Tag Archives: Der Fred

I Will Be True

Another day in the cigar shack. After 2 days off it surprisingly isn’t so bad. Pleasant and a few laughs have been had so far. Today’s contestants are the Bradley and Thomas. And like a few Saturdays previous, they’ve been quite funny.

Each of us riffing and busting each other. It also helps that Calvin is off today and Marcus was out of the cigar shack within minutes of my arrival. I am starting to think that Marcus isn’t so bad and can’t help but feel that he’s been looking out for me. It helped I suppose that I was a customer when he was just starting out at another cigar shop across town.

Bill took off from work today, so many things on his mind and I am pretty sure a break from work and all that that entails is a good thing. Last night I watched Tropic Thunder which was funnier the first time around. It was still enjoyable to watch.

With the TV still out of walkabout, I threw in the DVD of Citizen Kane which is still fantastic. That is something I can probably watch over and over and I probably have. It used to be shown regularly on the Million Dollar Movie on WOR TV, Channel 9 to tri-state area folk.

It kept me up later than I expected but it was well worth it. Of course today being the day I go back to work the weather has been beautiful. The past two days, being the days I have off from work meant rain rain rain, or else a general dampness all around.

Still, at lunch I was able to wander over to the park bench where I usually go in warm weather and enjoy a cigar while I read the latest MOJO with the Bruddas on the cover, the Bruddas being the Ramones.

Great article about the recording of End of the Century, produced by famed murderer Phil Spector. I’ve been listening to the Ramones a lot lately. I regret only seeing them a few times, I would have liked to have seen them back in the day but I was too cowardly living in the suburbs and believing all the stories about how horrible New York City was.

It wasn’t until I started hanging out with Laszlo Papp and seeing things for myself that I found things to not be as bad as I was told. I mean I did go into the city on Easter Saturday in 1977 on my own and intentionally sought out the seedy side of Times Square.

When I came home I was smacked around by my brother Brian for not buying flowers with the money I had, instead buying a round trip ticket into Manhattan which I made sure that Brian never knew about.

I was 14 years old at the time and felt it was my duty to partake in the sexual revolution that was going on. All the places I was warned about were the places where I had carnal fun. Still I am quite lucky to be here today.

Today I also saw Sean outside and had a cigarette with him. As I smoked with him outside, up walks another former employee of the cigar shack, Der Fred, once again saying ‘I can’t believe you’re still here.’

A variation on his former standard of ‘I don’t know how you do this job day in and day out.’ It was good to see Sean though. He’s cuter than ever. I never really noticed it before. Sure he can be a pain in the ass, or was a pain in the ass, but sometimes being cute overcomes all that.

I just got the result from my ultrasound last week, all good. Nothing out of the ordinary. Good news indeed.

I Thought About You

I am so glad to be back at home in Hoboken. After Thursday night’s meeting/hang out with Marcus and Calvin I was resolved to play the game on their level. With most every new customer that came into the cigar shop I gave them a hearty hello and welcomed them to the good life. Really. I said that.

It was the Bradley and myself and of course, the Bradley is the golden child. Marcus and Calvin are sporting wood for the one who traveled up from North Carolina, leaving a cigar shop there to live with his cousin in Astoria and work as a menial sales associate selling cigars in midtown Manhattan.

Yes the Bradley has the experience and the fact that he is not from the tri-state area means that he does not have that metropolitan attitude. That comes in handy I suppose when you’re in the cigar shop but anywhere else, on the street wouldn’t help matters much.

The Bradley was in one of his moody moods, not really saying much which led me to believe that he probably snorted another Xanax before he came in. I take my Xanax as prescribed, my dosage is 0.5. I think the Bradley’s dosage is 2.0 and he prefers the nasal method.

Well he told me that he snorts his Xanax. Maybe he lies, maybe he doesn’t. I just know what he told me. So with my new attitude I once again tried to engage the Bradley in conversation and once again it was like pulling teeth from a hen’s beak.

I was probably obnoxious with my happy to be here attitude but I didn’t care. I was too busy polishing glass surfaces over and over again, removing items from a shelf and wiping off fingerprints, and using the Windex on the glass shelves, both top and bottom as well as the mirrored wall behind the shelves.

Occasionally I would go into the man cave and empty ashtrays and make small talk with the mostly small minds. Der Fred came in early, the assistant hotel manager who works part time and doesn’t need the job, he just loves cigars that much. So many times in a day he mentions that he doesn’t know how I do it.

It, being the fact that I spend a good part of 10 hours a day wiping and cleaning different items and shelves. He cannot understand how I do it day after day for measly pay. I don’t know how I do it either, and I am starting to feel like Sisyphus, only without a rock, it’s cleaning extremely expensive pens.

I am proud to say that I ignored Marcus and Calvin’s advice to have a drink before heading into work. After the Bradley left, it was me and Der Fred which is actually a palindrome. Der Fred is certainly a chatty Kathy, never really shuts up but it was fine with me after dealing with the Bradley and his non-communication shtick.

But now I am home all that is behind me. Bill is a few feet away from me. He picked up Hyman Gross from a nursing home for elderly Jewish folk in East Harlem and got him to Hoboken. Hyman seems to be OK and happy to be back in Hoboken.

He’s such a frail sort that until the snow and ice goes away that he’ll probably be housebound until the spring comes. And Bill is pretty tired, it’s been a long day for him. I’m grateful that he stayed up for me to come home.

Tomorrow is Sunday and it’s most unlikely that I’ll write. Planning on a Bala Cynwyd kind of day.

Expensive pens!

Oh yeah, one more thing. In January 2011, I had 2,003 visits to this here blog.
Here are the top 5 cities:
New York- 255
London- 49
Washington- 48
Bala Cynwyd (!)- 32
Arcata- 31

Thanks to all who read and an extra special thanks to the illiterates who just look at the pictures.