Uncle Frank is the storyteller in our family. He loves reminiscing about his escapades. I will let you make up your own mind whether this story is true or false. He always states that his stories, adventures as he calls them, are real. It has been my experience that the stories are more factual if he is not drinking. He repeats his stories but we don’t have the heart to tell him. We love hearing them over and over. They do seem to grow a little larger each time. We never would call Uncle Frank a liar, he just has an over active imagination. Everyone has a hoot when Uncle Frank is around and besides, all it cost is a few Budweiser. Uncle Frank is the king of storytelling.
Uncle Frank drives a truck making late night deliveries as the rest of world sleeps. He makes one late night delivery in the heart of a large city. Uncle Frank recently told us this story.
I’m making my normal Wednesday deliveries; it’s about 3 A M. This delivery requires me to back into a dead end street between two large buildings in the heart of Indy. I must make this delivery in the basement of a parking garage. My truck’s too tall; I cannot back down into it. It also requires using the lift on the back and a pallet jack to move the pallet to its proper location. I absolutely hate this delivery because I see way too many unsavory characters.
I walk to the back of my truck and bring my lift gate down. It’s at this time I thought my eyes are playing tricks on me. There’s not one light on, in the garage. I say a few choice words. How am I going to maneuver in total darkness? I walk down the ramp and into the underground garage. I stand still for a moment and my eyes are able to make out the automobiles, support beams and such. If I’m “extremely” careful I can do this. I was too upset to think about my normal fear of being back here on a dead end. After calming myself, I’m scared as hell and the total darkness is not helping my situation any.
I unload my first pallet off my truck. I now have it level in the underground garage. I pause allowing my eyes to adjust. This is great for my vision but isn’t helping my nerves one iota. As I’m waiting my heart rate increases. I must be careful to not bust my ass, or scratch a car, or run into a support beam. So you see my predicament! I must be careful, while my body’s telling me to get the ????, out of here. My adrenaline’s pumping and has given me enough of a boost to out run a cheetah. In my attempt to complete my job, my imagination absorbs the energy and starts going wild. As I place my pallet in the proper location, I see a black cat on the ledge close to me. Somewhat interesting, but I don’t dally, I have more pressing concerns, like returning to light. I retrace my steps and make it back unscathed, alive but damn sure not ready to do it again.
Now that I’ve calmed down, I’m about to deliver my second pallet. I stop at the bottom of the ramp again allowing my eyes to adjust. I’m in damn near total darkness, six feet underground and that thought did not make my situation any easier! My imagination works against me. I take a few slow deep breaths and cautiously walk through the “TOMB.” I made it across the garage all 100 feet, drop my pallet and gather myself for the return trip. Okay, I tell myself slowly, “I can do it!” I look at the ledge, there are two cats and the new one is bigger! They’re as black as coal and not moving, I return too hastily and my jack hits a support beam. Just a few more inches and I would’ve ran smack-dab into a support beam and that wouldn’t be pretty!
I’m now back at the truck and gathering my nerves for another go round. I am stubbornly stupid as I aim to finish. I tell myself, I have made two trips successfully with one close call. I must focus only in front of me! Once again I’m at the bottom of the ramp and my eyes are adjusting. I make it across the obstacle course and place the pallet. I’m focusing on my breathing keeping calm for the return trip. I’m cool, calm, relaxed, everything is fine, but I can’t help myself, I glance over at the ledge. Oh my! Oh my, another black cat! Oh shit! I want to run. I turn around so fast I trip over my feet. I jump up and put my right hand on the jack and put my left hand out in front of me to feel my way. Somehow I make it to the safety of the light. My heart is beating so fast I’m afraid it will pound out of my chest. I set down on the curb and lay back. I stare at the moon until my heart rate is normal. I must control my imagination as I find the strength to go again.
I’m at the bottom of the ramp focusing using all my strength to stay calm, here goes number four. I am very careful, turtle like. I’m doing fine staying focused, I’m the man. I pull the jack away from the pallet, now simply turn around slowly. I can’t help it, I look up and there are four cats and they seem to be staring at me. Oh no! Oh no! My heart rate immediately goes wild. I must control myself, my legs are saying “run sucker.” My head somehow controls my legs. I manage to get back and I’m lying in the grass.
I can’t go through this two more times. I can’t, no way in hell, uh uh! I’m lying in the grass looking at the beautiful moon. It has somehow has made me feel small so I have a go at number five. Once more I’m waiting for my eyes to acclimate to the darkness. I maneuver the obstacle course thinking you big chicken. I put that pallet in place and close my eyes. I’m not going to look at the ledge I don’t give a shit about the ledge anyhow! I make it to where I damn near hit my head on the support beam. Suddenly I turned around. I gotta know how many of them damn cats are there. I count five of them suckers. I let go of my pallet jack and run like hell. I ran all the way to the convenience store half a block away. It was good that a policeman didn’t go by as I was running. If I was black or from south of the border I would have been shot for sure. I get coffee, hell I don’t need no f#$&ing coffee and M & M’S, I need a six pack.
I walk back to my truck as calmly as one can that has had the shit scared out of him for the umpteenth time in the last couple hours and I still have one to go. Plus I left my jack in the Tomb of hell. I drink my coffee and that big coffee ain’t a steadying my nerves none. I decide to try gazing at the moon once more. After a while I have enough nerve to go for my jack, keeping my head down and not looking anywhere else. Whoo, wee! Five down and one to go, but it will be the hardest one!!!
I listen to the radio, oh yeah singing along to I Can’t Get no Satisfaction from the Stones and Born to be Wild of whomever. I’m feeling stronger as I see Mick Jaggers strutting and picture myself riding a big ass Harley Hog. I ain’t gonna let no black ass kitty cats keep me from finishing my job!!!
So I’m strutting my stuff and singing as I’m at the bottom waiting. I sing and strut and place the last pallet down. I feel swollen up on myself as my singing becomes rather weak and I ain’t doing any strutting. My eyes are trying to force my head up, but I’m thinking if I don’t look I’m home free. Oh no my heart is beating so fast I will soon faint! I know the proper return exit by now. I turn my body around and line myself up. I glance over my shoulder and count five cats, then one jumps on the ledge which makes six and I’m out of there like a rocket. I’m sweating profusely lying in the grass waiting for my heart to jump back into my body. I have lost track of time. How long I lay there? It doesn’t matter, I’m “ALIVE.” My heart must be good since I didn’t have a heart attack. My lifetime supply of nerves, are completely shot. But there was one unanswered question as I start to pull away. I have to know about them cats. I pull my tuck headlight at such an angle to shine where those cats should be on the ledge. There was six cats still sitting on the ledge and they didn’t look the least bit scary now. I‘m laughing as I drive away. I’ll never forget this night!!THANKS FOR VISITING GLEN VIEW. THIS STORY IS BASED ON SOME TRUTHS. The underground garage & the delivery are true. The kitty cats are a figment of my imagination but damn it was scary delivering them pallets!