“You so much as jiggle yer belly and I’m-a squeezing this trigger, fatboy! Y’hear me?”
This was said by a wart-and-hair-covered hillbilly who appeared to be brandishing a shotgun. I couldn’t be sure though; I had just awoken and could barely see a thing through my sleep-encrusted eyes. Moreover, I was suffering from the absolute worst hangover of my life, and wasn’t entirely positive that I wasn’t hallucinating the situation.
“Please,” I croaked, “keep it down. There’s no need to shout.”
“I’ll shout all I goddamn want, boy! You decide to sack out in a man’s carport, you damn well better expect to get shouted at! Shit, I’ve half a mind to curb-stomp your disgustin’ ass! Now get on up or Ol’ Betsy here’ll make sure you stay down for good!”
“Okay, okay. Don’t do anything brash.” I slowly pushed myself up… which is when I realized that I wasn’t wearing any pants. Or anything below the waist for that matter. In fact, the only thing I had on was a three-sizes-too-small T-shirt emblazoned with a Corvette logo.
“Goddamn son, you are one sorry sight! Now you just go ahead and get them flabby arms of yers up while I call for the police.”
“Police? I don’t think…”
“Shut the fuck up!” my captor shouted, then turned slightly towards the hovel that presumably passed for his home. “Hey Dave! Get yer ass on out here! And bring that there portable phone with you!”
A moment later, this Dave character came shuffling out through a screened door. Much to my surprise, it was none other than Skynyrd Dave — the illicit OxyContin supplier whom I had met in the parking lot of McDonald’s last month. I say without an ounce of hyperbole that I had never been happier to see a poor person.
“What in the hell’s going on out here, Doug?” Skynyrd Dave asked. Then, upon seeing me: “Shit. Oz, is that you?”
“Yes,” I said. “And I’ve told you before: call me Mr. Carver.”
“Wait a second,” said Doug. “You two know each other?”
“Hell yeah, man,” Skynyrd Dave confirmed. “He’s one of my best customers. What are you doing pointing a shotgun at him?”
“I found him passed out here in the carport. And he ain’t wearing no pants.”
“Huh. Yeah, where are your pants, Oz? I mean, Mr. Carver?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “Someone must have stolen them. My wallet too, obviously. But if one of you could give me a ride home, I’ll gladly reimburse you for your troubles once we get there.”
Thirty minutes later, I was soaking in a hot tub and chasing the hair of the dog with a pitcher of Bloody Marys at my palatial estate. Still, quite the adventure. I’ll probably never know how I wound up in that carport, and I don’t expect to see my still-missing Hummer again, but one thing’s for certain: whether he had anything to do with it or not, I’m firing Luis first thing Monday morning. There’s simply too much cheap Mexican labor available in this country to ever give one of them the benefit of the doubt.