You can keep your dollar- part 2 (or alternately titled “Horrors from behind the Delivery Wheel”)

21 Jun

So my last post about tipping delivery drivers resurrected some memories from my “Get Your Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less” college employment that I apparently had blocked out of my mind for the sake of mental well-being. And because these memories are so fucked and funny… I will share them with you now.

Part 1: The Bird Lady

I can’t believe that I forgot about The Bird Lady. Legends should be made about this woman, and passed down generation-to-generation to scare children into behaving- in the way of the Boogy-man and Babayaga. “If you don’t eat your vegetables, we’ll take you to see the Bird Lady”. She was truly horrific, and tragically sad.

My second day on the job was a Wednesday 4pm to midnight shift. I remember this clearly because after this day, I immediately requested a schedule availability change to only having these shifts on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday/Sunday because of The Bird Lady. My request was denied because all the other delivery drivers with seniority had already request those shifts because of the Bird Lady.

So I’m standing there with one of the other drivers, and at 4:30 he looks at the clock and says to me “The next call, you’re going to take”… and he smiled this evil and knowing smile. And a couple minutes later- the phone rang, and the counter girl yelled “BIRD LADY!!”. I had a bad feeling about this. But I was the “new guy”, so what could I do? They made the food, gave me the address, and off I went.

I drove out to what used to be the edge of town in Lawrence, KS where all this new housing development was popping up. Clean and lovely identical new houses in various shades of beige with perfectly manicured lawns. I couldn’t figure out what could be so menacing about the customer in this bland milk-toast neighborhood. I found the house (tan with small bushes and tulips all along the front garden), and went up to ring the doorbell- and before the door even opened, the smell hit me. This weird smell of rot and death and decay. I immediately got scared, and knew that I wasn’t getting paid enough to endure what was about to open that door.

The door opened. And every one of my senses was hit with an assault so hostile that I think I might have actually died that day, and my zombie body has been walking around living my life ever since. The woman that was standing in the open door smiling must have been in her early 80’s, with wild white hair that stuck out in every direction, she had food smeared on her face, and she was wearing a sheer cotton little nighty that was paper thin and covered in food stains- AND NOTHING ON UNDERNEATH (which is something that NOONE should ever have to see). The odor that I smelled on the other side of that closed door hit like a tidal wave when that door was opened, and it took everything I had not to visibly gag.

I was able to mumble out the total for the food, and she says “Oh, I have to write a check… come inside!”. I shake my head “no”… but she insists. So I step into the house.

Holy fuck… the house….. let me see if I can do this justice. It was bright and airy looking, and filled with what WOULD have been expensive new carefully-color-coordinated furniture. But the carpets were covered with mystery stains from what looked like various forms of food and ones that looked a little too much like blood for my comfort levels. There was garbage stacked high all throughout the living room, dining room, and what I could see of the kitchen, and plates of rotting food on all the furniture and all over the floors… and there were flies in SWARMS. The TV and radio were both on and blasting- but they were on static channels, so there was nothing but loud white noise. And everywhere were birdcages… there must have been at least 30 of them in the livingroom and dining room alone. Hanging from the ceiling, sitting on top of 4 foot high stacks of newspapers and on tables and countertops. But all the birdcages looked empty. I stood in the livingroom while she shuffled into the kitchen to write her check, and I leaned over to look in one of the birdcages- and was shocked to find a dead rotting parakeet at the bottom. Then I quickly looked into the bottom of another birdcage close to me- and there were 2 rotting finches at the bottom. I looked into a third cage- and yes, another dead bird. But all the cages were piled with bird food… so she was apparently still feeding and watering them. She shuffles back out to the livingroom to hand me a check, and I notice that her hands and arms have little cuts and are smeared with dried blood, as well as dried food. She smiles and says “It’s nice of you kids to bring me my food, because they took my car away” and I just nod and exit the house as quickly as possible. And no, there was no tip involved in that check total.

The smell didn’t leave my hair and clothing until I took a shower that night. I had to drive around for the next 7 hours smelling literally like death.

Upon getting back to the pizza shop, I learned that the Bird Lady orders the same thing at the same time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For the following 2 months until a new driver was hired and became “the new guy”- it was my job to deliver food to the Bird Lady. Each time trying to come up with a new excuse to not enter her house of cheery horrors- and each time getting denied and having to step over that doorstep into the abyss. I was about 19, and didn’t have the awareness to report her living conditions because she obviously wasn’t able to care for herself and an needed assisted living situation. But my boss (who was in his 40’s and married with kids) was well aware of the Bird Lady’s situation and should have known to contact someone- but he was the world’s biggest douchebag and didn’t give a shit. Some family member of hers obviously set her up in a house with new furniture and someone to care for the lawn- and just left her there to rot like one of those little birds in her cages. It was a tragedy on every level.

So that is the first story from the Delivery Driver Diaries.

Tip your fucking driver… because they have to deal with far worse than you can ever imagine.

