Laying in bed at 9:30 PM on a Saturday night, in fact it was tonight, my phone rang. It wasn’t a number I recognized so I passed on answering it. It’s not like I need a warranty policy on my car or a burial policy on myself.
A couple of minutes later I received a text from that same number. “Who is this?”
“Why did you call my girlfriend?”
I had to ask, “Hey who is your girlfriend?”
I found out her name is Candice. I tried to assure him I didn’t know Candice.
Our language became colorful. I decided I was never going to convince him that I didn’t have something going on with his gal, Candice. That being the case, I thought taunting him may be my best way out. I asked him to describe Candice’s physical characteristics. Surprising he starting telling me.
I could tell by his use of the English language, in an Ebonics sort of way, that he was most likely African American. He even sent me a screen shot showing where my phone number registered on her phone. At that point I accused him of being a shakedown scammer of some sort. I didn’t really care what he thought, because about the time I got tired of talking to him and blocked his number, that would be the end of our relationship.
When I inquired as to where he was located, he told me he was in Georgetown, Texas at the Days Inn.
A sudden bell went off in my head.
A few days ago, I stopped at the Popeyes Fried Chicken as I came through Georgetown. I had already stopped at another place, The Monument Cafe but all the holiday shoppers had flooded that place and I wasn’t up for waiting a half hour or longer to eat, so that’s how I ended up at Popeyes.
Popeyes wasn’t all that busy but it took a pretty good little while to even get my order in. They didn’t seem to be very well trained. A young man was there waiting at the counter for his order, so I struck up a conversation about how mismanaged the place was and such.
His story was he was living in a motel across I-35 and since he was without transportation, had called a taxicab to pick him up and bring him for a big order of chicken. His girlfriend and three kids had stayed behind at the motel. He only had a $100 bill and they wouldn’t take it. He scraped the bottom of his pockets and found a $20 bill, but that wasn’t going to buy $38 worth of chicken. The manager got involved and gave him “The Manager’s Special” for $18 and some change.
My new friend Bryson figured that was a good deal, because the meter on the taxi was continuing to run while they were sorting out the money issue.
Bryson asked what kind of work I did. Instead of telling him some long line about being retired or something, I fessed up that I owned a construction company. Of course the next thing was “can you give me a job?”
I said “here put my number in your phone and call me after Christmas…….. and we’ll see what we can do.” Of course he didn’t have a phone, it was at the room with his girlfriend. So he gave me his number and I entered it on my iPhone notes. Bryson finally got his double armload of chicken and hit door.
I ate my lunch and came on to Bertram.
Sitting around after everyone was gone after Christmas, I decided to call Bryson. It was more of a call to discourage him from coming to work than offering him a job. “If you don’t have a car, I don’t think you can afford to have a taxicab haul you to and from Pflugerville every day” would going to be my spiel. Bryson didn’t answer, so at least I’d done my part. Figuring that most likely he had given me a wrong number, so he wouldn’t have to go to work, I thought this is a good enough omen for me.
As soon as his text tonight said he was at the Days Inn in Georgetown, it struck me who I was texting with.
I said “Is this the Popeyes Fried Chicken eating M#+|?!’er that took a taxicab over there the other day”?
That’s when the apologies got underway. He called me and we had a nice laugh. We must have visited for 15 minutes. I guess it was somewhat of a job interview. I told him I’d get back to him in a few days.
Of course I left him with “if I put you to work, do you think I could come pick up Candice and we could party all day?”
He said “O man, why you got to start all that mess?”