Archive for July, 2019

Just in Case…

I’m having a little surgery this afternoon, and it’s no big deal, but, I am going to have to “go under”. Anytime someone goes under, there’s a chance that they might not come back. In movies and in the news, many people who receive anesthesia don’t come back. It’s a simple and accepted medical reality.

The patient will aspirate, or get an infection, or there is some sinister plan by one of the doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, “big pharma”, or a greedy insurance company, that will cause the patient’s demise. Then great actors like Paul Newman, Matt Damon, or Jim Carrey have go to bat for the deceased’s family.

These hero lawyers are usually a little bit down on their luck, and they almost always have a lot to lose by taking the case, but they’re such good people at their core (like all lawyers), they take the case anyway. They’re willing to face hired thugs, mountains of paperwork, and a labyrinth of lies, schemes, and deceit that sometimes can go all the way to the White House, because it’s the moral thing to do.

It’s a common tale. It’s bad stuff. And, Paul Newman is dead…so there’s one less good guy to fight the good fight. There is no reason to think this won’t happen to me. I’ve had a bad run of luck lately.

So, even though I say, “it’s no big deal…”, it obviously is. It’s no big deal, as long as I come back. But I’m only giving myself about a 10% chance of survival, so if you do the math, that’s like a 77% chance that I’ll be a cold, lifeless, Large, blob of death … by 6:00 tonight.

In light of this, I feel the need to get something off of my chest. Just in case I don’t come back, I need to say something to all of you, and as I tell the tale, it saddens me that this last ‘Large Man Chronicle’ is going to disappoint you. You won’t be disappointed in the work; the writing will be as brilliant as it ever was…you’ll be disappointed in me.

So here goes:

A very wealthy guy was interested in my wife before my wife and I were a thing. He asked me about “her situation” and I lied, and I kind of intimidated him too. On purpose.

There…I said it.

This dude wasn’t just rich, he was old money rich. He was an heir to a funeral parlor dynasty in a highly populated and affluent area in Northern Virginia. He was thin, he was decent looking, and he seemed like a nice guy. I didn’t know him, but all of my friends who did know him, genuinely liked him. We had very little in common.

On the evening of my crime, the 3 of us were at a dear friend’s post funeral reception. The man we were laying to rest was like a second father to my future wife, and a very good friend to me. He was a “client” of this rich kid. It was an emotional time. My wife and I had some sparks flying between us for several weeks, maybe even a couple of months…I’m reasonably sure of this. Both of us were recently single, both with similar sensibilities, tastes, and sense of humor. But we were not dating. I had intentions of asking her out, however, at that time, I was in an extremely negative cash position, so I had not gotten to it quite yet.

My (not at the time) wife, her brother, and I rode to the funeral home together, and then back to the family home for the reception. When we got there, Richey Rich Funeral Boy was already there schmoozing the family and friends of our lost loved one. When we walked in the door, it was immediately plain to see that Clammy Hands Funeral Douche was attracted to the future Mrs. Large Man. In fairness, she was as anatomically close to Mattel’s Barbie Doll toy as any human woman you have ever seen. Now, put that package in a little black funeral dress and…duh… EVERY guy there was attracted to the Future Mrs. Large Man, and most likely even a few of the women.

I’m an expert at assessing the mood and tone of a room. I had “spidey senses” before Spiderman was even a thing. We hadn’t been there long before I noticed the object of my desire was laughing a little too sincerely at the Rigor Mortis Kid’s witty observations, and funny little quips. I knew there was danger afoot; this Barbie Doll was my destiny, and no formaldehyde smelling, skinny black tie wearing, grave digger was going to get in the way of my destiny.

