True Story©... Reputation

 




    When I was little, I was always stoked to spend time with my granddad…
At surface-level, he would come home from work in the mornings and during the summer we would be at the house already while mom was at work. Before sleeping his day off, we would go with him to play tennis on the courts at the high school around the corner from his house. We would go to the park across the street and hit golf balls. On Sunday mornings, he would take us to this little greasy spoon diner for breakfast.

    During all of these excursions, he would talk to my brother and I. We would learn whether the words coming were from a positive or a corrective place depending solely on whether he started with “son” or “boy,” respectively.
One time when we were about twelve we were at the diner having breakfast almost as soon as he came home from work, as in he didn’t even bother with changing clothes, when he looked over his coffee cup and says “y’all make sure, more than anything, you take care of your name.” He did not expound at the time on what exactly that meant, but he made it sound so important when he said it that it stuck in my head for years – DECADES – since that morning.

    Naturally as we aged up and saw more of the world for what it is, we would learn that by “take care of your name” he meant for us to make sure we were stand-up people who wouldn’t offer the world agency to speak LEGITIMATE negative on our names in our absence.
No one is perfect and we all have our flaws and WILL eventually leave people in our wake who just won’t like us, but that is human. For the most part, though, the people closest to me without an axe to grind will confirm that I have taken the old man’s words to heart.


    Fast forward to present-day…
Somewhere in the intervening years Phillip discovered an unfair and ultimately fucking cruel world, which included having to see the old man buried in 2004. Since then, periodic forays into the life of an international criminal and sometimes mercenary reared its ugly head.
Unwilling to risk Phillip’s name to being reduced to that of a criminal, I masked my crime spree and capers behind Moe Phillips and we had a good thing going for years.

    As it were, Moe was always in control and never the victim of anyone else’s bullshit; always the driver or on the sidelines observing and cooking.


For the sake of the telling of this, you should infer that Wife Person™ is FULLY aware of my shenanigous behavior hidden behind the Moe Phillips alias…

So it’s Saturday afternoon…

Wife Person: “I’m hungry.”

Me: “Whatchu wanna eat?”

Wife Person: “I don’t know, what do y–…”

Me: “Nope, no, HELL NO! We ain’t doing this.”

Wife Person: “What?”

Me: “You ask me what I want, I throw out ideas you’re not with and eventually tell me to ‘just pick something’ and then when I get or cook something, you don’t want it.”

Wife Person: “Really?”

Me: “Every damned day.”

Wife Person: “So what do we eat?”

Me: “Look, let’s go on a field trip.”

Wife Person: “But where to?”

Me: “You don’t get to ask questions.”


    Funny how things go when you explain why you’ve removed someone from the decision-making and don’t leave room for misinterpretation.

    We hopped in the Subaru and drove to the Furniture Capital of the World, High Point North Carolina…
Outside of downtown, next to the baseball stadium, is a food co-op wherein you can take your absolute PICK of what to eat. If you can’t find something you want in there, then your ass is assuredly not hungry.

Wife Person: “We can do this.”

Me: “Heh, I know.”

    Once inside, we chose to try the pizza place that had not been there the first time we went last year. If you follow either of us on BookFace, then you know that our approach to trying new restaurants usually involves a table full of random things that might not exactly go together but that is how we try out a menu. While we perused the absolute silliness of what was about to transpire, two familiar faces got in line directly behind us.

Him: “Aww man, I ain’t see you in a minute, whassup Moe?”

Look, I am NOT into random people I barely know addressing me in public as “Moe,” most especially when I am literally about to use my debit card with “Phillip” on it.

Me: “I know you bro?”

Him: “Yeah, me and my lady had sent you a message a few months ago and–…”

Me: “… BRO! My wife is right here!”

Him: “Nah, nah… We had sent you the message and you got us in touch with–…”

Me: “… Catfish!”

Him: “Mmhmm!”

Me: “Yeah, that was kind of wild.”

Him: “Hell yeah it was.”

Me: “I’m still kinda mad y’all played me to get in front of Kamie like that.”

Him: “My bad man, we just ain’t know no other way.”

Me: “Y’all OWE me one for that.”

[Phlip note: that ‘protect your name’ stuff up top wasn’t for nothing… Stay tuned]

Him: “Yeah man, we do. I’mma take care of you for that.”

Me: “Bet.”

    Wife Person™ was done scrutinizing the menu and decided what all we would be eating. I directed her to g’head and find us a table and I would take care of the ordering and financials.
We wound up ordering three different appetizers, two different kinds of pizzas with a lot of toppings. Dude behind me was off in la-la land discussing the menu with his lady so he didn’t catch when I said to the cashier “… and you heard the homie here say he was gon’ take care of me, right?” to which she nodded that she had.
I got our trays and drinks, and found my wife in wait for them to bring us our food.

… but first I had a visitor…

Him: “WHAT THE FUCK MAN?!!?”

Me: “Whatever do you mean?”

Him: “They charged me for my food AND y’all’s!”

Me: “Oh, I know.”

Him: “Whatchu do that shit for?”

Me: “You said you owed me.”

Him: “Yeah, but I’ain mean like that!”

Me: “Funny how that happens… I didn’t think I was writing to MTV to snare you a face-to-face to try to tag team Kamie Crawford with your girlfriend!”

Him: “Oh, shit.”

Me: “You out here using Moe Phillips for shit like that at a time when I was TRYING to show my name as a force for good.”

Him: “Well damn man, I ain’t–…”

Me: “You got off light, just buying me and my wife lunch.”

Him: “It’s like that?”

Me: “I mean… I COULD have you in a box with millions of cicadas, or strapped to a chair in a bando hopped up on five-hour-energies being forced to watch Wonderpets.”

Wife Person™: “Wait, WHAT!?”

Me: “Never mind that.  We'll talk about it later.”

Him: “So we done now, right?”

Me: “We good… Lose my number and email, forget you know me on the off chance you ever see me in public again.”


    We enjoyed the food and carried about half of it home with us and had that for lunch on Sunday.
I slept like a baby, sure that I am doing the right thing as it relates to the Moe Phillips legacy.

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