Story Time with Fozz: A Place that I Love As Much as Bourbon

About a year ago, a dumb shit friend backed into my car and screwed up the bumper and hood. He didn’t want to report because his son was getting on his insurance. Fine. No problem.

So this guy, we’ll call him “Dumb Fuck Jeep Driver,” sends me to this body shop. Away we go. When I got there, I realized that heaven wasn’t up in the sky, it was located in a beat to shit body shop.

The shop itself is located at an intersection that makes it fucking impossible to get into. You have to go up, grab a U turn, piss off a bunch of people and then go tear assing into the fucking place to beat the oncoming traffic.

Inside, it’s what you would think a beaten to hell body shop would look like. Dusty, dirty, and one of those Ms. Pac Man coffee table type video games that is not working and has a “For Sale” sign on the top that is faded, curled, and grimy.

Now, behind the desk, up on the wall, are three really nice monitors that are hooked into the place’s computer. So yeah, all of their business is on display for anyone who wants to look. I’m not sure if the body shop business is so cut throat, but seriously?

(Honestly, I can’t believe each of those screens isn’t showing porn, hunting videos, or people making porn while hunting.)

Now, here is one of my favorite things about this joint: Jeff. Jeff is about 6’5” and built like a goddamn mountain. He is balding and might be the gruffest, surliest, “Fuck off” type of person I have ever met.

He is my hero. My idol.

Here is my conversation with Jeff about the repair:

“How much?”

“I can tell you later.”

“Okay, how long will it take?”

“Mmmm. Don’t know. Two days? I’ll let you know.”

“Thank, I appreciate it.”

Jeff doesn’t acknowledge me because he is walking back into the shop. He bellows out something like, “WHEN IN THE FUCK IS THAT FUCKING PART COMING IN AND WHO ORDERED LUNCH, GODDAMIT!”

Like I said, he is my hero.

This how Jeff operates on a busy Monday morning. A guy sits next to him, and Jeff reads through tickets, notes, orders, etc. He looks at the piece of paper, grunts out a command, and flips over to the guy. Sometimes the paper hit the desk; sometimes it hit the guy’s face.  Jeff should write a book about communicating in the workspace.

I finally went back with the money and all that shit. I had to wait at the desk and I look to see there’s a gray French bulldog just running along the top of the desk. He could have been white, but maybe the tire dirt, grunge, and the black cloud that follows Jeff around turned the pooch gray.

At one point, Jeff picked up this dog and I thought, “This guy is going to eat the dog, starting with the head and he will crunch that skull like you would a hard candy.” Actually that would have been a great start to my Monday. No dice.

Instead – Jeff the Blood Warrior of Body Shop Heaven – cuddled that dog, while handling the phone. The dog eventually perched himself on Jeff’s shoulder I looked around the office, like, “Is anyone else seeing this shit? Or is this the DT’s?”

The older man, who was wearing Crocs and battered pants, said nothing. I think he was contemplating overthrowing a government in Poland. I could have been wrong.

Jeff called me and said, “Is this Fozz?”

“Yes,” I say.

“Car is ready. Pick it up by Saturday.”
Click.

The day I picked it up, I saw the car with the keys on the hood and, naturally, started walking towards it. One of the employees, I’ll call him Dirty Man Ape, runs up and says, “Hey! What are you doing!”

“Picking up my car, Dirty Ape Man.”

“Gotta go inside. GO INSIDE!” Dirty Ape Man then went back to have sex with a broken down gas truck that was quietly rusting into nothing.

Jeff was there. I thanked him. He grunted. The other guy, who is actually mentally balanced, gave me the key, took my credit card, and that was it.

I love this place. I love Jeff with the power of a million suns. I can’t wait to wreck my car again and take it there. I want to get the oldest Fozz Spawn a job there so he can be mentally scarred for life.

Stay golden, Jeff.

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blaxabbath

Did Jeff have a “People on YELP love us!” sticker on his door?

ballsofsteelandfury

Gotta love the Jeffs of the world. Nice post.

Viva La Tabula Raza
Viva La Tabula Raza

I have never met a really good paint and body man, I mean an artist, that didn’t have some serious character flaw: drunk, drug addict, totally disorganized, you name it. The guy that brilliantly painted my 65 Impala back in the 80s, and several other of my family’s cars, had been a mini-gun operator on AC-47’s back in Vietnam, and had all those character flaws rolled into one person. Once you could get him to work, though, his stuff was incredible.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Man, I wish my mechanic hadn’t “retired” due to back issues that totally weren’t some kind of Social Security scam. I really liked him.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Isn’t that photo of the storage place in Silence of the Lambs?

BC Dick

Delightful. I wish I had learned how to fix cars from a young age so I could be a Jeff. Own a shop or run it out from my home garage on a large property. But I dream.