But She Looked Like a Clean Person

So it’s Thursday, and that means it’s time for the second installment of JCO or JC NO, where I, John Cave Osborne, tell you, (state your name) a story which is either fact or fiction. Should you feel so inclined, leave a comment telling me if you think what I’ve written is legit (JCO) or bogus (JC NO). Then come back next Thursday to see if you were right. Last week, I told the story of getting busted with some advanced (if not immature) call screening techniques. I received twenty comments, yet only four of you thought that I was lying. Which must mean I’m pretty smooth, y’all, because last week’s tale was, indeed, FICTION. But I really did have a blowhard client who always invited me to come over to his house. And after a few instances of answering his calls at inopportune times, I really did program his number as “do NOT answer” into my phone. But then I thought better of it and put in his real name because I feared that the fictitious story I told you last Thursday might actually come to pass.

Congrats to “the Dragon,” WeaselMomma, TessasDad, and SeattleDad for calling me out.

And, Dad of Divas — you said if it was a JC NO, you’d be giving me the “Mark Twain” award for spinning such yarn, which means not only did you underestimate me, but you’ll also need my address. You know. To mail me my award and all. (Is it a trophy? I love trophies.) Hit me up with an email and I’ll tell you where to send it.

Now, for this week’s installment which I affectionately call — But She Looked Like a Clean Person.

“You act like it’s the worst thing in the world,” I said defensively to Lovie.

“No,” she countered. “I’m acting like it’s the grossest thing in the world.”

“What’s so gross about it?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe that you didn’t even know the woman?”

“True. But she looked like a clean person.”

A cringe of repulsion came across Lovie’s beautiful face, the likes of which I had never seen before. “But she looked like a clean person? Who are you?”

[to my readers] A better question would have been “Who were you?” Because my dear wife was reacting to a story I had told her which actually went down many, many moons ago. (And before you go off thinking the worst, it’s not quite as sinister as it sounds.)

The year was 1989 and I was spending the summer on Hilton Head Island, fully engaged in the noble vocation of Bus Boy for a high-brow establishment. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

Fuddruckers.

Turns out the pay wasn’t so great. Also turns out that I, like many nineteen year olds, enjoyed partying every night. Which, of course, cost money. And I couldn’t afford to both eat well every day and hit the bar scene every night. So I had a choice to make. And I made it.

I went to the Piggly Wiggly and bought a shit-ton (it’s metric) of Ramen Noodles. Back in the day, you could get five of those suckers for a buck. Which meant if you were woefully out of touch with your body (as well as with what constituted near-lethal amounts of sodium), you could provide yourself with three square meals (literally), and a snack (also square), for a mere 80 cents a day. Plus tax.

Such a cost-conscious and repetitive diet works great for a little while. But to keep it up for any legitimate period of time, more nourishing and substantial supplements are required. And, unfortunately, said supplements cost money.

*light bulb* Unless you work at a restaurant.

So, that summer, as I patrolled the floor looking sharp in my brown apron and red visor, I’d keep an eye out for not only the next table I’d be required to bus, but also for the next “clean looking person” who hadn’t taken full advantage of his or her meal. Old ladies, I quickly discovered, were a gold mine. Many of them cut their burgers in half. And all too often, the second half would go untouched.

Whenever I’d happen upon such a lady with such a burger, I’d stalk the table, you know, so none of the other bus boys could poach my loot. My game was so sick-o that these ol’ gals never even knew that I was circling them like a vulture — a desperately hungry vulture whose face was bloated with alarming levels of MSG thanks to those tasty seasoning packets which accompanied my economic carbohydrate of choice. And the very instant these women gave even the faintest indicator that they were about to vacate their table — woosh — there I’d be.

“You ladies have a nice day. Come back and see us,” I’d say with a pleasant smile coupled with an affirming head nod.

Before they could even get halfway to the door, and often while still within an earshot (which allowed me to hear what a nice young man they thought I was), the deal would be done — everything which had been on their table already transferred efficiently into my bus tub — with the exception, of course, of the half-eaten burger, and perhaps, if I saw fit, a handful of fries. These delectables, my friends, were cleverly wrapped in a bus rag before being deftly tucked away into my apron pocket, the bump of my indiscretion conveniently concealed by my large brown tub. (Don’t worry. It wasn’t the actual rag I used to wipe down the tables. I’m no rookie. I always carried a clean spare.)

After scoring my jackpot I’d alert my co-workers of my sudden need to use the bathroom, at which point I’d scamper off to the little boy’s room where, in the luxurious and spacious accommodations of the handicap stall, I’d scarf down my bounty via my very own commode-side picnic for one.

