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Valued Social Butterfly
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CURIOUSLY GEORGE

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Curiously George

Because nearby parking stalls were full, I repeatedly drove around some side streets to be on the look-out for my wife whenever she completed her art-of-the deal negotiations at the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra box office. At one point I noticed that my gas gauge was hovering on empty.  If I had to laboriously circle the block any more, I might have had no gas at all. Luckily, a service station was on my route. I wanted to get in and out quickly so that my wife wouldn’t have a long wait, just in case she was able to finally wrest herself away from her tete a tete with the ticket agent.

 

My quick fill-up at the gas pump soon short-circuited. No matter which way I inserted my credit card, it didn’t take until the tenth try. I got so flustered that I then punched in a few wrong digits of my area code. Accordingly, SEE THE RECEPTIONIST flickered on the screen. I ignored that advice, whipped out my credit card, and this time, I successfully passed go.

 

But before I could squeeze any gas into my tank, an old scrawny native Hawaiian sidled up to me. He said in a muted raspy voice that his name was George and that he just wanted to make sure that I was ok. I guess he had seen my sweaty struggles at the pump. I assured him that I was fine. He then confidentially mentioned that his son working at the attached garage was a good mechanic, his prices for inspections and other routine jobs were cheap, and if I said that George sent me, I’d be well taken care of. I might even get some stuff done for free. He stayed right next to me, as if assuming that I would need help returning the hose to the pump. He was officious but certainly not malicious.

 

I perfunctorily thanked George for this information, scrambled into my car, cranked up the air conditioning, and drove a few feet. Before I could take off, however, I heard someone bang on the passenger window. It was George. After I rolled down my window, he once more invited me to bring my car into the shop if I needed any servicing. He then grinned and almost cackled. Gritting my teeth, I said that I appreciated his offer. I then immediately closed the window and spun my car out of the station, this time hoping that my wife was still at the box office. She was, and after one more circling, I spied her and picked her up, grateful (after my weird encounter with George) to hear everything that she had gleaned from the ticket agent.

 

Although George probably had good intentions, he was creepy. I’m sure that if he, solicitous as he was, told me that I could shower at his son’s garage, I’d decline. After all, his son’s name was Bates.

 

 

 

 

 

schlomo
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