Next Thursday I'll be headed to Iowa, to retrieve my son from the cornfields.
His first year of college was survived, so now I am obliged to transport him back to modern civilization.
On the day sonny boy left, it was really traumatic. When my bread truck rolled past several Son of Norway halls, Amish buggy's and a tractor parade...his eyes popped out like Buckwheat's.
Sue McGleno was worried if he would be able to acclimate socially and do well in his study's, while I just prayed that he stayed healthy on the football field.
As we discussed his accomplishments, the joyfulness in our conversations tone was raptured by a sudden shifting of gears in Sue McGleno's demeanor.....
"You know, Ty did do a good job, but at times he was a complete A-Hole, he was exactly like you!"
I wasn't quite sure how to respond to this attack, so instead I dipped into my bucket of emotional range, and pulled out FACE #127....whimsical Klecko.
Sue McGleno continued.....
"It's not that he does anything that will land him into dire straits, but sometimes he just does stupid things randomly and I'm not sure he realizes there are consequences to those actions."
I knew I shouldn't, but I did. I asked for an example.
"When he was on J-Term, and they had to go into those rural Iowa schools, most of them were far away. so all the student teachers would ride in a big van, and when it pulled into their destination, Ty would hop out the sliding door, and them he would slam it shut on the other people behind him!"
At this point, Klecko is starting to grin......
"Yeah, and then the people would open the door and tell Ty that they needed to get out too, and he shouldn't of slammed it shut. apparently your son would apologize profusely, but on the next stop.....he'd do it again."
When I heard this, I was irritated with my boy, not because of what he did, but that he didn't text the details to me, I would have LMAO.
I think that one trait my son and I share is neither one of us is despicable, but we do love to irritate people past their comfort level.
This family highlight sent my mind whirling back to a time many years ago when I was working at a bake shop with a guy named Kevin.
If you've ever worked hospitality, once I start describing this guy, you'll start laughing, because you'll have worked with a 1/2 dozen people just like him.
Kevin was a compulsive liar.
Kevin worked the bench just like I did, making $9 an hour, but funny.....by all account's, Kevin was a millionaire.
Day in and day out, he'd work on the bench rolling hoagies and panning dinner rolls while boasting to the staff that he had just purchased a piece of art work for 6 figures, or that he might be obtaining another property in the Cayman Islands.
The part that made me livid though was that none of the staff seemed too upset having all these lies showered on them. Now that I'm older...I get it. These outrageous boasts were unoriginal, if you've been in the show long enough, you just realize that dude is sick and will be floating down the blue collar river within the next few months.
But Klecko, he just couldn't let this go.
In addition to falsifying him fiscal worth,Kevin loved to talk about his "Model Girlfriend" that always seemed to be conveniently out of state.
I'd ask to see photo's or tried to get him to bring her by the shop, but according to the liar, in addition to modeling, she was an important person in the nonprofit world.
Lying about money is one thing, but girlfriends.....you just can't do that. It goes against every guy rule ever established.
The part that turned this insanity into a black comedy, was that Kevin was not chubby, he wasn't rotund, husky or big boned.
Kevin the liar was morbidly obese.
Dude wore wire rimmed glasses and the folds of flesh on his forehead cascaded downward engulfing the top of the frames.
So it was just one of those things, me and him were on the bottom of the totem pole at work, and everybody knew that we hated each other.
I could tell you about times that he called into to work because his "estate" had been burglarized, or a list of other exaggerated excuses, but nay.....I will cut to the quick and tell you about the final show down.
Months passed and I got promoted before Kev did.
Usually when a baker finally gets off the bench, the first place they get moved to is closing oven man.
Nobody likes this position, because you are the last to leave, you work in a dark creepy hole - all by yourself during vampire hours. There just isn't a lot of cache attached to this role, but it is a necessary stepping stone in any young bakers career.
So one night the marble bread got mixed w/o yeast and I had to make a new batch and bake it off. I didn't get out of production until at least 4 a.m.
There I am, minding my own business, peddling my mountain bike down West 7th street.
I decided I wanted a cigarette so I pulled over to lean on the curb, while I dug my Marlboro's out of my back pack.
The second the flame touched the tobacco, my eyes looked up and I couldn't believe what I saw.
Kevin the Liar, everybody's favorite millionaire was in the Wooden Bucket Laundry Mat.
At this moment, I jumped off my bike, letting it crash to the ground, and I walked over to the entrance.
It was summer time so their was a screen door between us, but the main door was open. I could hear multiple washers running, and there was a couple of dryers in circulation as well.
Kevin just sat at a long, broken down card table that had 4 empty laundry baskets on it.
Dude couldn't even make up a good excuse because he was the only person in there.
My mind was racing to find a smart a** statement that would put an exclamation point on our feud, but before the angels put those words on my lips, I noticed that Kevin wasn't moving.
I kid you not, he looked just like a deer with their eyes caught in the headlights.
OMG....I just grinned.
Then I kept grinning, but I didn't speak because I loved the position I was in.
So the 2 of us engaged in this no blinking contest.
I refused to move from the threshold of the building, and it was the only entrance.
I'll bet I chain smoked 5 or 6 cigarettes, and remember, now its around 5 a.m.,we were the only souls awake within miles.
So now the washers shut off, and eventually the dryers stopped too.
Kevin refused to get up and process his laundry, almost as if, if he refused to touch it, that would prove it wasn't his, and he wasn't a pathetic twit like me,an abject loser who frequented the Grand Avenue Laundry Mat every Tuesday afternoon.
The tension was as thick as the silence, and when I think back, I knew better and should have relinquished my grip and let the guy off the hook, but I didn't.
I kept him trapped for over 1 1/2 hours.
The only thing worse than trapping somebody in their shame is conducting this in darkness and silence.
I think both of us were hoping for a conclusive ending in our favor, but the outcome was actually anti climatic.
A neighborhood cop trolled by and told me to get my bike out of the street, and then he came and sniffed around a bit.
The copper asked Kevin if I was bothering him, but he told him that I wasn't. We were just work mates killing some time.
I got on my bike and felt like crap that I wasted a night, and possibly put more dents into human that probably didn't need them.
Kevin never returned to the bakery, he called the owner and told him he was taking a new position on the east coast.
But my kid slamming the van door on those rube students...you got to admit that's pretty fricking glorious.