Monday, August 06, 2007

Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing

Warning- this is an especially long post. You may want to print it so that you can take it to the toilet.

As I mentioned previously, Saturday night I went out with an old buddy "T". It was the first time in nearly 4 years that I'd laid eyes on the man, and it was good to see him in person, even though we've kept more or less in touch via email and IM. I met T in Colorado many years ago, where we worked for an IT consulting company- I was the networking/hardware guy and he was the developer. The two business owners were mostly sales and bookkeepers (in theory), so really all of the burdens related to actual billable work [read: "ethical, legitimate billable work'] fell on our shoulders.

T was wrapping up his dual Masters degrees in International Business and... What the hell was the other one? Poly Sci? That may have been his Bachelors. In any event, T is a whippin' smart doobie, and it was fun to get into poorly informed (my role) arguments with him, many times just to "push buttons". And he is built like a brick shithouse- and I mean that in the positive sense. Seriously, I rarely literally look up to people, and I think T has about an inch on me in height, but where I'm a bloated sack of lard, he's friggin solid. Were he not possessing of a basically friendly disposition, he'd scare the ever-loving shit out of people.


So we both moved on and he left Denver first to go do some consulting deal in Seattle, and has been in one Fortune 500 company or another ever since. It's a weird industry in that (at a high level) he is basically expediting and enforcing the various policies/initiatives/processes that are desired by the CxO's. Whatever. It's a living. That's the beginning of the point I'm making. And rest assured, there is a funny part of this tale to be told (yes, it's not all geek talk).


Seems ol' T has had an epiphany in many respects lately and has acted upon them in what appears to be a healthy and rewarding way. He quit the job here and will be moving back to Colorado (!) to work in a place I won't name, but it involves world-class athletes. (As an aside, he said among the other perks will be being able to work out in the presence of these athletes, to which I'm thinking that's an ego killer, like shagging away on one end of a couch or something while a porn star is upstaging you on the other- but I digress...)


So, before he leaves me yet again (subtle, whiny guilt trip, no?), we decided to go grab a beer/scotch. He's sold both of his cars in advance of moving (yes, really) and so he slummed it over to my place in.. wait for it... a rented town car service. Ohferchrissakes. So I decided to take him down to an Irish Pub on the Alki beach stretch called the Celtic Swell. Now, the more worldly among you (especially Judith) might laugh at the premise of an Irish Pub in Seattle, but the core appeal isn't the pretense that this place is somehow authentic, but rather the appeal is that it is #1) a bar, and #2) overlooking the water. I took him down a road that is very forested and scenic, to the shore where we crawled along looking for a place to park. The sun was setting and reflecting upon the water in the usual Kodak-moment manner, and imagine my surprise to hear T say "Dude!" and "Whoa" and such. Turns out he's never seen the Seattle skyline over the water (from the West Seattle side), never taken a ferry, never gone up in the Space Needle, or really done anything in this town, including making a local friend. Now, lest you think I'm on a high horse here, I've been here 10 months and have made one proper friend, who promptly fled the country to go become a rabbi (do you capitalize the R in rabbi? Is that a proper noun?) in Germany. I have however done other things.

So I'm surprised at how little T has done here, and his basically negative view of the town is starting to make a little more sense. He allows as how I was trying to make him feel badly about leaving by showing him all this cool stuff, and there may be the germ of truth there, but more I want to at least have him understand what it is about the town that I find so appealing- you know, lest he continue to think I'm off my rocker (hey- no comments from the peanut gallery!).


So we get to the Swell and have a seat at a 2-top high table that is parallel to the bar. That is to say, the people at the bar have their backs to us. Pretty soon, two women arrive and occupy the nearest bar seats to us and I wouldn't have really even noticed were it not for the arrival scene. One of them is bent way over the bar doing God knows what, and the other one starts to spank the bent one. T is talking at that point I'm pretty sure, but I have no idea what he's saying. Blah blah blah. They sit down and the show is over and we keep talking about economic survival, the water table in South America, and whatever else.


Fast forward 30 minutes or so. I'm alternating sitting on the barstool and standing when by back dictates, and either out of courtesy or for similar reasons T is following suit. At the moment we stand, the spanked one spins around and in a really loud voice (no small feat, given the ambient noise level) says to T:

"Did you just pick your nose?"

T is caught flat footed (well, as I was too). He had in fact done that scratch/rub/not-quite-pick movement where you'd use your thumb to give observers the impression that you were not in fact diggin' for gold. He confusedly replied:

"Uhh, kinda. I did this [repeats gesture]"

Then a really big guy at the bar two seats down loudly chimes in:

"I used to work at a saw mill. It made my boogers taste (taste!) like cedar"

I'm having a deer-in-the-headlights moment trying to take this all in. Paging Rod Serling....

Then, the spanked one says "And did you flick [a/the] booger?"

T says "Umm, I dunno- maybe" [for the record- no booger was present or flicked]

Spanked then says "I think you flicked a booger over here and it hit me in the hair!"