Don Corleone taught us to keep our friends close, but our enemies closer. Pretty much everything I know and live my life by was taught to me in the 70’s by Don Corleone, Don Cornelius, and Miss Covington (Jr. High English teacher). So, knowing these lessons, I moved in…NOT on the Barbie doll, but on the prospective “Ken”. The cold-eyed undertaker, with his chiseled chin, tailored suit, and prep school charm was going to get a Large dose of Large Man. It’s not my comfort zone, but I can be charming, I can be funny, and I can be ruthless while doing so.

“So, Biff, you grew up with this crew?” I asked with a smile.

“Yeah, we’ve all been friends since grade school.”

“That’s nice, “I extended my hand, “I’m Large Man, I moved into the area about 8 years ago. They’re a great group of people, it’s nice to meet you.”

“Same here”, he replied. To be honest, it was a rather delicate handshake. Just sayin’.

As we shook hands, I couldn’t help but think of all the intestines, livers and gizzards he had handled just that day, and I quickly released my grip. We looked around the room, and we noticed the Barbie doll talking with her neighbors, and noticed everyone not involved in the conversation was kind of noticing her.  Barbie Doll (my destiny) has always had a way of creating a presence, and you never know if she’s trying or not.

We continue with some idle chat, talking about different dudes who were mutual friends, the passing of our friend, the funeral business in general, when simply out of nowhere, the Death Merchant says to me rather bashfully, “I don’t remember (Barbie) being so beautiful. I thought she was married? Is she? Is her husband here?”

“Oh dude? Where have you been?” I asked with phony surprise. “I thought you were connected to this clique. She’s married, yeah, but it didn’t take. She’s in the process of becoming unmarried.”

“Well, that’s lucky for the single men of Northern Virginia” he said, with some genuine enthusiasm.

“Oh yeah? Why do you say that?” I ask.

“Well look at her, dude! She’s…she’s gorgeous! She’s funny…SHE’S GORGEOUS! I don’t know how else to answer you.” He replies, again, somewhat bashfully.

He continues, “I’m recently single myself, and I haven’t really felt like dating with the newness of it all, but Barbie is kinda making me ‘rethink’ the whole single life thing.”

Even though this hearse driving stooge was wealthier, better looking, and more polished than me, and would have given my wife a MUCH more “comfortable” life than I ever could have; bashful little Ken dolls just wouldn’t do well with this Barbie. While my next comment was technically wrong, deceitful, and slightly immoral (being that it was an outright lie), I think I might have done this guy (and my Destiny) a favor. That’s the way I look at it, or at least it’s how I get myself to sleep at night for these last 25 years or so.

“Well, umm listen,” I replied softly as I leaned in a little, “and don’t feel bad about this, because you obviously didn’t know. But I’ve actually been seeing her for the last couple of weeks. We’re trying to keep it quiet while she’s going through this divorce thing, so we would appreciate it if you didn’t say anything to anyone.” I continued, “Now I’m not saying you can’t call her; I’m just saying I wouldn’t if I were you.”

I said these things to this 30-year-old trust fund punk as if they were completely true. I spoke while looking directly in his eyes, my words were as cold as the bodies he had stacked up in daddy’s office. “…we would appreciate it if you didn’t say anything to anyone.”

And he didn’t. So that was that.

As far as I know, until today, nothing was ever said to anyone. My ruse created some urgency on my part, I scraped together enough cash to take Barbie doll out for a couple of beers and a hot pretzel the following weekend. I don’t really know what happened to the Cremation Kid, but I never saw him again.

He wasn’t invited to the wedding, that would have been gloating on my part, and that’s just poor taste. I may not be honest, I may not have any integrity, and I may be poor…but I’m tasteful.

The Barbie doll and the Large Man have been together ever since. Not rich with money, but rich with love, and rich with problems that having lots of money would easily solve…so I feel kind of bad for her.

Nothing I can do about it now. (Put a Large smile emoji right here!!)

So that’s this entry to ‘The Large Man Chronicles’, most likely my last. Just in case I don’t make it back, thanks to all of you for reading, and thanks for giving me a voice. I love being The Large Man.

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