His name is Les. As in Lester. That’s the name of a Cho-Mo if I’ve ever heard one. What’s a Cho-Mo? Cho-Mo is short for Child Molester. Don’t ask me how I know this, but I do.
Of course Lester is not a Cho-Mo. He’s the husband of my girlfriend’s workplace BFF. And the girls thought it would be fun if we all double-dated, seeing as how I had never met the BFF or Lester, and they had never met me.
Free Advice: The next time your GF asks you to double-date with people you don’t know on a Hump Day night during Fiscal Planning Week, two days after you got a flat tire in rush hour, and one day after you found a hole in your favorite wingtips…just take a raincheck. You will NOT be in a good mood. And you MAY find yourself irritable.
The consolation to the evening is that I chose the restaurant; a little Italian joint in the old part of St. Paul. It’s a small place. Very quaint. The sauce is homemade, the whiskey is Scottish made, and the tablecloths are as white as Cloud 9.
Dinner was to begin at 7. They didn’t get there until 7.30. Les and his wife got lost. They’re not used to the city. They live in the burbs. I hate the burbs. No bother though. I slammed a double Belvenie just to loosen up my cheeks enough to smile, and by the time they arrived I was refreshed and ready to perform.
How do you do? So nice to meet you. Please, have a seat.
So Lester, what business are you in?
Les is a senior broccoli & radish specialist. No shit. He buys broccoli and radishes for a chain of grocery stores in the Midwest. Who knew? I guess the broccoli won’t crawl into the stores on its own. Kind of like The Box! We actually have a team three people at our company whose sole responsibility is to procure batteries. A, AA, AAA, whatever floats your boat…or should I say whatever propels your remote-controlled battery-operated boat….
I really don’t know why Obama and Romney are saying there aren’t enough jobs. Last night I was sitting across a Sr. Broccoli and Radish Specialist who trickles down his income to a suburban dog shit-picker upper to pick up Fido’s lawn droppings, and the dog shit-picker upper guy trickles down his income to a dog-shit-picker-upper tool polisher to make sure the dog shit-picker upper tool looks shiny and new to reflect the suburban grass and sun. Honestly, for those of you who are unemployed, just think of a job and start an LLC. Somewhere there is a need for a satellite dish cover in the shape of a tomato, so break out the sewing machine and buy some thread.
In short, I was on autopilot. I got an A+ in Don’t Wanna Be At Dinner 101 in college.
A couple drinks before the appetizer…where did you go to school?
Another drink with the appetizer…where did you two meet?
Another drink with the entrée…house, kids, dog? Do tell.
Did he know that I was on autopilot? No way!
Why? Because he lives in the suburbs and I said shit like…
I bet you’re anxious for the new Vikings Stadium to be built!
Touchdown! He agreed. He was like a dog that wanted to lick me for giving him a bone. A real connection was made. Amazing.
Fucking Democrats. Always looking for a handout!
Fiscal Responsibility! He loved it. He offered me his spare Mitt Romney lawn sign. He said it was 12ft wide and cost $200. I passed. I told him my city-sized lawn wouldn’t have room for a sign that big (but neglected to tell him the truth which is that my neighbors are gay and are using my lawn this weekend for their marriage ceremony and I couldn’t be happier for them).
Well, ol’ Les and me was getting on pretty good (he assumed)…good enough for him to give me business advice once he found out that I work at The Box!, America’s Favorite Electronics Megastore. He leaned in, his bottle of Bud in his hand looking out of place in a restaurant known for wine.
I don’t shop your stores anymore. I buy all my stuff at Amazon.
Ouch, I thought, but I let that line slide. Even my best friends, both of my parents, and my sister, have stopped shopping our stores for one reason or another. Les was just being honest. But he was getting a bit louder. I think it was the Bud.
You know what you need to do? You need to hire real people. Not teenagers. You need real computer guys working there. Not some prom king making $5 an hour!
Oh boy. He started in on the whole What You Need To Do line. Oh, I don’t like this line. I don’t like people telling me what I need to do. I certainly don’t like when people on the outside of my company assume they know what is best, and then assume I want to hear their advice. BTW, we pay our people $12 an hour to start. Not $5.
You know what you need to do? You need to stop selling people warranties on all the stuff you sell. Nobody is going to buy a warranty on a DVD.
You’re right. Which is why we don’t offer warranties on DVDs.
You know what you need to do? You guys need to be more competitive with Amazon.
Yikes. Where’s the fire exit? Oh God, its way over there. Down the hall and through the kitchen. Too far to go. He’ll catch me.
You guys need to tell Apple not to give you unfair pricing. Grab them by the balls and tell the what’s what. Same principles as broccoli negotiating.
But I am near a window. Can I pick up my chair and break the glass? I’ll be out on the curb and in my car in mere seconds. Will my girlfriend mind? Could I go to jail for such an act?
You need to offer free shipping on your box.com purchases.
Will that butter knife break my skin if I press really hard?
Have you guys ever thought about putting Starbucks in your stores?
Fuck it. That butter knife will break my skin. Give it here!
You need…you need….you need…
Mr. Broccoli kept on and the girls didn’t see what was happening on our side of the table. They couldn’t see me squirming in my chair like a child being yelled at by a teacher with rotted-shit breath.
They were talking about bunyons and periods, and to be frank, on any other night I would avoid such a dialog but at this point I was getting bullied by Cho-Mo the Radish Dealer on how to run a consumer electronics multi-national, and frankly, bunions and periods would have been a refreshing topic because I felt like I was having PMS, and a bunion was forming on my ass from squirming in my chair.
But…I am a pro. So I nodded my head at Cho-Mo the Bud Drinker and had my pre-formulated responses.
That’s a good idea.
Wow, interesting take.
Yes, we did think about that.
No, I don’t want to work at Amazon and move to Seattle.
But as he went on, I was getting mine. I was formulating thoughts in my head and took comfort knowing that had I spewed out the following, I would never have to meet these people again. Then again, my girlfriend would finally realize that yes, even though I cook and volunteer at the Humane Society, I too can be a real cocksucker when push comes to shove…
My dear man, you are a GENIUS! You’re ideas are so original. I work with 5000 very dedicated people and not one of us has ever thought to put a Starbucks in our stores. Not one of us has ever thought to re-negotiate pricing with Apple, the most successful company on the planet who doesn’t need us any more than a hooker needs another case of herpes. Free shipping on Box.com purchases? No shit. We have 300 people working to make TheBox.com more competitive every day, and what’s amazing to me is in the last 10 years, I have never heard that idea! Not once! Amazing! And to think that you make a living as a mere Broccoli merchant! Tragic.
I think you should be our CEO and bring us back to good! How about running for president? How would you balance the budget? Lower spending and increase revenue you say! Again, amazing. Perhaps you have a formula to buy every family a dog, every little girl a pony, and finally, finally a plan to teach Somalis how to drive.
By the way, I shop at your stores and your broccoli is shit. Not sure where you’re buying it from or what year you purchased it in, but maybe you guys should figure out how to make your own shelves greener before you try to figure out ours. Or will your ego allow it? I have heard that those who talk the biggest game have the smallest winkies. And seeing as how our ladies are BFFs, and my girlfriend has a mouth for pillowtalk, I know not only that you have a small winky, but that after your third Bud, it’s a dud. Cheers!
Of course I didn’t say this. Any of it. But to my pleasant surprise my girlfriend had heard the beating I was taking by Cho-Mo, and could feel me squirming from two feet away. So after we paid up, said our good-byes, and got in my car, she looked at me sweetly…
“Oscar, you know what you need to do? You need to never be put in a position like that again!”
“Best idea I’ve heard all night.”