|3/8/2014 8:29:00 AM|
Ladies & gents, meet Bubba Castiron
I was standing outside the office, getting ready to grab a bite to eat and trying to decide where to go. There are so many great choices and you really can't go wrong in Noblesville. Eddie's, The Hamilton, Jim Dandy . . . it's a tough decision.
After driving in, through and around the proverbial traffic jam downtown, I got even more frustrated when I realized that in my normal absent-minded state I forgot to bring a copy of The Times with me. Oh well, sometimes you can find an extra copy at our local eateries.
When I finally parked and went inside, I looked around for a paper. Only one I could find was occupied by a bear of a man with hands that told the world he worked for a living. I wasn't sure if he still worked or not. He appeared to be old enough to maybe be retired. He was dressed comfortably in jeans and a t-shirt that had seen the inside of a washer and dryer a time or three.
He noticed me looking his way. In fact, he did a double take. I was thinking that maybe he recognized me as the guy who wrote the column he had in his hand.
"Can I help you?" he asked in a direct, but not quite unfriendly way.
"No sir," I said. "I forgot to bring my copy of The Times and I usually try to muddle my way through the puzzles."
"Puzzles," he snorted. "Who's got time for puzzles? What? Are you one of them philanthropicast or something? You got time for puzzles?"
"Phila-what?" I asked.
"You know, one of them rich folks runnin' around spending money on stuff they think's important that the rest of us just shake our heads at."
"You mean philanthropist," I said. "Actually, they do a lot of good in the world."
"Yeah, if you care about the spotted owl's habitat or somethin' like that."
I started to go into the need for charitable giving but stopped in mid-thought when my new friend pulled out a chair and plopped down, stuck out his hand and said, "Bubba Castiron." I was thinking that maybe his last name came from his grip as I told him my name.
"Me and the boys at the Crawl On Inn were talking about those rich folks that just throw their money away. Wish they would throw it our way."
"Crawl On Inn?" I asked.
"Yeah, it's this little hold in the wall about midway between Boxley, Omega, Elwood and Tipton," Bubba said. "Great place, you ought to come out some time."
"Hole in the wall?" I corrected.
I didn't say anything. I was trying to figure out what was midway between Boxley and Tipton when Bubba pointed at me.
"Say, you look like that guy in the picture in The Times here. Except you're fatter. Are you this Timmons guy?"
I smiled. I've got to admit that it is a bit enjoyable once in a while to have people recognize you for your work. "Yes, that's me," I answered.
"Can't stand your writing," he said. "You use too many big words and you act like you've got all the answers. Shoot man, I'll bet you even have an accountant figger your taxes."
I thought about explaining that itemizing saved quite a bit of money. I thought about telling him that I didn't just work for the paper he held in his hands but was one of the owners. Thought about asking why he invited himself to just sit down. Instead, I opted for the sharp and witty, "Uh, maybe."
"You know what, Timmons," he said. "I'll bet you're not all that bad. You just need to hang out with some guys who don't wear ties once in a while, let your hair down . . . not that you've got a lot there to work with, if you get my drift. You let me know when you've got some free time and we'll head out to the Crawl On Inn and me and the fellers can give you some real stories to write about.
"You'll like us 'cause we're real colorful," Bubba said. "We're redneck guys with blue collars living in a pastel world."
Let me see if I got this straight. This Bubba character doesn't like my writing, points out my expanding waistline and shrinking hairline and then wants me to go out for a drink, probably moonshine, with him and his pals? Should make some great future columns.
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