I'm having no idea where this is going, and I'm wondering if a fight between T, I and the cedar booger contingency is being sought, when finally the intention is revealed.

Spanked says "I think you owe me a drink for that!"

Ahh, I see. It's a come on for a drink, and with all the booger talk I'd failed to recognize the batted eyes and drunk girl come hither gesturing. I'm well out of circulation with what in the hell single people do these days, and I don't know local protocols, so this was all very peculiar to me. T bought Spanked a drink and politely brushed her off- he's a happily married guy, an we returned to talking.

Important background note: Years ago at a sit down restaurant in Colorado, T and I went to lunch at a place in a swanky business district, and sat in a booth. Behind my back was a gaggle of women who were probably secretaries (yes that's right- fuck this "assistant" nomenclature bullshit- the job is called Secretary). They got up and shuffled past us to leave and one of their number slipped a napkin in front of T with all sorts of writing on it, about her name and what T could do with/to her, etc. and lots of "x's" and "o's" and hearts. Fuckin' A! Damn man. T demonstrably has mojo. Things like that have never, NEVER, happened to me. Now, don't get me wrong- I've got nothing to complain about in term of the outcome of my love life, but damn- what I called dating is now called stalking. It was a rough uphill slog of trying to interfere with biologically accommodating young ladies, and dealing with that look of horror once I explained to them what I was hoping to do to them. It is only that Schmoopie likes being shocked and offended that I ever coerced her into giving me the time of day, and from that point forward I wore her down until she agreed to marry me. Then there is T, who has secretaries making lunchtime overtures. I'm jealous and at the same time, he's my hero. Incidentally, he tossed the napkin- he was seriously involved with his (now) wife, and is an honorable doobie like that.

So, we sit back at the bar table, and he says:

"Dude, that's just like..."

and both of us said in unison:

"the napkin!"



Fucker. Mojo and then some. I mean seriously- picks his nose (but not really) and gets women approaching him. I could've worn clothes made of money and couldn't get females to look at me without sneering (or laughing). No, not really- but it felt like that. I'm not really interesting in buying strange women drinks, or doing anything untoward that would ever upset Schmoopie, but purely from an ego stroking point of view, it'd be a hell of a boost. So here is T with all of whatever the ladies are craving being again genial but dismissive, and Spank moves on to other fellows, and I'm seeing a trend. I mention to him that he's indeed a fortunate sort, and he tells me that "it only happens when I'm with you".

So, I'm led to believe that I'm his Wonder Twin power source. Bullshit. It may be true that when seen adjacent to me he looks all the more appealing, in the same way Kareem Abdul Jabbar looks taller when standing next to Gary Coleman.

In any event, it was a funny thing, and I'm going to miss T again. I guess in 4 years we'll go get a drink again or something and women will be fawning over him when it happens. Sometimes rituals are important. Secondarily, what am I doing that is driving people out of town? I mean, I shower frequently, and censor my vile thoughts and profane language an awful lot. Damn...

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11 Comments:

Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

boogers for a beer...

that is definately a first.

3:15 PM  
Blogger slaghammer said...

My second grade teacher pilloried the kid sitting next to me for picking his nose. She just started screaming, “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH IT NOW?” “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH IT NOW?” I thought it discriminatory as she never gave the little girl at the back of the class shit for eating her Elmer’s Paste. She ate that paste often and with much gusto.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Lexcen said...

Your wonderful story reminds of the time I was driving an old bomb of a car, standing at the lights, when out of another car jumps a young girl and approaches me, leans into my car from the window and asks me if my car is any good because she intends to buy one just like it. I swear that was the most original pickup line I've ever encountered.

1:43 AM  
Blogger General Catz said...

"I used to work at a saw mill. It made my boogers taste (taste!) like cedar." One of the best sentences i've ever read.

Your friend reminds me of my friend Julie. When we'd all go out, the guys would beeline to her. If the rest of us were lucky, we'd get her cast-offs to talk to. Very confidence-building, eh?

10:27 AM  
Blogger That Guy said...

Then this one time at band camp...

12:46 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

I promise not to be dismissive if we ever meet up in a bar.. also I promise not to flick boogers at you.. well maybe~~

Sorry about your buddy leaving...

9:29 PM  
Blogger Judith said...

I had a teacher who hated a kid in our class - the teacher was forever picking his nose - I kid you not, one day when he was having lunch in class (we dont have dining rooms in the 4th grade) and when this particular kid was out in the toilet, the teacher flicker his booger into the kids milk and put his finger to his lips warning the other kids not to tell

3:55 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

I've heard of some weird strategies for getting free drinks, but claiming to have a booger in your hair is a new one. Ick.

8:35 AM  
Blogger TTQ said...

I didn't feel like wasting paper printing this, so I took the laptop into the toilet. Just so ya know.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Irrelephant said...

Jeezus H. Freaking Gold Plated Christ, man! A booger pickup? Cedar flavoured? A dog's nose?

Anyway, I always thought chicks dug being stalked...

5:50 PM  
Blogger meno said...

Ummm. I'm thinking of leaving town. And it's all about you.

8:11 PM  

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