I'm sure you'll find this hard to believe, but Hick took the day off on Thursday and Friday. Uh huh. That's after I made the mistake of telling him that I was having lunch with my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel on Thursday. Hick has a habit of horning-in. Even though he says his take-off was purely coincidence, because he needs to use up his days before he retires in December.
Hick knows that I meet up with Mabel a couple of times a year. While I was working, it was on days that I was off for an appointment of some type, so we had plenty of time to catch up. HICK KNOWS THIS. Keep that in mind.
Thursday morning, I told Hick that I was leaving at 10:15, that we were meeting at the restaurant at 11:00, then going to see Mabel's house, and that I would bring him something back if he wanted. I had mentioned bringing him some food a few days earlier, emphasizing that I would not want to cook a meal when I got home. But because Hick gets his nose out of joint more frequently than Michael Jackson even dreamed of, I offered again.
"I know you said you didn't want anything. And there are hot dogs in there for lunch, with buns I bought on Monday."
"I'm fine. I like hot dogs."
"I won't be making supper. I'll just grab something quick for myself. I'll probably stop at the LOVE Station for my soda, so I don't have to go into town when I get home. Are you SURE you don't want anything?"
"Maybe a burger. I could eat a burger. Or...they have chicken at the LOVE Station." Said the man who turns up his nose when I bring home gas station chicken.
"Just a burger? They have pork chops. And meat loaf. With sides. I don't remember what else was on the menu, and I just turned off my laptop, so I can't look it up."
"Well...I guess you could bring me something. I don't need any pork chops or meat loaf. Just a burger. Some kind of bacon cheeseburger."
"Okay. I'll bring you something."
So...off I went at 10:15. For my lunch at 11:00. Then to Mabel's house, where we could chat without getting the stinkeye from the waitress. At 2:41, I got a call from Hick. Not a text, mind you. A call. Let the record show that I had told Hick that if I was driving, I would not be able to look at his text, and perhaps not answer a call. That road is twisty-turny two-lane blacktop. The trip takes 30 minutes.
"I just called to see if you're okay. Where are you?"
"Sitting here in Mabel's house, talking."
"Oh. I was getting worried about you."
"It's only 2:30. I don't know why you're worried. I got you a bacon cheeseburger. It's out in the car."
"Don't you want it?"
"Not it it's been in the car for two hours." Said the man who came back in the house this morning for a long-sleeved shirt, saying it was too cold outside.
"It's fine. It's been in the shade the whole time. It's 58 degrees." Criminy! It's not like that cheeseburger was in a clay pot in the sun on the beach for 30 days, fermenting like kimchi.
"That's okay. I'll have something."
"So you don't WANT the cheeseburger?"
"We'll see." Said the man who has been known to eat hot dogs several months after their expiration date, now squeamish about a cheeseburger a few hours after cooking.
I was not about to cut my trip short because of Hick the prima donna who was not getting attention lavished on him on a day he took off work when he knew I had plans. But when I started home at 3:15, I grabbed a breast and two legs at the LOVE Station. From the Church's Chicken franchise, of course. It looked like it had been in the warmer since mid-morning. Didn't bother me. I wasn't going to eat it.
At home, Hick came to the garage as I was gathering up my stuff. He took the bag that held his bacon cheeseburger in a foam container, and the box with Church's Chicken that I had set down on top of the burger. AND WENT INSIDE! That left me to carry my purse, the mail, and five cups (more on this another time).
The minute I managed to pry open the kitchen door and go inside, Hick was on his way out the front. "If you want that burger, you can have it. I'll have the chicken." Of course I WANTED the bacon cheeseburger. But I had already partaken of restaurant food that day, and was holding myself to a TV dinner and a bowl of steamed veggies.
When I went outside for my daily walk, I saw Hick sitting in his Gator parked over in Shackytown, eating truck stop chicken out of the box. He better not have thrown the bones to Puppy Jack.
Friday morning (and by morning, I mean noon), as I started to town for my 44 oz Diet Coke, I called Hick over in Shackytown working on his new project. "I'm going to town for my soda. Can I bring something back for HOS?" HOS (Hick's Oldest Son) was helping him build his newest shack.
"No. HOS has to go pick up his boy in a few minutes. But I'd take a burger."
"Oh. So you're going to throw that one away that I brought you yesterday?"
"No. I ate it last night."
So...are you following? Hick ate the truck stop chicken at 4:45 when I got home, and then after it got dark, he ate the bacon cheeseburger. I can only surmise that Hick was wasting away at 2:41, waiting for me to bring him LUNCH on Thursday, and then ate that "lunch" at 4:45, and the burger for supper around 6:30. I'm pretty sure his call to see if I was okay was actually a call that meant, "Where in the NOT-HEAVEN is my lunch?"
I'm surprised he has managed to survive this long. And I'm not referring to the junk food that I feed him.