Saturday, September 28, 2019

Bill Gates

I lived in Seattle in 1984.  My daughter wasn't even a year old.  I had left my husband and cycled through three different womens' shelters before I found a place to live and got on Welfare.  Seattle in those days was pretty mellow.

Now I don't mean that real shit wasn't happening.  It was, everywhere.  But in Seattle, things were being done to assist the populace.  The vast majority of those things were funded by Bill and Melinda Gates.

Bill Gates saved the people of Seattle in the 1980's.  His foundations funded some incredibly forward thinking, humane programs for the homeless and the poor.  He hired stinkin' EVERYONE, be you facially tattooed, morbidly freaky or terminally white. If you could pass the Microsoft Mordor brainiac gatekeepers, you worked at Microsoft.  Period.

Bill Gates went to my Dicks Drive-In.  You would see him driving his shitty car around the area, and there he'd be with his shitty haircut and bad suit behind the wheel, talking on his space age Bluetooth setup (it probably wasn't Bluetooth but some custom comware that he'd whipped up in his basement.)  He would wait in like at the Dicks for his Dick Burger and his three Dick sauces - a substance that never turned if left in it's funky little plastic container unopened - and his large fries, and then leave his enormous cannonball wallet on the drive-up counter and off he'd go, chewing on his burger.

Dicks would call him and leave a message:  You left your wallet here again dude.

He would come back the next day and pick it up, and they'd make sure that he got his shit together. "Mr. Gates, are you sure you have your wallet?  Have you checked the contents? Now make sure you have it in your car.  Is it with you?  OK.  You have a good day now."  It held up the line forever.

I would walk to that Dicks - it was only five blocks from where I was living in a railroad apartment - and be standing in line when Bill Gates came driving through, holding up the line, causing a lot of back and forth on the speaker system.  He was a neighbor.  You smiled at him or not, but you knew he was there.  Richest man in the world at the scuzzy Dicks Drive-in off Capitol Hill getting his burger and fries and Dicks' sauce in his shitty car with his shitty haircut.  Whores all over the place.  Welfare moms and kids and stamp crackers, because the Welfare office was nearby.  Hard, bad traffic.

He gave that whole city hope. In the beginning, anyway.  He was a rich dork, and so he didn't quite have the rich dude thing down right.  He actually gave back to the city there for awhile, before he got interested in third world toilets.  You felt like there was hope, like you had something to fall back on, because there were so many programs being bolstered by his money.  I was a dirt-poor woman with an infant on my hip, I knew I could depend on the programs I needed at that time to be up and running.  And those programs were the difference between me and the street.  So don't talk no shit about Gates to me.  He's changed, his agenda has changed, and he finally figured out how to be a rich. But when I needed it, his cash was working for us out there in Seattle flat on our asses, and he went to our Dicks, and he was OK.

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