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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chevy Chase - Vacation and the Short Funeral Processions

Last Friday was one of "those" days.

I was tying up loose ends around the shop to prepare to go on vacation, and every time I had a foot out the door, either the phone would ring, or an employee with a final question would block my exodus.

After handling the "day to day" stuff, I spoke with the farmers market and retail crews.

When those conversations were complete.....I decompressed by drinking Diet Cokes and talking to employees that I would miss.

Then out of nowhere.....

"BEEP.....Klecko the guy with the Greyhounds looking for hamburger bun donations is on line 2."

Then there was.....

The woman hosting the Bachelorette Baking party is on line 4."

When you go in the day before a vacation, a prudent person will always allot an extra hour or two to deal with such matters, but Klecko was now on the cusp of the maximum time which is typically required for such a day.

My street clothes were on, my arms were cradling sourdough loaves and dog biscuits, I mean I was actually moving towards the door.

"Dan, you can leave if you want, but I think you'll want to take this call."

I stopped and flashed a glance like....

"I really hope this is pertinent, because if it isn't, not only will I be disappointed, but I might actually hate you."

The woman on the other line had a voice filled with enthusiasm, not in that syrupy kinda way, but in an energetic, let's make thinks happen kinda way.

She told me that she was calling on behalf of Edison High School.

They were having an event that was focusing on "greener lifestyles" and Chevy Chase was going to fly into town to be the host.

I started to laugh.

In a million years I would have never have envisioned the King of Saturday Night Live hanging with the peeps at Edison (a school where most of the enrollment have never received privilege)talking about global warming, carbon footprints and all that kind of thing.

When I asked my contact how this deal was networked, she said that Chevy's wife was the person spearheading the initiative, and she was told that Minneapolis was progressive and her dealio might get good traction here.

Great, the master mind of the National Lampoon "Vacation" movies would be in my city, and I wouldn't even be involved in the bake since I was going on vacation.

So, now I'm driving home.

Don't you just love those preholiday jaunts where your mind races, thinking about all the wonder and merriment that is certain to occur before returning back to the salt mines?

My mind was in that mode, that is until I got about 1/2 way home.

I was driving down West 7th when I passed a funeral parlor and I saw the weirdest thing. There was a procession that was pulling out that consisted of a hearse and 3 small cars all having those orange funeral flag things attached to their vehicle to let us know they were part of the death parade.

They didn't even have that motorcycle escort cop.

My first thought was......

"Dude, really...this is it? the contents of your life were only able to muster up 3 cars of mourners? who were you?"

Part of me wanted to pull a U-Turn and join the caravan to send this unpopular corpse to the other side, but then I realized I was on vacation and justified continuing home with the realization that holidays trump deaths every time.

But then I had one of those Deja Vu flashbacks.

I remembered that I had been in this movie years ago, I'll bet it was in 1988.

I'm certain of it because that was the summer I had my 78 Malibu for a grand total of 11 weeks.

Young Klecko didn't have many cars, so they're not easy to forget.

My 78 Malibu was magenta with a black hard top, and I swear the thing was as long as a Princess Cruise liner.

So anyway, I was giving this chick named Gail a ride home. She was a Native American kid who came down off the Rez to become a stripper in the Twin Cities, but after awhile she decided that she wanted to learn a trade that she wouldn't have to me embarrassed about in conversations that would take place with her children (that hadn't been born yet.)

The 2 of us drove by a graveyard and their were only 8 or 9 people in attendance.

I made some comment w/o thinking like......

"If less than a dozen people love you, maybe it's time to go home."

Wow....my irreverence really pissed her off, but even so, she maintained a look of sadness while declaring....

"I'd settle for just 1 person loving me."

Oops, just another insensitive Klecko blunder.

She ended up becoming a pastry chef at the shop I worked at and each night at 10:30 the 2 of us would run out the back of the bakery and sit in my Malibu and smoke 2 cigarettes each.

We almost never played music, instead Gail loved to talk about her future.

My windshield was bigger than some of the screens I've seen in those movie theater complexes, and we used this to frame the stars while slowly drawing off our Marlboro's.

Night after night, after night she declared how awesome her life was going to become. You could see her confidence and self pride flourish as she became more comfortable with her newest vocation.

But towards the end of summer, just about the time my 78 Malibu was close to becoming scrap, something took place that I'm not certain I understand to this day.

It was Tuesday (and this was Klecko's long standing day off) and when most of the crew finished up, a bunch of them headed over to Billy's house after work.

This wasn't all that uncommon, Billy was only 4 blocks from the shop and lived in a big house with his wife and 2 kids.

Most of the times it was just beer and whiskey in the equation, but every once in awhile something stronger would get tossed onto the table.

So the following day when I reported to work, I noticed that Gail never showed up.

There was all kinds of whispering and giggling taking place, but I knew If i wanted in on the secret, its usually better to just shut up because every crowd has a lout that wants to let the cat out of the bag.

The whispering and my friends absence were no coincidence.

Apparently after some substances were shares, Gail "shared herself" with 5 or 6 guys, one after another.

While my co workers reveled in their conquests, I didn't so much feel like detaching from them, as much as "human kind" in general.

For awhile I thought I might actually be ill.

I'm not putting this off entirely on the bakers, I realize that Gail played her role in her outcome, but while the savages gossiped in the background, I wondered if their laughter would continue if they knew that to date.......

She still hadn't found that one person on the planet to love her.

I never saw her again.

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