With what little light there is, I use it to make out a nervous figure. As he walks over to the stool nearest me his feet jut out wildly and they nearly clip a chair twice. He orders something and then he turns to me. His demeanor seems to demand familiarity, although I have no recollection of the man. It appears he’s setting up shop where he is. I reach for my coat. Only, as I do, I hear him speak quietly, almost to himself.
“Allow me to even try to introduce myself.”
A hand is extended, meant for me.
“Let’s see here… I’m Bandana Jim. You guess why yet?”
He twists slightly, his backside turned over so I can see the red cloth emerging from his jeans pocket.
“Yeah… since I was only 3 years.” he said.
“Nice… nickname.” I said.
“Listen, I’ve only got a few more minutes so won’t you hear my story first before you coon out of here?” he said, sensing my restlessness.
“Sure…” I said perturbed, checking my phone and setting it back on the counter top.
“Well, okay then. It was 1951 the year of LORD and I entered the world, a fully formed human baby.” he said, poking my chest. “No problems… and then I was born into the most Catholic family you can possibly imagine. Flash forward to more recently and my faith and career changed when I became retired forcibly due to an on-the-job injury that I caused on myself due to trying to stack up too many steel girders on top of each other with a crane.”
He waits for my gaze, grinning.
“And I woulda done it to, had I not gotten out admiring my work by leaning on it. So, y’know popped my spine slightly and I got a work-out-of-free card. Hah… My kids still give me a look like ‘What are you doin’ here?’. Anyway, it got bored and lonesome and then I got to getting involved in my community a little more. What can’t I ask for my country that my country has not already done for me, right? So, I hey, I got to my local LORD Shack and I’m wondering what guidance can I get from my LORD Man. Well, I go into his office and he says, ‘Have I ever thought about kids?’ I says, ‘Well, I guess.’ And he says: ‘You are gonna be Boy Scrouts’. And I’m like…”
He seems to be lost for a moment. I tighten the grip on my coat.
“Yeah! So, I become Boy Scrout Master. And I study up for Scrout leadership and LORD principles. So, I come up for Camp Cherokee over the summer. And first day and get there and I see these little guys and I get a tear in me, cause I’m thinkin’… they don’t stand a chance. Y’know? There barely speaking to me and they are all playing activities on there phones.”
(As I type this out, I don’t know whether to spell out “their” or “there” due to the way he said it.)
“And y’know, I just got to thinking. And one day I announced Boyplay: The First Boy Scrouts Coldplay All-Boys Cover Band.”
He takes a sip of his drink and I feel an aching sense of panic wash over me.
“And this idea is simple and LORD-based. What if we took boys, lost, tormented with day-screams and boy toils and inadequacies and gave them something to live up for… being Coldplay AKA Boyplay. And I got on my knees and thanked LORD. I did. So, I applied this new principle as mandatory. All Boy Scrout members must pick a member and become him physically, spiritually and bodily. I remember one day, I walk into the cafeteria and here they are… mostly Chris Martin childs, eatin’ breakfast; hundreds of Boy Scrouts donning the garb of the world’s greatest popular music band. Of course, only one set of boys is the official Boy-Play Cover band. So, you can picture with me if you will…” he said. He reaches for and holds my hand between his own. “There they are… A set of LORD ordained Boy Scrouts playing only “Clocks” seventeen times for an audience of boys who look like Coldplay also.”
I try to withdraw my hand without making much of it.
“They get so excited. They are bouncing around in a mosh pit, just going nuts on each other. But, this is exactly what keeps our community drugs free and no gang-violence. They are drawing INTO the LORD. My boys love Moses because of Moses. They eat apple because the boys say as they take a big ol’ bite: ‘This is my daughter.’ Thousands of young boys… Listen, this programs is 1000% times more effective than football and school combined. It keep ‘em away from streets where the LORD cannot see them. This whole community is so full of LORD now, I can’t stand it. Good LORD, boys. Am I right? LORD on all sides!”
Now he stares, almost exclusively, at the ceiling.
“I’ve got to get to North Haverbrook and take my business over there for a while, just to get some balance. I let the winds do away with the ANTI-LORD in me. You can have too LORD and then you slam a kid into its own legs in the name of LORD. He doesn’t want that. Hah! Sometimes, I steam up so hard off the head, it’s like I’m a Steampunk Pervert Iron Man. Then I get out of North Haverbrook because it smells like soup and I get back to LORDING it up and down the interstate with my hat on. Soup is the Devil’s sex. Stew is the LORD fill. Wait… now… Have I told you about my recent investments?”
His weight shifts in his seat, almost invisibly, but enough for it cause an audible whine. His mustache trembles spasmodically with… delight?
“I’ve got 12% in and 40% down for the Boy Scrouts. LORD will bless me for this. One is for LORDCARE: The Only LORD Based Obamacare. They ain’t putting any vaccinations in my Boyplay and it costs thousands. Also, I’ve put a lot of the money in CARS. I can’t tell you how much my deductible is, because I have misplaced the envelope in my car. Man… listen, Satan better not change Monday again because I already labeled all of that older sisters Tupperware according to the days of the week and she can’t eat them out of order because then she’ll have lasagna twice and that would be embarrassing to me. And then I turn around to them inside of A VAN and I say to the entire Boyplay: ‘Who wants Aint’s?’ They love some of that. I just sit in the van while they get some of the smoked delights inside. It’s not my place to eat there. LORD know why.”
Note: Co-Written with Anthony; adapted from a text conversation we had.