Tag Archives: bound and gags

Dinner Guest

A vegan came over for dinner so I served him celery sticks on a copy of The Smiths ‘Meat Is Murder’ CD.
 
He was not amused.
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Marathon Talker

I have many different relationships with customers and it fully hinges on the customer. If they’re nice I’m nice. If they’re hostile I’m nice with a side of sarcasm. Most times they think I’m being rude but they just can’t put their finger on how. I’ve always stood by the ten percent rule. Ten percent of anything is going to be great; ten percent terrible and the rest is unmemorable. That means ten percent of all people I run into on a daily basis are going to not only take up eighty percent of my time but are going to be blithering asshole while doing it.

Case in point, I had one of my oddest customer encounters the other day. Of all the subsets of crappy customers (the needy, the expecting, the demanding, the rude, the nasty, the ones who open the door, etc.) there is one who is annoying because of their consistency. A demanding customer can be swayed by just having things go smoothly but a talkative customer cannot be stopped with a blow torch and a pair of pliers.

The talker is going to talk. I probably have eight or nine talkers. A talker is defined by someone who not only talks but has a time frame to get it in. I find that time frame is an average of twenty minutes. That means from the moment they walk in the door the moment they have my ear they will not relinquish it for a minimum of twenty minutes. And don’t give me advice like, “Walk away.” “Tell them you’re busy.” “Start doing other things.” Because it doesn’t work. They will wait until I get off the phone. They will talk through a transaction with another customer. They will stand there patiently until I come back after leaving to do something. There is no stopping them.

The worst part about talkers is not the amount of time they take up (I’m getting paid) but the subjects they choose to engage in. Subjects they know I will have the utmost interest in: themselves. Oh, there’s nothing I enjoy more than listening to a story about some people I don’t know who are fucking with some person I don’t care about at some company I couldn’t care less about. But it happens all the time. I know more about the lives of people I don’t know than those of friends.

And, trust me, this is not information I’d ever want to know even if they were friends of mine. But I know it chapter and verse. Do you know why? Because they tell the same fucking stories every time they come in. Oh, it might be a new twist but it’s half a twist at best. Instead of telling me Sheila put her name on a project you alone worked on she may have said something catty about you. This is what they decide is the most important event in their life that they have to take twenty minutes out of their busy day every time they see me to update me. How do I unsubscribe?

The man we’re going to cover in this episode of ‘How In The World Can You Talk About Such Boring Shit For So Long’ is a special case. I call him a special case because annoying motherfucker sounds harsh. Spot on but harsh. The moment he walks in the door, as I do with all talkers, I look at the clock to gauge how behind I’m going to be by the time they leave. While they talk I think about things I have to do once I’ve been released; think up with greeting cards because that’s what I do when nothing else is taxing my brain; conjure inventive ways for both homicide and suicide.

I got an odd feeling when he walked in the building this time. Maybe it was because my boss got him last month but something was in the air. So I decided to do something I have never done to another customer. I was not going to say one word while he talked. I didn’t think I could pull it off but I was going to give it a shot. The thing I had going for me was he doesn’t engage in conversation. If I can resist the common human urge to pull out old ‘Aha’s or ‘Mmm’s I could pull some time.

He’s talking to me the moment the door opens. It’s on. I pull off his entire transaction, ninety seconds, without an utterance. Now the endurance game begins. If he’s on his average day I have another eighteen minutes and thirty seconds to stand there as his words flow towards me like a backed up septic system. The first five minutes are a breeze. I’m a grizzled veteran at game of getting talked at. Five minutes is child’s play.

At the ten minute mark, though, I had to fight off the urge to run screaming in circles that I couldn’t take it anymore and confess to an assortment of unsolved crimes. Even ones that happened in the decades before my birth. But I regained my composure and kept my mouth shut as the words just kept flowing seemingly in an endless gush from his mouth. He was happy he’d correctly predicted the guy who fired him would also get fired. Wait, he got fired too, right? So, really, who was the winner in this little scenario? My guess is all the remaining employees.

