Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Local Characters

Tonight, I began work at midnight. I had to go over a procedure with the co-worker I was relieving, which took up a few minutes, then discussed whether the problem he was having was unique to the site we were currently working (it was, thankfully, so it's probably a programming oversight). He left, and I got my ducks in a row for the rest of the night. Realizing that I needed to get something from my car, I exited out the front door, and saw a guy outside the building. It being after midnight, and he being on site, he immediately placed himself in an "adversarial" role... time to play the role of the Big Bad Bald Bastard- cue stentorian bellow:


"WE'RE CLOSED AT THIS HOUR..."

"I just wanted to check the ashtrays."


The guy was well-spoken, a white guy in his mid thirties, reasonably well-dressed. I'd actually seen him before, sifting through the ashtrays for cigarette butts, but not at this hour.

"In the future, you might not want to do it at this hour... it's not a good time to be on the property."

"I can't do this in public."

"Carry on, then.... We're closed this time of year, you'll probably have slim pickings."


He wasn't too proud to sift through two public ashtrays to scavange other people's dog-ends, but he had enough pride to not do it when there were people milling about. I seemed to recall hearing that the guy was the son of a local "Man of Substance", but couldn't remember who had told me that. He did have a nicer phone than mine, which he used to illuminate the contents of the ashtrays.

As I watched him leave the property, I pondered what sort of mental illness could have a not-indigent man sifting through foul saliva-coated trash at midnight on a cold winter's night. As a high-schooler, I worked in the local deli, and there was a local guy who was convinced he was a priest- he'd walk up the street blessing telephone poles, so I was used to having harmlessly eccentric locals around.* Shortly after he left, my co-worker returned to retrieve the coat he'd left hanging in our office. He's a local guy, so I asked him if he knew the "cigarette butt" guy. He didn't know him. Next time I see the dude, I'll make it a point to introduce myself. I can sympathize with the guy, I'm a butt man myself.

It's a good thing to know the local characters... especially the one's who make impromptu calls at odd hours.


*One day, my boss' grandfather (everybody called him The Boss), a paisan's paisan from the old country, was walking down the street, and the good "father" blessed him with a grand, sweeping sign of the cross. When The Boss came through the door of the deli, his daughter-in-law yelled at him, "Why'd you let him do that? He's unauthorized." The Boss simply shrugged and said, "If it make-a him happy, 'sokay."

11 comments:

bbkf said...

the son of a local "Man of Substance",

what? i thought sub had a daughter? you mean she's a man?! AND she smokes?! this changes everything...

all kidding aside, humans never cease to amaze...pretty painful to think of what some people endure just to get through the day...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

There, but for the grace of dog, go we.
~

Laura said...

There is a guy in my town the son of a man of substance as well, that lives on a public trail.
It's very odd and you have to watch it cause he likes to prance around naked in the good weather!
There's been many complaints yet, he's still there as far as I know.

((Hugs))
Laura

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

what? i thought sub had a daughter? you mean she's a man?! AND she smokes?! this changes everything...

I'm hearing this in Austin Powers' voice...

There, but for the grace of dog, go we.

Too right, old chum!

It's very odd and you have to watch it cause he likes to prance around naked in the good weather!

You have to watch it? What if you're not into his nude dancing? By the way, I'm so relieved to see you commenting, because your blog was missing! I totally didn't write down the recipe for Laura's Best Ever Chocolate Fudge of Doom! I was very worried... and where am I going to get my Mass wearing a hilarious luchador mask fix?

Fenwick said...

Big Bald Nice Person: You are SO persuasive! Would you be willing to serve as an advisor for the set-up of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick? Would vastly improve my confidence. I promise not to be a pest! email: castlethurston@gmail.com.

Smut Clyde said...

There but for the grace of god go, no wait, that IS me.

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

Sifting butts is only part of the chore. Takes like twenty good butts to yield a "new" smoke. The hard part is then smoking twenty of those to make twenty "re-smoked butts". That third generation cigarette though? FLAVOUR COUNTRY.

bbkf said...

I totally didn't write down the recipe for Laura's Best Ever Chocolate Fudge of Doom!

ZOMG!!! i have not heard of this, but now that i have...i MUST HAVE IT!

Dr.KennethNoisewater said...

Geez. What an odd, sad thing. I think. This world is so strange. People are strange. Honestly I'm just glad he was harmless.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Dr. Kenneth Morrison?

Dr.KennethNoisewater said...

I know. Didn't mean to get all Doors on your asses.