Friday, September 12, 2008
Ernie is driving a nice 4x4 rental pickup truck while his car is in the shop. He was in an accident a few weeks ago (different from the one previously written about) and is enjoying the first-hand experience of today’s exuberant fuel prices.
JAKE: "Hey Ernie, let’s grab some burgers for lunch.”
ERNIE: “Yeah man, I’ll drive if you buy me lunch.”
ERNIE: “Dude, I’m driving the rental truck. That thing uses a lot of gas.”
He was right. The price of fuel just to drive to the burger joint and back would probably be more than the cost of his lunch.
On the road, Ernie and I talk politics. We discuss the pros and cons of different political candidates. We keep it light and dodn’t trudge on each other’s viewpoints. Although, can a Muppet legally vote?
We also talk about a great card game called Killer Bunnies. Ernie has never played, but he’s eager to try it. I’ve played it loads of times, and it’s always a riot. Cute, furry bunnies offing each other with knives, guns, and various weapons. Classic!
As we approach the delicious burger hut several miles away from work, Ernie becomes impatient.
ERNIE: “Look at all those cars. I don’t want to wait in line to turn left. I’m starving.”
Before I know what's happening, Ernie ploughs his massive truck over the median across four lanes of heavy lunch-hour traffic, into the burger joint parking lot. We shake and rattle in our seats like two bloated peas in a can.
JAKE: “Nice one, Ernie!”
ERNIE: “Dude, that was awesome!”
He was smiling like a happy puppy, his black hair standing straight up.
Inside of the restaurant, the lid keeps popping off the top of my soda. It's a large plastic cup and if you squeeze it even the tiniest bit, the top bends and spurts the lid to the floor, along with the straw. Ernie isn’t having a problem with his drink. Apparently, it is just me. I change my lid and straw twice but the damn thing keeps popping off. It makes Ernie laugh so hard that he turns a brighter shade of orange. I wonder if he glows in the dark.
When we go back into his truck, Ernie tells me he doesn’t like to see a woman mow her lawn. He also tells me how much he enjoys making his brother-in-law lose at board games and Mortal Kombat. Random topics.
When we finally get back to work, Ernie sees a parking space close to the building.
JAKE: “Are you going to fit? That looks a little tight.”
Ernie and I made eye contact and burst out laughing. Ernie asks me if I say that to all the guys. I make a rude comment back and he retorts furiously, “Get out of my rental!”
Back at work, I run into a co-worker in the men’s restroom. We’ll call him Mr. McFeely. Mr. McFeely, or “Feely” for short, stopps me by the sink.
FEELY: “My wife and I were out to dinner last week and I told her about your Ernie Blog. It sounded hilarious to her so she asked me to pull it up on my blackberry, so I did! We made so much noise laughing that other customers glared at us on our way out. Keep ‘em coming, man!”
Thanks, Mr. McFeely. Will do.
Later in the day, Ernie puts his finger in the air as if to say, “Hold on a minute, I’m on the phone.” A co-worker mistook it for him giving her the bird. Ernie tries to apologize, but she won’t listen.
Imagine, if you will, orange plush Ernie flipping you off with a wider than wide smile stretching across his football of a face. Not good. Even in September.
On a personal note, I feel like I’ve come to know Ernie better over the past few months. I’m not sure if that’s good for the blog because I’m losing some of the “outside observer” viewpoint. I guess it’s kind of like that lady who lived with the gorillas for awhile.
Yeah, it’s kinda like that.
See the Traveling Ernie Photo Page at: