Story Time: Sunset For Mr. Truck

Sideshow banner by Fred G. Johnson

The original version of this post appeared as a Saturday Odds & Sods segment on 9/12/2015 with Aimee Mann’s You’re With Stupid Now as the theme song. I’m even repeating the featured image.

It describes events from my young adulthood in San Francisco. It was a time when I hung out with Shapiro and heckled long forgotten baseball players such as Ed Kranepool, Rennie Stennett, and Dave Goltz. Candlestick Park was a cold, windy, and gritty dump that lent itself to heckling.

Where am I going with this? Just day tripping down memory lane again.

I’ve made some changes to the original to make it a proper stand-alone post.

Without further ado, I give you Sunset For Mr. Truck:

For several years, I lived in a tri-plex with some roommates in the Sunset District of San Francisco. The apartment was kind of a dump and we found ourselves in the middle of a running battle between a gay couple downstairs and some bros above us.

The bros were loud and deeply stupid. We called one of them Mr. Truck because, well, he had a truck at a time when urban pickup trucks were less common than they are today.

Mr. Truck was loud, moronic, and monosyllabic. One day we awakened to him fighting with one of his roomies. All he said was, “PROBLEM. PROBLEM.” It felt as if we were in the middle of this cute pop tune of that era:

Then there was the memorable occasion when Mr. Truck told his roomies to, “Fuck off. I’m getting a blow job.”

I am not making this up.

My then roommate James and I adopted a stray black cat who James insisted we name Spiny Norman after Dinsdale Piranha’s imaginary hedgehog friend. I went along because I was a Monty Python fan as well. Kitty looked nothing like this:

Spiny Norman

Unlike Dinsdale, I never nailed Mr. Truck’s head to the floor, but I was tempted.

Here’s the point of the story. Surprised there’s a point? Me too. After two years of putting up with the bros upstairs, things deteriorated in the building. One of the bros had  relatives on the police force, so they never responded to calls. We warned the landlord that the bros were unhinged and possibly violent, but he just wanted his rent checks.

I moved elsewhere with my girlfriend and future first wife, leaving James and Spiny Norman behind. Not long after that, Mr. Truck died in a car wreck and his roommates trashed their place, even throwing a sofa through a window onto the sidewalk below. The window was closed; they smashed it and every other window in their crib. I was too young to call the slumlord and say, “I told you so, asshole,” but wish that I had.

End of this deeply stupid true crime story.

The last word goes to Graham Parker with a song that I quoted in the tagline. It’s about urban stupidity. D’oh.


3 thoughts on “Story Time: Sunset For Mr. Truck

  1. I remember Ed Kranepool. First NY Met bonus baby at 18. Never a star but lasted a long time in the majors. Of course, my first Mets game was at the Polo Ground. My last Expos game was at Jarry Park.

    1. Just checked. 18 years in the majors. 261 career BA. 316 OBP. 377 slugging. How did he last 18 years?

  2. Kranepool? He was a fan favorite and a good PH. Plus, he played in a pitcher’s park in a pitcher’s era. Having said that, he was just decent but better than his numbers.

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