I got home from band practice around 11:00. After unloading my gear, I decided to walk the few blocks to the ATM in order to get cash for lunch the next day. Main Street, which typically conducts a steady stream of traffic through the day, was deserted. I was able to walk across in the middle of the block.
I was quietly enjoying my thoughts in the rain as I headed toward the bank. Suddenly, a mini van swerved towards the curb nearby. The driver, a middle-aged, clean cut white guy, quickly opened the passenger window and called to me. I half expected two brutes in black clothing and ski masks to hop out of the side door and shanghai my unsuspecting white ass off to some warehouse. There to torture me for answers I didn’t have or hold me for ransom that no one I knew could possibly afford. Though, I couldn’t understand what one white middle class guy could hope to gain by so treating another barely middle class white guy.
However, as I hesitantly took a step closer to the van, the driver asked, “Hey buddy, do you know if there’s a strip joint around here?”
With a chuckle of relief and a bit of surprise in my voice I said, “Uh, yeah. Sure. Take a left right there. About a block down there’s a strip place.”
He repeated, “A left right there and one block down?”
The encounter began to strike me as quite comic. In a matter of split seconds, about the time it took him to nearly skid to a halt on Main Street, my appraisal of my family-vehicle-driving friend had raced to the extreme of prime time American crime show action then slid into the mire of late night male hormonal frustration. The rain dripped on.
I couldn’t resist. My friend was obviously in a desperate rush. I had to mess with him.
Just as he was ready to stomp on the gas, I suggested, “You know… that place around the corner looks kind of dumpy.”
“Yeah. But there’s this other place just off of Main Street a few blocks back. I think that one is better.”
“How do I get there?”
Mischievously happy to delay him, I continued, “Well, let’s see. If you turn left here and go one block down to where the first place that I told you about is, then turn left again, you would have to go two more blocks and turn left onto Washington Street. Yeah, you have to go that way because Washington Street is a one way.”
He was a bit confused. Only one thing was on his mind and the details I was giving just weren’t sinking in.
“Say that again,” he said.
“Okay. Turn left here. Go one block. Turn left again. Go two blocks. Turn left one more time. The place is called Delilah’s.”
“Oh thanks, man! I really appreciate your help!” He sped away.
“Oh a bet you do!” I thought.
I laughed out loud at the thought of the encounter, enjoying the slightly twisted amusement of it all. Then realized. Washington Street is one way in the other direction! Poor fellow.
I stepped my way through the rain.