Slow Boat to China

September 23, 2007 at 7:00 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

One of my esteemed colleagues is leaving. Since I’ve known him, this gentleman has been ‘on his way to China.’

Looks like this time it’s for real.

Dr T was the first rational person I spoke to when applying at our current place of employment. (There was another guy I spoke to first, but I will discuss him later. He’s, um, no longer with us.) Having since watched the parade of fools that come across the doorway whenever an employment ad goes out, I am quite grateful Dr T took the time to encourage and recommend me.

He hails from parts back east. Kentucky gets mentioned a lot. We mused that I, an Irishman, insisted on Kentucky bourbon (Wild Turkey, Evan Williams) while he, the Kentuckian, would insist on Jamesons Irish Whiskey. He’s not into beer, and filters on cigarettes piss him off.

He has some good war stories. Like the time he and a buddy had to deliver a booze-soaked Hunter S. Thompson to a lecture. (They probably weren’t the most temperate candidates for the job.) Or the time he was cock-blocked by Courtney Love at Mary’s Club in downtown Portland. (They were both hitting on the same girl.)

Though, if given the choice, he’d often rather hang out with horses than girls. (In a Pete Rose way, not an Enumclaw way…) Many a paycheck was rescued with a last-minute Keno bet. Some didn’t survive.

One payday, I saw him tear off his pay stub and toss it absent-mindedly into the trash. I picked it up, and lectured him about identity theft. He laughed and said, “Son, I pity the foo’ that takes my identity! They’ve been looking for me for years…”

He wouldn’t elaborate.

When I was down, he was a friendly shoulder to unload upon. Like the best of my cohorts at work, he has a way of throwing out a couple of thoughts or wisecracks and making my day sunny again.

His farewell party was Friday night. At a beer joint, the only bar in town I am 86ed from. (An ex-girlfriend threw a dozen eggs across the bar at me in 1981, and the owner still remembers me! Let it go, Gus…) I wasn’t invited. It’s just as well.

That’s too much drunken brain for one room.

May the road treat you well, my brother, and if I’m ever in Beijing, and you ever open that American bar there, I will let you buy me a drink.

But it’ll have to be Wild Turkey. I don’t drink that Irish crap.

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