At some point in high school, I began thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up.
As a young boy I had answered the question with the truth of the time: "I want to be a policeman!" I illustrated my desire with a stick B wearing a cop hat, shooting hyphens at a burglar who lay dead, x's where his eyes should be, in a pool of red. The sun, as he always did in my illustrations, had a big smile on his face as he looked down upon the carnage.
I received a "Good Job!" and a stamp of an elephant wearing a sailor's cap from my teacher for my effort.
High school led me to think that perhaps I was too much of a wuss for policing, and shouldn't it be a nicer life just pretending to a police officer in the movies and on teevee.
So actor it was.
I met a gentleman on Parliament St. the other day who chose a much different path from both the Young B and the Present B: he turned on and off the ignitions of a sheik's Mercedes Benz collection. All day. Every day.
To describe him, I can't avoid telling you that he had one proper arm, and one that was more like a chicken wing. That was not his key turning arm, thankfully, or heaven knows what he would have grown up to do!
The SmartCar, which I may or may not begin calling Dilton after Archie Comic mainstay Dilton Doiley (who was the smartest person I knew growing up) served as Matchmaker for this platonic meeting of two men with little to do. I was waiting for one of my beer customers to open her doors; he had a shipping tube which his chicken wing was flipping around like a baton--neither of us particularly busy.
The conversation grew so quickly from Smart-centric questions to "I worked for a sheik in Dubai who was so stupid!" that I don't even recall how he and I got in Dubai. But with an opener like that, I quickly forgot all about Dilton and threw myself headlong into the "Arabian Nights" tale unfolding before me.
"Every day I turned on each of the sheik's 160 Mercedes, let them run for 10 minutes, then turned them off. I had a stopwatch."
A was answering a question I suppose he saw in my eyes; more accurately, my eyes were saying "What the fuck!?" not "However did you know when the 10 minutes were up?"
"For this I was paid $100,000 American dollars! Which is very good money. But this sheik was so stupid. He was illiterate! He couldn't even write his own name! He could afford to pay me $100,000 American dollars, but he couldn't buy himself some sense!"
I was more happy at this moment than I had been all week! And it was THURSDAY! This man, A, was making my day a classic!
"He thought that I had caught the eye of one of his 20 wives--he had 20 wives! it's true!--and came to me one day. He told me, 'I know that you are trying to fuck one of my wives, and I want you to leave. Here is one million dollars. Go.' So I went. And it was not true that I was trying to (hand gesture roughly like that of throwing a jab in boxing) his wife; but he had so many wives that he couldn't fuck them all himself! He would fuck one for maybe one week, or two--a month if she was really hot--then leave her and marry another. He was so stupid! All these wives and he couldn't fuck them all!"
Such a waste! I swore, silently, that I would never marry so many wives that I could not sex them all up. The key would be to have a great personal organizer.
There was no stopping my new friend! How'd he leave Dubai with a million dollars?
"Taped to my body--that much money is heavy and hot to wear!" (I'm sure that I'll never know)
Were there any other jobs? Perhaps I could get a sweet job, too?
"He had twenty or thirty Phillipino servants, because they were small, and he fucked all of them too! Men and women! And he gave them a thousand dollars to keep them quiet."
I suggest passing on that job if you see it come up on Monster.com.
Was there a uniform?
"One day I took him to a market, because he wanted a new robe. We found this robe made from baby camel hair--the mother was killed, then the baby pulled out and skinned--and the sheik wanted this. He paid way too much for it; but he had no sense!"
How much is too much for a robe made from aborted camel baby fur, really?
I was heartbroken when the restaurant owner showed up, bringing an end to my deeply engrossing conversation with A about the "dumbest sheik in Dubai"; but all good things in life must come to an end.
Waving goodbye, I couldn't help wondering how someone gets to a point in their life when they get paid great money to do something so beautifully simple--something they love. . .
. . .then I took a nice long pull off my Steam Whistle, which I am obliged to have as part of my Sales duty (we like to call it 'rotating the stock') and thought about what to have off the menu.
Work work work.