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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:14 am
by wa5
It was announced on Sunday the 18th that Oprah had been cremated in a very private ceremony, Something she had apparently insisted upon. Fully understanding the need to try and prevent infection.

There was no vision of Oprahs' funeral, and her final resting place was not disclosed, again, she wanted to ensure no gatherings.

A short piece was shown on the news about Oprahs' "K" documentary. Showing her thrashing around trying to get at somebody standing to her side, she was like a vicious dog open sores evident on her exposed skin. The main points were listed.

* 7 days from exposure to final stage/ death.
* blotches on skin, advancing to open sores
* increasingly violent behaviour
* no known cure

The news reader mentioned the complete show would be on after the news.

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:41 am
by wa5
Oprahs' documentary didn't tell me a whole lot that I wasn't already aware of. There was some more vision of her. Increasingly angry and violent. Showing some of her celebrity friends visiting her, only white friends. The narrator, Doctor Phil, I think, said many of Oprahs African American friends wanted to come, but she forbid it. She really wasn't with it during the visits, but Dr Phil said she was a little calmer when they turned the lights down. That was something I wasn't aware of, but it correlated with the more savage behaviour during the day shown on US news reports. I thought Oprah was quite brave to have undertaken the documentary. She must have known that she was dead as soon as she had contracted the disease.

I spent the rest of the evening fitting upgraded locks to my doors and windows as well as turning my bedroom into a poor mans panic room, by making a shutter for the window and strengthening the door. I also found some nifty solar powered security lights at the hardware store, totally automatic. Not reliant on mains power, just mount them out of reach and they would shine a fairly powerful light outside my home. Clever Huh?

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:11 am
by wa5
Going to work on Monday Morning was rather difficult, I'd crammed rather a lot of work into the previous evening, It had been a pleasant night, not too hot (Mid 20s). I'd spent more time on my security measures than I'd really planned to.

Up late, jump into my work clothes and race for the bus. No time for news.

I'd known the bus driver for fifteen odd years. Jeff was about 60 years old, married, couple of kids and grandkids. One of the worlds truly decent people, a Christian who wasn't preachy, but lived as "the good book prescribed" A really nice guy.

We talked on the ride in, about the plague (what else?), he felt that God would sort it out, I countered with "the good Lord helps those who help themselves" (I liked Jeff and didn't want to see him in a difficult position). He confided that his wife was of a similar opinion to me, and they had been preserving food in jars, he referred to it as "canning" (the name seemed odd to me, surely jarring or bottling?). I commended his wife as a very clever lady. Jeff wondered how long any such emergency might last, after all, we were on the other side of the world, to all the trouble. I hoped that would continue to be the case.

by some miracle I arrived on time to work. I mentioned earlier that I sold spare parts at the local Ford Dealership (Kloster Ford). They also held nine other agencies, we were the biggest dealership in the second largest city in the state. Usually Monday mornings were bedlam, not so this morning. Apparently quite a few people had decided to take the week before Christmas off, Service reported 75% of their jobs hadn't turned up. At the spares counter we had less than ten customers, fifty or more waiting at the door step on Monday morning wasn't unusual.

I'd worked at Klosters for 20 years and was second in charge of spare parts. Given a chance by my current boss, Jim Anderson. He had been there during the interview, picking up that I knew and had a genuine interest in cars. He confided later that the other interviewers didn't want me, due to my poor eyesight. Old Jim had been at the shop for 30 years at that stage, he knew where the bodies were buried and got what he damn well wanted. Most people thought he was a fearsome old bastard, in truth, he just didn't suffer fools. I had never had a cross word with Jim and respected him greatly. He was six months past retirement, but management were too scared to point it out. There was a very good chance that when Jim chose to retire, I'd move into his position as head of spare parts. I was in no hurry for that to happen, I'd miss him when he went.

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:36 am
by wa5
Word came down the line that there was to be a meeting for all management at eleven AM, as 2ic I kind of qualified as management (even though I really thought of myself as more of an Indian than a Chief).

What was revealed to us at the meeting amazed me. it just seemed crazy. The Government was very concerned about the economy, since the borders had clamped shut. The economy had effectively stalled. Our leaders had kept that very quiet, given that the whole nation was wrapt in the news coming out of the US and Europe, they probably didn't have to try very hard to hide it. Now they were trying to jump start it.

