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Time Share.

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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
Time Share.  Reply with quote  

This is some what out of context (taken from smack dab in the middle of my novel) but thought it might be mildy amusing as a stand alone. Lefty is a do-rag wearing singing coyote.

Madge was deep into her daily hustling when the tremulous trio tiptoed with trepidation back into the baggage claim area. There was something particularly creepy about the way she just appeared behind people crooning, “Free Buffet, Show tickets.”

The three watched her from behind a pole, trying to decide if she was one of the good guys or one of the bad guys and if they were willing to take a chance.

Amber and Nikki quietly put their heads together. “I wonder if she even left here,” Amber whispered. “I think those are the same clothes she had on yesterday.”

When they looked up again, Madge was no where to been seen. Nikki panicked. She opened her mouth to speak, but she was certain that she hadn’t uttered the words that she heard, “Free buffet, show tickets.” Nikki screamed. Madge had snuck up behind them.

It bears remarking at this point, that not only were her glasses the largest Amber and Nikki had ever seen on a non-Elton John face, they were also the dirtiest, and now since Madge was invading all personal space considerations, they could see every speckle of dust and grease on the glasses. Nikki had a strong urge to pull them off her face and clean them. She could almost swear that she saw the face of Jesus, but then one of the pieces of ‘dust’ crawled away and the illusion disappeared.

“I remember you from yesterday,” Madge said directly into Amber’s face. She turned to Nikki and touched her arm, Lefty immediately growled, so she removed it and indicated with a head tic, “This your friend who likes free shows?”

Nikki shot Amber a look. Amber shrugged off her innocence. All bets are off when big-bunned-polyester-wearers invade your personal space, the shrug seemed to say.

“Sure,” said Amber with a very warm and Amber-like smile. Madge head tic-ed again, this time in the direction of the kiosk. In the direction of Old Tom, whose individual repulsiveness was boundless.

Madge urged the trio forward, and as Amber had yesterday, Nikki found herself face to face and nostril to odor with Old Tom. Tom’s myriad appearance and hygiene issues are something to be chronicled, and not taken all in one glance. However, to ensure a proper painting of the picture, it’s important to take a moment and elaborate about all that was soon to be discovered about Tom.

First, he was a card carrying member of the Bulbous Nose Society. On first impression one is immediately put in mind of the Wizard (circa Hot Air Balloon scene at the end) from the Wizard of Oz, six-feet tall, easily 250 pounds. The 43 hairs that Tom had on his head were scattered, in disarray, hadn’t been washed in any kind of discernable past. They also had some kind of pomade on them, so that if one was askew (and it was) it stayed askew. There was also a peeling scalp condition which was visible in small patches. From the ears and nostrils sprouted an additional 43 hairs, all visibly crusted as well, though Nikki suspected, not with pomade.

He wore khaki colored Dockers. If only I could stop there, wistful sigh … but it would deprive you of the full image were I to do so. He wore khaki colored Dockers which had a fresh dribble of pee just beneath what could only be his very large and saggy testicles, (oh, they were visible, trust me.) He wore a French blue oxford shirt, a green and black bow tie, and a sky blue and white striped seersucker jacket, circa 1981. There was, and I am not making this up, a spot of crusted green mucus on the front of his shirt just above his bulging belly. His fingernails were ragged and unkempt, with dirt under each and every one.

But none of that … none of it, could compare to his smell. He smelled like a greasy corpse with halitosis, a tartar problem, and had coffee breath with a slight garlic undertone. On her best day, Nikki didn’t enjoy being touched by strangers, and this was far from her best day, and the worst kind of stranger.

As they approached Old Tom, she could see it coming, there was no avoiding it. He was a toucher, and a pocket-change jangler, but first and foremost a toucher.

Madge used another of her now famous head tics to introduce Nikki to Old Tom. He took her hand, shook it, raised it to his chin, and would not let go. “Hello there my dear,” he spoke directly into her face insisting on eye contact, thus facilitating maximum smellage. “Thomas Hotaire, at your service.” He bowed, still clutching Nikki’s hand like it was the last life preserver on the Titanic. Lefty growled.

“Hello there, poochie,” Thomas Hotaire said to Lefty, though not breaking eye contact with Nikki, “My you are a fine looking poochie, and I’m about to make you a very happy poochie.”

