"Hey John,what ya got?" I asked him as he was digging around to pull something out of his book bag.
"It's a freakin weejie board from my sister." He said this with obvious revulsion,fear and weirdedoutness
on his face as he finally got it out of his bag and stuck it out to me.He was holding it like one might hold a dirty diaper
full of crap and that had a rattlesnake, scorpions and spiders in it.
Puzzled at his obvious reaction to the Milton Bradley novelty board game and since he was jabbing it at me
to take it out of his hand I laughed,,and reached out to take it with my right hand as it fell out of his hand,hit the floor
on end and came to rest leaning against his leg.He made a funny noise and jerkily stepped a few steps back which somehow caused
the game to fall and skitter in his direction.
He made the same funny noise but much louder and a little longer.I looked up at his face and I could feel
the smile vanish from mine.He was as white as I get during the winter and that is saying something since he was medium dark
black man.His eyes were wide and the look equaled a terror that normally one only sees in slasher or horror movies when a
character is faced with the knowledge of their own eminent death.It didn't last long,,from my viewpoint that is.He spun around
and said "She said she didn't want it anymore and that you would know what to do with it or something like that.", grabbed
his book bag and headed out the door with out looking back.I asked the back of his head,"What are you talking about?I didn't
know you had a sister and why does she think that?" His reply came back through the closing front door, "I'll call you when
I get to my house."
Since the click of the door signaled he was gone I didn't bother saying,'okay'. Instead I turned my attention
to the board game which was front down on the floor where it had come to rest.Bemused and wondering what had gotten into him.
Stepping toward the game and bending over to reach for it I tapped it with my big toe slightly and it slid
away on the carpet about a foot.Re-stepping to get a little closer,I grabbed it and then realised I had to bend a little different
because the leverage of my bent over,reaching body had reached its limits.It made the game feel like it weighed a ton.Chuckling
a little,I adjusted and picked it up. Standing up I got a head rush and while wobbling a little during the few steps to the
small coffee table in front of the inner windows the game slipped out of my hand and hit the floor."No wonder he dropped it."
I said to myself,,it felt like there was some kind of oily stuff on it.Picking it back up after kneeling down on one knee,,not
bending over since I was still feeling the headrush,I turned it face up, held it in both hands and looked at it.There indeed
seemed to be some kind of stuff on the ends and along the side edges.Oddly enough,,there wasn't any across the front or back,,just
the edges.Saying ewww and standing up I walked into the kitchen to get a paper towel.Dropping it on the the kitchen table
I went to the sink to was my hands.
Under the light over the sink,,which was rather bright,,I looked at the stuff on my fingers,,it was clear.I
sniffed at it from about 3 inches away.Expecting to maybe smell personal hygiene or hair care product since John was rather
fastidious about that stuff,was allways using some kind of 'product' he had with him I was kind of assuming something in his
pack may have came open,,I was suddenly assailed by such a putrid odor that I literally gagged and felt my stomach try to
evict its residents without notice.
Forcing a bit of french frie from work back through the door to my stomach I quickly turned on the hot water
and stuck my hands under the faucet.Literally unable to even come up with a theory as to what could be in Johns back pack
to explain this,,I started getting suspicious that I may be the target of a 'gotcha'.After rinsing whatever it was off my
hands under the now hot water I grabbed the dish soap and the green scrubby,scoured my hands with them for a few minutes to
try and make sure I got the rank stench off the first time,,I did not want to smell it again.On my hands or not.I turned the
faucet off and slung water off my hands into the sink briefly then reached over and snatched on the paper towel roller to
get it to spin out a couple of feet of sheets real quick.Letting a bit spin off the roll I stopped the rolls spinning and
tore off the length.
Stepping to the table I tore off a bit.Useing it in my left hand to lift the game box with out touching it
I slid the other paper towels under the game.Looking down at the face of the box I was wondering what the nature of the 'gotcha'
may be.Was the stinky stuff the 'payoff'?Was it supposed to explode?Is that why John looked petrified and ran off?As that
went through my mind I noticed that I couldn't see the stuff on the box edges anymore.Saying aloud,"Quick drying,,possibly
volotile.",I picked the game up,,the paper towels between my fingers and it.Opened the back door,,stepped out onto the front
step and layed the game down on top of the trash can to the left of the steps with my left hand.Stepping back in,I went straight
to the sink,tossing the paper in the kitchen trash can as I went by it.
