Finally, Trouble For Which I Am Not Responsible
I originally wroite this in August of 1998 in the original version of Falls, off the Rocker – in actual print for an actual newspaper. It was a column about my friend Wes, who got married then. He asked me recently if I had that column around still. Since the only version was in actual print, I thought I’d digitize it and share it again. Enjoy!
I went to Biloxi, Miss., last weekend to be in the wedding of my friend Wes. It was a particularly emotional trip for me since I always considered Wes my own child, having raised him since birth with only a gallon jug of Gold Schlager and a rubber nipple. Yes, his parents were around, but having been five years older than him, I was his guiding protectorate through the turbulent teens.
Wes and I became very good friends when I was a senior in high school and he was in seventh grade. We were in the school play together. He thought I was funny and I thought he made a good audience, so we elected to become surgically joined at the attitude.
Now, anytime you have a burgeoning teen as an adult age friend, a certain type of relationship develops. I became Wes’s supplier.
I purchased beer and cigars which somehow accidentally ended up in his hands. (I stand by the statement, “I have never contributed to the delinquency of a minor, your honor.”)
I would sneek dirty magazines into his house upon request and other various and sundry misdeeds which would which would have made his Baptist Church buddies run and hide. I will give those more Christian-like friends of his credit, though. They always seemed to treat me well, despite the fact they thought of me as the modern-day Caligula.
In fact, when Wes’s mother would ask us what we were getting into that evening, we would simply reply, “Hookers and beer!” Little did she know only half of that was true. I wonder why we never thought to buy beer, though?
Another direct result of the disproportion in our ages were the circumstances in which we were often found. There was the time we rolled into a convenient store at about 3 a.m., not completely sober, and watched as a friend we were with turned to the clerk and whipped out … Okay, maybe that story is best left untold.
Wes and I did, however, once enter a friend’s house when no one was home and decided to do something sure to spook the family. We took the squeezable bottle of mustard out of the refrigerator and wrote on the countertop, “Lock your doors!”
Then there was the day several of us went to Wal-Mart dressed very suspiciously (shades, trenchcoats and cowboy hats) and made a beeline for the electronics section. When you enter a Walmart looking suspicious, a manager starts to follow to make sure you don’t steal anything. At any rate, when the four or five of us got right in front of the electronics department, we split up.
You have never lived until you have seen a Walmart manager wet his pants right in the middle of the hosiery aisle.
There was the night Wes and I rode around town in nothing but boxers and trench coats. One of us would flash people while the other videotaped. A picture is worth 1000 words… most on that video were of the four-letter variety.
Yet another evening, Wes and I sat in my car in the parking lot of Food City drinking beer when one of Pikeville’s finest pulled up. Being the heralded brain trust we were at the time, Wes and I threw our bottles under the car. The officer let us go home, but only after picking up our bottles and begging for his mercy.
Amidst it all, West always worried someone would tell his Dad the trouble into which we had gotten. I reassured him his father had done worse … and occasionally still dead.
Now my prodigy has gone off and gotten hitched. She’s a wonderful young lady. She’s bright and funny and beautiful and way too energetic for my taste, but she’ll make Wesley a wonderful bride. She makes him giddy. She makes him smile. She gives him a sense of contentment I have only seen on him once: the first time he was so drunk he couldn’t feel his face. And, over the last few years we’ve been apart, she has restored Wes into a respectable young man. Drats! Foiled again!
She has taken him off into the wonderful world of marital bliss and I am very happy for them. I am also very happy for me. For Wes will find marriage is a whole new world of trouble … but one for which I cannot be held responsible!
Jason Falls claims no knowledge of ever purchasing any product for anybody at any time. “Falls off the Rocker” often contains satire and if you take the contents literally, your reaction couldn’t have been as bad as Wes’s mother’s.
June 29, 2012