Richie is my rascally teasing friend. He constantly makes fun of me, calls me a “fake redhead”, and endlessly drags me over his hilarious Richie coals. Richie peppers his speech with the “F” word, using it as a noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb. I occasionally use that word, but I mentally spell it with a “Ph” so it doesn’t count.
I took frequent long walks with his wife, Ann. We spent hours hoofing from one end of the ‘hood to the other. One day I drove from my house to hers, left my maroon Jeep Cherokee on their driveway and off we went. They live on a large corner lot. On the hike back I spotted my car parked in their side yard.
“Ann, I think that’s my car….”
“Did you leave the keys in it?”
“Well, you have only yourself to blame.”
Sure enough, Richie had moved my Jeep and plastered it with signs advertising it for sale.
“For Sale. Cheap Like Owner.” and “For Sale. Lots Of Miles, Like Owner.” He added my phone number.
Richie saw us approaching and walked out their garage to taunt me. As I was chastizing him, four Mexican yard workers pulled up. They climbed out of their battered white pickup truck, wandered around my Jeep, kicking tires and pulling open doors. They were raising the hood when I insisted Richie go send them on their way.
Shortly after I got back to my house the phone rang. A man with a thick Spanish accent was on the other end. He asked how much I wanted for my Jeep. I was certain the caller was Richie’s buddy Rick. They were always pulling pranks of one sort or another.
I replied, “Well, there is a requirement for the sale of my Jeep. You see, the buyer is obliged to take me with it. In the back seat. Frequently.” The caller was silent for a beat, then replied, “I will think it over and call you back.”
Comical, right? I then dialed up Richie and let him know I was on to him. His reply, “Honey, Rick isn’t in on this. I didn’t call him. That guy must have been the Mexican who was looking at your car.”
Sitting here at my kitchen counter, fingers poised over the keyboard, the memory of what happened next still makes me giggle. The phone rang again. I picked up. The man with the thick Spanish accent was calling back. He had thought over the terms of the sale and agreed. Yes, he would take me in the back seat. Frequently.
Naturally, I killed the deal. That rapscallion Richie. I have hundred’s more Richie stories to tell. Hang in here gentle readers, I’ll share them all eventually.