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Friday, April 15, 2011

I Wonder If He Remembers Me

Welcome to Friday, the day on which we ask ourselves:

Should we go out or stay in?
Would it be wrong to grind up the sleep meds and sprinkle them over soup, just to see?
What’s up with the guy down the street that keeps parking two feet from the curb?

And what about Naomi?

As usual, I devote Friday’s post to divining the future from the songs played during my morning’s commute (as reliable as any other source, including “making plans”) and telling a story.

You know. Basically just wasting your precious time.

But what does the iPod have to say about that?

Ballroom Blitz by Sweet
Conventional Wisdom by Built to Spill
Universal Mind Control by Common
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) by The Beatles
Woodstock by Crosby Stills Nash and Young
LDN by Lily Allen
That Kind of Man by The Heavy

Hmm. The iPod is murky today. Come back next week.

So! A quick story!

My downtown bus stop was moved recently from Nicollet Mall to Hennepin Avenue, a street known for figuring prominently in Prince’s movie “Purple Rain” and inspiring Tom Waits’ song “9th and Hennepin”.

Hennepin Avenue is an “iffy” place, a place with an upscale hotel that features a seasonal, outdoor bar made entirely of ice on the one hand and bars that feature transgendered folk lipsynching to Cher’s greatest hits and shouting at slow-moving vehicles on the other.

It’s a grittily friendly area, the average crimes being panhandling and visual assaults from dubious, toothless individuals in stained sweatpants and slip-on track shoes.

As stained and low-rent as areas of it may seem, however, Minneapolis cares about its downtown citizens and boasts a contingency of green-jacketed ambassador-style folk who give directions, pick up garbage, and offer general assistance.

They weren’t around in the 80s.

Hennepin Avenue in the 80s: The Replacements were at First Ave., wet tee-shirt contests were titillating the opportunistic, and the city had yet to start the “Block E” renovations that would transform the street from truly seedy to just mildly seedy.

It was in this part of the city that I had found myself following a job interview.

Nineteen years old, hair curled in a I-can’t-quite-get-over-trying-to-be-Farrah-Fawcett sort of way, I had borrowed my sister’s dress, a flowered, summery bit of happiness with cap sleeves, a belted waist, and a hemline that stopped just above the knee. My mother’s nylons, a friend’s high heels, and suddenly I’m Mary Tyler Moore.

I've wowed my interviewer with my ability to type 40 words a minute and speak goodly English, and now I wait on the corner, wait for my boyfriend to pick me up.

I pace.

A red convertible pulls up. It is just past noon on a Monday. He is in a suit, possibly in his 30s, quite handsome.

“Hi!” he shouts at me, smiling.

“Hi,” I say, smiling.

“You workin’?”

“I wish!” I say.

“You waiting for someone?”

“Yes,” I say.

“Well hop in!” He pats the seat next to him.

I wander closer to his car, frowning, my head cocked to one side in unconscious imitation of my mother. He has a six-pack of beer on the floor of the passenger side. “What?”

“Jump in,” he says. “I can have you back here in under 30 minutes. You got somewhere we can go?”

What in the world was this guy talking about?

And then...

Simultaneous light bulbs appear above our heads. We stare at each other. In shock, our respective eyes widen, our mouths gape.

He’s looking for a prostitute.

He’s found a teenager.

“Oh my God,” he says, and he tears away from the curb and through a red light.

I pull my compact from my purse and look at my face.




Mistaken for a hooker, and then I didn’t even get called back for a second interview.

39 comments:

Simply Suthern said...

I prefer seedless.

LOL, wow 30 minutes huh? Considering how you were dressed, did you get the job? Ya know, the one inside the building?

Sausage Fingers said...

What kind of beer are we talkin' about?

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Hahahaha! Oh dear...

A similar thing happened to me in London when I was 18 or thereabouts. I was trying to find a club on the Portobello Road where I was meeting some friends and I was hopelessly lost. Two giant guys approached me and asked how much I charged. Seriously, not to be wise asses. I was astounded, standing there in my sixties retro mini dress and hipster haircut and doc martens boots. Prostitute, really? Little 18 year old moi? Turns out that street was a hot bed for ho activity. Seriously though, hookers in DM boots?

Pearl said...

Simply, I find a bit o' seed to be amusing. :-) And no -- not even a second interview!

SF, as I recall it was Pabst Blue Ribbon: pretty dreadful stuff.

EBENEZER ADOKWEI said...

Hahaaa.lol!..really nice one my friend.But did u get the job? Plz do pass by my blog on freeing your mind, follow and comment to improve my works
too.Thanks.

Pearl said...

Vegetable Assassin, that's awful -- and funny in its own right. Yeah, I couldn't believe it. I mean, I barely wore make-up at the time, there was nothing sleazy about me in the least, the sun is out, happy-happy funtime Monday and Mr. Handsome Convertible is looking for a hooker for lunch? WTH?

