I was thinking about friendship the other day. I was felling fortunate to have a lot of friends. Then the more I started thinking about it, I thought you know I am lucky to have any. And the more I thought about it, I may be kidding myself about having any at all. Why would I make such a statement? Well it reminded me of how I have treated some of my friends. Here are a few examples:
There was this one time while me and two of my buddies were at the local chicken finger establishment enjoying lunch. Let me set the scene up just a little. Our company still insists we wear nice pants, dress shoes, a dress shirt and ties. So when we go out we at least look like business professionals. We were discussing the latest movie on the big screen and the high cost of going to a show these days. We reminisced about how we used to pay like $4.00. I told them about the big scene at the last movie I went too. Unfortunately it happened at the ticket window and not inside the theater. “$9.50!?” I shouted as I lowered my head closer to the microphone at the ticket booth. “Hey man, I just want one ticket!”
Anyway we are discussing the possibilities of spending our money wisely on a new Netflix service. For $9.99 a month you can rent unlimited movies…one at a time…via snail mail…which barely worked out to two a month. Then one of my buddies, let’s call him “Charles”, asked “Lewis” and I if we like foreign films. There was an uncomfortable silence for a second. Lewis gave Charles a surprised looked and said “I didn’t know you liked stuff like that.” Charles shot back, “No you knucklehead, like British comedies. The wife and I watched Calendar Girls the other night. Have you guys heard about it?” “Is that the one with the old ladies? What did you do to your wife for her to make you watch Calendar Girls with her?” I asked.
Charles was determined to ignore my needling and trudge through with why he watched this movie. “It was a story about a group of older ladies that were trying to raise money for one of their husbands fighting cancer. Somehow they stumbled on the idea of raising money by selling nude pin up calendars of themselves.” “OK Charles you can stop. You are starting to scare me” I responded. Charles was getting more flustered “Not like that, you knucklehead. They covered up their…special parts…with items related to cooking or gardening. It was a classy nude calendar.”
By the way - the chicken finger place is crowded. It is quite the popular dining during the lunch hour. There is a diverse group of patrons that frequent the place. The ambiance is about what you would expect for a fried chicken joint, a bit of noise. I picked my opportunity at this key moment in the conversation to serve up Charles what you might call a home run pitch. Where you try to get your buddy to swing at what you are throwing, so to speak, by asking a pointed question or asking them to repeat themselves. “Did you say classy nude calendar?” I asked. Charles dug in his cleats and coiled up in the batter’s box. His eyes opened wide and swung with everything he had (the next few seconds happened in an instant). The noise in the restaurant died down to a whisper as soon as he booms: “Yeah, classy nude. As in like the lady for the month of May was set up in a birthday motif with strategically placed cupcakes.” Not only is his voice booming but he added hand visuals, which happen to be acting like they are holding two cupcakes in front of his…special parts. As he gets to the words “strategically placed cupcakes” along with posing his hands so eloquently in front of his chest, a mature aged lady passes our table. She looks down at Charles with a “if I was your mother” look on her face that absolutely rattled Charles. I thought for a second, she was really going to slap him.
When she got far enough from the table Lewis and I could not hold it any longer. I was so glad I did not have any food or drink in my mouth. I cannot print what Charles called me. I was almost proud of it though. Charles somehow sat there without even a hint of a smile as Lewis and I nearly wet ourselves laughing. When I gained enough composure to speak again, before I could get the first word out, Charles cussed me again. As I wiped the tears from eyes, I asked him why in the world he was talking so loud. He held up a chicken finger at me then put it in his mouth and started working it over.
As he is finishing his chicken finger, the lady that has passed us was now exiting the restroom and making her way back by our table. I wondered if he would swing again. I served up one more. “How big where the cupcakes Charles?” In a defiant motion, almost as a release of his embarrassment, he angrily showed me one more time just how big the cupcakes were. The timing could have not have been scripted any better, the lady passed the table again.
Wait I have t stp typig… LOL! The memory of all this just hit me like new again. OK where was I?
She looks at Charles as if he, a businessman, should behave better than that in a public place. She turns her nose up and mumbles “Disgusting!” Miss if you are somehow reading this blog, I would like to apologize for my outburst of laughter that day. But maybe you will now understand the circumstances of my laughing fit. Charles strung together another round of insults after his second home run. My sides hurt for most of the afternoon.
A few weeks later it was Charles' birthday. I stopped by the grocery store before work that morning around a quarter till 8, way before he arrives at the office, and ‘anonymously’ left two pink Ariel mermaid cupcakes on his desk. To this day I do not know if he ever told anybody about that birthday gift.
On second thought, I think I better stop at one example...