Twenty minutes of silence on my part. Twenty minutes of torrent on his. I’m now leaning on the wall no longer able to stand erect. The boredom caused by his tale is making me wonder what a life without speech would be like. Sure, I’d miss out on the next great story I’d hear but, right about now, in the middle of what’s going on, that seems a fine and just trade off. It’s also at this juncture, the time when he is usually wrapping up, he’s in fine form. I’m still holding on to my silence but I so want to tap out.

At the thirty minute mark of him not leaving a space for an utterance and my accepting that fate I start to falter. My concentration flags. I forget what I was trying to do. I formulate words in my head, bad words, nasty words. Which snaps me back. Swearing in my head has a rejuvenating effect on me. I brace myself and stare at him. The jowls hanging from his flesh bounce and flutter as he speaks of people unknown to me. The bags under his eyes jiggle as he once again tells me he told someone to fuck off with the obligatory middle finger waved in my face to demonstrate his contempt.

I stand there in my silent contempt.

I start to despair that this is the one. This is the extreme talker. This is endless talker. This is the talker who is going to break me.

“Let me tell you what my doctor said when I told him that.”

Ten minutes later I have been full brought up to speed on what his doctor told him about that. Sadly, it did not find purchase in my brain so I cannot impart that wisdom unto you. I hope you forgive me my transgression for I was under dire straights. It had been forty minutes of the monologue to end all monologues. After this I may not even have the strength to listen to even a one liner. I may not be able to give a compassionate ear to those who are truly in need. Yes, I think my ear hole is full.

But my mind is back. It has a purpose. One sole purpose. And that is to repeat,

“I think he’s been talking for forty-five minutes without stopping. I seriously think he’s been talking for forty-five minutes.”

I couldn’t be sure because, after all this wear and tear on my vessel, I forgot what time he actually arrived. I cannot even convince myself that it was the same day. I can feel myself shutting down. I feel as if this is my final act in life. I have convinced myself that he is never going to shut the fuck up.

But I was wrong. As quickly as it started it was over. He said goodbye, turned and left. Real silence, an embracing silence filled the office. I walked deeper into the office to my bosses desk. He didn’t look up, we’ve both been through this before.

“That seemed longer than usual.” I nodded in agreement because I wasn’t sure after all this time of silence I would even have a voice.

“Yeah,” I croak. “And I didn’t say one word the entire time he was here.” He looks up at me.

“Impressive.”

I wanted to see just how long I stood there being hammered by words so I went to the security footage. It turns out I was wrong. It was not forty-five minutes.

It was forty-seven.

I Have A Confession

I hate a race of people.

I know! How can I say something like that in this day and age? I’ll be vilified on Twitbook. I’ll be crucified on Instachat. I’ll be mocked relentlessly on all media platforms. I’ll be shunned by all my friends (well, not all of them) and petitions will be signed to take away my thorax by the throngs who hadn’t heard of me until I did something so vile and unspeakable. You know, vile and unspeakable like attacking a stranger because you’re a self-righteous twat.

Back the fuck off, Nancy, so the big boys can play through.

Let’s get back to the race I hate, shall we?

I hate blonde on blonde couples.

Definition: two blondes in a couple.

You know, Hitler’s old jizz sock.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate them because they’re blonde or they’re a couple. I have many blonde friends and many more who are couples. I really like some of them. I tolerate others because I’m a tolerant little fuck. Just like I tolerate other people. I’m a wonderful fucking guy. Just ask me!

And don’t think I hate them because they’re beautiful because, let’s be honest, they usually aren’t. Oh, they think they are but they’re not. Their faces are usually pursed and pinched in a perpetual expression of having experienced an odorous moment. As if a commoner were near.

And I’m not talking professional blonde on blonde couples (although I probably would hate them to remain consistent). They’re not really couples. They’re created by PR firms to hide the fact that he’s gay and she thinks she’s a piece of toast.

Just your average walking around blonde on blonde couple.

Hate them.

And it’s because they’re all the same (making it easier to group hate, thankfully). They’re all entitlement and pretension and attention seeking. Think about it. Have you ever been in a group where a blonde on blonde couple hasn’t been sullying the shallow end with vapidity when you’ve finally said,

“I knew I should have brought my eye gouging spork with me.”?

They speak of only people (they can name drop), places (they’ve heard of) and things (they want to buy). If they wander off those topics it’s only to venture into a subject they have endlessly studied so the facts they have learned can be spewed with mind numbing monotony.

