Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's a bird; it's a plane...

A former boss and friend is a native of South Florida, West Point graduate, and child of the 70's. So of course, he's a huge Dolphins fan. T married a retired Hooter's waitress about the time he got out of the Army, earned a Master's degree, and immediately started to conquer the business world.

His marriage was what a mutual friend called "a fair fight." One of the first nights I was with him away from work was poker at a colleague's apartment. He brought a gift set of tequila -- bottle in the box with crystal classes and margarita mix -- and drank most of the fifth during the night. His wife J called around 7:30 pm, shortly after he arrived, and I heard him assure her that he would be home shortly, and would stop at the grocery store to pick up chicken to grill for dinner. He left at 1:30 am, and said she woke him the next morning by hitting him in the stomach as hard as she could. As he described it, he "folded in half like a rollaway bed." That's the only physical violence I ever knew of in their marriage. Mostly it was a blend of true tenderness, yelling, co-dependence, and farce.

The phone was a big part of their relationship. Her job seemed to consist mostly of calling him seven or twenty times a day at the office to get advice on crises large and small, inform him of her latest car accident, or offer observations on the day's events. T's role was to hang up on her repeatedly after telling her he was too busy to listen to her crap. Though on at least half of these occasions, before he could hang up he would  get pulled into some conversation about a bird on the patio, or something of equal import.

One night T ordered a Dan Marino commemorative plate from the Home Shopping Network. Don't ask me why, I still don't get it. I suspect more tequila was involved. But of course the moment it arrived in it's octagonal package, J called to let him know.

"You got something in the mail. It's a hepadon!"

I was sitting in his office when this particular call came in, and when he said, "A hepadon?!," visions of some six sided pterodactyl sprang to my head. He naturally responded to her, "Funny, I don't remember ordering a dinosaur."

Alas, their marriage lasted only a dozen years or so after that episode, and the end was as messy as the rest. I hear T suffers from terrible gout, and J is likely working as a barfly somewhere. They are long gone from my life, but for some reason I really can't explain, I will always clearly and fondly remember the day I saw a hepadon.


  1. I love this story. Thanks for sharing it. She either had a brain fart or was trying to attain some level of intelligence. A friend told me with glee the day his GF said to him, "Are you swear" which was, I guess, a mix of "Are you kidding?' and "Do you swear?" We all do it...well, most of us, anyway...

    ps: I think he knew who he was marrying -- not that all 'hooters' waitresses aren't intelligent...

  2. I have real affination for these types of malapropisms.

  3. I can't even begin to imagine who those two people are :) Hope to see you soon!