Sally and I were talking about some people we worked with in the 1970s. Laura Jo worked with Sally. She was a woman in her early twenties, already morbidly obese. Some of the guys who worked around the place called her "Large O."
Laura Jo married Bruce, a skinny guy who was just back from Vietnam. They had corresponded when he was in the Army. I can't imagine his letters could have made much sense, since he couldn't read or write beyond a second grade level. Besides writing, both he and Laura Jo had trouble with fundamentals like brushing their teeth. She always had some problems with that. Bruce's breath was like poison gas because he smoked, and because he ate onions at every meal. He also had sort of a tint to his rotting teeth, hence the name I pinned on him, "Green Teeth"
But I'm getting ahead of myself. In 1974 Sally drove one of Detroit's finest cars ever, a 1971 Chevy Vega (hey, you! I can hear you laughing all the way through the monitor!) Laura Jo gave Bruce a timing light for his birthday, and when Sally's car needed a tune-up he offered to do it. Sally thought, gee, what a nice guy.
When Laura Jo called her and said Bruce had finished with the car Sally got in it to find a note from Bruce. It said:
I WHAT TO MAKY A DATE WHIT YOU.
TO FUNK YOU. BRUCE
…and that's exactly how it was spelled, "to funk you."
Sally was pretty upset, but didn't say anything to me for a couple of days. Finally she came to me and handed me the note. I went to the phone and my conversation went like this:
LAURA JO: Hello?
ME: Hi. Is Bruce there?
LAURA JO: Sure. Just a minute.
ME: YOU SON OF A BITCH, YOU BUSTED ASSHOLE. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING, GIVING MY WIFE A NOTE LIKE THAT? WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING, YOU SCUZZY SCUM-SUCKING ILLITERATE BASTARD, THAT SHE WAS GOING TO RESPOND TO A NOTE THAT LOOKED LIKE IT WAS WRITTEN BY A CHIMPANZEE? GO FUNK YOURSELF, AND LEAVE MY WIFE ALONE. JERK.
I slammed down the phone.
The next day at work Laura Jo told Sally, "Gee, that was so nice of your husband to call Bruce and tell him thanks for timing your car."
Hey, if life hands you lemons, make lemonade! I had to admit, Bruce was quick on his feet.
When I told my buddy about the incident he said, "It sounds like you came off like a charging rhino." Bruce and I didn't work together at the time, but eventually both of us got jobs at the school district. He didn't last. His personal hygiene was so bad that schools he visited would call his boss and say, "Please don't send that guy to our school anymore." Eventually, for that for other reasons, he was sacked.
At one time his boss told me, "Don't ever hit Bruce in the mouth. You'll get lockjaw from his teeth." His boss pronounced the word as lockjar, which was almost as funny as Bruce's "to funk you" note.
Laura Jo was one of the very earliest patients to have a stomach stapling operation. She lost all of her fat, but her heart gave out when she had to go in for follow-up surgery. Bruce moved back to his hometown in Southern Utah, and I never heard any more about him.
Maybe the Army could find a way to use his Breath Of Death as a secret weapon.
On a more positive note, last night we had some snow, and this morning the pollution sitting over us for days is finally gone. I love the crisp, cold air after a storm. I love to look at the mountains which surround us with their fresh coat of white snow. Lots of people hate snow, and it can be a hassle to drive in. I've done my share of cursing it, but on a day like today, where the sky is bright blue and everything around me is fresh and white, snow is not a hassle but a beautiful thing.
Ciao for now, El Postino