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Tall, Dark, And . . . Um . . .

2008-05-20 - 8:09 a.m.

Fruit I Am Currently Enamoured With: Blueberry & Acai

Listening To: The Fiery Furnaces, MGMT, Mark Mothersbaugh, Seu Jorge

Quote:"I prefer, 'Znatch', of course." - Brian, to Zach, on which spelling of his name he prefers

     So this lady is skulking about the Diamond Mines the other day no doubt cooking up some sort of scheme that would rightly annoy/perturb/feather ruffle my person and sure as I'm standing here (I'm actually sitting) she succeeded on all counts. She seemed nice enough. Seemed. Early 70's, hair curled tightly and died three shades too blonde to get away with. She was wearing a long sleeve top consisting of wide-ish black and white horizontal stripes. She appeared to be going for a nautical look and lucky for her she came across more Nemo than Olde Tyme Prisoner - barely. She had large, blue-tinted glasses on (not blue blockers. I checked.) She had a large pearl necklace that seemed to be in some sort of hushed agreement with her strained, fowl-like, neck. She had an overly small coat on top of the striped shirt which I'm sure women have a special name for that men shall never commit to memory. I imagine it's something like, "coquetto", "marzipot", or "seipan". The lady, whose name I find out is Ann, also has a brooch of a glittering anchor on her marzipot. She is wearing white slacks that flare out at the bottom. She is wearing boat shoes. I'm not sure if you can surmise what I did given these paltry clues, but I think Ann fancies herself a bit of a seafarer. Either that, or the local nursing home was performing a geriatric production of "South Pacific" and Ann escaped during Intermission. And in her unmanacled ecstasy found herself skulking about the aforementioned Diamond Mines looking to stir up An Era of Bad Feelings. Ann finally comes into my personal space sphere (it's got 15 diameter, so be careful) several minutes later, bounding (literally) on to the scene with a giant orange life ring. You know the kind. You have one on your boat in case Lovey Howell here has too many Manhattans and falls in the drink. Well, she's holding her life ring tightly and outward, beaming with the misplaced pride of a 13-year old showing off her artwork from a Kindergarten coloring book.

     "You're Zach!" Ann accused to me. Loudly.

     "That's what I'm told," I replied in a manner not entirely devoid of charm.

     "Well, I'm Ann and I was told to come see you about paying for this life ring! But I remembered that you were Zach before anyone even told me!" Ann explained to me in her soon-to-be trademark expository way of speaking.

     "You remembered me?" I asked, in a way - had I possessed the talent - that would have been accompanied by an unsure eyebrow raising.

     "Sure. You don't remember me?!" Ann answers, somewhat disheartened. "I came in last summer and you helped me find everything I needed and you were an absolute joy to talk to!"

     "Oh, oh, ok. You needed things for your boat, right?" I (doesn't-talk-a-rocket-doctor) intuit.

     "Oh, so you DO remember me!" she lilts.

     "Of course!" I continued, putting butter to her bread. I mean, I did somewhat vaguely recall helping an old coot of a sailoress, but not any details. Though it came as no surprise that I was an absolute joy to talk to. That part totally sounded like me and my joyful ways.

     "You know," she spouted, "I'll never forget your name because my grandson has the same name! Isn't that quite ridiculous?!"

     "Well, it's not that uncommon of a name. I know quite a few Zachs. How does your grandson spell it?" I ask in my I'm-such-a-fucking-control-freak-I-have-to-Lord-over-how-EVERY-OTHER-Zach-spells-their-name kind of way.

     "Isn't there only one real way to spell it? 'Z-A-C-K'?" she asks, quite obviously oblivious to my business card that, had it been any closer to her aged person, would be mating with her zirconium-inlaid anchor. (Who am I kidding? They were probably real diamonds. Ann doesn't fuck around.)

     I girded myself with a fake sense of calm and explained to her, "Oh. Well, I spell mine, 'Z-A-C-H'. I think that's the traditional way." (What? Too snarky? I played it sincere, I swear.)

     "Is it now?" Ann shot back a little icily. Oops. My bad. I forgot the retailers credo that, 'The Customer's Always Cuckoo Bananas'.

     "Well, so, anyway - just one life ring then?" I vailiantly stab.

     "Yes, my Zack was just getting ready for his graduation from BC at this time last year when I came in and you helped me. He's an actor now, you know," Ann out-of-total-left-fielded me.

     "Well that sounds nice," I reply, trying to sound interested. "Is he in L.A.? New York City?"

     "He's in New York City. He's a television actor," she smugged.

     "Oh, good for him. So will it be cash, check, or charge?" I ask in yet another shot at a monster that seemingly won't die.

     "It's funny too," Ann drawls, in a way that suggests what she's about to say, in reality, really isn't that funny at all, "he didn't even go to school for it. Went for business." This is the part that I am supposed to say, "So fill-in-the-blank, Ann baby! How did he achieve that wacky paradigm shift?!" But Ann didn't even wait for me to feign interest this time and continued on. "An agent saw him on the street and insisted - INSISTED - he take up acting because of his looks. He, the agent, said the rest would just fall into place." Ann punctuated this last part by placing the life ring, that up until this point she had been slowly turning around like a hunter orange helm, firmly on the counter.

