As it seems to happen I was on the receiving end of a gentleman’s anger. That’s not entirely true. He was mad and standing in front of me with shards of spittle (which, by the way, would be an awesome name for a band) floating from his snapping lips. But he was not angry at me. I’d done nothing to ever require his ire. He was angry with someone who did something so horrifyingly horrific he felt the need, no, the calling to stand in front of me for eighteen minutes and spew.
As he was building to his crescendo, the penultimate moment in this tale covering a battle of not only wills but probably frequent flyer miles, I was thinking,
“Do I really want tuna for lunch?”
You see, and I know this is going to come to a shock to some of you, but, I don’t really listen to people’s stories. Most of the time they’re complaints or self-aggrandizing. Like the other night sitting in a crummy neighborhood bar around the corner. A guy was complaining about his family between telling me tales of the high life when he was a big time jewelry salesman selling to the rich and beautiful in Beverly Hills. Really? If drinking in this shit hole is what he ended up with he must have been selling costume jewelry to the maids and gardeners of the rich and beautiful of Beverly Hills.
During my lunch menu preparation two guys walk in breaking the man’s concentration. Scott and Peter are two gay guys who are always pawing each other and making passes at me. One day they were nuzzling while leaning on their car I laughed and said,
“Get a room your two. I don’t want to have to break out the hose.” Peter, the main attention whore, laughed and said,
“Break it out, rough boy, we might like it.” Cheeky bastards that Scott and Peter.
As you’d imagine, a whirlwind of frivolity like that would cause the man to lose track of his story. Which was good because I don’t think he had much more of a performance in him. He looked at me with the expression of someone who’s unburdened themselves, feels better about it, and doesn’t care the person they were talking to was thinking of cutting off their own ears and jam the skin and cartilage into the remaining holes.
But he has the strength to go for that one last closing line. The line that will sum it all up. The line that, if he used it when he first got here, I’d be finishing up lunch right now (I’m going with a BLT). He looks at me earnestly and says,
“They’re the nastiest bunch of flying lizard fuckers you’d ever want to meet.” He seems satisfied. I know I was confused. I looked at him for a moment before saying,
“I don’t think I’ve ever hear that exact phrase before. And that does open up the door for questions. Are there nice bunches of flying lizard fuckers? Are they nasty and rapey because they’re in a bunch? Are the lizards flying or is it their would be fuckees? And how come there’s a bunch of them? I mean, wouldn’t a solitary flying lizard fucker be more than able to strike fear into the genitals of lizards world wide?”
He looks at me shaking his head.
“Why do I talk to you?”
“You’re not the only one asking that question.”