This all began a while ago with the receipt of an email from an old, curmudgeon-like colleague. It was his Christmas letter. (I don’t do those, but I’m beginning to think I might start.)
I had thought I might reply to his email, but shortly afterward realized that the effort and the effect would be lost. However, the story I’d come up with is too good to just trash.
So the story goes like this…
I was meeting a friend for a 12:30 lunch at a local watering hole. I had perched myself on a barstool and was waiting patiently. A fellow to my one side appeared to be nursing a Scotch; and I thought to myself, “Gee, he looks a lot like that James Cameron fella.”
The James Cameron look-alike turned to me, and said, “What a day. What a week. I’m totally stuck for the name of my new movie. Do you know any good jokes?”
Turns out I’d just heard one that morning. I was planning to spring it on my friend, but hey, opportunity was presenting itself. “Sure,” I replied, launching into my story, “Two guys are at a bar…”
The guy interrupted me: “WHAT did you just say?”
So I began again, only to be interrupted again: “Two guys are at a bar…”
“At a bar…” I replied, puzzled by his reaction.
“YES!” the James Cameron look-alike yelled in exultation. “That’s IT! This will be BIG! It’ll be… Yes…! Titanic!” He started to run out, then ran back to the barkeeper. Slapping his palm on the bar and pointing to me, he ordered, “Anything he wants, is on me!” Then he rushed out.
Being a writer-type, I can be easily bought, so I was happy.
Then one of the two other characters on the other side of me spoke up. This fella looked tough: blocky, with a well-muscled upper body. He was also the hairiest guy I have ever seen. “Well, that was lucky,” he said.
“Thanks, I do writing for a living.” I replied proudly. “Always nice to get paid for some work. What do you do? Looks like it’s pretty physical stuff!”
The hairy guy replied, “Well, I’m a potter. And it is pretty tough stuff. It’s not just some sissy stuff of dropping a lump of clay on a lazy susan and going to work. My buddy here claims to be a sorcerer. But honestly, all I’ve seen him do is a few parlor tricks.”
The other guy spoke up. He looked like some prototypical stoner-type; I half expected him to have a van with a surfboard strapped to the roof. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near him in traffic. He sounded slightly irritated, if slow, drawling speech can sound irritated: “Du-uu-ude, I can do more than simple stuff, even with a buzz on. Watch.” He set his drink down, pulled out a black metal rod, and said in a commanding voice, “Like, xyzzy, man.”
He disappeared in a puff of greasy smoke. A moment later, he reappeared but the smoke hadn’t yet dissipated. Sniffing the air, he remarked, “Wow, man, that smells just like Maui-wowie.”
I was impressed, and somewhat inspired. “Hey, you guys are fascinating. I should write a book about you. Might make a great kid’s story. But in thinking about it, I’d have to give you British accents.”
They were fine with that, and so was I. Maybe someday, if things slow down a bit. Meanwhile, I had the rest of the day, and my 12:30.