Pearl said...

Ebenezer, I did not. All that, and no job.

Sausage Fingers said...

PBR - the party choice of a college generation.
Similar thing happened to me in Deerfield Beach, Fl in 1985, the car was a Caddy and the driver was a dude. Me run fast....

Ebendy said...

Oooh sorry about that.Nice of you to have commented on my page.Stay in touch ok n take care.

Pearl said...

SF, is that right? I had a male friend get picked up hitchiking in a rather rural part of Minnesota and propositioned by a guy. He was a teenager at the time and said he asked the guy to pull over and then ran into a field and kept on running...

jenny_o said...

Thank you for following through with this awesome story! It must have been creepy for you. And shame on Mr Red Convertible! Do you suppose he mended his ways after that?

And I just had to click on the Naomi reference because it didn't ring a bell - and now it will - so thanks for that bit of education too :)

SparkleFarkle said...

“Oh my God,” he says, and he tears away from the curb and through a red light.

You being able to type 40 words per minute must have clouded him, there for a minute. Ah say, ah say, Whew! to weird happily ever afters!

If it's still warm, can I have some of that soup?

Sincerely, SF~~~~~*

Leenie said...

No tossing of the hat in the air like MTM. No second interview. FF hair that nets a bad invitation from a guy in red convertible. And What About Naomi? Tune in next time for another fascinating post by, erm, Happy Pants??.

Oilfield Trash said...

I would have loved to have seen the Replacements back in the day.

Pearl said...

jenny, I was a pretty naive kind of kid, so I admit I thought about it for a long time afterward!

sparkle, Ah say! Ah say! :-) Is that Foghorn Lehorn I hear?! The soup? :-) Yes, we had a lovely taste of summer last weekend and we're back to gusts of wind and cooler temperatures (in other words: spring). But you know that, don't you, over there in WI, right?

Leenie, I love it! :-)

Pearl said...

OT, I know -- I can't believe I never saw them. :-( Although I did see the Suicide Commandos, Husker Du, and Soul Asylum. :-)

Mrsblogalot said...

LOL! That is a riot!

I bet he thought about his near 30 minutes to life miss for a long time after that! (-:

Pearl said...

Mrsblogalot, ooh great thought. Wish I'd said that!

Kate Mohler said...

This brought a smile to my face. Ah, sweet youth.

Belle said...

That's a great story! Hey, in thirty minutes you could have time to enjoy yourself too! That guy takes his time compared to some.

Pearl said...

Kate, I just hope that guy remembers the day he propositioned someone just standing on the sidewalk.

Belle, hmmm!

injaynesworld said...

When I was a teenager, I dressed exactly like a hooker. And I was so stupid, I probably would have thought -- Free beer and a ride home! Cool!

Eva Gallant said...

Ah, Pearl; an employment opportunity passed up!

Grant said...

And now you have given us all the information we need to stalk you in person. What city is Minneapolis in again? Wisconsin?

laughingmom said...

My comments keep getting eaten by my computer today - anyway, great story! You wonder if this kind of thing kept happening to that guy!

Susan in the Boonies said...

I HATE when that happens!!!!!!

LOL!

ThreeOldKeys said...

Too bad you didn't flash a fake badge. "Vice Squad - You're under arrest."

or

Too bad Chris Whatsisname didn't step out and say "I'm Chris Whatsisname. Have you ever watched Dateline?"

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Work it, baby, WORK IT!
I've got Pretty Woman on the brain now...

Bossy Betty said...

30 minutes AND a six pack? Hummmmm....

mrwriteon said...

I think the misinterpretation came about due to the fact you didn't throw your hat in the air in true MTM fashion. That would have shown you have spunk and he would have shied away.

Glen said...

He could have at least thrown you a beer by way of an apology

Gigi said...

I'm with Jayne - I was so freakin' naive it would have never crossed my mind what he was actually looking for!

That was a pretty demure outfit you were sporting - so it had to have been the hair that lured him in.

Pat said...

Thank goodness for guardian angels:)

vanilla said...

"Simultaneous lightbulbs..." What an intro for a dewy-eyed youngster into the adult world.

One hopes the idiot smartened up a bit, too.

Sez said...

Your posts are so versatile! I've had a good laugh, found some new music to discover and learnt a little bit about '70s television in America.
Fantastic!

Irish Gumbo said...

Doh! Everyone jumping to conclusions. Funny, though.

And hey! What's wrong with PBR? That was my beer of choice in my dissolute youth :)

Crystal Pistol said...

I thought everyone sprinkled sleep med powder in their soup on a Friday night...

That guy likes high class broads. He would have been over the moon with desire if he had heard your goodly English.

Symdaddy said...

That's funny!

I've been mistaken for a curb-crawler.

When I'm trying to find a new client for a home visit it can be quite embarrassing to have some woman walk up to me and offer her services.

Symdaddy said...

Oh, by the way ... love your stuff Pearlchen!