May 13, 2018
“Jeff Protests a Chicken Restaurant”
I know, I know, it’s been a while (awhile?) I think one is an adverb and the other is a noun. I wonder (wander?) if anyone (any one?) would know. This is getting ridiculous (stupid?). I will try not to use homophones after this point (unless I mean homonyms (what is a nym?)). I know the homophone is a type of homonym; actually, it might be the other way round. The nice thing about Google is that you can type “homonym vs.” and autocomplete will give you all the possible completions other people use. One of the suggestions is “homonym vs synonym” which admittedly makes me feel more smarter.
Anywho, Jason was kidnapped by men in a black SUV a couple of days ago outside of a Chic-Fil-A where we were protesting. Side note: we were not protesting for any political reason; Jeff just wanted some waffle fries and a chicken biscuit and couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t be open at three in the morning. Jeff can get like that. He gets what he calls “hangry,” which is of course already a thing, but for Jeff, he says it is a combination of being hungry and handsome.
Jason’s kidnapping came as a surprise. Whoever it was that took him left only a polaroid photo of him with a newspaper, the current date highlighted, and the words “proof of life” written in Sharpie across the bottom. Jeff insisted it meant there was a clue in the 2000 thriller starring Meg Ryan. We had to restrain Amy from beating Jeff immediately.
After three and a half hours outside the Chic-fil-a, Jeff’s face lit up believing that our protest worked; several employees showed up to the restaurant to begin their day. No one had the heart to point out to Jeff that the posted hours clearly showed the restaurant opening at 6:30. In fact, if anything, they were opening a little late. Jeff was first in line and was quickly rewarded with what he had been craving all night.
Amy, in an attempt to calm herself, was sitting in the back of the van breathing deeply into a paper bag. Unfortunately for her, having recently read a biography of Howard Hughes, I have taken up the practice of collecting all of my nail clippings so the government can’t get them. There were about three weeks’ worth in the bag Amy was using.
“What are we going to do about Jason, Jake Kerby?” It was Jake asking the question, but for several days Jake was ending almost everything he said by saying his own name. During shows, between songs, he would say, “Thank you, Jake Kerby” to which the bewildered audience would look around trying to figure out who Jake Kerby was and why were we specifically thanking him. Jake said it is all about brand recognition. When pressed about why he wasn’t saying “Beard” instead of his own name, confused, Jake simply said “Lab.”
Jake was always talking about his lab, but as it turned out, the rest of us were incorrectly assuming “lab” meant his biology research lab. When, in fact, “lab” was the acronym “L.A.B.” or “Life After Beard.”
With Jake’s exit strategy now revealed, the rest of the band was, and is, a little uneasy. Refocusing on what happened to Jason, Jeff doubled down on his theory. “There has to be a Blockbuster somewhere near here. We should go get Proof of Life before someone else grabs it.” The avalanche of ineptitude that was cascading out of Jeff’s mouth left Jake and I dumbfounded, but not Amy. Truth be told, I think we all felt a beating was justified. Amy, with a rather unsightly toenail jutting out from the corner of her mouth delivered a quick rejoinder to Jeff’s question using little more than an open palm.
We were all stuck in a difficult situation. We were worried that Jason might very well be in the process of being tortured for his strong political stance on something (admittedly, the rest of us rarely listened once he started a sentence Howard Zinn, or “You don’t even know.”). On the other hand, we had a show that night, AND the show was indoors, AND we were guaranteed a hundred bucks plus a twenty dollar per person food voucher. Jake noted that with Jason gone, we could spread his voucher around and maybe even get an appetizer. The difficult decision ahead was simple: Hunt down the men in the black SUV and possibly spare Jason from lengthy torture, OR get an appetizer with our meal.
The two orders of mozzarella sticks were incredible. The show was one of our better shows. People weren’t shouting over us the whole time while giving us dirty looks. After the show, we were even able to sell three t-shirts and a couple CD’s. Granted, they were Jason’s personal items with no connection to the band, but a sale is a sale.
The hundred and eighty dollars from the show (we got twenty percent of the door) plus the thirty-two dollars we got from selling Jason’s personal effects made this the best night on the tour so far. I was probably the most excited since it meant I wouldn’t have to siphon gas from cars in the parking lot while they watched the headliner. I am terrible at it and often end up gutting a great deal of gasoline. That stuff does a number of my tum-tum.
A couple hundred miles after the bar closed and we were onto out next destination, Jeff got another “hankering” for a chicken biscuit. Although the word is used correctly, I use the quotation marks only because Jeff defines “hankering” as a hunger so severe you “can feel it in your ankles and it weighs you down.” Luckily, Amy has never heard him say this. We see a billboard for a Chic-Fil-A at the next exit. Jeff reasons with us that the protest worked the night before, so we should do it again. The clock reading six means the protest will only need to be about twenty minutes, and Jeff needed a win after his last run-in with Amy. We take the exit and pull into the parking lot.
“It’s a good thing we stopped,” Jeff says, “Because I am getting hangry, and you won’t like me when I’m hangry.” Amy lets it slide. Jeff adjusts the rear view mirror to look at himself. He licks his fingers, runs them through his hair, and straightens his eyebrows. “Damn, it is hard work being this hangry.”