Saturday, September 08, 2007

Friday Evening, Funeral Homes and Eating


Yesterday morning I read in the obituaries that Jimmy M had died the day before. I ran around with Jimmy M in high school. He graduated the year before I did and went into the Air Force and I haven’t seen him since.

Back in high school we worked various part time jobs together for spending money. When we worked at Minute Carwash on Saturdays and Sundays sometime back then. The regular crew, all black, called Jimmy “Chicken Head”. He had a long neck that crooked forward a little, and the little head at the end of the neck looked something like a chicken head or maybe a turtle. He accepted the blacks calling him “Chicken Head” but got offended and hot when one of us called him that.

I already mentioned in a posting that one time he, a friend that became a rock and roll singer, me, and someone else helped the manager of a bowling alley clear off some property the man had just bought out in the outskirts of the town, back when it was country and the manager caught himself afire trying to pour gasoline onto a small fire to make a bigger fire and we had to rush him to the hospital. It never occurred to us to try to phone for an ambulance. Well, that was before cell phones and we were out miles from anyplace.

Jimmy M was a skinny kid the last time I saw him. Last night in the his casket and he looked huge… and old…. I could not imagine that old man dancing so good as Jimmy danced…. I would have never thought the two people were one in the same body.

He no longer had a long slim neck that would inspire someone to call him “Chicken Head”.

I was not considering going to visitation at the funeral home but was considering going to the funeral today. Then, Anna and I discussed the logistics of it. Tomorrow, I will be needed more to help with the shifting and boxing up stuff for the carpet to be installed next Friday. And besides, I did not necessary want to go with Anna and her mother to her mother’s women club picnic tonight.

And my friend Paul called and told me I had to go (he was joking) because Jimmy M was president of the Ratscats in high school his senior year and as Paul said, “Passed to baton to you.” The Ratscats was an underground fraternity at Marietta High School that has been going on long before my time. I was the president my senior year.

I asked Paul who did I pass the baton to, I forgot. He said, “Roger G.”

I said, “Roger G.? That’s not fair, he died already!”

We were talking nonsense.

At the funeral home I got to see a few old high school chums. Bobby, an old friends, was fussing because the new high school is air conditioned, reminding us that the way we air-conditioned a room when we were in high school was to raise the windows. Don, another was bragging, as he always does at these get togethers. He usually tells me how many houses he owns and is renting now. But he skipped that – he was talking about some kind of collection of 8mm movies he is working on to convert to disk.

Don and I were talking about old friends who have “gone on” and also talking about live friends and what they were up to. I said “And there is Larry Holcomb.”

Don said, “Yes, I ran into him last week.”

I said, “You did?” Larry has been dead about 5 years.

Don said, “Yes, he hasn’t changed a bit, same old Larry.”

Maybe that is why Don didn’t brag about his rentals. He forgot he had them!

I left. Anna was to eat at the picnic with her mother. It was up to me to eat someplace on my own. I went to a new sea food place in Kennesaw. There fresh sea food was displayed at the counter, on ice. You pick it and they cook it I suppose. I noticed the dining area was empty – not a good sign. I changed my mind, I decided to be naughty.

I decided I wanted an old fashioned Wendy’s Hambuger with a side order of french fries that I would drown in catsup. On the way to Wendy’s I went by a KFC and changed my mind – my mind reminded me how great KFC thighs and breasts taste. As I planned to turn around I forgot about KFC by thinking of the next place down the road, The Varisity, which have delicious chili dogs and chili burgers. I was drooling at the thought of those when somehow one side of my mind felt left out because it was thinking of KFC, so I decided to go to the next one of those, which is on Canton Road.

I went to the KFC on Canton Road. By the way, this place got a low rating by the county restaurant inspector for cleanness. Allll right!!! The chicken was delicious, just as I tasted in my mind. It was finger licking good.

The food was good but the restroom smelled like an old fashion outhouse.

Just a couple doors down is a restaurant called Johnboy’s Country Buffet. Across the street from Johnboy’s is a named called Okra’s Country Buffet. Johnboy’s is always crowded and hard to find a parking place. On the other hand, Okra’s is, well, to be kind, I will say you would never have any trouble finding a parking place.

Johnboy’s in ran by a bunch of Asians. Okra’s looks to be ran by a bunch of er- county-like people. So, why do you suppose the outsiders do a better business than the insiders?

I think if you are outside the fishbowl it is easier to see in the whole fishbowl than if you were inside the fishbowl to start with. I suppose the same thing goes for advertising and marketing.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Suzanne said...

Yeah, nothing makes me hungry for fried chicken like a funeral. Ha ha ha. (I hate fried chicken.)

11:41 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Suzanne,
I think I can eat my weight in fried chicken... which gets to be a bigger task after each eating.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Button Gwinnett said...

How funny that "Chicken Head" eventually grew up and out. It's nice that you went. Even though your friendship was a long time ago, it doesn't diminish the importance of it at that time of life.

Your story makes me want to call someone out of the blue. Haven't seen him in 17 years when we graduated from high school. He went into the navy and met his wife there and had 4 kids - 2 were twins. He settled in San Antonio a few years ago after I left home. I kept tabs on him through his mother when I'd see her at a store or some place. And my mother told me around Christmas that she had seen him and he asked for my number. I didn't hear from him. So maybe I'll rattle his cage. ;-)

11:11 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Button,
Call him! It is better to talk to him now than look down at him at a later time in a casket and speculate.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Button Gwinnett said...

Ain't that the truth! The only thing is his oldest is 16 years old. I'd love to meet them. But it's proof that there are now people born after I graduated that are old enough to drive. Bummer!

11:21 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Button,
I wish I could claim that. I think there are some great grandparents in our graduating class.

11:59 AM  

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