As separate entities they can often be not strangulation worthy. I’ve separated the herd and had pleasant chats. Surface but pleasant. But when the couple pairs up it’s as if two wet bags of shit collide. There’s a weird stink in the air, people are a little queasy and the surface has a thick sheen of sticky.

My blonde on blonde couple hatred was awoken the other night. I know being near an ocean increases the possibility of spotting the putrid pair but I’m seasoned. I can usually spot them and find my way to safety before those people get too close to me. But this night they sat down right next to me. I couldn’t escape for I was in the middle of my meal.

But I have my skill set down. I have a high level of selective hearing (ask my girlfriend), the ability to use my peripheral vision wisely (I can see them looking to engage me while looking straight ahead) and a Zen like ability of not reacting when someone says something idiotic.

All useful skills when around a blonde on blonde couple.

I didn’t say I don’t notice their activities I just don’t react. And this couple did not let me down. They played their chosen roles like the insipid people they are. When the new bartender came over they ignored him to get the attention of one they know.

“Oh,” she says waving her hands in an overly arched fashion. “We’re regulars and she knows us.” The new guy walks away but shoots me a look. I nod back. Teammates.

She starts regaling the disinterested bartender (I know that to be true because later the two bartenders and I were talking. She said it’s the same thing every time they come in. And it’s not on a regular basis, she said. “Once a month, once every other month is not regular. But it is more than enough.” See? Self-importance is a big factor with them) who is trying to take care of other customers while this woman is trying to monopolize her attention.

She gets a little bent out of shape when the bartender has to walks three steps across the bar to put down a plate. I heard the air of haughtiness blow past her lips. When the bartender steps back the woman begins the story from the top. I see the slight slump of a worn out customer server. The story was so boring the first time I wondered if I should offer the bartender my personal eye gouging spork.

After much prodding they begin their ordering process. And let’s hope there is not one shocked expression in the stands when I say that the special order special pulled into special town.

A type of wine but only if it’s a specific brand. If it’s not then it’s a different
vintage but only if it’s a certain geographic location. Finally stumbling upon a suitable libation they’re on to their meal. Sort of. For the entire night they ordered one course at a time. The bartender would drop one order but before she could escape the woman had (conveniently) forgotten to ask for a condiment that was hardly touched during the meal.

And before the bartender could bring the next course, all plates had to be removed and the bar wiped down. I might hate them but I can’t say they were sloppy eaters (she did sound like someone chewing a light bulb during the salad though). But, dutifully, plates were removed and a wipe down commenced.

For the entire time one of them (I know I’ve been focusing on the woman but that’s only because she was sitting next to me so was easier to hear. But don’t worry, he gets his) kept either directing the bartender where to wipe or telling them how they should be doing it. How can you not hate blonde on blonde couples?

Of course, each item they had also had a blonde on blonde couple touch to it. Everything had to be replated after it got to them because they were going to split everything. Isn’t that so sweet? Makes you want to stab them in the base of the skull with a melon baller.

At the end they ordered one more glass of wine and I know you’re going to think I’m doing a little comic exaggeration here but I’m not. They split the last glass of wine. Where’s my melon baller when I need it?

During the last half glass of wine they talk amongst themselves and it quickly becomes a snooty lesson from the man to the woman. I’m talking full blown dressing down of her. The tone of his voice as he (and again, I am not making this up) began to regale her with his vast knowledge of the capital cities of the world was condescending at best. He took pride in being able to name capital cities? Isn’t that the same trick a four year old trots out in the sandbox?

He bellowed that so few people’s vessels contain this knowledge and he’s sorry for them. Then started a recitation that began in the US but ventured outward to the vast and unknowing wilderness. For about ten minutes. Of course, after he’d rattle off a city, he’d take that triumphant moment to castigate his audience for her lack of high level knowledge.

At this time I made sure to glance over to see if this was a first date and he was trying to (poorly) impress her. Nope, married. Wow! That’s even worse. She chooses to put up with this pretentiou. . .oh, that’s right, part and parcel of being in a blonde on blonde couple.

Suddenly he loudly summons the new bartender standing two feet away and asks for the check. The bartender puts it down and steps away.

