Chuck Neighbors

[While I certainly don’t miss the old apartments, I do, however, hold onto a certain fondness for the neighborhood gas station.]

This year Santa arrived a little early.

After a disastrous Christmas Eve closing at the store (our not-quite-merry closing team being neither quality nor in quantity), I stopped at a gas station.  As the gas was pumping into the gas tank I hear, shouted from the street, “Hey!  I think you’re cute!”

A natural gentleman [editor’s note: this has never been proven!], I assumed the cat-call was directed from one car to another.  Serving as a showcase, if you will, of how the diseased and prone to misfortune find mates.  I even looked up from the pump, glancing at the line of cars waiting at the stoplight, to see if I could catch a glimpse of the screamer.  I’m not a construction worker; construction being one of the few areas I’ve never worked in.  So their unique brand of social interaction is as foreign to me as, well… your method of social interaction.

Finding nothing unusual, unusual for Bearss at least, I assumed that the parties involved had already managed to locate each other, size up each other, and shack up with each other; jump starting the whole baby making process.

Imagine my surprise when a car then pulled up next to me.  Out leans a head harboring a face that can only be described as “devoid.”  Devoid of nearly everything: emotion, intensity, interest, or passion.  Just a face that has been around too long.  Having been beaten down by life.

“My daughter says you’re the cutest guy she’s seen in a while.”

Normally I’d make a joke about her daughter needing to get out more if that’s true.  I resisted though, because: it was Christmas (Eve) and I was feeling charitable, and, frankly, who am I to turn down a compliment?  As proposed in the beginning, this could very well be Saint Nick himself, in cross-dress disguise, attempting to pay me back for all those cookies I gave him by feeding my always ravenous ego!

With only that inappropriate joke running through my head, the only (not insulting) reply I could think of was, “thank you.”  Foolishly I left off the (even more inappropriate) ending, “please, please, PLEASE go away.”

Is it normal for girls to rely on their mom to snag them dates?  

“She wants to know if you have a girlfriend.”

“Yes!,” I shout, way too loud, in the hopes of ending this interrogation.  Apparently they were reading my stoic-ness as being a part of my nature.  And, in that, they really weren’t wrong.  Except that in this case I wanted it to appear that I was normally talkative, and was choosing to be quiet.

My response is funny since I’m convinced I would’ve told her “yes” even if I was single.  Now normally I’m not one to lie; operating firmly on the basis that the truth is always more alienating and thus painful for all involved.  Telling a lie here, I feel, constitutes a (much needed) special occasion!  An early Christmas miracle in that Lady Justice, Karma, and God took this moment to take their ever groping hands off each other’s genitals and instead applied them over each other’s (divine) ears.  All and anything would be forgiven by these judges, even the bearing of false witness.

All should be (divinely) permissible in the world during this moment, all except interrupting my gas pumping.  It is, after all, a holiday and I have a schedule to keep.

This chance encounter then made me ponder if this is what life is like to the truly attractive.  Being harassed all the time by both the hopefuls and the envious.  Even making me reconsider my stance on the contemptuous relationship between the paparazzi and celebrities.  Maybe the habitual harassment isn’t or shouldn’t be an acceptable price for fame.

This also strengthened my own lifelong dislike for cat-calls.  I could never (still can’t!) imagine a situation where one would work.  

“Well, son, I actually met your father as I was walking down the street one day.  Out of the blue I heard him shout, ‘You’ve got a nice ass!’  We’ve been together ever since!”

I now stand firm with my disdain for cat-calls.  The pretty have my undying support.  I do, however, still totally support women joining construction crews.

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2 Responses to “Chuck Neighbors”

  1. Actually sort of worked for me once but you have to be subtle. The person can’t realize thats what the situation was. Then in the future upon further consideration they realize. “wait a minute. . .”

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