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19 Responses to “You can keep your dollar- part 2 (or alternately titled “Horrors from behind the Delivery Wheel”)”

  1. Brandi June 21, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    *speechless* ah…um…yeesh. *horrified expression*

  2. Lex June 21, 2008 at 7:27 pm #

    Holy shit! Damn, I had no idea this ever even happened, but remember all the weird shit that used to happen to you? Like when I called and woke you up from that nap and it turned out that some guy was in your apartment? This, aside from the horror of someone being in your place, is somehow way freakier.

    OK, off-topic, but I saw this, blogged it and immediately had to tell YOU. IMMEDIATELY. I just though, finish this fucking post and then link Kristen to one of the reports on this, that and Google John Freshwater, Mount Vernon Ohio. This nutjob public school teacher who belongs at freakin “Jesus Camp” actually (after apparently years and years of agitating for “Christian Causes”) branded students on the arm with the sign of a cross. He claims it’s an “X”, but, well there are pics and one kid’s parents are suing after it left a 3 week cross on his arm. He did this as an experiment because he’s a SCIENCE TEACHER, one who doesn’t believe in evolution, and also reportedly said this:
    “The report also cites evidence that Mr. Freshwater told his students that “science is wrong because the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin and so anyone who is gay chooses to be gay and is therefore a sinner.” (that from CNN.com and has a pic of this kid’s arm).

    Check out the dregs too of this site, which has a report from FIVE YEARS ago titled “local fights have begun in Ohio” over his teaching of “creationism” in the classroom. It’s a site for an org. called “Answers In Genesis” (AIG) and they’re NUTS!! Well, duh, but still, they’re THIS kind of nuts.

    Oh, and they’re also having a conference upcoming in your favorite place, good ole Branson, MO.! You may well have already dealt with some of these charmers, Kristen! Either way, this is definitely a Kristen Op-Ed post. Not to pressure you or anything, but we want The Kristen Report! (I do have tons of links at my place if you want to use them and my report, which no doubt lacks the zing we here want to read from you;)

    But FUCK!! More Branson? Go for that one Kristen, take Sully and Brad to their Defending your Family Conference in July and relive your Branson memories…LOL….then get branded with crosses by an insane science teacher from BFE! OK, rant ended, I just had to get this all out and KNEW that you and your readers would understand. Cripes, I feel like Paul Revere now…LOL….

  3. hayley g June 21, 2008 at 8:02 pm #

    i’m seriously debating whether or not to buy your “Just try to get my nose now…” original painting! i think i might be able too in a few weeks! even though its like exactly 1 weeks paycheck, but i think it would be worth it! even though someone will probably buy it before i can i’m gonna save up for it!

  4. hayley g June 21, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    haha, sorry about the randomness of my comments on your blog. half the time its because i’m on the computer way to late and the glare from my screen has melted my brain. like right now for instance. 🙂

  5. christine June 22, 2008 at 7:00 am #

    UGH that is the worst, seeing someone who obviously cant take care of themselves and people turning a blind eye to it, i see it all the time at my job..heres a gross story:

    we had a lady who died at home, we went to go pick her up, and found her laying on the floor, shirt pulled up and completely exposed while her sons and a couple of cops were wallllking around like nothing happened. the house smelled like 6 people shit their pants and died in there. and to make things worse, she must have thrown up before she died because she had all these poppyseeds stuck in her hair. when my friend and i embalmed her, she had toe nails so long and gross we needed to trim them with the most heavy duty scissors we could find, and she had a huge scar on her chest, according to the son, it would bleed, but at least “we told her to go to the docto”. YET THE FUCKING DIPSHIP COULDNT DRIVE his 89 yr old mom!!! what a scumbag!!!!!!!! i dont think she could even walk with those crazy toenails!!

  6. Kristen Ferrell June 22, 2008 at 10:23 am #

    Christine- I get REALLY angry about how the elderly are treated in our country. Parents spend a fortune raising their kids; dedicate mountains of time and effort to make sure they’re safe, healthy, and happy… only to be abandoned when they’re at an age where they’re the ones who need to be cared for. It makes me ill. And it’s so fucking common. I don’t understand how these people who just toss their parents aside to die can live with themselves. Even though I’m an athiest, when I hear about and see the horrifying ways that people behave I really hope that I’m wrong with my beliefs and I hope that there are special places in hell for these sociopathic shitbags. But in reality, if they’re raising their kids with the same lack of caring that they have- they’ll be treated the same way in their old age… so it will all come around full circle.

