Cruel Friend Tricks
Carl F Gauze
Well, yes, sometimes I do terrible things to friends and other people I really care about. Well, not necessarily terrible, you know, but not all that nice. Practical jokes, if you must. I just sort of alter their conceptual continuity and then pull the tablecloth out. Amazingly, there are times when nothing breaks at all. For instance, I used to work at a big company in L.A. Some of the guys would go out to lunch every week and taking turns driving. You never had to go that far, a few miles at most, but Tom never seemed to drive — he was always low on gas or some such lame reason. I lived about five blocks away, but being a good Angelino, my beat up, sun burnt, dirt brown Audi was always there. No one walks in L.A.
Tom’s not driving was really just a small annoyance, not as bad as whistling or humming an ABBA tune while working, but one night we both happened to be at a boring party and I decided to split. The two cute girls in the apartment across from mine were having a party, the sort the cops usually showed up at eventually. Both were real teases, but one never knows if they have friends. I told Tom I was leaving, and he invited himself along, which annoyed me a bit. I don’t know why, but I ditched him in traffic and drove around for a while and parked a few blocks from my place. Tom was already at the party and asked what took so long.
“Well, I had a small accident on the corner of Marine and Aviation. Some putz in a Porsche ran the light. Fortunate, no one was hurt and it was right in front of a body shop. I walked back.”
Needless to say, there is no body shop for miles. Tom went for it.
Now we had an excuse for him to drive to lunch. I brought my car to work every day, parked where I always did, but he never noticed. This went on for weeks. There was always some excuse for me not to have the car yet — no parts, body guy was deported, lawyers want to see it, whatever. Of course, one day I had to give and produce the car. Tom closely examined the car.
“Where was it damaged?”
“Driver’s front quarter panel.”
“Why is the paint faded? It should be shiny.”
“Oh, they have special faded paint so they don’t have give me an entire new paint job.”
“Oh. I didn’t know they had that. It looks good. Let’s go!”
God, I love it when a plan comes together.