“Excuse me,” she says. The bartender stops. “As I’ve said, we’re regulars so what’s our name?”

I cleared my throat. I know, a rookie mistake that I paid for when she looked at me as if I were a pilgarlic. The bartender stands there uncomfortably. I start to think if they even introduced themselves to him. I am positive they did not. What a bitch move. Or as I think of it, the penultimate blonde on blonde couple asshole moment of the night.

The bartender finally has to capitulate and say he’s sorry but he does not know. She pardons him as she and her betrothed scan the bill. They stand with a flourish, wave to their many friends in the bar (no one did more than look up for a second at the commotion then look back down. But that never matters to a blonde on blonde couple. It’s all about the presentation) and exits.

The new bartender picks up the check and looks at it. Then he once again looks at me.

“What’d they leave?”

“Ten percent. Pre-tax.”

I was wrong earlier, THIS is the penultimate blonde on blonde couple asshole moment of the night.

I tell him they probably justified leaving a shitty tip because he didn’t know their name.

“And at this rate I never fucking will.”

You know, I like this new guy. Think I’m going to make him a membership card.

Sunday Sleeping

I’m a big fan of sleeping. Many days it’s the only time someone isn’t talking to me or I’m not working. Two things I’m not as big a fan of.

It’s why I like Sunday’s. I still have to go to work and people are still going to talk to me but I get to do it two hours later than usual. So what does that mean, boys and girls? That’s right! I get to sleep an extra two hours. You’re so exceptional and grasp simple concepts so quickly.

It’s not that I sleep all the time. Sometimes I like to get up, sit a spell on my front lawn, get out the old sound system and crank up Satan’s Sunday Top Twenty on 66.6 WARM on your FM dial as the goers to the church at the top of the street filter down to enjoy their Sunday.

You’d think being christian and all they’d have a more friendly countenance as they pass a man just sitting on his lawn enjoying his personal freedoms. But it’s weird they don’t seem to enjoy Beelz’ bouncing beats much.

Other times I do small things around the yard before it gets so hot sweat falling off your body is so intense it’s used as a sprinkler for the lawn. I don’t do the loud work because, even though by law I can, if I like to sleep in a little I’m damn sure someone else has discovered that. But I have met a few of my neighbors so let’s just say the jury is out. So I do silent prep work, move things that have to be moved, prune things that have to be pruned, pick up pruning remnants because I was stupid enough to start pruning.

So it’s my amazingly polite Zen gardening approach to being a good neighbor that made what happened last Sunday so disturbing to me. I was sleeping, I could feel the warmth of the day just cracking open. I roll over and start to drift off again.

“Tia.”

Am I dreaming? That seems a little loud for one of my dreams.

“Tia. Tia. Tia.”

The last Tia I knew was a nurse for my mother.

“TiaTiaTiaTiaTia.”

It’s a constant barrage of the name. If I were Tia I’d have answered by now. I get pissed when people say my name twice.

“Tia. Tia. Tia. TIA!”

Aww, come on. This is one of my sleep days. Well, it was going to be.

“Tia. Tia.” Maybe Tia finally answered. “Tia. Tia. Tia. Tia. Tia.”

Is this bitch deaf?

I know the kid who lives in the house is the one doing the beckoning. Her age is somewhere within the range of 2 and, ah, up. What I also know is that her parents don’t let her out of their sight.

“Tia. Tia. Tia. TiaTiaTiaTiaTia. TIA!”

So I know damn straight they can hear that shit. Is this a case of ‘look how adorable my kid is?’ syndrome? Because, listen, if you’re afflicted with this awful disease (which also comes in a grandkids version), trust me when I say, we hope you die.

Your kid is nothing more than an annoying hunk of all your worst qualities. So while you’re standing there engorged in parenthood while your hatchling runs around a store knocking over shit and kicking an old lady in the shin or, in my case,

“Tia. Tia. Tia. Tia. Tia.”

Just know everyone else in the vicinity hates you. To all these persons they hate, in numerical order, you then Hitler then the guy who invented peanut butter and jelly in the same jar.

If you think I’m exaggerating about the duration or consistency of this little mites call and no response, well then, you made my list. You’re just above peanut butter guy.