At this point, Nikki tried to take a step back and retrieve her hand, but she found that Madge was still right behind her and ended up stepping on her foot. It was no use. Whatever they were about to endure, they were going to have to endure it, because they were trapped in an unimaginable hell.

Tom finally released Nikki’s hand, promptly put his arm around her shoulder, and led her toward a door. Nikki looked back at Amber and could read the mirth in her eyes, “I hope you bite a hole in your cheek,” she whispered sharply.

Amber, Nikki, Lefty, Old Tom, and Madge walked into a large room filled with small tables. The small tables were populated by people in varying states of obesity, who to a man, woman and very chubby child, were wearing fanny packs.

The scent of Cinnabon wafted through the air, and Nikki could see empty Cinnabon cartons littering many of the tables.

Old Tom selected an empty table, and indicated chairs for Nikki and Amber to occupy.

“What are we doing here?” Nikki asked, afraid to actually know.

“Well, my dear,” Tom replied, “We are here to talk about vacation home ownership.”

“Time share?” Nikki asked, incredulous.

“We don’t think of it that way,” Tom replied with his well-rehearsed rhetoric, “We think of it as an investment in yourself.”

“Time share.” Nikki echoed herself hollowly.

Tom pulled out a pen and paper and launched right into his spiel. Drawing circles on a piece of paper as he spoke, which were somehow equated to selling points. It was hauntingly familiar, and Nikki had a flashback to the time when a “friend” put similar circles on a piece of paper while trying to sell her on the Amway concept.

When the arts and crafts portion of the spiel had concluded, Tom went in for his big “get.” “I bet poochie here likes a good vacation every now and then. You agree with me, right?”

“Uh, right.” Nikki answered.

“And most resort hotels, they don’t accept animals, you agree with that.”

“I guess.”

Nikki could feel Amber on the verge of bursting into laughter. She knew if she allowed her mind to wander she would be lost as well. She focused on Old Tom (and this, for your information, would be the moment she discovered the dried snot on his shirt) and tried to listen.

“Well, I think you’ll agree that with vacation home ownership, that’s not an issue.”

“I’m awfully agreeable, aren’t I?” Nikki asked sarcastically.

Old Tom looked up over Nikki’s shoulder, and before she had a chance to look herself, a plate of food was shoved into her face, “Cold Salmon Salad?” asked the ever intrusive Madge.

“No, thanks,” answered Nikki, and then ever so nonchalantly, “I’d love some coffee though.”

Madge’s phony smile went away, she gave Nikki a wry wink, and said, “Nice try.”

Old Tom excused himself, and Amber and Nikki realized that this wasn’t a funny happenstance affair, this was a dangerous situation which they had no idea how to get out of.

“Um, Poochie,” Amber said to Lefty, “This is bad, right?”

Lefty wouldn’t even dignify the poochie comment with a verse from the Who.

When Tom returned (enter the pee drip), Nikki decided to try to move this nightmare in a direction that was at least somewhat related to the reason for the return to the airport.

“Mr. Hotaire,” Nikki asked, “If we were to invest in a vacation home ownership, would you require a passport?”

“No, no, of course not. Nothing intrusive, my dear, we just need you to fill out some paperwork and a small deposit, and you’re on your way. The whole process shouldn’t take more than three or four hours.”

Tom pulled out a stack of papers as thick as War and Peace, yanked a pen out from behind his ear (Nikki made a mental note not to use his pen) and began writing silently.

“Now, my dear, you aren’t married, right?”

“Uh, no,” answered Nikki, “but thanks for bringing it up.”

Before Tom was allowed to elaborate on why he had asked, Nikki, entirely bereft of patience decided to lay it out on the line for him.

”Look, Tom,” she said, “I have zero intention of buying a time share today.”

“Oh, my dear, it’s not a time share. It’s investment in YOU.”

“Ok, Tom, I have zero intention of making an investment in me today. Unless, somehow, it’s going to get me a passport.”

“An investment in vacation home ownership is a passport to adventure.”

“OK, Tom, I’m done. I’m getting up and I’m leaving here now.”

And then, he touched her, again. Laid his raggety-filthy-fingernailed hand on her arm and said, “Let me just get my boss.”

Before very long a woman more unpleasant that Madge, but slightly better groomed than Tom showed up at the small table. She wore the neck brace of the recently whiplashed, and the face of a sour lemon.
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