June 6th, 2023 – Moving Furniture

This is the written text from my latest on stage storytelling event on June 5th.

I did leave a few bits out on stage. This is the compete story. I hope that you enjoy it.

For you to receive the full impact of this story it is important to know that my first name and that of my friend in this story is, Ray.

Ray had worked for me a few times before this incident.

He had a great sense of humor and was not afraid to put it into action. As with many of my life long friends, we met on the high school tennis courts while competing with other schools. He went to a different school than I.

Once he worked with me for several days on a house on the beach in Newport Beach, Ca. The foreman on the job was named Mr. Frisbee. He would make sure that we got into the house to do our work each day. Ray called him Whamo, everyday. I don’t think Mr. Frisbee ever knew why.

Another time playing tennis with him, when I looked up to serve, Ray had put on a Groucho Marx mask of glasses, a large nose and his trademark mustache. As I looked up, I crumbled in laughter. That was Ray.

He once bought a ski boat and took it on its madden voyage to the Colorado River.

As he drove along, everybody was honking at him. He thought that they were just being friendly. It turned out that his boat had fallen off the trailer several miles back and had broken up into a million pieces back on the side of the highway. Ray had no idea.

Ray was among many friends that worked with me while my parents went on vacation and I needed a helper to work with me.

Ray told me to sign up for a bowling league where he worked in a bowling alley saying, “There will surely be many girls here to meet.”

I did sign up but only one girl was close to my age of twenty. It seems that even then bowling drew an older crowd. That is how I met my first wife.

Ray was also a real estate agent and sold me my first condo. He was a very good friend. This story is about one of those times when he worked with me.

I was working on a house for a woman on Balboa Island who needed some help moving some furniture. I now had a girl friend thanks to Ray and needed the extra money.

I told her that I would do that for her and Ray agreed to help.

When the plastering job was finished at her home we went to my parents house and unloaded the truck. We then returned to pick up the load of furniture.

We agreed to meet her at her storage facility and put it in her storage garage.

We arrived in Costa Mesa late in the afternoon and waited. She was no where to be seen. The sun was slowly setting over the Pacific Ocean.

As we sat there the Costa Mesa Police Helicopter passed over us a few times. Ray decided to get out of the truck and run for the garages. He stood under the eves and looked out from beneath them now and then.

I looked over at him from the truck and said, “Hey Ray, you might not want to fool around with that helicopter. It will only lead to trouble.”

He didn’t answer. He was having too much fun.

Eventually the woman we were moving furniture for arrived on foot and told me that her car had broken down at the bottom of the hill at the gas station.

I walked back down the will with her and popped the hood. I fiddled with her car for some time. I finally found a loose battery cable and tightened it up as best I could. The car started and we headed back up to my truck now filled with furniture.

When we arrived back at my truck, there were red and blue flashes of light spreading out all around my truck and us. I stepped out of her car only to see Ray in the back seat of a Costa Mesa Police car.

“Is this your truck filled with furniture?” the cop asked me as I approached him.

“Yes it is.” I answered back. “But the furniture belongs to this lady here behind me.”

The cop looked past me to the woman standing behind me.

“Is this your furniture?”

“Yes it is,” she replied.

He looked back at me.

“This joker in the back of my car says that his name is Ray and that your name is Ray and that you are just moving furniture. What’s with all of the burglary tools in your truck?”

He looked down into my truck with his flash light at an array of crowbars, hammers, saws and the like as he spoke.

“Those are just the tools of my trade. I fix houses that have been damaged by water or vehicles hitting them.

“Give me your drivers license, son.”

I handed him my license with a shaking hand.

He looked at it and saw that my name was indeed, Ray also.

He looked at his partner and gave him the look as if to say, “He was telling the truth, no matter how stupid it sounded. Let him out of the squad car, Bob.”

Ray smiled as he climbed out of the back of the black and white car and the cuffs were removed. The police lights were till shinning out into space.

The one cop looked at Ray and said, “You shouldn’t fool around under the helicopter son. It’s stupid and just got you into all this trouble.”

The cop looked at me and handed my license back with a frown.

“You two guys are idiots.”

“Yes we are,” I replied. “Were twenty and just two young idiots trying to make a buck.”

They left us as we unloaded the furniture in a hurry for the woman we had just met.

It was much later now at than we had expected to be out thanks to Ray and his nonsense and it was getting too cold to be out dressed as we were.

We received our payment from the nice woman and she left us there at my truck.

“Perhaps Ray had learned a lesson that night. I know that I sure did.

I want as little contact with the police as possible. They are too busy to deal with the likes of Ray and I.

Don’t forget that the first chapter of each of my novels are here on my website to read.

I hope you have a great Father’s Day and Summer.

Get out of town and go for a trip if possible. You deserve it.