The Ten Most Fascinating People of 2011
1. Johnny, the newspaper boy.
Johnny walks a fine line between accuracy and disaster. Accuracy when he hits my front step with the paper. Disaster when I find the paper on the living room floor and I didn’t have the window open.
That is what I find so fascinating about Johnny.
He disappoints me, though, when on some occasions, I don’t get my paper at all. That’s when I know Johnny’s had himself a good time the night before. But I know that several days later I will have several bundles of papers on my front door step that I can toss into the fireplace and watch as yesterday’s news goes up in smoke.
2. My good neighbor Sid.
Sid is pretty much inept at anything he desires to undertake, which makes me feel good about myself. I am only somewhat inept. His ineptitude does wonders for my self-esteem.
Whenever I step onto the front porch of our house, coffee in hand, and find Sid on the roof attempting a repair, I never hesitate in dropping my cup, shouting, ‘Oh, Christ, no!’ and then reporting the accident that’s about to happen to the proper authorities.
For I am a good neighbor as well.
3. Sarah the postman. Postwoman? Person? Worker?
I get confused with the gender issue. When I see Sarah in her sexy postal uniform I want to have her in for coffee. And, of course, while we are chatting away, she will realize how fascinating I am. So fascinating, in fact, that she will wonder why we are not having these intelligent conversations in bed. Like Tracy and Hepburn.
And it will be at this point in my fantasy that my wife will approach from behind and apologize to Sarah for the drool on my chin. ‘I have to wipe him down, Sarah, every time his imagination gets the better of him.’
I have to learn to keep my mouth closed when I’m ogling Sarah.
4. Moe, garbage man extraordinaire.
Moe earned a spot on my top ten list of the most fascinating people of 2011 due to his selfless acts of kindness while tossing my trash, along with my liquor bottles, into his truck. Nary a sound do I hear. He’s as quiet as a sleeping mouse.
I know . . . I know. I’m supposed to give my liquor bottles to the recycling guy. I’m sorry, but I don’t need everyone in the neighbor knowing my liquor business. So I have an understanding with Moe. He doesn’t cause me to fall out of bed with his garbage can racket at five in the morning, and I don’t tell his wife about the widow lady next door.
5. Mrs. Harper, the widow lady next door.
She bakes me pies and cookies so that I never discuss Moe with Joe, the recycling guy.
That Mrs. Harper is a player, and a damn fine baker. Get jiggy with your bad self, Mrs. Harper!
6. Ahab, our one eyed St. Bernard.
Ahab walks around the house like a drunken pirate. A present day ship's captain in search of Melville, our great white cat. Crashing into furniture on his wild hunt for the dreaded feline who took his eye out with her fearless claws.
Stumbling his way up the stairs, and into our bedroom, when its time for us to go to bed. Refusing to be caught sleeping downstairs with that mad feline stalking the creaky floors.
Ahab prefers, instead, to sleep at the foot of our bed. Forcing my wife and I to spoon. Spooning is fine. If you're a spoon. Otherwise I prefer to stay on my own side of the bed. Where there's no risk of becoming a new dad at sixty. I'm selfishly fascinating.
I’ve learned not to kick Ahab out of the bed. Our last confrontation caused me two broken ribs, a punctured lung and many doggie treats. I’m no match for a one-eyed pirate.
7. My friends.
If I had to add all my friends, the list would be too extensive. Let me just say that my friends are endlessly fascinating. Mostly when they’re drunk. Which happens to be the only time I ever see them.
There was one occasion I remember when, due to an error in our invitations, they showed up an hour early to one of our parties and I was still sober!
It is a steadfast rule of mine to be stinking drunk in the presence of such fascinating company. I don’t ever want to have to deal with their reality.
So I told them all to make themselves at home and to party on. Then my wife and I went to the local pub for an hour of beers and schnapps.
When we returned, the party was in full swing. We did have to reintroduce ourselves because no one remembered us leaving or recalled who we were. A fascinating group.
8. My son.
My son is endlessly fascinating. So much so that after passing the bar and getting his law degree from Harvard, he decided to become a barber.
Not only did he become a barber, but he opened up shop in our backyard. Using his old swing set in place of barber chairs. Fascinating.
He’s doing so well that he, his wife and their year-old daughter, Emily, are finally moving out of his old backyard playhouse. The one I started building for him when he was six.
“The baby’s growing fast,” he had said to me. “We’re going to need a bigger playhouse, Daddy.”
To tell you the truth, I don’t even know where the tools are anymore. I bought them when we were first married. I started building the playhouse for our son when he was six years old. I finished it when he was twenty. The instructions claimed it was a weekend project. I think they were wrong.
He moved into the playhouse with his girlfriend, and its where they've been ever since.
That was twenty years ago. I haven't seen the tools since.
How they managed is beyond me. The house was only five feet in height. Fascinating couple.
9. My wife.
My wife’s name is Uma. It’s not her real name, though. I just started calling her that after first seeing Pulp Fiction in 1994. The name stuck to the point that neither of us can recall her real name.
“What?” I’m sorry, my wife’s shouting from the other end of the room. I’ll be right back.
OK. Enough about my wife. It’s not worth a night on the couch. She apparently doesn’t want her most fascinating features known to the reading public.
Who’d you expect? Jean-Claude Van Damme? (If ever I were to do a list of the eleven most fascinating people, he’d be on it. No doubt about it. Maybe next year.)
Enough said. I blush when I speak of my fascination with myself. (And, besides, my wife's flashing me her 'get off the computer and give me some sweet lovin', look.)
I hope to see you all back here next year.
Goodnight and Happy New Year!