My first job out of high school was working at a movie theater. My manager was really nice guy, but the assistant manager was a guy that will go down in history as the oddest of odd ducks. I could tell stories for hours but I will limit it to one.
He LOVED money. I don't just mean the idea of money, though he loved that too, working one full-time and one-part time job for decades. He also loved the physical aspect of money. He spent hours smoothing wrinkled bills, taping torn ones, fondling the cash.
I once asked him "What would you prefer, money or happiness?" and without hesitation, he answered "Money."
I have already talked about my rigorously regular schedule. Almost every morning as I turn onto the main street leading to the freeway, a huge postal truck turns in front of me. It says "Basil White and Sons, contractors to the US Postal Service" on it.
"Curse you, Basil White!" I scream, knowing that, unless I play my cards right, I will be stuck behind the slow-ass Basil White truck as we go onto the freeway. The truck takes FOREVER to get up to speed, so I feel like my life is in danger every time I follow it up the onramp at 5 mph.
I have become so neurotic about the Basil White truck that I have risked life and limb to zoom around him, or stopped for coffee to let him get on the freeway ahead of me, or prayed for a red light to separate me and him.
I know I have blown this stupid truck way out of proportion, but it gives my mornings an element of drama, and you KNOW I love me some drama.
I went to the funeral of the manager of the movie theater this afternoon. He had died at age 82 and, even though I hadn't seen him since 1983, I wanted to honor his memory, since we had worked together for 3 very formative years in my life.
The assistant manager was at the funeral, too. He had retired from his full-time job and had quit the theater years before, but he said he still loved working and making money.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"Driving a postal truck for Basil White and Sons," he answered.
No freaking way.
"Do you get on the freeway at about 7:12 every morning?" I asked.
"How did you know?"
He made my life hell at the movie theater 23 years ago, and he manages to add an element of misery still. Amazing. A-freaking-mazing.