Pusher Volume 4:

Pusher Along, Trails We Blaze

by Tone @

The 400 Bros.

I sling something that killed my car. It wasnít something that my car smoked. It didnít get stabbed for a few extra bucks. My vehicle wasnít wounded in a sling gone wrong. Anyway, I would like to meet the chaps who sling other papers, and find out how many other cars have perished on the job. More must have fallen.

Either way, Iíd like to run into a pusher. Any pusher (besides the door-to-door type). Theyíre out there; they must be. For instance: whenever you sling a paper on Hertel, the North Buffalo Rocket or the Riverside Review is in the place. On Broadway or Clinton itís the Cheektowaga Times, or the Depew whatever. Even that sports ragóthe one with Baby Joe Mesi on the cover of every issueóis everywhere we go. And of course, the Artvoice. I would love to meet any of the guys that roll around with their boys and peddle a few free papers. How many pushers must live in the town of Buffalo? We make papers possible. Screw the writers. The Beast has stupid (meaning many) people slinging. Respect.

Love on the run

You go through a lot pimping yourself for a fish-wrap. Your hands get all dirty if you forget your gloves. You have to deal with those annoying plastic strips that hold bundles of papers together (for the first time since that mean old bastard in the gray van used to break you off with the Buffalo news and yell at you for accidentally dropping papers into the basement when you tossed them in the Tinkelpauls back door). Women in Speak-Wheezys call you cutey, and tell you that your hat makes you look handsome, and it suits you. She tells you it brings out the green in your eyes. You get scared and run out of the place smoking a cigarette, even though youíve never smokedÖcigarettes. True story. I wish I could warn everyone about this place. Come to find out, a not-so-un-common trait in Buffalo dives, if youíre unaware, is to be nameless, meaning that the bar just has a Golden Anniversary neon sign flashing in the window (which is the only attribute that distinguishes it from your friend Martyís house where you and your crew get all liquored up and fight each other on Friday nights). This was the place on Broadway where that middle-aged beer peddler licked her lips at me while onlookers watched, laughing. The bandit promised to go in this perverse den of mature seduction next time.

13 conversations about something

This toothless guy in the Toon Saloon yells (from across the bar), "Whatís my horrrrorrrrscope?!?" The biggest mistake one can make is telling him that youíre not sureÖ which I found out. I turned to the Beast-O-Scopes and handed him the son-of-a-bitch and he said, "Fuck You." It was intense; although I canít quite grasp the cryptic nature of his reply other than it possibly being a form of thank you, but shit, what do I know?

It isnít all toothless people and swearing though. Itís all love when you go to The Cut on Englewood. Those cats always have the chairs overflowing with wee suburban fade-seekers. The Sidebar shows love the sameóthe only problem was that this cute Italian bartendress did a great job of chatting Cutlerís and my ears off until we had to abruptly leave. Hell, I like slinging The Beast, but it is a job. And what to people do at jobs? Gossip. Not what Iím looking for. Make corny sexual innuendos for every little thing that happens. Not that either. Work. Sure they do. They think about where they are going to sit on their ass after work. My friend once claimed that since America has the longest work day/week, it boasts the hardest-working people on the planet. Needless to say he hasnít really worked before. Welcome to the land of electric can openers and screwdrivers that turn for you.

Mill and Berts: A Library?

Mill and Berts shows me love. Blah blah blah. I just realized that I drop fifteen papers there every other week, and when I go in to drop the new ones, the old ones are still there. The thing is, when I show up those people grow a rubbery one and start to fainting and such: embracing The Beast. Still, even though I manage to hand one to everyone on a bar stool, fifteen are left when I return. You do the math. I mean, shit, take it home and read it on the crapper.

Basically, burning books

Some shop-keeps or storeowners run shit like their establishment is a country. They are raised on Democracy and, in most cases, have a sign stating something to the effect of "These colors donít run" all up in the window; however, "we donít want that paper left here anymore," or "the owner just throws those out, I would just leave a few for the night," are common let downs for pushers of The Beast. You love a country that is running up in other peopleís back yards to "help" them attain freedom, and here you are telling me a few words, that you may not agree with, should be left out of your store because it isnít your style, or it may offend your upscale customers? I canít say this more: donít pick the motherfucker up if you donít want to read it. Who the hell are you, if we want to put The Beast in your shit, to tell me you donít want it? Sure it is your shit, and itís your call what goes on in the place. Sure itís your right to keep your customers only reading the publications that you like. Sure I would rather you told me you were into suppressing freedom of speech than have you tossing a paper out that people work hard to publish, but that doesnít mean you shouldnít allow it in your joint. The following are places I was dropping papers in for months, when I was finally told by clerks that the owner or manager throws the papers out: Luckyís Texas Red Hots, Louieís (on Delaware and Hertel)óHmm. A global conspiracy of hot dog vendors?óMeisterís, Feel Right (on Hertel) Edritoís, ETSÖ I think it a filthy, dirty, low down thing to do. Throwing papers out that is. Just sac up and tell me to take it back, youíre not going to get snuffed out or anything. Shit, I probably would be just as bitchy as those people are and say nothing. Okay, I damn sure would be.

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© 2004 The Beast