The nice Man from the Government (tax office apparently), told us that the reserve bank was guaranteeing all forms of credit, with some seemingly very generous limits. Ten thousand dollars was the starting point, anybody was eligible for at least that amount. No job, no home, no name, No problems. He showed a table that became more generous as peoples wages went up. An unemployed person wouldn't be able to afford a new Rolls Royce, but they would be able to get into a very nice used car. Normal wage earners would be able to get a loan for about double what they might have been able to under normal circumstances.

The Government representative was adamant that there was to be no gouging of prices. This was a desperate move for desperate times. Anybody rorting the system would regret it. (I wondered just how long they expected to keep this system in place). The scheme was to be made public at twelve noon.

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:57 am
by wa5
That last week before Christmas was crazy. The floodgates opened on Monday afternoon, about two o'clock. Jim was left in charge of Spares. I was shifted to New car sales, it was felt that new cars would be easier for a novice than used cars. We ran out of used cars by Thursday afternoon, over two thousand used cars sold, along with quite a few new ones. I'd managed to sell 74 cars in three days. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. Three hours after the midday news, people were lined up out the door.
As soon as the sheer number of customers became apparent, I went from being a salesman to a supplier. My dazzlingly affective sales pitch was to ask each new customer what they wanted, tell them the closest we had, and invite them to (politely) take it or leave it. The first customer got up in a huff and walked out. I moved onto the second, She didn't argue, and drove out in her new car half an hour later. After that, I addressed the crowd at the end of each sale, telling them that I'd help them as much as I could, but if they didn't want the car I could offer, they should go to another dealership now. We had our finance people walking through the crowd calculating what each person could afford (hah, we all knew the government was picking up the tab). On Friday, as used stock dried up and new stocks began to run low, I went back to parts, Not enough cars to keep me in the showroom.

Looking back, it occurs to me that the government may have just been trying to give people one last nice Christmas, they must have known what was coming.

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:13 pm
by wa5
I had been so busy in the showroom, from Monday afternoon til Thursday evening that by the time I got home, late every night, I was too tired to do anything but eat a quick frozen dinner and sleep.

We had been opening early, and closing late, if I was lucky, somebody would bring me a sandwich, that I wolfed down between customers. those four days were some of the longest workdays of my life.

I slept like a log on Thursday night, and managed to get up early enough to catch the news on the radio as I cooked breakfast... (bacon and eggs... dear Lord I miss Bacon )

The K had been detected in major population centres in Australia. in races other than African. I guess that meant white people. The same people lined up at my dealership yesterday. The same people at all the major department stores, supermarkets, dress shops, toy shops, etc etc. Now I realised what made me uneasy about the Christmas Credit Scheme in the first place.

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:54 pm
by wa5
Friday passed quietly, everybody was out enjoying their new cars, the rush for spare parts would come later (hopefully).

One of the juniors took care of the counter, I spent most of the day talking with Jim, as he polished and serviced "his" Ford Territory F6X. My how he loved that car.

It wasn't exactly Jims car, but nobody else dared touch it without his say so. Which meant NOBODY touched it. The Territory had come in as a trade in on a New Falcon GT, 12 months ago. Jim had fallen for "her" as soon as he laid eyes on her. He had somehow grabbed the big beautiful Henry as a shop truck. Not just a run of the mill SUV, this was the Ford Performance Vehicles special. She packed 360 Turbo Charged straight six horsepower, All Wheel Drive and deep lustrous Ebony Black paint. The F6X was the only non Falcon product made by FPV. Turbo Territory's had ceased production over two years previously, according to company policy Kloster Ford Employees would not be seen in out dated vehicles, no longer sold by Ford Australia. The manager had called me into Her office a few months ago and asked me to speak to Jim about the car, about how it didn't suit their "Image". I told her if she wanted my resignation, all she had to do was ask, but I would not be doing as she asked. This Woman tough as she was (and you don't get to be top dog at the nations 9th largest car dealership by being a pushover), wouldn't go up against old Jim. She said she hadn't really expected me to agree to her request. Saying rather resignedly "ah well, he will be retiring soon anyway". I knew I was pushing my luck, but as I was leaving, I mentioned how much Jim loved that car, and what a lovely retirement gift it would be. She had a look of thunder on her face as I fled the office. She was a car saleswoman after all, and the thought of "giving away" a perfectly good car was somewhat foreign to her.

Jim was planning on going camping after Christmas and had the car packed and ready with all his gear. He was planning to pick the car up on new years eve, add food, ice and beer and take off for two weeks fishing up the coast.

