I just have to write these things. Usually, when I am out to dinner with more than one person, I bring up the funniest things that have ever happened in my life. I know this sounds strange, and you may be asking, “Jay, how do you remember such things?” Well, let me tell you…I have been thinking of these events since I was about 17 years old. I have them in perfect order in my head, from #5 to #1. I giggle even thinking of them.
Let me first give you a little background into those involved. I have two best friends. One I like much more than the other, but I won’t tell you which one. Just kidding, I thought that would be funny to make them wonder. But seriously, one is much better looking than the other. Anyway, there is Rob and there is Craig. To sum up their personalities is this; they are both waiting for the big one…the lotto, the settlement, the hot stock pick…the big one. I suppose we are all waiting for the big one.
Rob is a very special person. He is the kind of guy who likes to give you a hug. There is no one person on the planet that I play off of better. I remember a trip once where we were driving to Atlanta. We were in Pennsylvania and just passed the exit for Phillipsburg/Bloomsbury. We both thought those two words were kind of funny and continued to say, “Phillipsburg/Bloomsbury” with a female English accent well into Virginia. He would say it and then I would say it. Very funny and got funnier as time went on.
Rob and I used to help Craig out sometimes with his tree service. At the end of each day, Craig would profess to us that he was never going to have us work together again. He would be all pissed off that we joked around all day and that the customer watched as we made asses out of ourselves. Then, we would give him a hug and ask what time he wanted us ready for work the next day. 7:00…just like every morning. Then yet again, I would show up at 7:00 and we would hop in the truck to roll down to Rob’s driveway and honk because he was still in bed. Those were the good old days. Even today when I call Rob, there really is only a window of about 3 minutes where we are serious. After that, we are back to the regular old us.
Craig is also a very special person. He is the kind of guy who likes to get hugs. Rob gives ’em and Craig gets ’em. Who knows.
Craig is the guy who thinks he is serious. He really does. Of course, being around us, this lasts for only a few minutes. He could be rescuing people off a sinking ship when Rob and I would show up. A few moments later, Craig would be floating on his back laughing so deeply that breathing would be difficult. People would be diving off the boat and Craig would be trying to stay afloat. Our chemistry is remarkable.
Craig is a teacher. He likes to offer all sorts of information about all sorts of stuff. In general, his brain holds a good chunk of knowledge. At times though, I would ask him about something that he knows absolutely nothing about. If speaking to the average layman, his offering of information would be completely believable…but to me, not so much. I would question him about it for a while and then we would both come to the conclusion that he knows absolutely nothing about what he is talking about. He would start laughing and I would start laughing and then…the hug. Rob got us into the hugs.
Well, back to the reason for this post. There are 5 distinct things that happened in my life that are funnier than all the rest. These are the only stories that anyone will actually let me finish. In the days of cutting each other off before we finish our sentences, this is pretty special. I have narrowed the stories down, refined them and discussed them. I finally decided that these are the ones. Unfortunately, for those involved, I am usually the cause of the humor, not the recipient. I am hoping that these stories become my legacy. I know that is not the highest of goals, but it’s mine.
One day in July, Rob and I were hanging out on the corner of the street. We knew this as “Sunset.” My house was about 30 feet away. Rob lived two houses down the street and Craig lived one up. We were all neighbors all of our lives. The corner was the intersection of Hickory Drive and Sunset Drive. More things have happened at this intersection than I would care to discuss…motorcycles, quads, basketball, cops, love, hate, tears, sweat and blood. Meet me at Sunset became a common term for us.
Many times, I would be working on my car in my driveway and Craig would be working on his. I had a Camaro and he had a Barracuda. This particular day, Rob walked up the road and I was in my driveway, like usual, working on my car. Craig was inside doing who knows what. We talked for a little while and decided to give Craig a call. I picked up the phone and dialed. I could hear the phone ringing in his house. He answered and I told him to come out…we were just chilling in my driveway. He agreed and hung up. For some reason, Craig always took a while to come out of his house. It’s almost like he was eating a gourmet meal or something. I can imagine it this way: I would call and Craig would answer the phone. We would discuss meeting outside. He would agree and begin to finish his meal. He would have four more conversations with three more people. Then, he would remove his bib with the lobster picture on it. He would go to the bathroom, shave, slick back his hair, put on some cologne, boots a belt and then go outside. I, on the other hand, just get up and walk outside. To each their own, I suppose.
Rob and I got a little bored waiting for Craig, so we headed for the corner. The whole reason we wanted him to come out is because we had a fresh shipment of bottle rockets. I did mention it was July, right? About 15 minutes went by and Rob and I were getting extremely itchy to light these things off. We already burned as many leaves as we could and were getting bored when Rob came up with an idea. We would lay some bottle rockets on the ground, facing up the street. They would shoot horizontally about 100 feet and explode right in front of Craig’s house. This would be too much for him to resist and he would finally get the heck outside.
We started lighting a few off. As expected, they flew straight up the road and made a big bang right where we wanted them to. Where the heck was he? Who knows…we just kept lighting them and they kept exploding. After a little while, we forget that he was even coming outside…but right at that moment…it happened. Picture this in slow motion…Rob and I laughing at something stupid, slapping our knees, when I light off the next bottle rocket. WHOOOSH…straight up the road. 25 feet…50 feet…75 feet…still going. At that very moment, we both look up to see a hint of the color black and two white dots. The black was the knee of Craig’s favorite pair of Z Cavarichis and the white were the big tongues of his white Nike hightops. A little further…we notice the purple of Craig’s IOU sweatshirt (tucked in) and the black of his belt. His pants were tucked into his socks and his hair was glistening in the sunlight. No wonder he took so long. He was getting all gussied up.
The bottle rocket was inching up the street. Craig was in a great mood…he was almost dancing across his yard and making his way onto the road…the same road the bottle rocket was blazing up. “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!…,” we yelled. Poor Craig was oblivious. All he wanted to do is to hang out with his best friends. The rocket was red glare and Craig was skipping in the air. I even thought I heard him singing a soft lullaby. Closer…slowly…WHOOOSH. Craig made one step onto the road when the bottle rocket made a slight turn to the right. These things are very unpredictable, you know. Craig looked up and said, “Hey, what’s up gu….” when the rocket tore a little bit more to the right and headed straight for poor Craig’s head. Craig saw this and stared straight at the rocket coming right at him. I think I even saw his eyes go crossed as it got closer. “WHOA…!!!” he yelled as he tried to move his head with a bob and a weave. He did a good job, but not good enough. WHOOOSH…SLICE…right across the left side of Craig’s neck. Suddenly, the rocket exploded. Luckily it was a few feet in back of Craig. He whipped his hand up to hold his neck and starts yelling. Rob and I just stared at each other. Craig walked slowly down to us, still holding his hand to his neck. He arrived and just gives us this look…one of disappointment. He removed his hand from his neck and I could almost hear the pee dribbling down Rob’s leg. We both burst out laughing. Craig had a red stripe across the whole side of his neck. I know this might not sound funny, but it wasn’t a bad injury. Just thinking of the shock Craig just had was funny enough. One minute he was dancing across his front lawn and the next, he was all shook up, when all he wanted to do was show us his new Cavarichis. We all broke out in laughter and continued to shoot off the bottle rockets. No harm done, but one funny ass event.
The moral of this story…don’t wear Z Cavarichis.