This morning, I am breakfasting on pancakes and maple syrup. I like maple syrup — real maple, that is, and not the kind with added sugars and corn syrup like Log Cabin or Mrs. Butterworth. For reasons I do not fathom, all 100% pure maple syrup gets packaged in glass bottles. Almost every single one of those bottles is shaped like a little whiskey bottle. Sometimes half-way through a sleepy syrup pour, I need to do a double-take to ensure I am pouring the right substance on my pancakes.
I discovered a new word this afternoon, cock-a-leekie. It is a soup made from chicken and leeks, apparently. I also discovered the childish joy of making the computer pronounce the word over and over again. It is almost as fun as cockamamie.
And now, the American Beauty Man news. I wanted to put a link in to some of the back-story, but after repeated searches, could not locate anything I had written about American Beauty Man. Because of this, I think it is about time to sit down and write the back-story. I am doing this in friends-only mode just as an extra precaution–I do not need him going ballistic if he were to run across this, considering he is three doors down. Of course, I have no idea HOW he would know, but if he connected me to Netninja, then followed that here….well, I am just being paranoid.
American Beauty Man (ABM, for short), a 40-something man, moved in a couple of years ago with his wife and daughter, who was probably 4 or 5 years old. Upon first introduction, he exuded an aura of a particular sort that friends and I like to call “creech.” While “creech” has no actual definition (like “bonch”), it means something like “creepy dirty old man,” but the subject does not necessarily have to be old. While sometimes a “dirty old man” is kind of humorous and harmless (because he naturally is that way or is simply putting on a persona), a “creechy” dirty old man tends to raise flags of danger in the back of your mind. At that first introduction, we swapped names–but I did not remember his past that day (he was “that creepy guy in unit A”). He always calls me Brian, and I always call him “hey, you.” At this point, he had not yet received the nickname.
Some time later, I was driving home from work for a quick lunch. Now, let me tell you that I make an okay amount of money–even more at the time of this particular incident because of the dot-com craziness. I make enough to have a sporty little convertible and live alone (alone, at that time) in a spacious 2-bedroom cottage house in a nice part of town. I also do not LOOK like the sort of person who would be making that amount of money, unless I were a musician or drug dealer (or programmer)–we are talking t-shirt, jeans, double-plus-ludicrous-big boots, long hair died black, but not died black often enough so there are perpetually visible brown-almost-blonde roots.
Of course, since I was driving up the little road we all share with the top down, playing loud angry music, during the middle of the day–I of course could not have had a regular job, so MUST have been a drug dealer. At least, in his mind. He was hanging around in the front yard or garage of his house, which I have to pass to get to mine, and signaled me with a wave. Stopping, to see what he wanted, I pulled over. In a very circumspect, but blatant, manner he proceeded to talk AT me, which he often does, asking how I can afford the car and place, what kind of clients I have, and whether we can hang out some time, and what kinds of substances I have at the house. I politely excused myself from the interrogation and continued home to have lunch (I had less than an hour to get back to work).
A few months later, a pair of just-out-of-high-school girls moved into the house on the end (the house currently occupied by the cool pair of lesbians), and he had a number of things to say about them. I guess he did a lot of ogling and hoping and wishing.
Some months later, a similar thing happened on the weekend. I was flagged down, I pulled over to see what was up, and he proceeded to talk at me. Family problems, wife leaving, taking child, blah, blah. Oh, and the neighbor lady, she’s kind of hot. [Note: she is 50+, rather overweight, and decidedly not hot] Also, we should hang out and have a few beers because he has more free time now, and more talk (accusations?) about substances.
I think you can now start to see where the nickname came from. He is certainly not as cool as Kevin Spacy, but is really trying to live the life.
Some months after that, when Kate was all but living here, he had a little talk at me about “all those cute girls coming and going from my house.” Of course “all those cute girls” was actually “Kate dressed in various outfits,” but I did not want to correct him for fear of prolonging the conversation (or rather turning his lecture into a conversation).
A few weeks ago, he asked about sharing my DSL and wireless. I would rather eat my own socks than allow him to use my DSL to slurp up barely-legal-teen porn or whatever the hell he downloads.
So, the latest news is that while trying to drive out of the complex, I was blocked by a large black SUV being cleaned in the middle of our complex’s roadway. The man cleaning it looked like a not-quite-professional wrestler, straight from the 80’s. He even had the blonde mullet and tank-top. He starts to move his car and American Beauty Man comes out of his house, starts screaming at him, then turns to me and says he was only joking. Blonde Mullet Man was a friend from work (presumably down at the aerospace plant’s assembly line) who is buying a house in the area. The house will not be ready until the 7th, so he is staying with ABM until then. Blonde Mullet Man (BMM) also has a vibe of creech. Great… Two creeches for the price of one!