A Chip Off the Old Block

September 26, 2008 at 1:06 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Sweet sticky things)

I knew at some point yesterday I was going to cry. It was a matter of timing. I hoped it would be in a private moment, and not seconds before I’d have to yell down a pack of ‘hood rats. I could feel it coming, welcomed it.

Yesterday was a most wonderful day.

Thursday is my Friday, in the where-my-universe meets the rest-of-the-universe world of secular scheduling. A last-second inspiration told me to get off the bus, stop at the Waterfront store and grab a cup of coffee. I could get an espresso over ice on the way through the mall, but free is a very good price, and I could say hi to Boss Whitney.

He was standing on the sidewalk, lighting a cigarette. “Guess what? There’s going to be a big reunion. The old gang is getting back together!”

“What? I’m being transferred here now?” I’d just been semi-permanently reassigned to the Mothership. When I started working for Master P, I was “Whitney’s bitch,” running the show while he did daytime manager stuff. After about a year, I was sent to work with Grinder in the nightclub district. When Grinder moved to the Mothership, I did too. Now Whitney is in charge of the Waterfront store, headquarters for Master P’s operation.

“No. Chuckles is going to be your new graveyard person!”

“Really. Cool! At least he shows up, and he shows up early. Welcome aboard, I say.”

Then I hear a familiar voice yelling my name. I look up the MAX platform and see my ex-wife Annie. “Hey baby!” She gave me a big ol’ lip-lock and asked, “Want to meet your grandson?”

Wow. (All I’d wanted was a cup of coffee, now I’m getting kisses and grandkids.) I grabbed one (coffee) and chatted with Annie while we waited for my step-daughter Jessi to park the car. Soon a familiar face was coming our way, with another little face poking out of a baby carrier that looked like a full-body ninja hood.

Tilting at the waist so as not to squish baby, I gave Jessi a hug and a kiss on the forehead, then stepped back to take in the moment. I knew he’d been born, I knew everything was okay, but I hadn’t heard much else. I was racking my brain furiously. Annie had told me his name once, but I could not remember it. FUCK!!! I felt rather pitiful as a respectable grandparent.

But before I could wallow or get too embarrassed, a hand clapped on my shoulder. I looked up, and it was a red-faced Master P. “Come with me!” He took off down the sidewalk.

WTF? “C’mon!” I told the girls. Master P was making a beeline for the corner, but he walks like a New Yorker, so I didn’t think much of it until he walked up to a bum, a middle-aged white guy about six feet tall, carrying a sleeping bag.

Master P got in the guy’s face, reached into his sleeping bag and pulled out a $25 bottle of wine. Master P handed me the wine, which I grabbed by the neck, in case things got ugly. I still had a backpack on, and was carrying hot coffee. As Master P 86ed him, (“You’re banned from all my stores, and if you don’t leave NOW I’ll have you arrested!”) I looked over at Jess. She took the cup of coffee, and I noticed Grandson. He was showing all three teeth, enjoying the show.

“Why don’t you take him over there a ways, just in case.” She retreated a few steps while we verbally reamed the bum loud enough for ALL the bums to hear, then we returned to the front of the store. The bum stood there, yelling “Don’t make me break my foot off in YO’ ASS!”

I use that line a lot. Hmm… I wonder if I’d busted him before? I started walking toward the bum again, and he staggered away quickly toward the park. Buh-bye!

I was properly introduced to Tristan. He’s about a week older than Mizelle’s baby, and about twice her size. Jessi had lost a lot of weight. Must be from hauling the not-so-little one around. He seemed to be enjoying himself.

“I’ve known him for two minutes and he’s helping me bust wine thieves. A chip off the old block!”

I called the Mothership, letting them know I’d be there in a few minutes. We moved our party to the MAX, and they rode up with me. “I’m taking you in. I’d say meeting my first grandkid is a pretty good excuse!”

Jessi is doing well. She works at a seafood stand/convenience store outside of Tillamook. (Gee, sound familiar?) Her work horror stories involve ill-mannered tourists. I bet we could have some great talks about how self-importance and entitlement wear so heavily upon our nerves, but that could wait. I stood outside the store, showing off and getting to know the not-so-little man. He sat bolt upright on the crook of my arm, a fistful of beard to steady himself with. I took every accumulated cigarette break I’d ever earned at that moment. After half an hour, guilt was starting to settle in. I probably should start work. My co-worker, already half an hour late for lunch, agreed. I reluctantly bid them adieu, but not before snapping a couple of pictures.

Name? Check. Birthday? Check. I hope I can learn oh so much more about him before our time on this Earth is done.

As I stood at the till at 11 PM, the radio played Guns & Roses November Rain, and I could feel the levee welling up. November Rain played a lot when my sister and brother -in-law were courting,  around the time Annie and I finally called it quits. It’s an emotional song for me, but fortunately a very hot girl broke two beer bottles on the floor and distracted me. My ever-so-cool security guard cleaned up the broken glass while I reassured the slightly tipsy, barely dressed stripper-type as she paid for everything.

Upon arriving home, I didn’t even turn the lights on. I have a DVD concert of ZZ Top I’d been meaning to watch, and it seemed a good way to decompress. As I reflected upon the day, and how blessed I am, I jammed to the little ol’ band from Texas.

Then they played Rough Boy, and I lost it. ZZ Top was part of the soundtrack to our lives when Annie and I were a couple, and the song brought it all back. After mopping off, I felt much better, and am a very happy camper today.

At least two purty li’l thangs told me I look too young to be a grandpa. Honestly, when I was looking them up and down, I wasn’t feeling all that grandfatherly.

Just ’cause there’s snow on the roof doesn’t mean there isn’t fire in the furnace…


  1. gee-no said,

    Just think, this coming Christmas, a few random 4-5 year old kids will be receiving their first musical instruments. Fast forward 16 years or so to the year 2025. These random kids will have become friends, formed a successful Rock band, go on tour, and you will be taking your Grandson to his first Concert to see these guys, who happen to be your Grandsons favorite group at that time. And he will never forget that experience.

    Rock On!!!

    FutureTrivia: What will be the name of that Band?

  2. beastard said,

    Even then, I’ll still be two years younger than Mick Jagger is now! Maybe we could double date. I wonder if Mick Jagger’s granddaughter and great-granddaughter will be available?…

    As to names, I’ll have to work on that, but I do have a great band name, inspired by the TV show ‘All in the Family’. With all the religious and sexual scandals these days, we could name them after the Bunker’s personal minister:

    The Reverend Felchers.

  3. gee-no said,

    Reverend Felchers, is that a family name for those who practice Felching?
    Tell him to stay away from my Twinkies, I like the cream filling right where it is thank you.
    */ hides twinkies

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