The Red Socks
My friend Blair has been Blogging about episodes from his and his family's past. Well, I'm going to take a page from that blog (do blogs have pages?) and tell a way back when story of my own.
Recently, Jenn, Katie, Chris and I decorated the Christmas Tree. Earlier in the year my parents had sent the decorations (among other things) I had that had been in storage since they sold their house 5+ years ago. Lo and behold, in the box of decorations was a pair of red socks. The most attrocious shade of red this side of neon and pastel. You know Solo cups, the ones at picnics? That color red. OK for a cup, bad for socks. Unless...
My first ever job was at a movie theater where I was only a bit player in one of the most interesting groups of people you would ever find. Seriously, MTV couldn't do a better job of slapping together a Real World cast if they tried, and they have casting agents. All we had was an insane manager that used to mumble odd, sometimes scary, things to himself and had a knack for flinging staplers (not just saples, staplers) around his office. Seriously, he was insane. All he was missing was a piece of paper with the little INSANE rubber stamp on it and a bunk next to a guy that thought he was Michael Jackson. If he hated a movie, he would call it Gone witht he Wind, his least favorite movie of all time. "Paul, go help clean Gone with the Wind," and you had to know which movie he was talking about because a request for clarifiation only brought about a sly chuckle. He would walk around mumbleing, " I'm a plane. I'm in the air." He would quietly question to himself why people woudl go to "this dump" rather than just go to Blockbuster. I'll stop becasue he could be his very own blog and I STILL wouldn't do him justice.
Anyway, Homer Payack (he went by Butch and wouldn't acknowledge that we all knew his real name was Homer) was my introduction to management.
My introduction to coworkers included a guy who would splice himself into prono movies, a chick OBSESSED with Madonna and Jody Foster (and yet would get pissed at any accusation that she was a lesbian), a woman suffering from the worst scoliosis that you'd ever seen that would believe you if you told her that her car's engine was made of beef jerky and curse you out once someone told her that it wasn't true, and the afforementioned Blair Hollingsworth. For those of you who know Blair, it would be a pretty tough arguement to say he was the most colorful character at the movie theater back in the day and he was EASILY a whole order of manitude crazier back then.
Even though he wasn't the most off the wall, if the movie theater were an actual movie, he most certainly would have been the title character. Our protaganists to Homers antagonist. The uniform at the time was a blue trousers, farm boy styled checkered shit, a blue bow tie and a red vest. Maroon, really. And Blair had these hideous red socks. I think even the color-blind (and world famous) Jim Clark (yes ladies, that Jim Clark) knew these socks didn't match the uniform. But he would wear these socks. And here's the thing, we were all afraid of Homer a bit, but Homer was afraid of Blair. Truely. Blair was pretty much the only one that could really deal with Homer's insanity and that menat he was a threat to his power. One day at the theater and you knew those 2 had a special relationship only because Blair was the only one that could actually quip back wat Homer's ramblings.
So the day came that Blair was leaving the theater. As far as I knew, he had worked there since it opened. He bequeathed upon me these hideous socks. He told me that I needed to carry on the torch and wear them with pride. Keep in mind that I, like everyone else, had just a little bit of fear for Homer. So the day I wore them, I tried to keep my slacks low. but hiding these socks was like hiding an elephant in your tent. Within the first 10 minutes Homer walked up and asked that I follow him. We go out to his car, which under different cirumstances wouldn't be out of the ordinary in the slightest since he always took someone with him to the bank, except he didn't have the deposit bag with him. I freak out. Seriously. THE MAN IS INSANE! At worst, I'm afraid he's going to drive me home and tell me never to return again (my house was on teh route to the bank, so he knew where I lived). I'm saying I'm sorry and that I can run home and change. Than I see that we're headed to the mall. I told him I had other socks and that it wouldn't be necessary to buy new ones. He hands me a $20 and says "buy a pair of blue socks. Keep the change. I never wnat to see those again."
And that was that. Not a peep on teh drive home. Never brought up again.
Here are the things, to this day, I still don't know and wonder about frequently:
1) Did he hate the socks because they weren't within dress code or because they had been Blair's? And don't think for a second he didnt' hate those socks. You don't drive someone to the mall and give them 20 bucks for new socks when they live 2 blocks from the place unless you have hate in your heart.
2) Why would he allow Blair to wear the socks? As I mentioned, he was definitley a little affraid of Blair, but I'm not convinced that entirely explains it. Anyone else wearing those socks would have been fired or sent home. Blair's were the only red socks allowed in the place, and as it turns out, only he could wear them.
3) How much did Blair know? Did he know that Homer hated the socks? Did he know that Homer was a little affraid of him? Did he just wear the socks because he liked them and didn't really give a second thought to the affect it had on Homer. Obviously, it did have an affect on him, and I think any good protagonist would know that.
Anyway, maybe Blair can shed some light on this.