After another good scrubbiing I dried my hands and took a whiff.There wasn't a trace of the smell left.Thinking
to myself that there wasn't any way I was gonna let John run such a 'rank prank' over me but what to do to 'defuse it'.After
all,,the best way to turn the burn is to deflect it,,make it have 'no discernable effect'.But,,how to do that with this?"Well,,it
will have to percolate for a while." I went back to the living room area,walked to the front door,locked it,,turned on the
t.v. and sat down to pack a bowl.After filling the pipe,,taking the first,tasty hit,,I got up to go get a soda from the fridge.Holding
it untill I had got the soda and made it back to a sitting position on the couch,,I let out the tiny wisps remaining.Coughed
a little and snatched the phone off its cradle before it rang more than a fraction of a second.
I wasn't surprised.I was expecting a call,,it had to be John to crow or set the next stage up.But the voice
was a surprise,,it wasn't John that said,"Hello,,is this Johns friend that lives in the old lawyers office?" My first words
were expected since it was a females voice."Excuse me,,ma'am,,but whom may I say is calling?" , "Johns oldest sister,,Domineque.Are
you the pale white man with blonde hair and blue eyes that shares the old lawyers house with those other two guys? The little
unicycle riding white guy that looks like the rat he owns and the dark haired skinny carpet cleaner with a ferret and a maroon
van?Are you him?" , "I guess that describes me,,but don't you know my name or theirs?" , "I never asked John your names,,and
it doesn't matter.What matters is that you get rid of that box right away." , "What box." , "The box that John gave you."
, "John didn't give me a box,sweetheart.I haven't seen John since yesterday." , "Are you sure he didn't give you a box,late
yesterday or sometime today." , " I said I hadn't seen him yet but I am sure he will come by soon,,he ususally does about
this time allmost everyday.But what about the box?What's that about,Domineque?" I thought to myself that I may as well play
along,act hungry to go ahead and get on with it.The sooner I knew what the swerve was,the sooner I could put the appropiate
counter swerve into play.
Her voice dropped an octave and got movietonish,,as expected.She then said,"The devil is in the details,,but
only you can dispose of it." , "Dispose of what?Why me?And what details are involved?" , "It's very important that you do
this,,you are the only one near enough.There are others who know more but you are the closest who can so I had to send it
"Well,,,okay,,but can you tell me a little more about this,,,it?Like maybe what it is?How about who these
I stopped talking and waited for a reply to at least one of the questions.As I was listening for her reply,,I
could hear the garbage truck come up the street and stop in front of the house."Could you answer at least one of those questions,
please, ma'am?" Standing up to look out the window to see who was working the trash route this afternoon I came to realize
that the woman must have hung up because the 'hang up' tones started blasting my ear.As I snatched the phone from my ear I
seen someone that I didn't recognise walking to the trash area at the rear of the house.He had the big orange collection can
held over his right shoulder so I didn't see his face.Yet,,if it had been Randy I would have recognised him immediately.He
was a powerfully built,tall man who tended to carry the cans,,empty or full,as thought they were the weight of an empy childs
beach bucket. This guy wasn't him.
But I thought to myself,"Good,,it must be the game since John said it came from his sister.Miss Domenique
said she was his sister and that I should dispose of it.No,,that I was the only one near enough that could dispose of it."
Putting the handset back on the charger base,,I turned and said outloud as I went to the bathroom,,"Well,,it's gone now.And
I didn't open it.Ha!So there,John." In the bathroom I could hear the dude open and empty our can with the normal sounds of
a trash man at work.Since the game was on top of the can lid,,it went into his can before the lid was removed.Done deal,it's
Without another thought about the game,,but a bunch on how to deal with John over his botched gotcha,,his
'botcha',I continued on with my afternoon break from work routine of taking a shower,catching a buzz,,then watching t.v. while
napping in my room untill time to go back to work at the country club.Oh yeah,,that sounds so good,,but I only held a kitchen
and catch all grunt position there.I cooked,washed dishes,served,waited and even played course monkey on occasion.It was not
a terrible job,,but the split shifts really destroyed your off work life.I started at 7:30 a.m. got off at 2 or 3 p then had
to be back by 8 at the latest on most occasions.Then I got done for the day at 11 or so,,sometimes not till midnight if it
was a big night.Or a screwed up one.That kind of routine tends to leave one wanting to take a nap allmost all the time but
it did pay the bills and feed the kitty.And it was fairly fun too.There were plenty of folks my age working there,,women,girls
and of course we all partied at work and not.We were allowed to drink at work,,we were expected to keep it slightly on the
sly at least. You would get a chewing out and punitive duties from management if you got a little too far into the tumblers
and screwed something up.And some have over done it repetitively and gotten fired for that.Otherwise it was all pretty cool.
By the time I got through with my shower and retrieved my soda and stuff from the living room,set my alarm,chilled
with my bedroom tube and fell asleep I had pretty much decided I would just tell John I threw it away without mentioning the
call from his sister.Then I would just act like I forgot all about it to see how long it will take for him to ask me more
about it.After all,,if I don't react it will bug him to no end.
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