He worked in the same building as we did, for a long time, but nobody ever had much to do with him. In fact, I don’t think I ever said a word to that beady-eyed weirdo.
He had curly Art Garfunkel hair, and the beginnings of an Art Garfunkel hairline, to go along with it. And he walked around making you think, “Yeah, there’s more going on there than meets the eye. That sumbitch probably has a squirrel circus happening inside his head.”
The two stories are good ones…
Across from where we worked was a small sandwich shop. It was on the other side of Fulton Industrial Boulevard, which is a high-traffic road. Tractor trailers would constantly be zipping up and down, and crossing that street on foot was something along the lines of the opening scene in Saving Private Ryan.
But people did it anyway, including myself. I’d go out there and wait for an opening, say a quick prayer, take off running across two lanes, and do the same thing from the median. On more than one occasion I felt a four foot-tall mirror whiz past my head at 70 mph, and vowed never to do it again. And I wouldn’t… until the next time.
One day that ferret-faced freak drove over there, got his lunch, forgot he’d driven, and walked back to the office.
And when he got off work at 4:30, he thought his car had been stolen. He called the police, and was reportedly beside himself with anxiety. I heard he was pacing around, muttering gibberish, and on the verge of a full-breakdown. When somebody tried to console him, he lashed-out like a crazy person.
The cops promised to find his car, but one of our co-workers found it first: the next day, when he went for a hotdog. The thing was still parked where he’d left it, at the samlich shop. Heh.
And, as you might expect (especially in Georgia), the dude was mocked unmercifully, for weeks on end.
Another time, a couple years later, somebody opened one of the stall doors in the men’s room, and the budding Garfunkel was in there–
You know, I’m kind of bored with all the standard terms, and don’t really want to use them again. So I’m going to try to come up with a few new ones, if you don’t mind. He was in there pummeling the pipe, waxing the cucumber, punishing the prisoner, varnishing the spindle, looking for Cheers with the universal remote…
The person who caught him in the act immediately reported the news to everyone he came in contact with, and they responded in kind. I think all this happened before email, but electronics couldn’t have helped spread the word any faster.
Within minutes everyone in the building knew about it, including a couple of truck drivers out on C Dock, and the guy making a Chinese food delivery to the folks in advertising.
I think that finally did him in. I can’t remember for sure, but it seems like it was the final nail in that poor bastard’s coffin. He’d made it through the “stolen” car episode, but this was simply too much to withstand.
Well, to be more precise, I think it was the weak defense he offered, that really sealed the deal… He told everyone he wasn’t doing what they thought (shining the candlestick, giving the dog a pill), but was, in fact, “relaxing.”
This explanation was so nonsensical and confusing, it only made matters worse. I can still hear the peals of laughter, and have no doubt he can, as well. Wherever he is.
And I’d be willing to bet real money there are pockets of the Atlanta metro area where men still yell at each other inside bathrooms: “Hey, what are you doing in there, relaxing?”
Anyway, it’s probably been ten years since Toney or I could come up with his name. And last night, for reasons unknown, it suddenly popped into my head. I wasn’t even thinking about him, his name and face just materialized in my mind.
It was Richard B. I don’t want to tell you his full last name, for obvious reasons. But it appeared, clear as could be, with no prompting whatsoever.
Do you think he died at that very moment, or something? Is it possible everybody who made fun of the guy thought of him at the exact same time? Yeah, probably not…
I’ll leave you now with several semi-related Questions.
Have you ever worked with a person who did something so humiliating they ended up leaving the company because of it? This can include Christmas parties, needless to say.
Also, have you ever caught somebody, you know, polishing the silver? I don’t think I have anything to offer on this one; I’m drawing a blank (not a euphemism). What about you? Tell us about it in the comments.
And finally, can you help me come up with some new phrases for that activity? The same ones are used over and over again, and it’s time for a refresh. Even the ones that are supposedly wacky and out-there have been heard by everyone, roughly ten thousand times. So help me out, won’t you? Original creations only, please.
Now I’m going to link to the t-shirt order page, once again. Right here. The shirts themselves should be in my Costanza-hands in about a week, and the mail shortly thereafter. So, order away! ‘Tis the season for pissed-off, leaping catfish!!
And since I’m whorin’ myself… please remember to enter the Amazon site through one of our links, if you’re planning to do some holiday shopping there. It’s a painless way to support the Surf Report.
And if you’re a music nut, like me, here’s a nice place to start. The 2 CDs for $10 deal is especially good; I’m gonna hit that one myself. It’s not just a load of crapola, as you might expect.
See you guys tomorrow.