I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I Wonder If He Remembers Me

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 blemished 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.

The people in the green jackets 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.

23 comments:

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Wherein Pearl is an accidental hooker.
:)

jenny_o said...

I think the answer would be "he does", and with a fair bit of embarrassment, at that.

LOL @ Dawn's comment!

Joanne Noragon said...

How could he forget his encounter with "jailbait." I hope his morals rose a few notches from what could have been.

Elephant's Child said...

I hope he does remember. Often. And hope it has dissuaded him. Often.

Delores said...

That was close....for both of you.

wendy house said...

But did you get the job you applied for?

Sioux said...

Well, you didn't take on THAT job, but did you get the other one (the one you interviewed for)?

vanilla said...

There's an unexpected job opportunity. Fortunately, the "employer" bailed before you had to.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
...and I remember this one. It still had me holding my breath for you! YAM xx

Daisy said...

Thank goodness those light bulbs came on! :-)

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Great story!

Chicken said...

Well, at least you have a back up option, Pearl, that you know you can fall back on. Do you still have that dress?

Launna said...

That is awful... I had something similar like that when I was about 16... men are so odd.....

bill lisleman said...

the right dress in the wrong place.

Geo. said...

Some guys just don't understand not all red lights indicate a red light district. They are road hazards.

joeh said...

Funny!

joeh said...

Funny!

Dawn Saros-Kirk said...

I wonder if MTM ever had that happen? Great story.

Val S said...

I wonder if he ever wrote about it on His blog...

River said...

For a moment I thought you and your boyfriend were playing a "pick up" game.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Now that is funny, would had been funny if he got a ticket for going through a red light

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I bet he still tells the story, too...

Diane Tolley said...

I'm confused. Is that when you threw your beret?