Here in Peep Town
My circus adventures in the midst of San Francisco's criminal mob of homosexual Peeping Toms
American President Lines
Our Construct's tentacles reach beyond the San Francisco city limits. I used to work for American President Lines, a large ocean shipping company in Oakland, a few miles east of San Francisco.
To the best of my knowledge, all the men in the company, from the president on down, were gay. I say that because I was told so, and because every time I asked someone if he was gay he said he was.
The company had a policy of hiring convicted criminals. Much of the work was tedious and boring, and management felt that people with nowhere else to go would make reliable employees. My first boss was a forger. He admitted it. My second boss was a reputed drug smuggler. Their boss, so I was informed, was a pedophile.
I Overhear a Proposition
One of the Peepies' ringleaders was listed in the company's telephone directory as a "consultant." The common perception was that he was consultant to the company president. Rumor had it that their relationship was more than strictly business.
One day I accidentally overheard a phone conversation between this Peeping Tom so-called "consultant" and one of the company's lower level managers. The manager had left his office door open and his speakerphone turned on.
Consultant: "Mr. [company president] thinks you're doing a good job."
Manager: "I'm glad he thinks so."
Consultant: "We need your help."
Manager: "Oh, no. Who's gotten himself in trouble this time?"
Consultant: "Certain people need to be kept in line. It's a never-ending task."
Manager: "I don't think I'd be interested."
Consultant: "You wouldn't want to lose your job."
Manager: "No, I wouldn't want to lose my job."
He closed his door.
I Get Propositioned
I'm not prejudiced. I don't care who's gay, who's straight, or who's pink with purple polka dots. But the company president was connected to a criminal mob through his paid consultant, so I thought I ought to protect myself. I always carried Mace in my shirt pocket.
One day my boss, the drug smuggling boss, wandered into my cubicle and asked to borrow a bottle of White-Out. When he returned it he leaned down and whispered in my ear, "I'm in love with you, you know."
"Unfortunately," I replied, "it's not going to do you any good."
"Because I'm not interested."
"What if I press it?" he insisted.
"How would you like a face full of Mace?" I countered.
"I wouldn't," he replied. "I know what it did to guys in Vietnam."
"It wears off after a few minutes," I assured him. "It doesn't do any permanent damage."
"I know that," he replied, "but it isn't worth it." He paused. "You mean you carry Mace with you?"
"All the time," I answered. "Would you like to see it?"
"No," he said, "I know what that means."
"What it means is, the next time you see it, I'll use it."
"You wouldn't use that stuff here in the office," he asserted.
"If you don't believe me, try me. Go ahead and touch me."
He slunk away.
One Proposition Too Many
For some reason it took the personnel department almost three years from when I started to get rid of me. (Here's how APL engineered a termination.) Eventually, though, I was handed a letter telling me I was suspended and ordering me to report back to work the following Monday.
When I returned to work I was met in the elevator by the personnel director. This pitiful specimen was so weak that he couldn't look anyone in the face. He had to look at people sideways, out of the corner of his eye. Head tilted and eyes averted, he escorted me to a dimly lit room in the basement of the building. When we got there he sidled up to me, told me I was fired, handed me an envelope containing my personal belongings, and presented a letter which stated, "After further review...your employment with American President Lines is terminated."
OK, fine. I didn't like working there, anyway. I started to leave, but he told me to wait.
"I can find you another job soon if you'll cooperate," he said.
"What does that mean?" I asked. "Pull down my pants and let management play with my genitals?"
"I can't rule that out," he replied.
I stalked out the door in disgust.
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