He then did something that I will never forget. He asked me to fill the car with fuel. It seems like such a little thing. But NOBODY drove Jims car, Ever. You must remember, I have never held a drivers licence. All I had to do was pull the car out of the workshop, around to the bowser and "fill er up" (with premium of course, none of that ethanol crap). Such a little thing, but such a giant vote of confidence from Jim. The workshop went silent as I drove that beautiful car (very carefully) out of the workshop. She was refuelled and back in her spot ten minutes later. No scratches thank God.

As I handed Jim the keys, and he hung them in their usual spot, he said "I've put in my papers, I'll be retiring in March".

I was rostered on for Saturday morning, Another quiet day. Jim and I discussed his retirement, he planned to move up closer to his fishing grounds. His wife had passed away 3 years before and his kids were all grown. He felt it was time. Jim was off on Holidays for the next three weeks, I would be in charge.

As I left that Saturday afternoon, I wished Jim and all the other staff a Merry Christmas (as it fell on the next day) and went home.

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:29 pm
by wa5
Sorry its been so long between drinks, I have been thinking about this story for quite some time and mapping out where I want it to go, but still don't have an ehding in mind.... (just so long as its better than WWZ the movie, I'll be happy)

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:18 pm
by wa5
The biggest car dealership in outside of an Australian capital city does not just shut down on Public Holidays, even Christmas. A skeleton staff had to man the ship for emergency parts supplies and repairs of emergency vehicles.

I wasn't married, I had no plans for Christmas, My Mechanic Brother and his family lived in another state, my Sister and her Husband lived on Sydney Harbour, they were very well off, he was a banker, she was a teacher. My Parents had joined the growing ranks of the Grey Nomads and were currently somewhere in North Western Australia exploring the country in their 4x4 with a huge caravan behind. I volunteered for Christmas day. Most of the other guys in my department had young families or grand kids, since I didn't, it seemed like the right thing to do, also, the overtime was great. It was always a very easy day. We weren't exactly "open" to the public, more to supply to local mechanics doing emergency roadside service, and supply anything the workshop might need for emergency vehicle repairs (Police, Fire, Ambulance).

I was one half of the skeleton staff, Darius was the other, he was manning the workshop to do any repairs to the afore mentioned emergency vehicles.

Darius was a huge Fijian Mechanic, a ten year veteran at Klosters. He was fearsome looking warrior, complete with tribal facial tattoos. He only looked scary, A kinder, gentler Man, I have never met. He really didn't want to be there on Christmas day. His lovely Wife and seven kids were waiting for him at home. He needed the overtime. At least he could have Christmas dinner with them.

We spent most of the day talking, I asked if he had made any plans for the K. He hadn't, he said, His reason shocked me a little, He and His Wife had discussed it, but felt that if the government couldn't get it under control, we were all doomed. I didn't argue, who was I to say he was wrong?

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:54 pm
by wa5
We had only one customer over that day, A local Police Sergeant came in with his patrol car misfiring.

I got to know a fair few people due to my Job, Sergeant Michael Collins was more than an acquaintance, he was a friend. A big burly red headed Irish Cop who had emigrated to Australia when he married a local lass. His Wife was a local Radio DJ, Marcia in the Mornings, I generally listened to another station. Mike was a good bloke, He was a Ford Man through and through, He had a classic Falcon Coupe at home in the shed same as the Mad Max car. His wife drove a Ford Focus). He'd generally have a bit of a chat when he bought his patrol car in for a service.

I don't drive, so I don't have the negative view of Cops that some people seem to, also I don't chase after them like others seem to, in the mistaken belief that being their "buddy" will save you from a ticket. We both liked old Falcons and enjoyed talking about them. He'd tell me about his latest find or let me know what he was chasing, if I could point him in the right direction, I would.

While Darius was fixing the patrol car, a rat had nested under the engine cover. Chewing through one of the ignition leads. It took ten minutes for the big supercharged Coyote to be bought back to peak performance, we talked, not about Mel Gibson's V8 interceptor, but about the only subject on anybody's mind. He asked if I'd made any plans, I outlined some of my preparations, He approved. Do ye have a gun? he asked in his Irish brogue. I told him I owned a Bolt Action .22, he told me to get a shotgun. "Hard times are coming". With that, his car was ready and he wished Darius and I a Merry Christmas, and rolled out.
I sent Darius home at four, an hour early. He lived close, if it was really important, he could be back in ten minutes. I had no calls in the last hour, and pulled the gates shut behind me at ten past five. Not to many busses on public Holidays, so I called a Taxi and went home.