True Story©... The Big Payoff pt III

     Okay, when we left you last month I was a little over two thirds of a million dollars up in the game, less the cost of one used Subaru Impreza and various fuel supplies.  All cash, all under the table money.  Wasn’t much worried about the tax man coming for me since they would have to PROVE a case and ain’t nobody in the whole organization equipped to believe I got a magic bag of coal from a failed attempt to rob Santa Claus.

     From my January research, I was lucky to have made my big money plays first.  As I look back on this shit as it happened, I probably should have called that good enough and invested what I had made and lived nicely for the rest of forever.  I knew that I would hear from the transportation museums in three and six months respectively and those drives would become residual income.  They were privately buying fuel-grade anthracite that I couldn’t sell to industry for the reasons  that the initial and continued shift from coal was a cost and transportability thing, but while my magic bag would whoop that problem, there still remains the issue that the public appetite for filthy-ass coal is nowhere NEAR where the president would have you to believe it is.

So where do I go with it now?  Simple!  I aim a little lower!  It’s still winter – or it was when this happened – and I already have more cash on hand than I might have legally conjured otherwise.  All of my revolving credit and mortgage had been paid off, I am driving the newest car I have ever owned and I have TOTALLY fought the urge to live “n**ga rich.”  I grab a few bucks out of fireproof safe I keep in [redacted] as I need some money for me or my daughter and lady.

I’m on the way home from the barber shop one Saturday and the phone rings…

Me: “Hello?”
Caller: “Can I speak with Phillip, please?”
Me: “You got him.”
Caller: “Is this a bad time?”
Me: “No worse than any.  Is this business or pleasure?”
Caller: “Haha, it’s business, basically I was--…”
Me: “Good, because I have a list of people my lady might murder otherwise.”
Caller: “Ha…  Basically, I was speaking to a buddy in Pennsylvania you did a favor for and I’d love to call in one of my own.”
Me: “Look, please tell the federal agent watching my line that you want to buy coal and not blue meth, I don’t need those kind of problems in my life.”
Caller: “Wow.  Yes--…  haha…  Well…  Wow.  So yeah, I run a very small steel company and I am getting MURDERED on the price of coking coal and would love to pick up a few tons of that stuff you have.”
Me: “Did your buddy discuss my prices?”
Caller: “Approximately one-half market rate by the short ton?”
Me: “You got it.  You know I am not able to fly with this, right?”
Caller: “As uncanny as it sounded, I have witnesses to the validity and understand.”
Me: “So where are you located?”
Caller: “Just outside of a little city named Athens in Ohio, is that a problem?”
Me: “Five hour drive?  Hell no that isn’t a problem!”
Caller: “Nice, I understand we have a time crunch?”
Me: “I only 'work' every other week and need to not be away from my home more than four days or my lady will murder my face.  I need to be home for a special delivery by Sunday at three or I will murder YOUR face.”
Caller: “Understood.  My guys shovel it all?”
Me: “Yes.  I’ll leave my house Monday at 3am, I should arrive about 8-830ish.”
Caller: “Don’t you want to know how much I need?”
Me: “You know how much money you got, you can get all you need and are willing to pay for.  See you Monday.”
Caller: “Deal”

Well it looks I have a home for this especially filthy bituminous after all, no?

I sent Ava on with her mother Sunday afternoon and I hit the road early in the morning after kissing Mimi on the cheek in her sleep.  Getting to Ohio was pretty simple, straight shot up I-77, I didn’t even make it through Skyzoo’s discography in the time the trip took.  I arrived to the factory and they had a large storage area near the boiler, equipped to hold up to 1,000 tons of coal and it was almost empty.  The train line that usually supplied them ran right next to it and basically dumped right in and workers put what was needed on a conveyor to the stoves.
“Damn, this is a ‘small’ steel company?” was my first thought.

Rather than work the shovels manually, his guys worked the bag with Bobcats.  Three of them in concert, back and forth between the bag and storage space.  They’d break for fuel and three new operators came to work the unload.  Thursday afternoon, they had all they could fit in the space for it all.  I am handed a burlap bag with twenty-five $1000 bands.  “I’ve seen too many movies, open that for me please?” was the first thing I said.  I ain’t trying to get the inside of my new-to-me car paintbombed on some bullshit.
Everything checked out clean and I was headed back to North Carolina.

The whole trip home, I kept telling myself “Phlip, you sitting on top of $600k right now, driving a new car and don’t owe nobody shit.  Do you REALLY need to keep doing this shit?”
I am also ignorant and kind of greedy.  Chalk that up to growing up without much.

I'mma take every call that comes in and try to make a buck off it.


Popular posts from this blog

Cartoon Disassembly 101: Session 11 (guest blog series)

The fine and underpracticed art of shutting up