“Tia. Tia. Tia.”

“Hey, Tia!” I respond. “Answer her.”

And then silence. A shifting breeze, a distant vehicle leisurely driving, but no one screaming after someone whose name I’ve seemed to have forgotten.

And it’s a good thing because I’d already started planning. I have friends with all manner of power tools. Loud ones, scary ones, ones that frighten kids. And if that name calling went on for much longer, well, let’s just say, I was going to really crank next Sunday so all my noisy friends will be able to hear the latest of Satan’s Sunday’s Top Twenty on 66.6 WARM on your FM dial.

And I’d have them stay on while I went to work and party. I was even going to invent a new game they would play while I was at work. It’s a simple game and one you may find entertaining also. It’s the Name Game. How you play is every five seconds until the person answers you call their name. I would be the first to go because I invented the damn game. So the game would have gone something like this.

“Chris. Chris. Chris. Chris. Chris. Chris. Chris. Chris. Chris. Chris. Chris. Chris.”

From 9:30 when I left for work until 4:30 (or later) when I got home.

But I didn’t have to do that. But I’m still going to mow the lawn the next time they have a few people over for a bar-b-que.

Seems to be the least I can do.

It’s Perfect

It’s nearing the end of August and it’s an awesome day. It’s 85 degrees, little humidity, I’m waiting for the bus. Okay, so maybe it’s only a good day. But there I am standing at a bus stop checking out my surroundings. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken this many busses but it’s good to see much hasn’t changed.

There’s still a woman in 85 degree weather with a bulky sweater on; a couple of drunk old guys trying to get into a conversation with anyone who walks past; a couple of pill heads barking at invisible shadows; and me. I don’t know what that says about me and, frankly, I don’t want to know.

I’m just standing there taking looking around at the collected mess when something catches my eye. It’s not something you’d expect to see on a hot August night. It’s a woman (okay, you’d expect to see that) with a cart filled to the brim with Christmas decorations. Plastic Santa’s, boxes of reindeer, a singing Christmas tree, decorations upon decorations. Incongruous at best I’d say.

I’ve been in stores and, even with the way things are going, I haven’t seen Christmas displays yet. None of the stuff looks store fresh anyway. I start to wonder what the urgency of having to transport these off-season items is when something else the woman is carrying caught my eye.

It’s a boxed item called the ‘Perfect Bacon Bowl’. Oh sure, some of that makes sense. Bacon is, after all, perfect. But a bowl of it? Coming from a box? More oddities from this woman’s cart. I stare at the box, transfixed, forgetting all about my earlier Christmas conundrum. This is now the oddest thing I’ve seen today.

The back of the box is visible so I can’t see the smiling bacon themed mascot but I bet he’s a cutie called something like ‘Peter Porker’. I could see what I infer is the slogan though: Everything tastes better in a BACON BOWL! There’s nothing to refute that and, because they screamed it at you, it has to be true. Having never seen a bacon bowl myself I’m just going to take their word for it that they did their due diligence before being thusly crowned.

There was an array of photos showing that the ‘Perfect Bacon Bowl’ would be just, well, perfect for so many items. But I had my questions. Some of the pictured items, I must admit, seemed somewhat less than perfect. I mean, yes, eating Mac N’ Cheese out of a bowl is standard but a bowl made of bacon? I don’t know how daintily you chow down on M’NC but that bacon bowl would crumbled faster than the Washington Capitals come playoff time.

Next pictured was the totally unworkable burger. The bacon bowl, itself, may be perfect but their box design team needs to step up their game to keep pace. I mean, I don’t know how big your ‘Perfect Bacon Bowl’ would be but having one that you could fit a burger into has to render it impossible to shove down your gullet. It would make it the size of a softball with a coating hard and sharp enough to slice up your awaiting face.

The next one made sense, on the outside. The next item offered up as perfect for the ‘Perfect Bacon Bowl’ was a BLT. Oh yeah, I know what you’re thinking, one third of that gifted sandwich is right in the title how can it not be perfect? But it has the same bowl to mouth issues as the burger. Even if you found a way to get it into mouth I have issues with the sustainability of the gnawed upon bowl itself. Structurally the moment you break down one side of the bowl a fission would occur across the entire surface causing it to become untenable as an edible bowl. I think in this scenario all you’d end up with is a table full of bacon bowl bits and a lap full of the BLT itself.

