May 14, 2006

The Mighty Adventures of Al - Part 1

There was this guy I knew years ago. I’ll call him Al. He was one of the funniest men that I ever met but stuff happened to him, weird stuff. Mostly it happened because he insisted on doing things the hard way. He always thought he was right, even when the evidence to the contrary was overwhelming. Take the time his friend Stan came to visit and wouldn’t leave. Stan had no family to speak of and traveled around the country in his VW bus, dropping in on friends and staying until he was asked to leave. It was not clear that Stan even had a permanent home of his own. If you were on this guy’s rotation, you could expect a drop in every 18 months or so. This fellow wasn’t a complete mooch. He was a skilled handyman and while he visited he fixed what needed fixing. The thing is, though, the trade wasn’t worth it after a week or so. A week of Stan eating all the food, drinking all the liquor and sleeping on the couch was all a sensible person could take. While Al was at work all day, Stan lurked around the house generally bothering Mrs. Al, a woman not known for her patience anyway. When Al came home he and Stan had a grand time drinking wine, watching TV and being loud until the wee hours. As the visit stretched into its second week with no end in sight, Mrs. Al offered an ultimatum; Stan goes or she and the kids were moving into a hotel until he did. Al did what any sensible guy would do, he told her to go right ahead. She packed up the kids and they left, vowing to return only when Stan was gone. During the third week of the visit Stan noticed that Mrs. Al and the kids hadn’t been around as much as usual. He asked Al about it and Al told him the story and assured him it was not a problem. Stan, rather than being embarrassed at being the source of this marital discord, seemed unconcerned. Al and Stan had the run of the joint, like a couple of teenagers left home alone for the weekend. They even abandoned throwing out their empties. During the fourth and final week of the visit from hell something occurred that woke Al from his revelry. Mrs. Al’s hotel bill surpassed their meager savings. She called to say she was out of money and that she would tell whole the story to the newspaper when the cops came to evict them from the hotel. Al didn’t mind being a jackass, but he wasn’t going to be one in print. Stan would have to go. And so Stan went. He loaded the VW and got out of Dodge. Mrs. Al came home, Al somehow settled up the hotel bill and life went on. True story. Tag:

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