All right, everbody, Miles here, listenin’ to T-Dawg McCall tell about a really terrible situation he rescued his friend, B.A. Grouseman from not too long ago.
“Hey, Miles, can you get the hood latch on your side? Thanks. An’ Ernie-Earl, it’s your turn to go get some pie from Mamie’s. Don’t get mugged again.” We watched Ernie-Earl jog acrost the lot. “Claims someone mugged him last time he bought. I think he hid out somewhere an’ ate both slices hisself. Shoulda frisked him for crumbs. Let me finish my tale about B.A. an’ Dot bein’ at a crossroads.”
I popped the hood latch on my side. B.A. shouldn’t have checked his hearing via the smartphone, T-Dawg explained. “I think she was being sarcastic, B.A. With a woman, you need to listen to her tone as much as her words.”
B.A. pondered this. “Wonder if I can get an app for that.”
A thought. “B.A., how long have you had that thing?”
B.A. tapped on his new best friend. “I got it exactly seven weeks and five days ago.”
“B.A., I think your problem–”
“Bought it Thursday at 8:34 p.m. on sale at Serious Sam’s Super Savings Station.”
“Don’t you see that your problem with Dot–”
“Just two hundred and ninety-seven dollars. Now of course I had to buy a plan with it and that was pricey.”
“B.A., listen to me–”
“But it’s worth it. I’m never bored. I can find out all sorts of things. I’m a lot smarter than I used to–”
I snatched the device out of his hand. I was worried that he’d get violent but instead he looked stunned, then nervous, then anxious – like a junkie that’s had his drugs taken away.
“T-Dawg! I want my Coma back!”
“You’ll get it back. But listen to me first. What’s more important to you? Your Coma or your wife? Because you can’t have both!”
“What are you talking about?”
“You don’t have a Coma. You’re in one! You don’t know what’s going on around you, not even with the person closest to you. That’s why your wife wants a divorce!”
B.A. stared at me with genuine shock. “Are you saying I let my smartphone come between me and my wife?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying.”
“You may be on to something there,” He held out his hand and I gave the phone back. He started tapping immediately. “Bound to be some statistics on smartphones and divorce.”
“B.A., you bonehead!” I shouted. “Don’t you see? You’ve got a problem.”
“I know I do, T-Dawg and I’m going to lick it, me and this Coma.”
“The Coma is the problem. You’ve got to get rid of it.”
He went pale. “Get rid of it? But… what’ll I do?”
“Do what you did before you had it! Talk to people, look at people, listen to people. It’s a dang sight easier to walk away from a phone than let your wife walk away from you.”
He gulped. “All right, but I got one last call to make.” I lunged to grab the phone but B.A. was too quick. He slipped under the table. “B.A., come out from under there!” I shouted. “Face this like a man.”
I heard him talking in a low voice. I sighed. B.A.’s cold green enchiladas looked good. Mamie’s kitchen could heat them up and I’d eat that. Then B.A. stuck his head out and said, “T-Dawg, this is kind of a personal conversation. Mind giving me a little privacy?”
Well, of course then it hit me who he was talking to, so I picked up the plate and took his stool at the counter. Five minutes later, I was tucking into the enchiladas when a hairy hand slapped a sleek black Coma 5-12 next to my plate and a voice said, “All yours, Dawg!”
I turned around just in time to see B.A.’s bulky back end ducking through the door to the parking lot.
Even an old trucker dog could figure out where he was heading. I went back to my enchiladas and wondered what I was going to do with B.A.’s former best friend. I picked it up and went online to find out its resale value when I realized what I was doing. I pulled a ten-dollar bill from my wallet, slapped it on the counter and headed for the door.
I was in my truck, watching the dials cycle, when I saw Urleen the waitress running after me, waving the Coma. I shoved in the brake knob, turned the wheel and hauled the proverbial back end for the highway. On the way out of the parking lot I shouted out my window, “Keep it, Urleen – but only if you’re tired of your marriage!”
Told you T-Dawg told good stories. Well, this ol’ trucker needs to get busy. An’ we’ll see you next week for another history episode of Mamie’s Gas-up and Go.