Not having much time today, I'm dredging up one of the posts I wrote a few months ago but never got around to posting. I wrote this a while back and it doesn't really make sense being on my blog (it doesn't get any more off-topic than this) but here it is anyway. Got a whole bunch more of them for rainy days...
Off Topic: Elvis the Drug Dealer (Strange Stories from Yesteryear)
I enjoyed writing my Fleeing Manila story...till I started receiving threatening comments from Philipino bloggers who were about to target the Muqata in retaliation for some of the less than complimentary observations I mentioned about their beloved country. Till the crisis dies down I have shelved the Feeling Manila series.
Inspired by Jack's ongoing conversation with a Nigerian Spammer, I started recalling many of the strange stories I was involved with when I studied at Yeshiva College.
For your reading enjoyment, I present today's installment:
Elvis the Drug Dealer
Ah, the 80's.
As a proud member of Generation-X, the 80's were decent years to be in high school, college, Israel...wherever. The strange 70's plaid clothing my parents dressed me disappeared, and normal looking apparel took their place. I loved the music from the 80's...
After Yeshiva in Israel I returned to Yeshiva College to the Muss Hall dorm. Getting a phone was essential in those days; mobile phones didn't really exist. Payphones were lame. Everyone had to have a phone in their room...well, the guys had one phone for both of them, while at Stern, every girl needed at least one. This way, if they wanted to get someone off the phone, they would call their own line from the other phone and say, "Ooops, got a call waiting, have to go...bye!" No one ever did that to me, though.
My roomate let me deal with ordering the phone since:
- I was the primary phone user
- Most of the calls were for me
- He let me worry about phone payment
So, first week of the Fall semester I took care of getting us a phone line.
Since I had a lot of cool, older friends (which is where I met Trep), they would give me whatever gadgets they outgrew or broke, and I would promptly take them apart and fix them. This way, I had a cool phone, answering machine, stereo, keyboard, and other fun things in my dorm room. My roomate and I made up some ridiculous message for the answering machine, and got on with college life.
Little did we anticipate what our phone line had in store for us.
Arriving back at our dorm the first evening we had our phone, there was a curious message waiting for us on the answering machine.
Elvis, Hey Man, where you been?
We're been trying to get in touch with you for 2 days already!
Where can we meet to buy some stuff? You know, the good white stuff you sold us last week?
Call me back -- Jack, 718-555-1212."
OK, that was weird. We assumed that Jack had the wrong number and would figure it out soon enough.
That night, after eating dinner somewhere and coming back from maariv, we found another message on the machine.
Elvis dude! Yoohoo! Where are you?!
We have this pah-ty going on in the village and it just aint the same without some dope.
Call me back dear, need you now!
This was starting to get annoying. I called the NYPD and told them I had these numbers of people looking for a drug dealer named Elvis...and they just laughed me off. I guess there was much more serious police work to be done in Washington Heights.
Next call came that night around 2:00 AM....and I answered the phone.
Caller: Yo Elvis! I need you tonight!
Jameel: (yawning) What exactly do you need tonight?
Jameel: Fine. Meet you at the corner of 121th and Amsterdam in an hour.
Caller: See you there.
I promptly went back to sleep...and forgot about it. What's strange is that the caller didn't call me back, so he must have either found someone to sell him what he wanted at 121th and Amsterdam or got arrested on the way there.
Over the next few days my room mate and I would agree to meet drug users all over Manhattan, made up addresses, and ignored it all.
In hindsight, this wasn't the smartest stunt I ever pulled, but these were the days before the internet, caller-id, and easy ways to figure out who you were calling or who was calling you. There were no google satellite imaging maps either.
About a week later, we got a bad phone call.
Jameel: Hi. Who's this?
Caller: This is Reuben.
Caller: I hear you sell stuff.
Jameel: (sighing) what do you want?
Caller: So, you're Elvis?
Jameel: Yeah...Elvis the King.
Caller: That's impossible! You can't be Elvis. Elvis is doing time and was put in the slammer 3 weeks ago! Who the hell are you?
Jameel (adrenaline shooting throughout my body): No way, I'm Elvis!
Caller: Yeah, Let me put his woman on the phone!
(woman gets on the phone) So, you think you're Elvis? No way man, you are not Elvis!
Jameel: You must be mistaken...I'm the real Elvis.
Caller: Yeah, well how is it that I saw you in jail yesterday and now I'm on the phone with you?
Jameel: Er, I broke out?
Caller: That's it man...we're shutting you down.
And then we never heard from drug users again.
Till one night about a month later...2 AM...phone rings..."Hi, we have a collect call for you from the Dominican Republic from Elvis".
(me, half asleep)...sure.
Elvis: Who are you? I hear you been messing with my woman and selling stuff to all my customers!!
So what's the moral of the story? I'll have to think one up.
Wherever I am, drug dealers still manage to find my blog.