The Flying Pie Exercise Program

October 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm (Cussed Dumbers, On the road again...)

I’ve long had a policy of not getting too close to co-workers. It can make for uncomfortable situations if they are doing things that could get me fired if I know and don’t rat. Office politics suck. I was exposed early and often to Sexual Harassment Panda. Then there’s the whole ‘getting emotionally attached’ to someone who will up and quit and disappear from your life. But… no matter how much I shield my heart, some folks sneak past the guard.

Dr T is one of my bosses. It sounds cliche, but he reminds me of my dad. If my dad had been born fifty years later, I’m sure they would be doppelgangers. (Dad would never have worn a ponytail, and his only beard made him look like C Everett Koop. Old-school cowboy.) So, instead of a doppelganger, Dr T is more like an alter-ego of dad. He’s an Irish whiskey-drinkin’, woman-chasing man of the world who has babysat Hunter S Thompson and rassled Courtney Love for the right to take a stripper home. How can you not love a guy who starts a story with “There was this time in Paris when I was bangin’ this garlic-smelling barista under the table at a bodega when-” My thoughts don’t drift away when he relates an anecdote.

We get the job done, and have a good time doing it. After tours of duty with Whitney and Grinder, I ended up back at the nightclub store with Dr T in charge. We have a steady, fixed crew. It has remained pretty much unchanged for the last year or so. We kick ass, take names, and post them on the wall to throw darts at when they piss us off, or make funny captions out of newspaper headlines for their mugshots.

Last Friday, after the usual procrastination, we met for my birthday dinner at Flying Pie Pizza. Haven’t been? You should. It’s gigantic magnificence cannot be done justice by word of mouth; mouth contact is the only way to actualize its spicy Italian yumminess. We ordered a large Combo #2. It has everything but anchovies and pineapple on it, and if I’d known Dr T was a fan of anchovies I’d have asked for them on his half. (Must be an Italian thing.) We feasted to the point of bursting, and there were still four big slices left. I offered to wrap them so he could take it home.

“No, it’s your pizza, you take it home!”

I put up the weakest of protests, then went to the to-go counter and wrapped the pieces. A secreted totebag in my backpack provided easy carriage. I thanked him for dinner, and we parted to accomplish the other mission of the day, getting paid.

I’d purchased an amplifier for my home stereo. The previous one was 27 years old. It had provided me and mine with vast amounts of amusement, but when one of the channels finally blew, it was time to retire. $200 in 1983 was a lot of money, but I’d say we got our money’s worth. I had an hour to kill, so I thought I’d set it up.

It’s just switching a few wires and plugging it in, right? Au contraire! The old stereo had been in the same spot in the corner for nine years, its stand buried in clothes and old computer carcasses. Unearthing this crap just to find the plug-in was an adventure in filth, and a walk down memory lane. I was hot, sweaty and covered in dust by departure time. I took the briefest of showers and ran for the bus. I’d have just enough time to grab my check and hit the bank before it closed. I called Transit Tracker. My bus was going to be fifteen minutes late. Fuck…

I trudged back home. I’d been full to the point of bursting when I left Flying Pie, but now I was back to normal. It’s a rare occurrence when I do that much work after a gluttonous meal. I thought of the leftovers, and groaned. I offered them to my little sister, with a caveat: If you don’t eat them soon, I probably will.

She got about half of it.

I Tetrised the mess in my room back together, and sat to catch my breath. The room looked (and smelled) much better. As I sipped a Diet Dr Pepper and surfed the Twitters, a buzz on my cell phone. Dr T was writing: “Kept missing buses, so I walked. Made it to 60 and Burnside. Fuck it, I’m going to the casino tomorrow.”

And he did. Let’s just say Dr T had a good week.

And now it’s time for his birthday. Trying to come up with more than the usual bottle of Jameson, I had a flash of brilliance: I’ll take him to the local amateur porno festival! I scored tickets, and informed him after the fact. He’s got a raincoat that will leave us looking like emissaries from Hustler magazine circa 1976, and I bought a third ticket for a playa to be named later. We’re hoping to get the barmaid that looks like Melanie Griffith to join us.

An early happy birthday, you old coot. Thanks for being a friend. Even though you’re only eight years older, I find it comforting to have a guy that reminds me so much of my dad hanging around in my life. You may not be my actual dad, but you make one hell of a facsimile.

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