Sunday, August 24, 2008
Yesterday on his way out of the building, Ernie calls me from his cell phone. He wants to know if the dry-erase marker he had chucked at me had fallen into my coffee. I tell him it didn't, then he starts to laugh.
JAKE: "What's so funny?"
ERNIE: "Did you know that your car windows aren't rolled up all the way?"
His laughter turns sinister.
JAKE: (Begging.) "Please don't pee in my car."
ERNIE: "It's too high for me to get my butt up there and take a crap, but don't worry, I'll make sure to leave you a little something."
He giggles some more and wishes me a good weekend. Then he hangs up.
I nearly curse at him over the phone but decide against it. Ernie recently told me of a college professor who swears at him in class. Ernie doesn't typically use foul language, so it's easy to picture him sitting in the classroom all scrunched down in the chair with a carton of milk and a Teddy Bear on his desk, trembling with fear underneath the professor's sharp words.
JAKE: "Why does he swear at you? Is it because you try to bribe him with pies?"
ERNIE: "I don't give him pies. He just likes to swear."
JAKE: "Maybe you should give him a banana cream pie."
Ernie has been talking about starting the "Bert the Jerk" blog again. He mentions the idea to a couple of people at work and they both look at me and say, "But he doesn't look like Bert." Regardless, Ernie asks if I would post a link to his blog if he starts it.
JAKE: "Sure, why not."
ERNIE: "Nah, I don't think I'll do it."
He shrugs. Then he launches a dry-erase marker in my direction. It almost falls into my coffee.
When I walk to my car at the end of my shift, I discover that Ernie has done something very strange. He didn't urinate or "take a crap" through my window. Oh, no. Instead, sitting there on the driver's seat is something entirely different. It is a quarter, a nickel, two pennies, and a bent twig. I pictured Ernie standing next to my car with a crinkled smile on his face, slowly dropping change and a little stick through my window. Was he re-paying me for the #3 combo meal from Wendy's, or just handing out change? How did the little stick fit into it? It's all very weird...
And Ernie thinks I'm the jerk.