People ask me, “Were you hit in the head or something?” I say, “Well, yes.” People also ask me, “Were you ALWAYS this stupid?” I say, “Part of the getting ‘hit in the head’ thing.”
When people ask me idiotic questions like, “How are you doing today, Brent?” in a cute voice like they’re talking to a three year old, I usually come up with an answer like, “They let me out without the helmet today, so pretty good.”
I was once asked, “You’re not ordering a BREVE latte are you?”
This was about twenty years ago, and by a woman of local fame....or maybe infamy is the right word. Let’s call her Bess. Bess was the most famous widow that month. Her husband died suddenly when Bess shot him in the back five times. But this isn’t about that. He threatened her life. There was a history of abuse, so she got off with self defense. She was on the national news for one day.
I was hanging out at the Cafe European espresso bar, where I usually hung out. I was about twenty four, had no responsibilities, and was self medicating with the glorious caffeine. I was also people watching. That was a hobby of mine.
I had just ordered a breve Brent Special. Breve is the term for making a drink primarily out of cream or half & half, instead of milk. I loved my breve drinks then, but even the thought of something so rich now, at the age of 44, makes me a little queasy.
Leaning on the bar, I answered slightly intimidated, “Well, um, yes.”
Her last name ironically, was the same as a brand of hand gun, so let’s call her Bess Lugar. Rumor has it that during her trial there was an ad placed in the local classifieds for a 9mm Lugar, only fired five times.
Parenthetically, the name we came up with, Bess Lugar, for some reason, reminds me of the second grade where I won all the staring contests. I had learned to spit milk from the inside corner of my left eye socket, so in a staring contest I was unbeatable. I like the name. Let’s go with it.
Bess said, “Well, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
I was intimidated beyond belief. I straightened up, and squeaked out a little, “How come?”
This woman who had just been on trial for murder, said to me, “The cholesterol will kill you.”
I was floored.
I looked at the guy working at the coffee bar, and said, “That will be non-fat from now on.”
The Brent Special was at that time, a 16 oz. latte with a single shot of espresso, one shot of coconut syrup, and about 5 to 8 drops of Irish Creme syrup.
I used to tell anyone new who made it, “A shot of coconut, and enough Irish Creme poured into it, that if it were a pregnancy test, it would be positive. Not twins, but positive.”
The newbie would pour the shot of coconut, and be very surprised when, on pouring eight drops of Irish Creme syrup into it, that it did resemble a chemistry experiment. The brown syrup was suspended in the translucent white syrup.
I was enjoying a Brent Special one day, when my Friend Who Shall Remain Nameless pushed up to the bar, right outside Wray’s Foods. It was about 93° out, and being a quadriplegic, his spinal cord was injured too high for his sweat glands to function. He had pushed his wheelchair about two thirds of a mile, and he was burning up.
“Hey Brent, I need you to do me a favor.” He said.
“What’s that, Un-Named Friend?” I asked.
“I need you to get two glasses of water, and pour one of them over my head and shoulders.” He said.
I asked, “What do you want me to do with the other glass?”
“Just toss it in my face.”
I smiled, “I can do that.”
While the coffee girl poured two glasses of water, he turned around and locked his brakes in front of the coffee bar, so his back was to the automatic door to the grocery store.
As I poured the first glass over his head and shoulders, I could see relief hit him like a bag of nails.
Unnoticed by me, the grocery store doors slid open. An elderly lady exited the building, with her shopping bag and her purse. I threw the water in the second cup in my friend’s face.
Leaning back, he bounced on his wheely bars as if the weight of the water had tossed him back.
He exclaimed, “Whatja do that for??”
I was speechless. The old lady got this angry look on her face that said to me she was thinking about beating me with the purse she clutched in one hand.
We watched her walk away, and as soon as she had traveled slowly out of earshot, I whispered in his ear, “Let’s do that again!”