Friend, Brothers, and Other People

Over the years I’ve made, and lost friends. Some I miss, some I don’t. But there were some that were always good for a laugh.

Friends like Jay Roberts.

Once upon a time Jay developed a substance abuse problem. Usually associated with chasing the wrong woman.

This time was no different. She led him down the sweet rose path, at his expense, of course, and then decided “this isn’t working” and walked away. He went into the predicted tail spin. Then he disappeared.

So I was rather shocked on that Tuesday night when I received a collect phone call (this was long before cell phones) from Anchorage Alaska and “Mr. Roberts”.

I accepted and in a few short words found out that:

March in Alaska is cold, if all you’re wearing is shorts, a tank top, rubber flip flops and a multi-day hangover. Jay had drunk his way up the west coast, airport by airport and was broke. Could I please front him enough money to get back to Hawaii?

Jay’s luck was good in 2 ways:

The first was I answered the phone.

The second, I had enough money to pay for his ticket and 2-3 days later he was home. Still hung over, but determined he’d learned his lesson.

He didn’t.


Then there was Garagedoor John. He sold and installed roll-up garage or warehouse doors. He was an “active” guy who just didn’t think far ahead.

One night he was at Anna’s waiting for a girlfriend to join him. The problems started when the other girlfriend showed up and sat down next to him in the booth. She was not the girl he  up in “poor planning” column. Don’t take both your girlfriends to the same bar.

As he was sitting there trying to convince her to go on home and he’d call her later, the girl he was waiting for walks in the door. She also sits down next to him in the booth, but on the other side. He is now hemmed in by two girlfriends. And their conversation leaves no doubt this was a planned meeting.

The waitress appeared to be paying close attention to the group so he wouldn’t have a reason to get up, even to order another drink. We could all see he was slowly roasting but it wasn’t over yet.

His wife walked through the doors. She walked straight to the table, pulled up a chair so all three women were facing each other and John had no escape route. They started talking and again, it was obvious they had spoken, together, at least once before.

The look on John’s face made you almost feel sorry for him, but only almost. He had been bringing his wife and girlfriends, at different times, to the same bar. This no longer falls to poor planning, this rates full on stupid.

Finally he excused himself to the bathroom, slipped out the back door and made his escape. It seemed the women didn’t care because the three of them spent the rest of the evening talking, laughing, and drinking. After minutes had passed and it was obvious he wasn’t coming back, the wife stood and announced drinks were on “John”.

Last time I saw John, he was back at Anna’s, with his fourth wife. Some people never learn.


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