up in the hospital. "It was a pretty big bandage," he told me, "but not big enough to have a hand under it."

He lifted his sheet and noticed a big bandage by his groin.


He felt around and found "it" was still attached and undamaged.

While in the hospital two FBI agents showed up quizzing him about this huge explosion which set off alarms at a local plant. When they saw what happened to Ray they pretty much left with no more questions. I'm sure they were thinking, "Dumbass."

Ray ended up having to write with his right hand.

At the airport he was called "Hook" because he had one of those two-pronged pincer-hands that he often wore. Sometimes he wore nothing but a sock over his stump because when bare it hurt from changes in the weather.

He told me he was arrested one time and the only thing the cop could do is hang one of the cuffs on his hook and warn him, "Don't take it off."

I was in his car one time when he ran a stop sign and the cop didn't give him a ticket (how can you give a ticket to a man without a hand?) but just scolded him. Ray actually hung his head and I just snickered.

Ray was a major drug addict since age 15 and used to live in my back room when things went really bad in his life for reasons I will not go into here. Let's just say he did things he did not remember, such as holding a 9mm pistol against his "girlfriend's" head. He said he had no memory whatsoever of doing it. She sure did.

But he died in June of 2000 at age 49 from a self-inflicted drug overdose. He did this while living with me in my back room. He got a bunch of Seconals from a pill doctor, went into some woods about 15 miles away, and swallowed the whole bottle, washing them down with some Coke.

His skeleton was found six months later. A cop showed up at my apartment with the attitude Ray and I were homosexual lovers and I had killed him. He wanted in but no dice on that. Later a much more pleasant detective showed up and I didn't let him in, either. He told me Ray was found wearing women's black silk underwear.

I was wondering why I found women's black silk underwear in Ray's room, under his bed. The hypodermic needles I understood.

Ray was a drug addict, promiscuous (and like all promiscuous guys his women were bottom-ot-the barrel) and a sexual pervert (the underwear was the least of his problems). Yet, for all that, he was a pretty good guy.

He left his hook in my living room closet, where it hung for a few years until I gave it away to a thift store.


Mindstorm said...

Your story reminds me of this aphorism, attributed to Heraclitus:
ἦθος ἀνθρώπῳ δαίμων (ethos anthropou daimon).
Meaning in English: "Character of a man is his destiny."

Mindstorm said...

Of course, you could understand this differently than me.

Take The Red Pill said...

A thrift store?! Bet THAT laid around there until the Halloween season!