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Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Top 8 People with whom I come into contact at Papa John's

In every square mile of America, and probably the world, there are insane people. They are out there, but you don't notice them. They blend in like those green bugs that hang out on ferns. Sometimes they look totally sane -- until they open their mouths and pure insanity pours out. When you live in an area for a while, you eventually learn who these people are and why to avoid them.

If the Papa John's I work at were a stand-alone and not in a giant strip mall next to a "Tom Thumb" grocery store, this list would not have been possible. The insane congregate at strip malls, as they represent both a place to buy consumer goods and a place to meet (read: annoy the heck out of) as many new people as possible. The insane just love meeting new people and drawing them into their tornado of incoherent thoughts and myopia. And a strip mall is way better for the insane than a regular mall, since regular malls have an abundance of their nemesis: The Security Guard. Plus, shopping at a regular mall really cuts into their "wandering-the-streets-aimlessly" time.

With that in mind, I will present to you the top 8 people with whom I come into contact with at Papa John's, counting down from least crazy to most crazy:

8) Curves Nazi -- A new addition to our strip mall, I have only seen the Curves Nazi once, and barely remember what she looks like. She works at the new "Curves" two doors down from us, and she's quite passionate about keeping us drivers out of the three parking spaces that are in front of her workout facility (that's what Curves is, for those who don't know). Her curvaceous (I'll kindly let the reader determine for themselves what that means in this context) customers, who are there to work out, can't walk an extra few feet to get to the door, apparently. When the Curves first moved in she was up in my Manager's face every day about it, and the Manager made sure we knew not to park in front of Curves before 7pm, because this Manager's default state is utter capitulation. Now, Curves has no more right to those 3 spaces than you or I, but that doesn't matter to this Curves chick. That's why she's on this list, and why his daddy named her the Curves Nazi.

7) Cart Pusher in Love -- A toothless hillbilly from the old school, the cart pusher pushes carts and stocks shelves for the Tom Thumb that anchors the parking lot and gives the strip mall a reason to exist. He's always got a crooked cap and a smile for ya, and if you work at Papa John's he'll always ask you about his special friend, Lisa the pizza delivery driver. He's in love with her, you see, even though she looks like a baked potato with glasses and limbs and has a son who's a dirty pothead (and I do mean pothead. But the emphasis could just as easily be on the pothead part). Lisa was eventually fired, but that doesn't stop him from asking if you've seen her lately, even if that answer is always "no."

6) All Bless No Stress Guy -- You know that character Morgan Freeman plays in The Shawshank Redemption? The one who works as a bagger at a grocery store after his release from prison? That's totally this guy. He even sort of looks like Morgan Freeman, all tall and dignified. He gets his name from his response every time you ask him how he's doing. Without fail, he says "It's all blessed with no stress," but he's said it so many times that it's elided to "all bless no stress." Now, I like the sentiment, and he's probably glad to finally be out of prison, but at some point there has to be stress. It can't all be bless. Still, he's very friendly, and seems to know everyone who shows up in the mall parking lot, even the insane ones. Side note: He drives a 80's blue-green Cadillac, which is so pimpin'. He also backs into his parking spot every time, which is also pimpin'. So I guess we know what he went to the joint for, eh?

5) Crazy Hair Lady -- She's the woman who begs the question: What's crazier -- the hair or the lady? First of all, it looks like she surgically grafted Buckwheat's hair onto her head. Second of all, I can't understand half of what she's saying because she speaks so darn quickly. Not only that, her every statement is phrased as an insane rant about someone or something. She also does a lot of squeaking and squealing if she approves of something or is surprised. When I see her she is usually trying to scam free pizza from us or yelling at her boyfriend (I say boyfriend only because I can't believe someone would marry her). Those seem to be her favorite pastimes. The best part? She's a hairdresser. Maybe the question should be: Who's crazier -- this lady or her customers?

4) The (Dreaded) Underwear Guy -- This guy is actually a customer in our delivery area, and has nothing to do with our parking lot. In fact, he may never leave his house. I don't know if he's got a medical condition (please let it be a medical condition and not...something else) or what, but he's a 50-year-old man who answers the door in his underwear and invites you in. And by underwear I mean tighty whiteys. You don't realize this unless you look down, which I don't reccommend. Just glancing down for a split-second in disbelief is gross and painful. Again, let's hope that his condition is physical and not mental, because yick. The second time I delivered to him he was very apologetic about his freakishness, but that didn't stop him from making me go back and get him peppers and cheese. And when I returned, he tried to engage me in a polite conversation about Papa John's and what a good customer he is and how he could make sure the peppers and cheese came the first time. He needs to understand that there's no such thing as polite conversation when you're not wearing pants.

3) The Garbage Lady -- So named because she has on several occasions been spotted picking garbage up off the ground, looking at it, and stuffing it into her housecoat. She's also rail-thin (I mean starvation is really sneaking up on her hard), has a giant bush of frizzy hair with a bow in it, and walks around the neighborhood at all times of the day or night. If that's not insane I don't know what is. I get the disturbing feeling when I look at her that she's about 35 years old, but it's a hard 35, if you know what I mean. Not eating has a tendency to age you. I really can't say anything more about her, since her only bit is picking up garbage. If she develops some new bits (like screaming or wearing facepaint), I'll let you know.

2) Bald Shorts Guy -- The quintessential Friendly Neighborhood Nutcase, BSG wanders the streets all day in a t-shirt with the arms cut off and 70's style short shorts. He's about 50, is bic-bald, wears glasses, and never says much to anyone. But he does like the ladies, apparently. One of the girls who used to work at the Papa told a story about BSG that made him out to be a self-exposing stalker who lifted his leg up at the most inopportune times to give the ladies a peek of something they most definitely didn't want to see. But she was wearing a bikini top at the time she told the story, so I think she may have just wanted attention (from my old Manager, silly -- not BSG). Anyway, just wearing those shorts every day is enough to make you bat-crap insane in my book.

1) Note in Pencil Dude -- Let me first descibe how this guy dresses: He's always seen wearing like 70's basketball wear -- a tank top, mesh shorts, the occasional striped headband around his wavy shoulder-length mane, striped tube socks pulled up to his knees -- and punctuates all that with a pair of flip-flops. But that's not the insane part. He's angry at everything, and mutters to himself all the time while looking down at the blacktop of the parking lot. But that's not the really insane part. You see, I've delivered to his house, and when I got to the door I saw staring at me a note written (scrawled, really) in pencil on a sheet of lined notebook paper. The note said:

And that, my friends, is truly insane. Thank you and good day.


  • At 3:20 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    I was just saying to Jill today that I can't believe you didn't put any Papa Johns posts in your retrospective. At least I don't think you did, you may have. I think Man-Bob Bill is a great name for a person. Where'd that come from?

  • At 4:55 PM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    Man Bob Bill is his real name, only in a different order than his parents used.

    I didn't put any Papa's posts in my retrospective...I'm sorry. You know, you can go back and read them.


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