Wednesday, June 10, 2009

From the vault - Meet Bob*

Years ago, a friend and I were heading to a house-warming party for our friend Sally*. Before the party, Sally instructed us both: "you are going to be meeting Bob*, and whatever you do, don't stare at his eczema because he gets upset." Well, I, for one, having the social graces of a 7 year-old, really appreciated this warning, otherwise I'd have been staring all the while, and may have asked Bob a lot of embarrassing questions...

At the time, Sally was really into "Community Living" and she had invited quite a houseful of interesting characters. I didn't know this was supposed to be a "dry" party and showed up with Sangria, which everyone immediately slurped up, much to Sally's dismay. The night wore on and I became increasingly restless while trying to connect with other guests, as we all yelled to hear each other over Sally's horrific guitar playing.

Then, Bob arrived, and Bob was about 7 and a half feet tall. He was a pale-skinned man and yes, he had some eczema on his face, however, it was barely visible in the shadow of his giant cowboy hat. Bob also had the longest feet I have ever seen, and he was sporting a pair of those mesh slip-on shoes in navy blue, with no socks. In addition, Bob had a cast on his left arm, which he was eager to explain to each person he met. When Sally introduced us, he told me excitedly "I got hit by a car yesterday!" I said "wow, that's awful!" and he said "TOTALLY!" and continued his way around the room to meet everyone else.

Now, the thing that killed me about all of this is that Sally only cautioned us about staring at Bob's eczema. No "oh yeah, he's like 8 feet tall" or "he might be wearing his oversized, novelty cowboy hat." Nothing. Just no staring at his eczema. "Whatever you do, DO NOT stare at Bob's eczema." And we didn't...

*Names changed to protect the innocent.

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