My whole adult life I have been teased about the pheromone I emit which attracts crazy people. I can’t blame the teasers. There is a substantial amount of proof to back up the statement.
When I moved to California it was quite a culture shock for this Cajun girl. What didn’t help was the first person I met in my neighborhood was an elderly woman, bookin' it on a bicycle. She rolled up, decked out in a pastel pantsuit, dripping in jewelry, topped off with a Texas-sized Beehive hair-do. I opened my mouth to say hello and she leaned over and yelled in my face, “I pick my own China pattern!” then biked off. I saw her almost every morning. And every time I saw her she yelled at the top of her lungs, “I PICK MY OWN CHINA PATTERN!!!”
Bus rides you ask? Let’s see, I’ve had a man yell at me, “I wanted a Sony Mom, not a Kenwood” over and over again for at least five stops. One man laid down on the floor in front of me and pulled off his dirty pants bundled them up like a pillow and proceeded to sing nursery rhymes to me. Let’s not forget the lady that threw an almost empty bag of cookies at me saying, “Fine you take the cookies - you always get what you want” then proceed to spit inside of the aforementioned bag of cookies.
It probably hit its peak when I was a bartender. After almost two decades I have too many stories to tell so I’ll just give y’all a taste. For this I will make a short list.
The crazy Marine that informed me that, “Bob Dylan is a good American that would never support drugs or rebellion.” He also informed me, “that devil women who work (like me) is the reason he has to drink.”
The guy that sat at my bar and told me he was ready for our date because he had stopped doing meth. I informed him that I had not agreed to a date. To which he responded, “You have too or I’ll do drugs again.” There was never a date.
The man that told me he wanted to rub me all over with Vaseline and then tipped me a quarter and a dozen dead roses.
Once while working in an English pub a man walked in turned to me and yelled, “Screw you, Redcoats! I see you, you will not win. America!!” Knocked over a beer and ran out the door yelling. “America Wins!!”
Last but not least. I have had a man throw an entire foil wrapped BBQ turkey at me yelling “Here, take your damn turkey, you couldn’t even show up! I told everybody you were coming to Thanksgiving!” Mind you, I never agreed to go to this great BBQ turkey dinner. (The best part of this story was after the turkey landed on the floor my co-bartender asked, “I mean it’s still mostly in the foil. Think we can eat it?) I refrained from munching down on the angry turkey.
As you see crazy seems to follow me everywhere I go. I’ll have to do another post to get close to listing all my run-ins with the loopier side of society.
Just this weekend I got a quick reminder that this allure of mine is still going strong.
My first cooking demo scheduled and I was fully focused on getting everything ready. As I’m setting up all my ingredients this woman in her 60’s comes sauntering in. She’s dressed like a normal fester - comfy shoes, khaki shorts, and a Festival t-shirt. She in no way looks homeless or hungry. She walks over to the middle of the counter right where the large trash can full of the previous cook's demo throw aways were located. It all starts out normal.
“What time is your demo?”
“What are you cooking?”
In the middle of the question, she leans over and gingerly pulls up the edges of a white box. “Ooh Look cake!”
I’m thinking, “No way, she’s not she wouldn’t”
Then she does! She starts picking the cake out of the trash can. She just stays there, head full in the trash can cramming cake covered blueberries in her mouth while continuing with her questions.
I watch her cake smeared lips moving, “Where are you from?”
As I stand there my mouth agape it jus keeps going. How much cake is in that damn trash can?
After a minute she looks at me still picking the cake out of the can, “You probably think I am crazy” How do you answer this? Yes! Yes, I think you're crazy! Eating cake out the trash is a private affair for only the saddest, drunk or stoned occasion. It’s not done in public. Why the hell don’t you just take the cake box out of the trash can? Is trash can cake only good if it comes directly out the can?
All I could muster was, “Waste not want not” and then ran away to the back room.
I did see my trash cake lady again. At the demo? Nope, she wasn’t there for that. It was at the end of the demo in the samples line. All I had left was a couple tiny shrimp swimming in sauce. I served her a few and she leans over and I see her finger the dish, going toward a roque shrimp.
“No! That’s enough! The rest is for them” pointing at the next in line. It was probably a little harsh but I didn’t know if she had washed her hands and these weren’t trash shrimp. Also couldn’t help thinking, “I saw you eat an amazing amount of trash can cake - you can’t be still hungry.” That was the last I saw of her but at least I know the next cook didn’t have to watch her pick shrimp roll rejects out of the can because my crazy ass wrapped up my trash and took that stuff home with me.