I'm sure most folks have worked with some strange folks in their lives. We all have. I'm stating here and now that I'll put my assortment of freaks, wierdo's, losers and insane people against anyone's
. Granted, someone may have one or two Psycho All-Stars
to top mine individualy but for sheer volume of whack jobs...I've gotta be ranked pretty damned high on the list.
Here's one of my favorites.
* Rick G.:
I'm going to admit it up front. I could not help but like Rick...no one could. Well, that's not exactly true...Cops, judges, landlords, husbands, boyfriends, creditors, well...those folks probably didn't appreciate Rick all that much but, other than those few dozen people...EVERYONE
Picture this if you can. Rick was about 6'1" and, he would have dressed out at about 350 lbs after
a three week hunger strike. His black hair was well below shoulder length. Now that I think about it, picture Meat Loaf
after a three day Cocaine binge. (I'm being kind here)
My brother Mike was the manager of a small publishing company in Columbia SC at the time. The company printed newsletters and magazines for several state and regional civic organizations as well as a few labor unions.
I went to work for this company after leaving the Navy in '77 I believe. Unfortunately, the only opening at the time was in tele-freakin'-marketing
. God I hated it
but...I was actually pretty good at it (more posts to come on that subject)
and the money was very good for the times. I worked there during the day and played music at night so....life was good.
I first met Rick G. on my first day of work. Mike had already told me stories about the guy but, I really wasn't prepared. Not even close.
I was settling in to my new desk talking with my brother when Rick entered the office wearing pink sunglasses, black spandex pants with orange flames running down the legs (did I mention he was over 350 lbs?), RED
leather knee high boots, a black shirt with red embroidery and (I swear I'm not making this up)
he was carrying a friggin' briefcase!
You know....your typical business man.
Mike said, "You're thirty minutes late Rick."
Rick mumbled something incoherently, let loose with a cough that sounded as though he was going to spew forth a lung, staggered a bit, placed his briefcase on it's side and pushed it to the left side of his desk. He turned to Mike and said.
"Boss, I'm gonna need a few minutes here."
With that, he pushed everything from the middle of his desk, crawled on top of it and curled up like a Sumo sized baby. Within a second, he was snoring so loud the walls of our cubicles were shaking.
I looked at Mike and asked, "What the hell is he doing?"
With a big grin on his face, Mike said, "You ain't seen nothin' yet man, Rick's a FOOL
but he's a sellin' fool! When he wakes up, he'll outsell all six of you."
Two hours later, Rick abruptly stopped snoring.
I thought he had died but, as I rolled my chair back to peer around the partition, I heard a sound reminiscent of a vacuum cleaner.
There was Rick.
He was sitting up, sunglasses askew, hair all over the place and he had his briefcase open across his lap.
He was snorting a huge line of coke from the back of his right hand to the middle of his forearm as though it was the most normal thing in the world.
Oh yeah......he had a bright yellow joint behind his left ear.
He looked up at me and said (again...I'm not making this up)
, "What the fuck are you looking at?"
I started to say something but he cut me off.
"Who the fuck are you?" he demanded.
"I'm Ron...I'm Mike's brother."
"Bullshit, Mike's brother's name is Bubba, he told me so." he said while slowly easing himself off the desk.
"Well, that's what my family calls me but you can call me Ron." I was trying
to be friendly.
He started laughing, coughed up another lung, looked me dead in the eye and said.
"No....I think I'm gonna call you Bubba
pissed me off so, me being me
, I said, "You can call me whatever you want as long as you don't mind if I kick your fat ass all over this office."
He began laughing and walked to within two feet of where I was sitting. As he got close, I was planning my move when he suddenly bent down to put his face just inches from mine. He pointed to a silver medallion hanging around his neck. It was a bit larger than the size of a dime.
"You see this? It's a silver Qualude!
They gave me this after my last rehab BUBBA...
you only get a Gold
'lude' if you fuckin' DIE
! If that shit ain't killed me, what the fuck do you think you're gonna do....BUBBA
He straightened up and wobbled back to his cubicle.
What the hell do you say to THAT
? Jeez....I was speechless.
A few seconds later, he popped back around the partition.
"Bubba, you and me are gonna be tight bro....I'd kill for your brother and so help me man....I'd kill for YOU too
He then staggered over to his desk and began rummaging through his briefcase. He suddenly spun around and gave me a very sincere look.
"Bubba" he said, "Mike is like a brother to me so that would make you like a.....well, what the fuck would that be?....ummm...Damn, would that be a cousin?..... No I'm older than you,... hell, I'm older than Mike
. Maybe an uncle.... No....if he's like a brother to ME
then....well... that would make me your.....what? Like your Father
right? Hell yeah Bubba...I think I'm your fuckin' Daddy!!"
Before I could think of a snappy comeback, he looked around conspiratorily and said...
"Come on over here and get you some of this....it's on the house
son." He was rummaging through his briefcase again with his back to me.
I couldn't resist.
I walked over to his desk just as he turned around showing me the contents of his briefcase.
I've never seen such a quantity of assorted drugs in my life, before OR
"Pick your poison son....I'm your man."Rick was crazier than a cat shot in the ass!
Through the years I knew him, he continued to be outrageous.
He would call in a pizza.
When it arrived, he would open the box and count the pepperoni's. If the count didn't match the picture on the coupon he got out of the newspaper that day he would call the manager, threaten to sue Pizza Hut for false advertising and, invariably get his pizza FREE
if there were MORE
pepperoni slices than advertised he would raise mortal HELL
After all, according to Rick, "Too many pepperoni's are as wrong as not enough! It's all about truth, justice and the fuckin' American way damn it!"
Several of us would go to lunch at a local Quincy's
in Columbia a few times per week. Rick always opted for the "all you can eat"
buffet or, as Rick called it, the "All You Can Deal With"
Needless to say, Rick abused the entire doctrine of moderation and ALWAYS
too much food even for his
I'll always believe that Rick was the reason that Quincy's
switched to much smaller plates for the buffet but, of course, this didn't even faze Rick.
After the waitress escorted us to our table, Rick would carefully cover his side of the table in napkins after which he would saunter over to the buffet and procede to create a HUGE
stack of food on one of those little plates. I swear he could stack two feet
of food on those tiny plates.
The manager once came up to our table just as Rick sat down.
"Sir, you don't have to pile all that food on ONE
plate...you may go back to the buffet as many times as you wish."
Rick looked up at the guy and shook his head in disgust.
"Dude, LOOK AT ME
....does it look
like I'm into a bunch of fuckin' exercise?"We almost died laughing.
One last Rick story...
His wife made him promise to lose weight and put him on the Slim Fast shake diet....or so she thought. He promised her that he would faithfully drink a Slim Fast shake everyday for lunch.
One day, we went to a great wing place in Columbia called Leo's.
We pleaded with Rick not to come along but, he swore he could deal with it.
All of the rest of us ordered pitchers of beer, buffalo wings out the proverbial wazoo
, curly fries...the whole nine yards.
Rick sat there staring at all that food for a minute or two. Suddenly, he began laughing and grabbing handfulls of fries, shoving them into his mouth and moaning.
Mike said, "Rick, I told you not to come with us. You're gonna break your promise to Beth (his wife)
eating all this stuff. You told her you would drink a Slim Fast for lunch."
Rick grabbed a handfull of wings off of the platter and said...
"What the hell do you think I'm gonna wash this shit down with?"
You had to love the guy. He was nuttier than chipmunk droppings!