The following has basically nothing to do with the contents of this blog, but it’s just too good a story not to share – and share while it’s fresh.
About 6 this evening, I was in my favorite new sandwich shop (discovered tonight), the Asheville Sandwich Company on Haywood Rd. in West Asheville. I was delighting in a turkey, bacon and cheddar sandwich, nicely dressed with lettuce, (good) tomatoes and mayo, tucked in a pretty tasty hoagie roll – and grilled as per my request. Complemented by a really tasty draft Altamont amber ale, brewed just down the street. I went to jot a note about something I want to do tomorrow, took out my little spiral note pad that goes with me everywhere and – arghh! no pen! A writer without a pen is like a pig without something, I dunno.
I whisked out the door and nimbly darted through rush hour traffic on Haywood Rd. (all those years of living in Chicago do leave you with certain skills). As I put the key in my car lock, a very big pickup truck coming by me on my side of the street – which truck I had cleared by a very comfortable margin – pulled to a stop in front of me and the passenger side window rolled automatically down. I thought, “Oh man, what kind of shit is this asshole going to lay on me?”
In the darkened cab, all I could see was that it was a big man who said to me in a deep voice and stern tones, “You better watch out how you cross the road, you old fart!” I planted my feet and – in a tone that struck me as having a lot of authority – belted out “Fuck you!” (This action was totally supported by being manic – my judgment sometimes gets a little less than crisp.)
It was as those words were echoing in the emptiness that I recognized the driver of the truck to be my friend Jim, a big smile starting to spread across his face – at the joke he had played on me and on my unexpected response. He and I both had a great laugh before the car behind him really leaned on his horn. Jim gave me a big wave and rolled on.
This is the only place where this story dovetails with the blog or the grocery store. Jim and his wife Diane are customers of mine at the store. They are, in fact – after three years cashiering in grocery stores (two at my previous store and now one and a couple of months at my current store) – the only customers to have made the jump to being social friends. (I have some other prospects on the screen, but so far they’re it.) I love them both – and Diane is a devoted follower of this blog.
When I got back inside the sandwich shop, I immediately texted Diane (verbatim) “When Jim gets home, ask him about the exchange we just had on Haywood Rd. It’s a side of me you might not believe was there. I don’t even get to see it very often, but it’s actually kind of fun when it comes out.”
Diane called me about ten minutes later and said, “Jim just called me and told me what happened. I have had a very serious day and the belly laugh I just had was just what the doctor ordered. If you write this up in your blog, tell them that your little explosion totally made someone’s day.”
Ah, if every “Fuck you” could turn out this well….