    Hayley- you’re funny. 🙂

    Lex- I puked a little all over myself when I read what you wrote. BRANDING kids? Are you fucking kidding me? Honestly, though… I really am not surprised at all. These folks are totally out of their minds. And they only surround themselves with other crazies like them- so their insanity only grows. I don’t know if my “Branson Bible Baggage” will ever go away- it was rooted in there in adolescence, and hasn’t let up it’s grip one bit. And I get nauseous now at ANY form of organized thought that I’m surrounded by. At my husband’s request, I tried going to an Al Anon meeting (he’s almost 15 years sober).. but the first one I freaked out and ran out of the place. Even though you can have anything on the planet be your “higher power” in there… sitting in there surrounded by people reading and quoting parts of a “Big Book”, and talking about surrendering your control over life to a higher power (some lady actually was talking about Jesus- which I’ve been told your not really supposed to do)… it all felt too much like religion (even though it’s not) and I couldn’t take it. I tried a couple more meetings just to see if I could get over it- but I had the same reaction every time. I’m totally rambling. I need more coffee.
    uuuuuuugggggggghhhhhhhh…………

  7. Kristen Ferrell June 22, 2008 at 8:20 pm #

    holy shit……. i am completely speechless.
    seriously… i can’t even respond to this it’s so fucked… but the fact that they all got knocked up by the same 24 year old homeless guy is what completely screws with my head!!
    so these babies have to be raised knowing that they’re all half-siblings so that they don’t hook up later and have inbred babies, right?

    totally astounding. and nauseating.

  8. whitney June 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm #

    soooo, basically, the bird lady is nothing like the bird lady from home alone 2: lost in new york?? damn.

    but, for real- that is sad that she’s so dillusional and living in that house all alone in crappy conditions and nobody did anything about it. it’s amazing.
    do you know if she still lives there?

    and i read that link about the pregnant teens…. let me just reiterate…… IDIOCRACY!!!!
    a bunch of dumb-fuck teens are getting knocked-up cause they’ll probably get more points in the “cool-factor” sense, and raise their new play toy like the dumbass they are…..and seeing as how the world’s pretty much going to go to shit in 2012 (haha), and the ‘smart’ people are going to die out, it’s definitely going to be run by “scro’s”, Frito and carl’s jr……

    aslkdjaslkdjasljdow8re32403209ajewodasdiohrioehr!!!!!!!!

    kill me now.

  9. whitney June 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    oh yeah, and the 24-year dude is only the father of one of the babies…. ya know….as far as they know i’m sure!

  10. whitney June 24, 2008 at 6:23 pm #

    AND AGAIN- what amazes me is that the schools think that if they hand out contraceptives that it will prevent this shit from happening?? god….. that’s just as stupid sounding as the whole situation is.
    i think instead that they should hand out new brain transplants or use ASB funds for hysterectomies.

    fuckin’-a.

    okay, i’m going to read more and probably come back with more shit to comment on. wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

  11. whitney June 24, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    “The past decade has been difficult for this mostly white, mostly blue-collar city (pop. 30,000).”

    hahahaha, fucking, go figure.

  12. whitney June 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm #

    here’s my last comment-…. the school has an on-campus day-care for these teen mothers to stick their children in while they go to school. i can see how they would think its a good idea so that the mother’s can still get an education (mostly for the unplanned pregnancies)… BUT, because there is that option, these “high-fiving at getting pregnant at the same time as their girlfriends” girls are being encouraged. you get what i’m saying? they probably think it’s just a free baby-sitter they can throw their kids in while they still go to school and mingle. i think this group of girls should be kicked out of school and give their full-time attention to this child they just had to have and see if they think it was a good idea after all.

    i dunno. i just feel like being a bitch. haha.

    okay, and i’m done!

  13. hayley g June 30, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    wow, check out what miss. klaudia had to say about being a teen mother:
    http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/jamie-lynn-spears-gets-support-from-teen-moms-196845/

    you’ll see what i mean when you find the quote in italics.

    pathetic right?

  14. hayley g July 1, 2008 at 10:08 pm #

    i guess it didnt add my comment, but ill post it again:

    even more crazyness! http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/jamie-lynn-spears-gets-support-from-teen-moms-196845/

    check out the bulleted quote in italics!

  15. hayley g July 2, 2008 at 11:51 am #

    ah dammit it did it again! sorry about my double comments

  16. butcherbaby July 22, 2008 at 2:05 am #

    i know a guy who had a scarily similar situation when he was a cable installer, only his encounter was with the bird GUY. and this wasn’t an elderly man who couldn’t take care of himself…it was a young guy in his 30s or 40s who was just crazy & skeevy. the guy came to the door just wearing filthy worn out tighty whiteys, and led him through a house filled with bird cages & piles of junk & boxes. and yes, all the birds were DEAD here too….and again with seed piled in all the cages. he said the whole time he was doing the installation, the guy kept hitting on him and telling him he should come by for his weekly “guys movie night”…..and the only movies my friend could see this guy had were gay porn flicks, and some of those obviously homemade. my friend was only 18 or 19 at the time (and actually pretty innocent), so you can imagine how completely freaked out he was by the whole thing.

  17. butcherbaby July 22, 2008 at 2:07 am #

    oh, and as a footnote, my therapist suggested i should deliver pizzas part time as a (supposedly) lucrative night job to bring in extra cash….after reading your horror stories i can tell you there is NO WAY i’m going to even consider is.

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