01 January, 2010

I know I said I wouldn't go anywhere with Weasil ever again, and now I mean it

22 November 2005

R. Linda:

I went against me better judgement and got meself into a situation. By situation I mean a chaotic turn of events that put me in less than good circumstances.

Weasil rang me up and asked me if I would drive him to a shop in the mall because he was still healing from his skiing "accident" and needed a ride. I was all for saying no, but he went on that his new wife saw some ring in a shop there, and he wanted to get it for Christmas since it was a one of a kind. Begrudgingly, I said I would for his wife not for him.

We got to the mall about 6:30 in the evening. A time when there wasn't a lot of shoppers, but you know the evening rush is not far behind.

There we were in the middle of the mall, not too many people about and for that I was thankful. However, Weasil stopped short and digging into the inside pocket of his jacket he had found something he obvious forgot was there. He looked at me with this strange smile on his face.

"What?" Asked I.

"I forgot I had . . ." and with a flourish he whips out what looks like a folded white stick, "this!"

"What is that, a measurer? You know something you unfold to measure with?"

"Nah ha."

And with no further adieu he unfolds a walking stick. Not just any walking stick, it has a red tip. Yes, you guessed correctly, a blind person's fold up walking stick. You know the kind they tap on the ground and make a wee bit of an arc with, so they don't walk into something, someone, or fall off into space.

"Where did you get that from?"

"Da little woman's auntie. She fergot it."

"Well, put it away," says I.

"Nooo."

"What are YOU doing with it?"

"She fergot it cuz she wuz hangin on me mother-in-law's armie and I ran outta give it ta her but dey had leftie. I wuz going back inside when da wife let da dog outty an I took it fer a walkie and fergot da stickie."

I sighed. I knew there was nothing to do and to try to grab it away would have been a tug of war right there in front of people who would have stopped and stared, and probably called the police, that I was accosting a blind boy by Santa's Land. How would that look? And you know Weasil would play it up as if he were really blind and yours truly would end up in the nick.

I did the only thing I could, I shook me head and walked on. Behind me was the gentle tap, tap, tap, of the stick and I truly did not want to turn around, but the voice made me when I heard, "Gabe, Gabe, where are you? Gabe?"

I was getting me dander up I was, but I stopped and reluctantly turned to wait for him. There he was tapping the cane, one hand stretched out in front of him as if feeling for me in the air.

A few passer bys stopped and stared at me, and I know if I said he was only playing and not really blind, he'd make like he was and I'd look like an idiot with a black heart. So, I played along. He whacked me with the cane saying, "Gabe, is that you?"

"Yeah, it's me and you know it." I said between me teeth.

He place his hand on me shoulder and said, "Lead me to the jewelry store, will ya Gabe?"

I wanted to kill him. He wound his arm through mine and as I went off at a normal pace, I found meself like a yo-yo pulled back a few paces as he slowly moved forward, eyes blankly staring up at nothing, the stick in his right hand -- tappy, tappy, tappy.

"How long you going to keep this up?" I asked in a whisper.

"Gonner git me a goodly price on dat ring cuz I be too blind ta see it."

"You have money, you don't need a good price. Stop this."

"Ya gotz no faith, jus watch da master at werkie."

Now this store is open to the mall hallway not an enclosed shop, so that means people are passing you and can see you.

"Iz dis da righty place, Gabe?" He asked loudly, knowing perfectly well it was.

"Yes, yes it is me all seeing friend," I answered and was greeted with a nasty look by the two shopkeepers behind the counter. They thought I was insulting my "blind" companion and one mouthed, "You are despicable."

I started laughing but of course that made it worse. It was the humour in how ludicrous this all was that had me and how they could believe me companion was a blind man, well that just was the crack.

Very politely Mr. W asked about the ring. He described it like a blind man would, completely accurately, his eyes looking not at the shop ladies, but the mirror behind them, up at the ceiling, everywhere but the display case. He even asked to be able to hold it and then ran his fingers over it while he looked straight ahead. I have to give it to him, he was convincing.

I won't bore you with the rest of the display, but he had them hook, line and sinker. I realised he was doing everything by utilising the mirror. The ladies felt sorry for him especially when he told them the sad story of how he lost his sight. How one night he was walking down the road and saw this man attacking an old lady's cat and how he had run to the rescue only to be hit from behind by the man's accomplice. In the fall to the ground he hit his head so hard he lost his eyesight. The hopeful part of this was that it could return the doctors said. A very slight chance, but it was his only hope in the whole world that maybe on Christmas morning when he gifted his MOTHER with the ring he'd actually get to see her smiling and appreciative face.

I tell you I wanted to barf, but the shop girls were eating it up and so were the customers standing there listening and watching all this malarky. No one questioned why he would be buying a ring for his MOTHER. No one, not one and I be sure he had a story for that too. But no, they were too taken with the young blind hero, saver of old ladies cats. He got a 20% discount without even asking. Something they never do on a one of a kind item. They even gift wrapped it. Without charge and that would have been $5.00 more, but no, he's blind and well that would be a terrible thing and it is the Christmas season isn't it? They even handed him the wrapped box and he did his hand feely thing and they were all sympathy smiles.

I bit me tongue I did. I said nothing. Because of me attitude the shop ladies did not take kindly to me. I guess all me groaning and sighing as he told his "story" was what did it. Nor did the customers in the shop like me either. The ladies lectured me on getting him home safely and if his MOTHER did not like the ring, please guide him back and they would find one she would like.

Guide him back? Like that's going to happen. I'd like to have guided him to the theft and fraud division of the local police department.

He thanked the ladies graciously and tappy, tappy, tapped his way out into the mall, his arm wrapped around mine (me holding the lovely wrapped present). All the way to the parking lot we went, people smiling at me generous nature, giving him a look of sadness that one so young and nice looking, with all the world at his feet, would be BLIND. I unlocked the car and he stood there as I was half way round to my side.

"Hey you, open the door for the guy," some man shouted at me as he passed to his car.

"Gabe? Where are you Gabe? Please help me." The dumbarse said tapping me car with the stick. He said that with a smile on his face because the other guy couldn't see it as he looked straight at me.

Before fists were in me mouth I went back and helped arsehole into the car. I slammed the door and then went back to me side and got in.

"YOU ARE A HORSE'S ARSE," I shouted (windows up).

"Not such a horsie arse I gotz me 20% offy. An dey luved me. An I never axed em fer it."

"You have more money than they do, you could buy the fecking store, why would you do that?"

And his answer -- "Cuz I can."

And he did, so that's it. I be not going anywhere with him. He thinks everything in life is a joke. And to make this even better (worse actually), me wife says she saw a bracelet in this very same jewelry store in the mall. Would I get that for her for Christmas? How can I go back there knowing what I do. AND because they didn't think I treated the "blind" boy well, they will probably up the price for me.

Sigh.

Gabe

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