Taxi Cab Confessions

FROM BORN FRUSTRATED:

Years ago I was watching an episode of Taxi Cab Confessions (remember that show?). And one of the guys that hopped into the back of the cab was a subway cop. Like they did, they baited the guy long enough until they got him talking.

One of his worst experiences while working the subway was this:

A guy was standing too close to the edge and was somehow pushed over and onto the subway tracks. While he was on the tracks the subway came and hit him. The lower half of his body was stuck under the tracks. When the train hit him it twisted the top of his body completely around. Now the subway cop had the horrible job of going down onto the tracks and telling the guy that he is alive at the moment, but once they attempt to remove him that his body will spin back around and sever his spine and he will die instantly.

I can’t think of a more horrible task. The guy is alive, though traumatized, and looking at you, understanding your words, but trying to comprehend the fact that if moved he is dead.

I’ve never had to deal with death like that. Most of the people that I’ve known have gone very quickly.

In 1984, while in barber school, I was leaving through the back door one day at lunch, when, about, twenty feet away from me, I heard a small cherry-picker whirring away and lifting a guy up into the air. The guy got out of the picker and was attempting to wrap a belt around his waist and the telephone pole.

I watched him leave the cherry-picker, loop the belt and then I saw him fall and hit his head on the curb. For a second every one of the four other pole workers yelled, “Oh my god, shit,” etc. Then everything went insanely quiet. For the next five minutes, it was like the city shut down.

I watched, after what felt like hours, as one of the crew members ran to the truck and radioed for help.

I stood there for a little bit, kind of, stunned. And not really able to move, then all at once the world started again. Cars flying by, the crew started chatting to bystanders. In an instant, everything was back to normal, with the exception of a guy lying in the gutter with his head on the curb.

It was all very surreal. I had to return to school. At 2:30, when I was leaving, the crew was gone as was the body. That night I popped on the news and there was no mention of the guy. Kind of sad.

#michaelessington #bornfrustrated

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Orlando

On Saturday night, before going to bed, I read about a young girl that was a performer on the show The Voice. She was shot and killed as she left the stage at a show in Orlando.

Sunday morning, I woke up to the news of 103 people being shot in a club in Orlando, 50 of the victims died.

Many of the posts that I’ve read since then have raged against guns, Muslims and a few have hinted at homosexuality being the reason for the shootings.

I understand being outraged over these killings, but sometimes the reactions seem to be grandstanding. Like people want to have the last word. I definitely don’t have the last word.

All I can say is that as a father, each time I see news of another shooting, I am that much more nervous for my kids. My daughter is across the country in the military and I’m nervous about some disgruntled soldier opening fire. My son goes on a field trip and I worry that the train will derail.

Now, 104 families in Florida are splintered. Does it matter if it’s Obama’s fault, Islam’s fault, the gun manufacturers fault, etc.?

No, but that won’t stop people on Social Media from using this as an attention-getting event. It’s not about me or you.

It’s about the mom or dad at 2:30 am Sunday morning that can’t sleep and spend all night calling their kid at the club to see if they survived.

Nobody chooses to be a target.

‪#‎michaelessington‬ ‪#‎bornfrustrated‬

Poison

Back in 1986, I got invited to the record release party for Poison’s Look What the Cat Dragged In by Enigma Records. I don’t recall it being a very personal invite, probably just a postcard in the mail.

I wasn’t going to go, but I ended up reconnecting with an old high school friend and she wanted to hang out. So, I mentioned the Poison thing she said it sounded like fun — so we went.

As much as I can remember about the trip to the Whisky is this, she drove like a bat out of hell and most of the drive she had a joint dangling from her lips. I was pretty sure we were going to get pulled over. We didn’t.

Now, anybody that was around the Strip back then knows the behavior of any guy that was in a band was that of an egotistical drunken frat girl. Dumb jokes filled with sexual innuendo and bullshit bravado.

I tell you all that to tell you this when we got to the Whisky there was a line halfway around the block. I stepped to the front of the line and told the girl in the box office, I had an invite and just as I did that CC Deville Poison’s guitarist ran into the office and yelled, “Hold all my calls and charge everybody double,” in his high-pitched New Yorkish accent. I looked at him and pointed to his picture (lower left corner), and said: “You know, if we were in prison I’d probably fuck you.” His face dropped, he stared at me for a second and bolted from the office. The people in line were busting up, except for the girls; I heard a lot of, “Why would he say that to CC?”

My friend and I made our way into the world-famous Whisky and looked for a place to hang out. The rest of the night CC avoided me. And every time he’d do any of his over the top yelling or twirling his feather boas around I’d point at him and nod.

Shortly before we left Bret Michaels, Poison’s vocalist and former Pamela Anderson playmate came over and asked me, “What’s the deal with you and CC? Are you trying to fuck him?” I laughed and said, “No, I thought he looked like Suzanne Somers in the picture so I thought I’d yank his chain a bit.”

Bret laughed and gave me a beer. As I left I made a point of staring at CC and pointing. Silly kid.

#michaelessington #bornfrustrated

Muhammad Ali

Sometime in the 80’s, there was a sports shop in the Valley that had cut a deal with Muhammad Ali. Ali would sign a few things every month and they’d split the profits.

I came home bummed, they had gloves, robes, trunks and I couldn’t afford any of it. My mom went to the shop a week or two later and asked if she could buy a signed picture. The shop owner contacted Ali and a day or so later my mom bought this and stuck it away until that Christmas.

One of the few things that I’ve always had. Most of my belongings have been lost, sold, stolen or given away. Ali has always moved with me.

#michaelessington #bornfrustrated

Van Halen

I got a phone call last week from one of those well-known punk rock stars. He said he read on my Facebook page that I went to the Van Halen taping in Hollywood for the Jimmy Kimmel show.

I said, “Yeah, I got tickets and me and my brother went.”

He said, “That’s cool that you put that out there.”

I asked what he meant.

He said. “Well, you know with punk rockers — you never know who’s going to get their panties in a bunch. Like, “Hey, you’re a punk writer; you’re not supposed to go to metal show!””

I replied, “Shit, I’m a music fan. I post stuff about Kiss, Johnny Cash to Kool Moe Dee. If my punk-card was going to get pulled — they would have done it long ago.”

He laughed, and then we talked about his band until the call got cut off. As it should be.

#michaelessington #bornfrustated

 

 

Born Frustrated

Born Frustrated