Sunday, January 7, 2007
My Friend Bob
A lot of people think I just hang out with homosexuals because I'm so good at it but that's not true. I have a lot of straight friends and not just girls either. A lot of my friends are straight men.
My three favourites are all named Bob and for years now, every Tuesday night we've had this ritual where they come over to the home I keep in the suburbs to bond. This Tuesday night was no different. I set up the ping pong table, threw a couple of two-fours in the fridge, and slipped into something more comfortable, overalls, workboots and a miner’s helmet. Bob was the first to arrive. He had just had a terrible fight with his wife, and was in need of a shoulder to cry on. "Buddy," he said, "you're the only one who understands." He was right.
Before we had time to dish about the fight,in walked my other friend, Bob. He was already drunk. He drinks because no one understands him. "Buddy," he said, "you're the only one who understands." "Have a drink," I said. "Bob," Bob said. "How ya doin'? Good to see ya." Then they embraced, in the way only two Bobs can. They shook hands. The doorbell rang again. "What is this, Grand Central Station?" I said. They laughed, farted, and sat down.
I went to the door. It was Bob. He looked great. I told him that he must have been cheating on his wife, he looked so good. "Buddy," he said, "you're the only one who understands." I knew he'd like my mother.
"Time for ping pong," I said, and ushered them into the games room.
We played for hours, drinking constantly and talking dirty. I worked up quite a glow. Bob won. He always does.
We presented him with a trophy and then celebrated by doing a victory lap around the table, just like the Olympics. Then I suggested a drinking game called "Flank and Eddie". There's no rules. You just drink as much as you can. Bob won. He always does.
So I picked him up off the floor, threw him over my shoulder in a firemen’s carry and then carted him upstairs, where I deposited him in the guest room. As I wiped the vomit off his face I thought to myself that he was having the best time of all.
When I went downstairs again, Bob and Bob were still playing "Flank and Eddie". We laughed about Bob getting so drunk and then Bob produced a joint. We saluted it with that good old college hurrah. The joint seemed to take Bob's mind, pure and simple. He jumped up and began to tell a touching story about his grandparents first coming to this country, and his grandfather's reaction upon first seeing a streetcar. He started to imitate his grandfather crying and then he started to actually cry and then he went "whoops" and fell right down.
So I lugged him upstairs and laid him out beside the other Bob. They looked like twins. When I went back downstairs, Bob was chug-a-lugging bourbon. "Bob," I said, "you have a drinking problem." "Buddy," he said, "you're the only one who understa..." Honestly, straight men can make a Tuesday feel like a Wednesday.
So I carried him upstairs, and laid him out beside the other two. They looked just like Little Joe, Hoss, and the other one. I felt like Pa Cartwright because he always drank his boys under the table. Next week, Bob is bringing over one of his friends who I've never met before. His name is Robert. I can hardly wait.