So wait, I was going to tell you guys about smuggling.
I think it was a weekday. It was really slow. I was the only delivery boy working that day. On weekdays we usually only have one guy doing the deliveries. Towards the end of the shift we're all busy cleaning up. I noticed that the boss is out front talking to some guys. All of a sudden he calls for me.
Boss: "I need you to take these guys home."
He motions over to the kitchen where three guys are standing around. They're kitchen helpers. They've been around for a few days. They don't speak a word of English. I am a fucking naive idiot for not seeing what this is coming to.
Me: "Uh. Don't they live down the block? I really need to get home."
Boss: "No, you take them home. They moved. Here are directions. You can go home after you take them home."
Me: "But my brother is coming to pick me up soon."
Boss: "It's ok. Tell him not to come. When you get back I'll drive you home."
So why can't you take them home? Fuck. Whatever.
I lead them to the shitty Corolla in the back. The four of us get in. I try to make some small talk with them and we exchange words back and forth. Not much though, like I said, they didn't speak English and I didn't really know them that well. The boss's directions had me driving them to the other side of town. I remember thinking why they decided to move across town when they didn't have a car. I mean, how would they get back to work tomorrow?
The drive lasted around 20 minutes. I was blasting the radio most of the time. I ended up in some industrial part of town I've never been in before. (Which in later years I'd learn was where the mob would put illegal immigrants on buses bound for Chicago and New York.) I stopped the car in front of a street light and looked around. There wasn't anything that resembled an apartment anywhere. After waiting for about a minute and checking the numbers of the buildings around me to make sure I was in the right place I told the guys to get out. The three guys got out and just kinda stood there, unsure of what to do.
"Hey! $*(&@!)$(* #)(@%*)(#@*%" Came the shout of Chinese from across the street.
The three guys walked over to the man and was lead inside. I thought my job was done so I began to turn around to head home. The man flagged me down.
Mysterious Man: "Stay here for a second, there's a call for you."
Me: "But I've got to go home..."
A second mysterious man appeared and handed me a hand phone.
Boss: "notafbiagent? You get there ok?"
Me: "Yeah. Why are they holding me?"
Boss: "Just wait for a second. You're bringing something back."
The first mysterious man reappered, but this time with a middle aged lady in tow. Without even asking my permission they opened the backseat and the woman got in.
Me: "Um... What is this?"
Boss: "Bring her back. She is my cousin from China. She's staying with me for a few days."
Me: "Uh... Sure."
I handed the phone back and drove off a little unnerved by what just happened.
Like I figured, she didn't speak a word of English either. Wasn't very friendly at all. I just turned on the radio again and drove back to the restaurant.
About half way back it started to dawn on me that I had just transported 3 illegal immigrants to be smuggled elsewhere. And I was bringing back a fresh new illegal with me. It was like the underworld was having a drafting/trading session with each other. Ok, I'll trade you these three awesome kitchen helpers for one mean ass middle aged lady. Deal? I'm sending over my stooge right now.
I slammed my hand down on the steering wheel and screamed "FUCK!" as I realized how stupid I was. It startled the lady in the back seat who proceeded to scream at me in Chinese and kick my chair. I just screamed right back at her to shut the fuck up and let me think. She didn't shut up. In the end, I think she won that argument as she just screamed Chinese and gave me the finger.
When I got back to the restaurant the lady wouldn't get out until I opened the door for her. The boss had another car waiting for her to take her to god knows where. She flipped me off and screamed "FUCK YOU" in heavily accented English as she drove off in the other car.
The boss drove me home. I didn't say anything. At this point asking questions would have just been another stupid thing to do. I figured, the less I know the better.
After years of being misunderstood, I had hoped we finally had "our" story. I was wrong.
He had a yellow inflatable tube around his waist, the kind with a comical duck head. There was a tiny fish in one of his hands, and a trident in the other. In the background a squirrel wearing shades was water skiing.
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