The Backstory

This is a fictional writing challenge accepted by my writing friend.  Hope you like it.

As a teenager, I learned to sew.  Not just buttons and repairs mind you, but I could sew entire outfits, costumes, jackets and other clothing, from scratch.  I loved it and got quite good at it.  By my junior year in high school, I had created the uniforms for the entire Varsity Drill Team.

Here’s the rub, my Dad hated it.  He was so embarrassed by it that it kept him up nights. He didn’t think it was manly and went out of his way to divert my attention from it.  It didn’t matter to him that I had a girlfriend, he was way more concerned that my girlfriend bought me a sewing machine.  That absolutely flew all over him, almost as much as my first project with that sewing machine; my Prom tuxedo.  I made it from scratch and wore it proudly.  My girlfriend loved it.

My Dad was so angry that he forbid me from even going to the prom.  Instead, I would be riding with him on his UPS route.  I couldn’t believe it.  There I was on Prom day, watching my Prom-bound friends through the windshield of a UPS truck.  I was seething.  I think my dad realized he had gone to far and so he offered to let me drive the UPS truck for a few stops.  I was still pissed, but at least I got to drive.

The UPS truck turned out to be a little trickier than I thought.  While making a stop on Canal Street, I accidentally shoved it into reverse instead of park.  The thing jumped off the curb and down a ravine.  I thought it was going to roll over before it came to a rest on a tree stump and a chain-link fence.  I though my dad was going to have a stroke.

“Holy crap! Holy crap!” he hollered!  “I’m gonna lose my job!  What the hell have you done!”

By the time he scurried out the rear door, the police had already arrived.  It was at that moment that I realized I was less than a half a block from my girlfriend’s house.  He was so busy trying to explain what happened to the police that he didn’t even see me run to my girlfriend’s house.  I put on my tux, grabbed the sewing machine and handed her the camera.

She snapped this photo:

Laundry Sorting Enforced by Glock

Spring is such a happy time in Atlanta.  15 shootings in one weekend.  Really?  People just don’t hit each other anymore, that’s the problem.  Anyway, this story caught my attention in the paper; I just had to read about all these shootings.  Just what are people shooting each other for?  I gotta know.

Four of them were shot by the same guy, apparently pissed off about something unknown, but clearly significant.  After shooting two, he drove across town and shot two more.

A few of them were over run-of-the-mill drug deals gone bad.  That seems to be a growing problem that needs to be addressed.  It’s getting to the point where these poor drug dealers can’t go anywhere without getting shot at anymore.  If it continues, the price of street drugs will just continue to sky-rocket and then everybody loses.

One shooting took place during an argument on an escalator in Underground Atlanta. Next time your buddy asks you to pick up an Orange Julius on your way back from Foot Locker, you might think twice about blowing him off.

A couple more shootings were just random drive-byes, and those are just to be expected.

This is the one that really grabbed my attention:

4 p.m. SaturdayA 66-year-old man shot his adult son, Cobb County police said, after an argument between the son and his mother over “putting his whites in the laundry.” The father joined in and got his handgun to make a point, police said.

Holy crap. I remember how mad I was when my mom told me I couldn’t go to a Foghat concert with my friends because I refused to clean my room. Looking back, I am really grateful that my dad didn’t march down the stairs and shoot me in the head.  Thanks Dad.