Tag Archives: Reprobate

. . . And Shove It!

by Richard

So Zippy the Monkey Boy is now Zippy the Delivery Boy. He finally listened to his mom and me and went out and got a job. He’s a delivery boy for a local Chinese restaurant.

Actually, for all that we worry about him driving around out there on the city streets at night, in a hurry to get where he needs to go, this is a pretty good fit to his skill sets. He’s gregarious, likes to talk to new people, and is willing to smile a lot. One of his major shortcomings is an unwillingness to tolerate stupidity (in others) silently.

I figured that would be a major problem for him in that he’d certainly have customers who would have forgotten they’d ordered food, didn’t have the money or way to pay, that sort of thing. And he wouldn’t deal well with it. Turns out, it’s been a good thing for him as he’s learned ways to deal. It was either that or not get a tip and he loves the tips.

No, the major problem with this job actually comes from a difference in our definitions of reasonable safety. Zippy the Delivery Boy, being a 17-year-old, is convinced of his own immortality and his own invulnerability. Even then, though, he wants to take what he considers to be reasonable precautions. He wants to carry around a really big knife (read machete) in the car under his seat to protect himself and to make sure he can out-threaten anyone who tries to rob him.

A concern for safety is a good thing, especially for a young dude on delivery runs. However, I’d rather he be unarmed and more than willing to hand over the money. See, my concern is that he’ll  be confronted and will then pull the knife to which the robber will respond by pulling a gun. Escalation isn’t just to get upstairs, you know. The way I see it, no amount of money is worth Zippy the Delivery Boy’s life. I’d rather he just give it all up and live to drive another day.

He doesn’t see it that way. He’s convinced he can’t be hurt and the merest sight of his dangerous and vicious self wielding a large knife will be enough to set any reprobate back on the straight and narrow.

For now, he’s willing to give my idea a try. And I’m willing to just sneakily search the car before each shift instead of doing it right in front of him. I like to think of it as trust, but verify.

Now if only he’ll listen to me about speeding.

Share on Facebook

Changing Faces

by Richard

This will definitely require more than a little time to readjust.

I sat down to write this light-hearted bit of fluff, you know, the same sort of hard-hitting, life-changing, priority-reevaluating (adjectively-enhanced) nuggets of information that you’re used to receiving here at the Dude’s Guide, but it came out as dreary, death-obsessed and gave the feeling of being tired beyond words and weighed down by Mom’s death.

Which is, of course, why I scrapped the whole thing and then started smacking myself about the head and shoulders with the frozen tuna I keep in the icebox for just such such an emergency. It’s also why I keep my feathers numbered, but that’s another story for another time.

As I say, finding a way to come back to normal life is going to take a bit.

At the same time, I keep getting flashes that I’m being more than a little stupid. I mean, I’m old (well, what I used to think of as old. Now, of course, I’m not old, only a bit less young than once I was.) and I should have expected something like this so be used to it.

I think the problem comes from the fact that she wasn’t just my mom, she was one of my best friends. Call me a cellar-dwelling reprobate if you must, but I like to think of myself as being lucky. I managed to grow up and enter (alleged) adulthood and discover that my parents weren’t all about disciplining wayward childish behavior, but actually had non-parental lives of their own that were pretty interesting.

Mom and I had a lof of long, rambling conversations where we talked about, well, most anything. I never knew where the conversations were going to lead and that, dudes, is friendship. And I miss it.

I also know, however, that if Mom were able to do anything about it, she’d be whacking me upside the head with her crutch for not getting on with life, not laughing as much as I used to, not seeing the wonder of a well-built brick wall. (No, seriously. I clearly remember one time in which we were driving by a couple of guys building a brick wall and Mom stopped the car, insisted we get out, introduced herself and me to the guys and then asked if we could watch and ask a couple of questions. I thought she was nuts, but — oddly — it turned out she was brilliant. It was an amazing half hour and I’ve never looked at brickwork the same way since.)

So, time to adjust, adapt and other positive-meaning words that begin with the letter a.

I mean, I’m sure Mom’s ghost has other things to do than hang around and disapprovingly shake her spectral head over a whiny son.

Share on Facebook