The Best Birthday Gift Ever is a Story - guest post by Bill Goodell
Bill Goodell is the originator of West Coast Folk Rock, meaning the genre title, and the owner of a Seagull 12-string guitar. Bill's also a fan of my blog, to the extent that he had a story for me. I'll tell it in his words. Sorry about all the caps, but it was my birthday and I was excited.
Bill: Ok, I have a very odd*...but then that's why I think you might appreciate it...story for you. I'm sharing it in the spirit of a birthday gift, though it's certainly a paltry offering. I'll preface the long version with the short...I had a dream about you a few days ago...now for the longer, including back-story.
Me: oh STORIES ARE THE BEST GIFTS!
Bill: Back story...I used to go to Taiwan for two weeks every year on business, visiting about two dozen yacht makers. I learned a lot about the seedier, manufacturing areas of Taipei and Kaohsiung. One thing that stuck in my mind was that the concrete floors of some of the shops would be covered in purple stains. I asked my translator what I was seeing...she was hesitant and embarrassed to discuss it, but after becoming more comfortable with me, she revealed that the lower end floor workers had a habit. They would chew Betel nut as a stimulant...
Me: BETEL NUT! I learned about it through my Pakistani husband.
Bill: Oh cool! Most have no idea...The juice had a number of effects, and the effect on their teeth was horrific. Once I knew to look, I could spot people who chewed by their lack of teeth and discoloration, but this of course has nothing to do with my dream or you...
Me: this is the correct way to tell a story, btw.
Bill: Oh good! Thank you! Once I was at this level of conversation with the young lady who was our guide/translator, she proceeded to show us a side-related and ubiquitous feature of the rough industrial areas. At most street corners we could see plexiglass boxes, roughly six feet or so cubed....with metal frames and up on a stand maybe 3 feet high. The boxes were equipped with various sorts of odd and attention grabbing light fixtures, many much like an old school police car rotating light, many more modern...The dominant thing INSIDE the box, at least to an outside visitor, was a barely clad and generally startlingly attractive (unexpected given the rough area) young woman. The other things in the box included a stool for the young lady, some small shelves full of snacks, drinks...and...of course, various sizes and types of package of the not really legal Betel Nut.
Me: I may want to make this story into a blog post 😂🤣
Bill: Typically the lights would flash and the woman would undulate...though, again, from my outsider perspective maybe unnecessarily, because the clientele likely didn't care...lol, feel free (to post on your blog.) We stopped at one, so I could get a soda and some water, and bare witness...
Now for the less blogworthy, but more birthday worthy portion of the day (editor's note- this is the dream segment) I had been out in a large city, with acquaintances...maybe bar hopping...maybe twitch stream hopping (more close to how it felt)…the evening was slowing, and I needed to go see/do something specific...I walked in a very Sam Spade sort of dank and moist street...
Me: Hahaha Sam Spade way... it's important to reference literature in outside adventure!
Bill: I came to a somewhat larger version of the large plexiglass stripper/drug pusher box...I went up about three steps and stuck my head in....the box was more cluttered inside than what my waking memory would support, but then my dreams aren't often realistic...the box felt more like a work area or office...there was indeed a stool, next to a standing easel/desk, at which...YOU sat...
...now, before you get excited...you were thoroughly clothed, though in a fashion that was nondescript enough that I can't describe it...You had your back to the door, mostly...about 2/3 turned away from me.
At this point I knew why I was there...I had a need...I evidently, as with Betel Nut , had a light addiction...
I had come to ask for the next installment of The Mechanic...
Me: YESSSS! This is definitely a blog post!
Bill: You were not ready with it, and we bantered very closely for a bit until an 18 wheeler outside woke me up...I swear to you that I have passed on the events as well and accurately as I can. And THAT, my fairly new friend, is your birthday story!
This has been my best birthday to date. The creative gifts just keep coming, and I thank you, dear Reader, for the opportunity to share them with you. Yes, Bill, for you I will release the next installment early: HERE. I got you, kid.
* "Fun and Odd are the same word to me..." - Dan Navarro
Us, too, DFN. - DanFam Midwest Chapter
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