I'm sitting at a table in Fridays, with Wolff on my left, Warner across from me, and Wild Man in the last seat opposite mine. His eyes look out at us through his stupid glasses, and there's those fucked up lips that I'm constantly trying not to laugh at. Sounds mean, but hey, fuck him.
So the waitress shows up with our salads, and the salad ritual begins. I'm starting to dig into mine, as are my counterparts, when we notice something odd. Wild Man is eating his house salad with ranch dressing.
With his fingers.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?" Wolff asks. Me and Warner have the 'never-ceases-to-amaze' look on our faces.
"Huh?" he says between ranch dressing coated lips. "I don't have any silverware."
"Just take some off the table next to us!" Wolff has opened the door to reality to Dick Lips, but he's too fucking stupid to step through.
"I don't want to get in trouble," Mr. Passive mumbles.
I can't take it anymore. "You moron!" I say. "Just take it. There's nobody there, nobody gives a shit."
"I'll just wait for the waitress," he explains. Another chunk of jizz-covered lettuce with tomato passes from fingers to lips. Warner is making his usual 'you fucking idiot' face.
As I'm wondering if anybody else in the restaurant who isn't three years old is eating salad with their fingers, Wolff stands up. "I can't take it! Here!" He reaches all of three feet to the next table, vacant, and grabs a napkin-rolled fork and knife. He slams it down on the table in front of Wild Man. This once happened with Ketchup in Applebee's.
"Thanks," Dick Lips mumbles. He unwraps his silverware, smearing ranch dressing on the napkin in the process, and Wolff hangs his head in disbelief. In many situations, I take the opportunity to use a Hoss-style movie quote. This is one of those times.
"Wild Man," I begin.
He looks up as he spears some crap on his plate.
"When you go to the bathroom and the toilet lid is down, do you shit your pants?"
About one second of silence passes, then Warner, gotta love him, almost chokes on his food, he's laughing so fucking hard. Wolff catches it a second later. I wonder at times like this if the people think we're the most obnoxious assholes they'll run into all night, making so much noise, usually at Wild Man's expense.
"Ha, ha," he says in his stupid little mock laugh.
I'm still laughing over that one, because that dumb fuck just re-enlisted for six years.
So the rest of the meal goes by normal, with the occasional at-Dick-Lips'-expense joke. Any other normal human would have stopped hanging out with us a long time ago. But he takes the abuse. Likewise, we would have given up on Captain Dipshit even longer ago, but hey, he's got a car.
Seemed like a good idea at the time.
Wild Man excuses himself to the bathroom, making the cardinal mistake of leaving his food unguarded. Wolff wastes no time grabbing the salt shaker.
"Sweet," Warner says between burger bites. I'm grinning like a fiend. Wolff unscrews the top of the shaker, and proceeds to ceremoniously dump half the contents into Wild Man's fruity drink, one of those fru-fru things he always orders. No alcohol. Wild man and alcohol don't mix.
About that time, the waitress steps up to our table, and sees our mischief in progress.
"You guys are sooo bad," she admonishes.
Wolff still has that big goofy face as he hands me the salt shaker. As I return it to its original spot on the table, he stirs the drink with the straw. They're free here.
Enter Wild Man just as the deed has been done.
So the meal continues, all three of us silently cackling evilly, willing him to take a sip. I enjoy the look from Warner across the table, a look that says he takes pleasure in knowing those big lips will pucker up in disgust any moment. But they don't.
And then the waitress shows up with a refill for Wild Man, knowing what's coming up. This should seem odd since his current drink is almost full. But Dick Lips can't find his way out of a paper bag. I know. I actually drew him a map once.
The salt must have settled.
And then, when Wild Man gets near the bottom, he takes a nice long, slow sip from the straw. Then I am rewarded with those huge lips puckering up in disgust.
"Which one of you put salt in my drink?" he yells at us. Cool, because he doesn't get pissed that often. Then Wolff goes off on him.
"What!? Don't you dare ever accuse us of fucking with your drink!"
"Well, it had to be one of you," Wild Man reasons. Sound logic. I'm impressed.
"We're your friends!" Wolff continues. "We don't do that kind of shit! And I'm pissed off that you'd have the balls to think we'd do something that stupid to you!" Me and Warner try not to choke on our food.
"Maybe you're right," Wild Man admits. "Someone might have messed up in the kitchen. I'm sorry."
This guy really exists.
Six fucking years.
Author's note: I originally wrote this shortly after it happened circa 2001 when I was in the Army. I recently discovered a written copy and transcribed it exactly as written. Partially to preserve integrity of art or some such bullshit, but mostly so I can look back and see my shortcomings as a writer. I don't like my excessive use of commas and run-on sentences, but hey - live and learn. It's a product of its time.