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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Feeling Down? You Should Talk to This Guy…

I have always enjoyed movies that most of the people I know consider to be flops. I find myself attracted to characters that have some weird personal issue of their own, but in trying to find or cure themselves, they end up helping others.

Everyone hated Lost in Translation with Bill Murray, but I could watch the karaoke scene, the absolute butchering of Bryan Ferry’sMore Than This” over and over again. And speaking of Bill Murray, the movie where he gets an anonymous note telling him that he is the father of a kid, so he goes out seeking old flames looking for the child. That was pretty out there, but I loved it.

So yesterday, my wife endured a movie I was eager to see called Mumford. This guy “plays” a psychologist in a small town called Mumford, and as it turns out, his name is Dr. Mumford. He has this way of listening to his patients and imparting small bits of wisdom that in the end, make these townsfolk feel much better. Apparently, this movie didn’t make it big because I saw it on Starz. That ought to tell you something.

So, again taking the long way around the barn… I had this on my mind when I encountered a man today who reminded me of one of these characters with the gift of gab, the ability to very quickly change a person’s perspective on life and perhaps change their entire outlook in a positive fashion.

I ran into the AutoZone on Grissom to grab some small little item (some Teflon tape if you must know - $1.49 in aisle 5, next to the JB Weld), and I got in line behind these two people who were very dirty, possibly drunk, and quite probably homeless.

But who am I to judge?

So, the toothless woman with extremely filthy toenails was saying something or other and her husband/vagabond/acquaintance was carrying on about what problems they were having and the man behind the counter just smiled and cheerfully rang up the few items they were there to purchase.

The lady then said something along the lines of “life just sucks” and with a chuckle that sounded like she was possibly coughing up a lung, she asked the man, “How are you doing?”

“Well,” he started off, “This has been the worst of 55 years in my life.”

The lady sort of recoiled not expecting such a blunt response. Naturally, I began to pay more attention.

“My car caught on fire, burnt the garage, and then burnt the house down. My wife wrecked her car then just a few days ago, I was driving and hit a little kid. The kid was riding in between the cars in the parking lot and when he came out in front of me, I hit ‘em before I could even hit my brakes. It all happened right over here.” As he pointed towards the HEB across the street. Then, he made a clap sound with his hands and used his right hand to motion how the kid just flew up into the air.

“If that wasn’t enough”, he continued. “I had just bought my daughter a 2006 Eclipse and somebody T-Boned her just yesterday.”

I’m pretty sure most of the people around me were starting to feel a little awkward and wondering what else could possibly befall this poor gentleman.

The dusty guy with the toothless wife paid whatever the bill was and said to the snake bitten AutoZone guy, “Well, Sir. You have our prayers for better times. You should go and spend some time with your wife at a time like this.”

“Hell no!” said the man behind the counter as he started to chuckle, “What I need is to get me a Sancha. You know anyone?”

And with that, he and the toothless lady laughed like a fat lady farted in church.

And I felt a little better too.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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