But it was the fourth and final suggestion that caused me to pause the most. Mainly because I’ve never considered the combination of bacon (bowl form or other) and dessert to be a suitable combination. Don’t get me wrong, I love bacon. I’d punch a pig in the face for holding out on me. But I’ve never tied it in with my post dinner repast.

But there it was, a picture of a perfect ice cream sundae happily plopped into a ‘Perfect Bacon Bowl’. It had to be stunt food because I know the amount of lighting it takes to shoot an advertising photo and in two minutes that entire situation would be a soupy mess.

Considering the meltability factor (who likes soggy bacon? Terrorists, that’s who) the thought of eating a butterscotch sundae then topping that off with a congealed container of moist, limp bacon can hold no appeal to any discerning palate. But, bless our artery clogging hearts, if you are among the multitude who find this not only appealing but appealing enough to get off your lazy asses, right there on some randomly frightening grocery store shelf are lined up rows and rows of what I am lead to believe is the ‘Perfect Bacon Bowl’.

To quote Yakov Smirnoff in the only quotable quote he’s ever quoted, “What a country!”

It’s just advice

I’m talking to a guy who is known to be loud during football games. It’s one reason he prefers to watch the games at his house. See? Polite guy.
 
His wife doesn’t see it that way. She heads down to the basement to remind him that, the house may be empty, but they do have neighbors. It’s an ongoing struggle for the both of them.
 
During this preseason she was watching games with him and she mentioned how it was nice to see that he can watch the game like a civilized man. He reminds her that it’s pre-season so he doesn’t feel as if he’s in full yelling strength.
 
But even during the preseason he can get riled up as he did during a boneheaded play during the last tune-up game. His wife stands up, gets in front of him and says, “They can’t hear you, you know?”
 
Of course he understands that. But it’s at that moment it’s the reaction he has. It’s like making a guttural sound when something amazing happens during (your favorite team or program here) for you.
 
I asked him if his wife liked romantic movies, he said yes. I asked her if she has ever cried during one of those said movies, he said yes.
 
“Then next time she cries during a movie stand in front of her and say, ‘They can’t hear you, you know?'”
 
I’m going to be the cause of someone’s divorce some day.

The Journey – Part 3

If you need a refresher click here parts 1 & 2.

I slowly saunter back down the stairs I moments ago hurried up. I’m heading to the food court. Specifically, this one bar there.

I’ve never been in this one before but I’ve been in it’s sister bar in the city. To all the hip, happening people in the know it’s called TITS. Because when you put the full title of the bar into initials it spells tits. Good enough a place to drink I’ve heard from many a child.

I now have fifty minutes to kill. A cold beer and a warm ball game and I’ll be just fine. My girlfriend who is going to meet me in a bar on the other side will sooner or later figure out I missed the bus. She’s good like that. I pull up a chair, order a beer and proceed to attempt to forget the last hour of my life.

I’m sitting there watching the ballgame when a guy sits next to me. He’s making so much noise I know he wants to get a conversation going. Hey, Starshine, go talk to someone without a homicidal hair-trigger. You’ll thank me later. He asks for the beer menu then proceeds to read it for five, six, seven minutes. I’ve been tracking tight seconds for so long I’m starting to sweat thinking about how much time he’s wasting.

He motions the bartender over to make his choice. They’re out. Sort of funny. He and the bartender go back and forth. He finally picks another. Damn! This is getting funnier. Strike two. The bartender begins rattling off the beers they do have but he goes it on his own with his third choice. Boy is my mood elevated right now. I’ll admit to being a little tweaked when I missed the bus. But this guy’s utter failure to pick a beer is cheering me up.

Thanks smelly hippie!

After a short time a woman sits to my right. I don’t engage her, she doesn’t engage me. My most successful transaction of the day. She orders two drinks and the bartender questions her. She explains that her husband is on the way. I sit there silently while three time beer picker loser boy pulls what looks like leaves and roots out of plastic bags. They are all meticulously handled so they must have meaning to him. Which he desperately wants to explain to me as he shakes and holds the plastic bags aloft. Ah, back off, pinecone, I don’t have time for another cult.

