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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Joe Tingle's Tale, Fundamentalist, Prejudice, Hatred, and Insanity


I worked pretty hard yesterday-but neither of the calls that I worked were very exciting, and neither one of them was the least bit fun. Of course on the second call I got to look at the beautiful Mrs. Brandy T., and she's always good for a few laughs-and if she's not making me laugh, then it's also fun when I make her laugh.

People who make me laugh are fun, and if a beautiful woman can make me laugh, then that's a truly wonderful thing-married or not. The boss is recovering from some serious physical problems, but he wanted to go with me yesterday, and he went again with me today. I enjoy having the boss work with me-he's not able to work at all at present, but the man has a mechanical aptitude that I could never, ever hope to match. He's also an all out wonderful person to be around.

Now it's no secret that I'm a high speed, red-lined, over-driven psychomofo; but most people DO like me, and I'm very easy to get along with. So even though I'd worked hard-I was still up at 2:30 a.m., and the stereo was blasting some old N.W.A.

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Sometimes things go "bump" in the night-sometimes folks grow up and go crazy.




WHAM!

Someone or something has knocked on my door. It only happened once, and nothing was said. It was the kind of knock that can't be imagined, and it seemed like some sort of message.

I turned off the music, cut out the lights, and loaded the shotgun. I wanted the music off so that the sound of a shell in the chamber would sound like exactly what it was. Why I wanted the lights out should be fucking obvious to you.

. . . . . .Nothing. . . . . . .

I sing a little impromptu ditty that I made up called "I sleep with Shotguns," cause I'm fucking wicked like that when I'm thinking that maybe I'm going to ventilate some stupid motherfucker with number 8 birdshot.

. . . . . .nothing. . . . . .

So I went to sleep, but I knew today was going to be a wild one.

The boss calls at 10:30 a.m., and I don't answer. I can't answer a phone when I'm asleep, even when I know it's ringing. He calls again, and even though I didn't answer that one either-I woke up; and I called him back in a short time.

"Hey Buddy! Wake UP!"

"I'm woke, Steve, let me eat, and drink some coffee; and then I'll be down there," I said.

And so we were off and running. We headed North on highway 34 from Kaufman, went through Terrell, and continued North. Steve, my boss, hadn't had lunch yet; and so we stopped at a little convenience store just South of a little bitty town called Quinlan. 

My Mother used to work at the Bowls Children's Home in Quinlan.

I'm driving, and as I park just right of the handicap space and get out I see a man who has exited the store, and seemed to be heading back to his vehicle. I should have looked to see what he was driving-but how can you ever know such a thing in advance?

"How are you doing?" I'd said, and we are all trained to be friendly here in Texas. When someone asks you that-they aren't asking you how you are doing, what they are doing is saying, "hello." Well, the man said something like, "Just fine, how are you?"

This is how I met Joe Tingle.

Well, the man who turned out to be Joe Tingle seemed pretty plain. He's a well dressed guy, nothing fancy, just casual-and he's probably in his early 40's. The man is still sort of looking at me, like he's looking for something-or he needs some help or something, so I asked him, "What can I do for you, Sir?"

I told you already that we Texans are all trained to be polite.

"Nothing, not unless you're from Terrell," said the man who is Joe Tingle.

"Sorry, Sir, I'm from Kaufman." I start heading for the door, and Steve, the boss, is out of the passenger side of the van.

I'm no longer looking at the man who happens to be Joe Tingle when I hear, "You've always lived in Kaufman?"

Now, I haven't always lived in Kaufman, Texas-but I've spent at least 33 of my 36 years in Kaufman-but I tell the man who claimed to be Joe Tingle, "Yeah, I've always been in Kaufman."

"Do you know Paul D_____?"

"Yes I do," I said, I know Paul, I know his brother Daren, I know his Mother, and I know his Father.

"How do you know Paul?"

"I know Paul because his parents used to go church with my parents a the Kaufman. . ."

Now Joe Tingle is smiling, and he decides to be kind, and finish my sentence for me.

". . . .at the Kaufman Church Of Christ! Who are your Parents?"

Now, hindsight is 20/20, and I shouldn't have answered that question.

"I know you!!!!! I haven't seen you since you were THIS tall!"

We're having one of those Norman Rockwell  moments now, and Joe Tingle tells a totally uninterested man coming out of the store, "Hey! I know this guy! I haven't seen him since he was THIS tall!"

You can visualize Joe making the "this tall" gesture with his hand.

Well, I figure that I'm done with Joe, but Joe goes back inside the store, and I'm heading inside too. The boss and I are loading up some fountain Dr. Peppers, and some hot dogs when Joe comes out of a back room. 

I tell him, "hey Joe, I'll tell my Mom that I ran into you-she remembers every single person that she's ever met."

I'm not exaggerating about Mom, and as soon as this is posted I'm going next door to tell Mom the tale of Joe Tingle. Mom also remembers everything she ever knew about everyone that she's ever known. Mom just has it like that.

Joe walks over to me, and hands me a piece of paper-Joe Tingle doesn't want me to forget him. Trust me on this-I'm not going to forget Joe Tingle. I'm actually thinking that Joe should be certain that he remembers, and looks for me, if he knows what's good for him.

I'm a peace loving guy. I don't judge Joe Tingle. I don't give a flying fuck what Joe Tingle does in his personal life. I could be a friend of Joe Tingle's. But Joe Tingle has just turned very, very weird.

Try frightening me, motherfucker, and you'll find that you don't have too far to go to the end of your line.

Joe handed me the piece of paper and said,

"YOU GIVE THIS TO MR. D______, AND YOU GIVE IT TO YOUR PARENTS. I'M FILTHY FUCKING RICH NOW, YOU LOOK FOR MY NAME ON THE INTERNET, THOSE PEOPLE ACCUSED ME OF BEING A HOMOSEXUAL, AND RAN ME OFF FROM THAT CHURCH! I'D LOVE NOTHING MORE THAN TO FIND A WAY TO SUE MR. AND MRS.______, AND YOUR PARENTS TILL THEY HAVE NOTHING!"

Joe has a look in his eyes that says, "I'm fucking out of control right this minute."

I said, "Hey Joe, I'm right there with you-I know exactly what you're talking about. The Kaufman Church Of Christ is one judgmental group."

See, I'm a peacemaker, like Jesus Christ-but I'm pretty fucking unlikely to allow myself, or any family member to be a sacrificial lamb. In fact, should I ever see anyone being assaulted in any way-then I can and will do what I think needs to be done.

Joe Tingle, don't let me see you anywhere near my parent's property. Joe, I'm DEAD serious. Other than that, Joe Tingle, I wish you the best.

Frayed Ends Of Sanity

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