Friday, December 01, 2006

The other day I needed to earn gas money, so I sought out my avuncular pal Don and made him sit next to me at a local bar and buy me scotch (abeit cheap scotch) so I could entertain and amuse him at five bucks an hour. Great work if you can get it. You can rest assured that he received his money's worth, though -- Hulles was in prime form.

Unca Don returned from the Field Grade Officer's Latrine to find me talking to some strange woman that sat down next to me in his absence. If at this point you, like Mr. T., are thinking regarding this woman, “I pity the foo,” you would be spot on. Don sat down and I introduced him to her: “Don, this is Anne and she and I were just talking about driving behind city buses.”

See, this is where we separate the women from the girls. I had no idea what her name really was, I just decided then and there that she would be Anne1. Bless the woman, she didn't bat an eye, she just continued with her bus story and politely incorporated Don into the conversation. (“I'm coughing because I was tailgating a bus the whole way here. I was trying to read the Minnesota statute they stick on the back of them.”2)

This woman turned out to be one of the funniest people I've met in a long time. After calling her Anne much of the night, I finally asked her what her real name was and discovered it was Charlotte, which I think is a pretty name. (Not as pretty as Anne, of course, AF, honest.)

Charlotte was a social worker by profession. I discovered this because one of the first things she said to me was:

So who coordinates your services?”

Ouch. Ouch. I hope she was being funny and making a social worker insider joke of some sort. I don't look that down-and-out, do I? Say no. Please say no.

I'll just give you a couple excerpts from Charlotte's wonderful stories:

When security came, they scattered like roaches.” Who cares what she was talking about? Anyone who would have cause to say that in a story is okay by me.

Today in a meeting some geeky guy I work with who never says anything said my cookies were 'charlicious'. Ohmigod, was he hitting on me in front of 15 other people?” She later confessed that another guy in the meeting said they were “charlectable,” which she liked much better.

Yesterday I bought a bag of chicken feet for $2 at El Burrito Mercado. I have no idea what to do with them, I just thought they were cute.” She went on to say that her daughter just shook her head and sighed when told of this. Cristina knows how she felt, don't you, dear?

Etc. etc. This is my blog, not hers, and I tell the jokes around here, dammit. Just know that she was very funny, and delivered everything in a perfect deadpan, which was exactly right.

“So, Hulles, was she dishy?” is the question I hear you asking because I have your computer's built-in microphone bugged. And yes, it does too have a built-in microphone, read the manual. Anyway, to answer your concerned inquiry, my mother always told me, “Hulles, dishy is as dishy does.” Much like you, I have no idea what this meant. I think it means “dishy is in the eyes of the beholder.” So sure, she was dishy, even before I put on my Scotch Goggles.

But the point is that she was fun to talk to and I enjoyed her company very much. And now I want to buy a bag of chicken feet for $2 at El Burrito. Not only can I figure out many household uses for them, they'll make great Christmas gifts for my friends once I paint their little nails in festive holiday colors. “Don't thank me,” I'll tell them. “Thank Charlotte the Social Worker.”

-- Hulles

1Yes, it was Anne spelled with an “e”. Hey, I made it up, I can spell it how I want. I must have been thinking of my newly-bald friend Anne Frasier at the time.

2In the Twin Cities, the buses have a yellow sign on the back that says according to state law you have to yield to them. Unfortunately, if you're close enough to read the tiny print on the sign you've already run into the back end of the bus.

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