     "Wow! What a whirlwind for your grandson! Has he been getting a lot of work so far?" I asked, hoping my new archenemy's absolute zenith had been a voice-over for phone cards on a Spanish public access channel. As soon as I saw Captain Centrum-Silver's eyes widen, I knew my schadenfreude was not to be.

     "Oh yes! In fact, he's going to be on that show that everyone is always talking about. Um . . . 'Gossip Girl' they call it," she said with her fingers an inch away from her mouth, as if she really had to struggle with the name of the show.

     "I see." Kill me. Make me drink Spray Nine. Someone. Please. I don't watch, "Gossip Girl", but this convo is making my eyes calcify.

     "My God, that was a year ago that all this started for him. And a year later and you're . . . well, I suppose you're still here?" Ann spikes.

     "I sure am!" I answer in an awfully cheery way. You know, the way that makes me an absolute joy to talk to? The weird thing is that at this point, as much of an Ice Queen superbitch that I'm making Ann sound like, it actually seemed like she was genuinely concerned for me when she pointed out that I was still outfitted with the retail yoke around my shoulders. Thank you, Ann. This seems like my life to you, Ann. But this is not my life. This will not continue to be my life. I'm not waiting for an agent to see me loitering outside Busy Corner. I'm not waiting to be flown to faraway lands based on my ability to ass-kiss and construct models of Che Guevara out of Mango scraps. I'm not waiting for a golden ticket. I'm not waiting for other people to do my dirty work. My hard work. I don't expect for hurdles to be exacto knifed out of the blueprints. Socrates never would have called life, "The Gods' track meet" if it wasn't intended to have hurdles. I may be tall and my toes may brush against the hurdles from time to time but that doesn't mean I'm consigned to the shot put for the rest of my life. All it means is that I need to keep trying until my feet don't hit the hurdles anymore. And I don't accept 4th place, lavendar colored, participation ribbons. No, ANN, I will only accept Blue Ribbons, Pabst or otherwise, because I am not made up of red, blue, or purple ribbon mentalities. I am blue ribbon, Ann. I may not be blue blood and I may not have a silver spoon, but I AM blue ribbon. I deserve nothing less and I won't settle for it either.

     "Well . . . anyway, you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for him on the show," Ann scuffs, while silently counting out the twenty dollar bills she's handing over to me, obviously having ignored my silent dress down.

     "Will do!"

     "You'll know it's him because he's tall!", she yells, as she's headed for the door.

     "Uh huh," I mumble, eyes downward.

     "Just like you!" she marvels. "And he has dark hair!"

     "O.k." Why won't she just leave?

     "Just like you!" Ann seems to think it's absolutely amazing that two males with similar names could be both tall and not blond. "Oh, and he's GORGEOUS!"


     ". . ." Ann just stands there, with her mouth open, summoning words that won't come.

     "Just . . . like me?!" I helpfully suggest.

     "Oh, go on!" Ann says with a flick of her wrist, her back to me, as she walks back out into the sunshine and throws her life ring in the rear of her convertible. She honks twice, like friends might, as she pulls out and drives off into merging traffic going north.

     Oh, Ann. I may not be the next Douglas Fairbanks, but I assure you: You have awoken a sleeping dragon. And for that, Ann? I'm eternally grateful. Dragons aren't supposed to sleep forever. They do have a reputation to keep, you know. Terrorizing the populace, hoarding gold, courting sweet lady dragons and whatnot. So I suppose my To Do List has been greatly expanded. I wish I had thanked Popeye the SailorWoman in person. Well, no I don't. She was still a batty, entitled wackadoo. It almost makes me feel bad about not warning her about the carnivorous whelks. Almost. But not quite.


      It's been real,

            The Cloud Keeper

ps - New quotes!! Lots of them actually! There's some really hilarious ones by a much wider cast of characters than usual. Even Evie gets a quote! Check them out in the upper left corner under "Quotes V.4!" You'll be glad you did.

pps - New poll!! The last poll, "The temperature is climbing! What's the best thing about the better weather?" broke down the top three vote getters as such: 3rd place, with 5 votes, and 15% of the vote, was, "Cheddarwurst squirting hot cheesy goodness in every direction." Tied for 2nd place with 6 votes each and 18% of the vote was, "Three words: Ice. Cream. Truck." and, "New episodes of BSG, the fan blowing, the beer flowing." and the #1 thing that's great about the better weather, with 7 votes and 21% of the vote is, "Floating on your back in the lake searching for the Big Dipper." I'm glad. That was my vote too. And now? As I said before, NEW POLL!! Vote away!

ppps - A big congrats to Jon & Tabitha, who, as of about 24 hours ago, became proud parents to a baby girl!! I thought we dodged the bullet from ever finding out what a female sasquatch looked like when it was announced T.C. & Jackie's twins would be boys, and now? Jon comes through in the clutch. The Yeti Clutch.

pppps - "The Yeti Clutch" is the name of my new band. No takesies.

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