The Best Laid Plans

October 29, 2007 at 12:51 pm (On the road again..., That's not funny...)

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry. Sometimes the best plans to get laid go awry.

I had big plans this weekend.

Last time I checked in, I had plans with Clairissa, ThatGirl and Mizelle. While only one of those had carnal potential, a weekend jam-packed with lovelies sounds like a good deal, right?

The fickle finger of fate wagged a big no-no-no in my general direction.

First up, Clairissa. I’ve been spending a bit of non-haircutting time with her; social drop-ins, drive-by movie swaps, quick rides somewhere when she’s going that way, etc… It was time to pick up copies of South Park episodes, so I started there.

The bus ride was an adventure in itself. As we went through downtown, a rather large, smelly gentleman got on the bus and sat in the seat directly in front of me. As the bus pulled out, the man turned and extended his middle finger, holding it up about two inches from my face. Without flinching, I did my best DeNiro impression. I turned, looked behind me, and looked back with a most effective ‘You talkin’ to me?’ look. I was tempted to ask him if he wanted to keep that finger, then snap it off, but that would have delayed my rendevous with Clairissa.

Thankfully, he focused his energies elsewhere, on the bus driver.

The man, who was African-American, shouted at the driver, also African American in his mid-60s, “Shut up and drive the bus, nigger! You bein’ paid to drive, not talk!” His finger made the rounds, flipping off anyone who would look at him. The driver calmly looked back in the mirror, saying nothing.

We made it through Old Town, and Mr Abusive had fallen asleep. We reached the Rose Quarter, and the driver pulled over under a tree, away from the bus stop. He made a quiet phone call, shut the bus off, and we waited. After about five minutes, a patrol car pulled up, blocking the front of the bus. The driver got off, spoke to the officer, a middle-aged fellow with a gray crew cut and muscular build. He snapped on blue latex gloves and boarded the bus. I moved a few seats back, near the rear exit. Tazers and pepper spray can have a wide radius.

After a couple of obnoxious fuck-offs, the officer talked him off the bus. What looked like it was going to get ugly soon turned into a grown man crying about how he’d lost his job because his boss caught him stealing and all he really wanted to do was go home and sleep it off. The bus pulled away, and the incident was resolved without further incident.

Funny how these encounters with police never get written up in the Portland Mercury…

That would not be my first encounter with police this weekend.

But first, Clairissa and Mizelle. I wanted to take Clairissa and her wife to see Halloween 2007, the Zombie flick. Good for her, bad for me, but her family was in town and she couldn’t get away. We spent a few minutes chatting, and she noticed razor burn on my neck. “Is that a hickey?”

“No dear, razor burn.” I blushed at the thought.

“Bullshit. That’s a hickey.” She was convinced.

“Nah, new blade. If I don’t trim the neck, it looks like I’m wearing a turtleneck.”

Ever helpful with my grooming, she asked, “Would you like me to give you a hickey to cover that? It’d look better…”

Oh temptation… “Dahlink, if I showed up for my date with ThatGirl sporting a fresh hickey tomorrow night, do you really think she’d buy that story? She’s open-minded, but even I’d call bullshit on a story like that!”

So I settled for a chaste kiss on the cheek, a delicious bear-hug and a promise of future encounters. She dropped me off in Hollywood, where my travels continued.

I goofed off until movie time, then met Mizelle, The Frenchman and Tadpole for scary movie night. The crowd at The Academy Theater was small but enthusiastic. I’m guessing forties of Bud Light and Grizzly chewing tobacco for drug of choice. They looked like second-string footballers out with their moms or aunts.

I spent more time watching the film for its production values this time, as well as trying to pick out recognizable actors. By the time the film was over, Mizelle and The Frenchman were huddled up together, bug-eyed and sweaty.

“That was fuckin’ creepy! I was expecting camp. I didn’t expect it to be scary!”

They were leaving in the morning to fly to Utah, to camp in a shack in the woods. Good luck with that…

As Saturday rolled around, my date with ThatGirl looming, I got an e-mail. “I’m a horrible, rotten person, but can we raincheck? I’m burnt out, and need some time alone.”

Since I’d rather her want me there that tolerate me being there, I agreed. It seemed to be the way the weekend was destined. So I stayed home, watching movies, football and the World Series. I made spaghetti. Wild Saturday night.

What did she do? Haagen-Daz, two romance novels and a box of shiraz. Are we cliche or what?

But, early Sunday, she dropped an e-mail inviting me to breakfast at one of our usual haunts. She picked me up around one, and we went in to the cafe. It was full. Twenty to forty-five minute wait. Did she want to stay?

“Look! Bernie’s here!”



I’m thinking the red-fro’d dude from Room 222. She nods, and I see the county sheriff, having brunch with his woman and a younger couple. She was clearly fascinated, and I was kinda curious myself. So we waited, and can now say we had lunch with the sheriff.

When I got home, my niece was excited. “Some man called for you, and said it was important. I don’t remember his name though.”

I’m betting work. So I called Grinder, and he said, “No, you weren’t scheduled, but we could really use your help. Boss Whitney’s sister was in a horrible accident, and the schedule is all messed up. Dr T has been at our store since 7 AM, and will have to work until midnight unless you can come in.”

“I’ll be right there.”

I tossed on a jacket, grabbed my backpack, and marched half a mile to the nearest bus. I got there pretty quick, got all the updates, and promptly locked the office keys in the office. D’oh! Grinder was well on his way to Fuzzy Navel land, so we did the best we could with available change, etc…

Word is still out on Whitney’s sister. She was critical, according to the news. It makes my unfulfilled plans for the weekend seem pale by comparison.

Our prayers are with you, my brother…

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