Friday, April 07, 2006

Random memory du jour


Today, a conversation I had with a coworker brought to mind a phone conversation I once had with a friend's roommate. Said roommate, it must be said right up front, was a major pothead. Oh my, yes. This guy…well. He liked the old weed - a lot.

This friend of mine was at that point in time Transportation Challenged. My ride was not exactly the most reliable in the universe either but it was at least running (and had actual, working seat belts), so I had offered to give her a ride from her place in San Francisco up to the Renaissance Faire in Novato.

I had made the offer, we had made the usual, "OK, I'll call you to confirm/deny" noises and then forgotten all about it until right before I'd need to leave my house in the East Bay to come get her and then toodle on up to Faire.

I called her house, and the roommate answered. All names have been changed to protect the guilty, but as Dawg is my witness, this conversation really happened.

{ring, ring, ring, ring}

"'Lo?"

"Oh, hi, Pete. Is Laura there?"

"Uuuuuuuh…{long pause} No. But Stephen was here…" (Stephen being her boyfriend.)

Another pause. See, I'm waiting for what Stephen having been there had to do with anything. Like, a normal person would say, "Stephen was here and they left together half an hour ago, or Stephen was here and he said they were going somewhere. You know…it isn't just a pure non sequitur. Eventually I realize that this is his Final Say until further prodded, and, undaunted, I carry on…

"Hoooookay. Um. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to give her a ride today or not – do you know if Stephen took her to Faire this morning?"

"Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh…" (I'm already asking myself why I even bothered to ask) "I don't think so. No. 'Cause his bike? It's in the garage."

"Pete. Is Stephen in the garage right now?"

"Uh. {pause}"

The pause lengthens. I can hear him breathing steadily into the phone. He's forgotten he's even talking to someone. I wake him up cautiously.

"Pete?"

"Whaaaaaaa?"

"Is. Stephen. In. The. Garage. Right. Now?"

"Oh. Uh. No. He went out or something."

"So he isn't home?"

"Dude, I already told you."

Resisting the urge to reach through the phone and throttle him, I keep prying information out of what's left of his brain.

"Right, OK. And Laura isn't home either?"

"Uh, no. 'Least, I don't think so. Lemme check."

{thud!} {sounds of him wandering going, "Laaaaaaaura? Dude, you there? Laaaaaaaaurrrrraaaaaaaa!"}

He comes back to the phone eating something, and provides the following information amid loud smacking and chewing noises:

"No, she totally isn't here, dude. But Stephen was here. A while ago. I’m pretty sure."

Oh, Lord. Grant me strength. See, now, I'm feeling really uneasy. I'm not sure what's going on. For all I know, she's sitting in the living room ignoring him, or she and Stephen are actually down in the garage playing video games or something – I have no idea. This guy is a lost cause and I'm afraid if I send him down to the garage to check I'll lose him forever. But all is not lost, I've got a good half hour before I'd actually have to leave my house…I'll leave a message, and if she's home she can call me!

"Hey, Pete? I want to leave a message for Laura, OK?"

"OK. Let me find a pencil or somethin'…" {frantic rustling of stuff}

Now, I happen to know that the stack he's going through is a pile of mail and bills and all kinds of stuff that probably shouldn't be written upon or otherwise messed with lest it become lost forever.

Besides. Anything he does write down, he'll probably turn right around and use for toilet paper or put under his pillow or something equally weird. That was just Pete. So I intervene.

"No, hey, know what? How about we use the machine, OK? We'll hang up, and I'll call right back – just let the answering machine pick it up and I'll leave her a message, OK?" (Not that I don't trust this clown, but…)

"Oh, hey, great idea. Ok. Bye."

{click}

{ring, ring}

"'Lo?"

"Pete. Don't answer the phone. Let it go to the answering machine."

"Oh! Right! Sorry, dude!"

{click} {ring}

"'Lo?"

"Dammit, Pete! Don't answer the @*^&@ phone!! I wanna leave a message ON THE TAPE!!"

"Dude! You don't have to yell! Sorry for living, GEEEEEEZ!"

{click} {ring}

"'Lo?"

I gave up at that point. I drove out to Faire, where it turned out she had indeed arrived (IIRC) the night before via a different set of friends.

And that, my very dear friends, is why I will never smoke pot. I am dumb enough without the help of the mighty weed.

3 comments:

John said...

How many tacos should he order?

(30!)

wrnglrjan said...

Heh. I didn't know my brother was your friend's roommate! Small world.

As a college friend of mine said:

"What, I need something besides my basic personality to make me unmotivated and want to each junk food?"

21st Century Mom said...

Dave's not here!