Archive | April, 2012

Gus’ stuff

25 Apr

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Weekend at Bernie’s: How I was scammed

20 Apr

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Picture this scene: You see an old woman, wrinkled and shriveled up, probably in her 70s, slouched in the passenger seat of a car. Her eyes are rolled back in her head. Her face is contorted. You see crutches in the back seat. She’s got those tube things running out of her nose that people in the hospital have on them for oxygen or whatever. You’re not sure she isn’t dead. It looks real bad.

The son, or so he says, is in the driver’s seat of this old Pontiac. He says his mom just got out of surgery and they are out of gas money. They need to get back to San Antonio.

This is the scenario I found myself in the other day in a strip shopping center close to Jersey Village.

My first thought when they guy pulled up by my vehicle, looking frantic: the old woman is dying, and he needs to call an ambulance. I can’t help but roll down the window and ask what the problem is.

The man explains. Then I start to process the situation.

The old woman looks dead or near death. I don’t think you can fake that look. I’m pretty sure it’s a scam, but it’s the old woman— that lady needs help one way or the other. Dude, she is probably going to die. I hand over some money.

The guy thanks me and speeds away.

Seconds later, I see four Asian women bust through the front door of a nearby nail salon. One of them is yelling: “Don’t give him any money. It’s a scam.”

The guy with the old woman is long gone by now. Maybe he was a NASCAR driver before he started carting around old women.

The Asian women are now at the window of my car, the one lady gesturing wildly and explaining that she was scammed by the same guy earlier in the day. Her voice is high-pitched; her eyes are wild.

“He’s been hanging around here all morning. He took my money, too. That is not his mother. It’s a scam.”

The Asian woman says she is going to call the cops. But she isn’t sure who to call since it’s just outside the Houston city limits.

I take it all in, trying to think if I should have done things differently.

My first thought: Perhaps the old woman was Jesus, and this was a test. Better to hand the money over; otherwise, I might go to hell. Not worth the risk.

Second thought: That woman looked in real bad shape. Even if it wasn’t his mother, she could use some money to buy liquor or chocolates. Perhaps a Red Bull, maybe that would perk her up.

Third thought: I’m glad they didn’t rob me. At least they asked nicely.

Fourth thought: That was the best acting job by an old lady that I’ve ever seen. That performance was worth $20.

Driving home, my thoughts drifted back to the movie, Weekend at Bernie’s.

You can do a lot with a dead body.

The mother of all baby showers

8 Apr
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Drawing by Gus Morgan

My neighbors are crazy.

And they are driving me crazy.

It’s approaching midnight, and noise is pouring from the house across the street.

They have been carrying on for hours. They’ve got liquor in them now.

I wish you could hear what I’m hearing.

These are not ordinary noises, but sounds you might hear coming from the deep backwoods of Kentucky in the early 1800s. The noises I hear belong on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre soundtrack.

An animal-like cry just pierced the night, causing my cat to curl into a fetal position.

Now, here is what is even more disturbing.

They posted a sign in their yard earlier today, which said, “It’s a boy.”

I know they didn’t just have a baby. I guess they are hosting a baby shower for a friend.

I’ve tried to put myself in their shoes, to think like them. To outthink the beast, you must become the beast.

Possible thought patterns running through their brains:

“Hey, let’s host a baby shower. Yeah, man, let’s make it go on for hours and hours. Let’s serve lots of liquor. Smoke. Play loud music. And, hey, let’s have it in our garage with the doors open. And, yes, let’s not forget to invite Uncle Buck and Sally Sue. Honey, get the pigs’ feet out of the freezer. I’m going to barbecue tonight.”

Vehicles are clogging the street in front of my house, and the road itself is on the verge of a cardiac arrest. How many people are over there?

This is not how baby showers are supposed to play out.

Maybe if I was at the baby shower, I would have a different perspective on this whole deal.

Maybe I should go over and join them.

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