Sunday, December 8, 2013
I Am Not Ted
Some years ago I was eating breakfast in a small restaurant located in a strip mall near the intersection of Fireweed & Spenard. The name of the place was Jackie's, and it was a place where some friends and I regularly met for breakfast, as Jackie's featured a terrific selection of 3 and 4 egg omelets. My particular favorite was the Irish Omelet, which was stuffed with corned beef hash.
But this story has nothing to do with the breakfast I enjoyed that morning. This story concerns what happened as I left the restaurant and walked to my car. As I was crossing the parking lot, out of the blue a loud voice started to shout for someone named Ted, and as I got nearer to my car the shouting got louder, until I realized that the shouting was being directed towards me.
"Hey, hey Ted! You sonuvabitch! Look at me! I know it's you! I'm going to get you back!" Those words were being shouted at me by a man sporting a mullet and a mustache who appeared to be about my age. He was behind the wheel of an Oroweat bread delivery truck that was slowly driving past the line of cars where I was parked.
Turning to face him I said, "You have the wrong guy - I'm not Ted." The man with the mullet and the mustache stared hard at me for a few seconds and then said, "Hell, you really look like him - you sure you're not Ted?"
"Absolutely," was my reply. "My name is Chris, but I'm mistaken for a lot of sister's-boyfriends and friend-of-a-cousin types alot - I'm the template for the generic white guy."
"Man, you look a lot like him. Sorry to bother you - that asshole got a lucky shot in on me at Chilkoots a few nights ago. I'm going to kick his ass." The man with the mullet and the mustache was glaring at me hard as he said that.
"Well, good luck to ya. If you could move your truck, I need to get to work myself."
"Oh, yeah, sorry. See ya." The Oroweat truck pulled past and proceeded to leave the parking lot as I got in my car and headed off to work.
A week flew by and I completely forgot about the entire incident - it was and still is common for people to mistake me for someone they vaguely know, as I am truly the generic white guy.
However, almost a week to the day later as I was leaving a theater off Muldoon I heard the same voice shouting nearly the same words in my direction. I once again turned towards the voice and of course was met with the same face peering from the same Oroweat bread truck I had encountered the week before.
Once again I told the mullet and mustache that I was most assuredly not named Ted, and that I had never even been in Chilkoots (because, up to that time, I truly actually had never set foot in that place).
He again questioned me a bit about the veracity of my statements, and again realizing I was not the guy he was looking for, took off.
Months passed and life proceeded as normal. Then came a day I was once more having breakfast with friends at Jackie's. After the meal, as I was leaving, I heard someone shouting the words I had long forgotten, followed by the hard braking of a large truck (it was now May, the ice was gone, hard braking was now possible).
It was mullet and mustache, and I might add distorted memory, at it again.
But this time it was different - this time he was very angry.
In one swift motion he opened the door of the truck, jumped down, and started to run headlong towards me.
He was yelling as he ran towards me, "You MotherFcuker! You're not getting away this time!" I stared at his fast approaching figure with just a bit of amusement.
Then he pulled up about 5 paces short, eyeballed me like a health inspector in the kitchen of a greasy spoon, and drew his breath sharply in quick gasps.
"Damn," he said, "You are way bigger than Ted."
With a sheepish look, he turned his 5'7", 145lb self away from my 6'1'. 230lb self and headed back rather quickly to the cab of the truck. I never saw him again.