Writing at the Ledges  | Mid-Michigan Authors & Poets

Deleted Scene #2 – Driving Crazy

Phil Savage Description

These few pages were originally written to give insight and depth to Phil Savage, the guy who our heroes borrow the pickup truck from. But I came to realize I needed to get to the meat of the plot a bit sooner, so I removed it. But still, in my opinion, this is an interesting bit of text. Also, this incorporated one of my past career choices, and I’d always wanted to write about it. On top of all that, it has a rather vulgar joke that didn’t sit too well with my proof-reading staff. I like it, but I wrote it, so y’know.

So here it is:

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A mere two hours later, Austin and I stood in the house of our good buddy Phil Savage.

Phil had a rather unique job as a stock market day trader. He spent his days at home hunched over his computer, buying and selling the same stock several times a day in an attempt to make some fast cash. A couple years back, he went from buying stock to buying options, and now he day-trades futures. As far as I could tell, as an outside observer, day trading appeared to consist primarily of screaming at the monitor and whipping stuff against the wall. He seemed to make decent money at it, but it sure looked to me like a stress-filled way to make a living.

Over the years, I’ve learned never to stop by, or even phone, during the stock market trading hours. So, we waited until a bit past four o’clock before knocking on his door.

Whenever I visited Phil, I always made a point to peer at the wall opposite his computer as I entered. If I found anything stuck in it, or if a pile of debris lay strewn around it, I knew better than to stay long or ask for any favors. I’ve always suspected he specifically went out and purchased stuff to toss at that wall, because he always seemed to have ammo. Sometimes, I’d make up excuses to come visit, just to view the carnage. One time upon entering, I discovered his entire collection of Samurai swords haphazardly impaling the wall. He’s killing the resale value of his antique sword collection, not to mention that of the house itself, but I reckon it beats the other, more historically accurate use for those swords. All in all, I suppose he had found a method to keep himself sane when the market punished him. Today as we entered, I spotted no debris. Must’ve been a winning day, which boded well for us.

For the first half-hour of our visit, the tall, longhaired man explained, in practically minute-by-minute detail, how his trading day went. Not that I cared, but I had gotten used to this ritual. I even partially understood the lingo by now – bear pullbacks, higher-swing-highs and the Iron Condor strategy. He sure loved the Iron Condor strategy. We all have our oddities and hobbies. I could speak his ear off about Atari consoles and Pong machines. And sometimes I would, just to pay him back for times like this.
“Then,” Phil said after a long drag on his Marlboro Red, “it hit a previous low of 10890 and I reversed my position. It ran for nearly twenty minutes up to 10930 and at a few minutes to four, I got out with my forty points.” He paused, finished up his cigarette and ground it into the exceedingly full ashtray. “Yup, ended the day with a nice bit of profit.”

“Glad to hear it, Phil. So, ya wanna hear about my day?” With that, I proceeded to tell him, in the same agonizing detail, how I outbid two other guys to win Crazy. The look on his face had to be about the same as the countenance I displayed during the recanting of his day, and I relished it. Then, I asked to use his red pickup truck.

After I finished, he didn’t speak right away. Now, I have known the guy for more than half my life, and he would probably give me his left nut if I found myself in some terrible ball-destroying accident. Well, okay, perhaps not. But I figured we’d have no problem procuring his truck, especially since today’s market treated him well, and it wasn’t his primary mode of transportation anymore. After a particularly good trading day, he went out and bought himself a high-end Lexus.

“Crazy Climber, you say?” Phil asked with a puzzled expression. “I don’t remember that game.”

“Really? A little guy in a green jumpsuit, climbing up a building one window at a time. No?”

Austin added, “Women tossing flowerpots at your head, birds trying to crap on you? You really don’t remember it?”

His shrug gave me the answer. “Ya think I’d remember a game about bird poop. Oh well, I guess I’ll play it soon enough. And it’s in sunny California?”

“Indeed,” I replied. “Since your pickup is vehicle number two in your driving repertoire, I was hoping you wouldn’t mind lending it to us.”

His smile faded, which wasn’t the best of signs. Then he gave us a good sign by walking over to his key chain, and snatching it up off the kitchen counter. “Jay,” he began slowly, staring blankly at the key, “you know I’d give up my right nut for you, but the truck, y’know, she’s been my baby for years.”

“Okay dude,” Austin chimed in, “lend us your nut and we’ll drive that there. What kinda mileage does it get?”

After a decent chuckle, I said, “Phil, buddy, you know we’d take good care of it. The truck, I mean. We’ll feed her premium if you like.”

He removed the key from the chain and held it at arm’s length. “Actually, my main concern is her age. Ol’ Red doesn’t do much traveling anymore.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Ol’ Red? You call your truck Ol’ Red?”

“I do. Why, you think that’s funny?” Phil’s face displayed no levity.

“Oh, uh, no, not at all. After all, I call my car Ol’… green.”

Clearly not amused, he continued. “Just remember, ya need to give her frequent breaks.”

I plucked the key from his grasp. “Hey my friend, if it makes ya happy, we’ll stop every five miles.”

“That won’t be necessary, fellas. Just treat her with care.”

As I stared at his key, a thought struck me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out my house key. “Oh, that reminds me, can you possibly watch my house and feed my cat? I’ll let ya play Crazy for free.”

He took the key from my hand and set it on the counter. “You’d let me play for free anyway. But yes, I’ll keep Heidi alive for you. As long as you do the same for Ol’ Red.”

“You got a deal,” I gave Phil a smile and a handshake.

(c) 2015 by Randy D Pearson – All rights reserved

 

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