After one beer he left. I asked the woman if she said her husband was coming. She said that she did so I moved over. I would have moved over without saying anything but I didn’t want her to think she smelled. That’s what a gentleman would do.

Her husband arrives and he is psyched. He has some amazing news and he just can’t wait to lay it on her.

“I made some reservations for our vacation.”

“Where?” His wife enthusiastically replies.

“At camp sites all over the place.”

“Why would think I’d like that?”

“It’ll be great!”

And for the entire time I sat there he tried to explain to his bride how great it would be to camp out. And for the entire time I sat there she pretty much told him it was a stupid idea and that he should just go shit in his hat.

I never met these people and, even without her objections, I knew it was a terrible idea. Every time she’d ask a good question like, “What are we going to do for a tent?” His response was,

“Borrow it from so and so.”

“Stove?”

“Borrow it from so and so.”

“Sleeping bags?”

“Borrow it from so and so.”

Not a man of the wild I take it.

I chuckled as I paid my tab knowing if that outdoor adventure every materialized she would spend the rest of their lives together reminding him just how horrible it was.

After an hours wait I’m finally on the bus. In ninety minutes or so I’ll be where I’m supposed to be and my weekend will begin. I’ll walk into the bar, say hi to my girlfriend who will tell me she’s starving, I’ll say hi to the bartender who will return the greeting but his will be better because he will have a beer in his hands for me, then, if I’m lucky, I’ll have to associate with few people after.

What I’m really looking forward to is getting home, seeing the cat and opening up a beer and relax for the first time today. My girlfriend, who has been down there all week, said she’d have some beer in the house waiting for me. Now that’s the way to start a day off. I put on my MP3 player, turn that sucker on and sit back and enjoy the ride.

We get to the destination without incident. I jump off the bus and start walking back from whence I came because, a few minutes ago, we drove by the bar I’m meeting my girlfriend in. Don’t even ask, they won’t think about letting me off there. I’ve asked a few times.

I don’t mind the walk. I get to be truly alone for the first time all day. I’m not surrounded by the sounds and smells and silly schemes of people. It’s just me and the sidewalk. I turn the corner and see the bar. I pack up my MP3 player and get ready to make my entrance.

When you open the door people can clearly see you enter but you can’t see them. It’s that dark a bar. So imagine my surprise (and dismay) when I hear,

“Who the fuck said you could come in my bar?”

It is the face of someone I haven’t spoken to in over a decade (with reason) next to her husband I haven’t spoken to in six years (no real reason – except she’s usually with him). They’re not bad people just annoying as fuck. And what do I truly need after this adventure? That’s right! Someone I avoid at home because she’s as annoying as fuck.

I can feel my body slumping as I walk in the bar. The woman jumps up and gives me the usual big hug and kiss. I wave at my girlfriend as this is happening. She gives me a look that’s half ‘I feel your pain’ and half ‘fuck you! I’ve been putting up with this for almost two hours now.’ I feel her pain.

I chat with the guy with the wife talking over us the whole time. I’m on autopilot. Trust me, it can seem like I’m there, engaged, witty, conversational, but the reality is I’m home with a cat and a beer wishing I had my own helicopter. And bar.

After who knows how long they exit to go to dinner. An invitation we declined due to a previously planned arrangement (I mentioned cat and beer right?). They make us swear we’ll meet them back here tomorrow night for some more cheerful bonhomie. I sincerely lie and say I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my few hours off during a week.

I finally get to chat with my girlfriend (who tells me she’s starving. You’ve been down all week. What did you do? Wait for me to get down here to eat?), tell her a cliffsnote version of this story (she is not a fan of my work) and we go get something to eat. The entire time, in the back of my head, all I’m thinking is, “Soon I get to go home for cat and beer.” That’s enough to get me through this journey.

After dinner we head home and the first thing I do is play with the cat for a moment. Give him some food. Scoop his shit. You know, bonding. I take off my shoes before heading to the refrigerator for the time in this journey I’ve been looking most forward too.

She forgot to buy beer.

So I create a immediate option B for the start of my weekend by putting this journey behind me and go to bed.

The End