So there you have it. Whaddya think? JCO or JC NO? (Fact or fiction?)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • http://www.fathermuskrat.com Muskrat

    I can’t get the letters straight, so I’ll keep it simple and say: “true.” But knowing you (and observing your behavior last go-round), all of this is true but the end, and while you thought of doing this, you never really did it.

    You remind me of myself whenever I’m in a new, forced crowd and whoever’s in charge suggests that “two real and one fake” game where a bunch of strangers tries to pick which statement about me isn’t true. I usually tell 3 true statements but exaggerate on one or two of them, so that I can decide after the guesses come in which one I want to say isn’t true. It’s like Harvey Dent’s coin. It’s a subtle “fuck you.” Not that I’d accuse you of doing something like that, but I see a little of me in you, so I’m not going to say you wouldn’t do that.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      muskrat, don’t worry. i’m sure most Alabama fans wouldn’t be able to understand. but let me try to help. JC NO means not true, as in, NO, it didn’t happen. hope this helps.

      • http://www.fathermuskrat.com Muskrat

        @JCO Prick.

  • http://www.fathermuskrat.com Muskrat

    I can’t get the letters straight, so I’ll keep it simple and say: “true.” But knowing you (and observing your behavior last go-round), all of this is true but the end, and while you thought of doing this, you never really did it.

    You remind me of myself whenever I’m in a new, forced crowd and whoever’s in charge suggests that “two real and one fake” game where a bunch of strangers tries to pick which statement about me isn’t true. I usually tell 3 true statements but exaggerate on one or two of them, so that I can decide after the guesses come in which one I want to say isn’t true. It’s like Harvey Dent’s coin. It’s a subtle “fuck you.” Not that I’d accuse you of doing something like that, but I see a little of me in you, so I’m not going to say you wouldn’t do that.

  • http://www.fathermuskrat.com Muskrat

    I can’t get the letters straight, so I’ll keep it simple and say: “true.” But knowing you (and observing your behavior last go-round), all of this is true but the end, and while you thought of doing this, you never really did it.

    You remind me of myself whenever I’m in a new, forced crowd and whoever’s in charge suggests that “two real and one fake” game where a bunch of strangers tries to pick which statement about me isn’t true. I usually tell 3 true statements but exaggerate on one or two of them, so that I can decide after the guesses come in which one I want to say isn’t true. It’s like Harvey Dent’s coin. It’s a subtle “fuck you.” Not that I’d accuse you of doing something like that, but I see a little of me in you, so I’m not going to say you wouldn’t do that.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      muskrat, don’t worry. i’m sure most Alabama fans wouldn’t be able to understand. but let me try to help. JC NO means not true, as in, NO, it didn’t happen. hope this helps.

      • http://www.fathermuskrat.com Muskrat

        @JCO Prick.

  • really?

    JCO

    Male? Limited available brain cells.
    19 yr old male? Limited brain cells not accessible.
    Hungry 19 year old male? Not even trying to access limited brain cells.
    Party-hearty hungry 19 year old male? Amazed you made it all the way to the ritz which was the handicapped stall.
    Can we all just say Ewwwww? Because if you did not do this? Someone else did. . .

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      dear @really?

      a little man-hate-y for my taste, but no denying the logic behind your funny and clever comment. it made me laugh out loud, or LOL as they say, er type.

  • really?

    JCO

    Male? Limited available brain cells.
    19 yr old male? Limited brain cells not accessible.
    Hungry 19 year old male? Not even trying to access limited brain cells.
    Party-hearty hungry 19 year old male? Amazed you made it all the way to the ritz which was the handicapped stall.
    Can we all just say Ewwwww? Because if you did not do this? Someone else did. . .

  • really?

    JCO

    Male? Limited available brain cells.
    19 yr old male? Limited brain cells not accessible.
    Hungry 19 year old male? Not even trying to access limited brain cells.
    Party-hearty hungry 19 year old male? Amazed you made it all the way to the ritz which was the handicapped stall.
    Can we all just say Ewwwww? Because if you did not do this? Someone else did. . .

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      dear @really?

      a little man-hate-y for my taste, but no denying the logic behind your funny and clever comment. it made me laugh out loud, or LOL as they say, er type.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    JC No. Please tell me that this is a no.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    JC No. Please tell me that this is a no.

  • Tsiler

    This is easily one of the funniest stories that I have EVER read! Well done!

  • Tsiler

    This is easily one of the funniest stories that I have EVER read! Well done!

  • http://www.dcurbandad.com DC Urban Dad

    I would go with true as well. Only because I worked in a restaurant during my last year in college and one of our servers who also lived out of his car and showered at the college did that too. I think I just threw up in my mouth.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      “who also lived out of his car” was a particularly nice touch.

  • http://www.dcurbandad.com DC Urban Dad

    I would go with true as well. Only because I worked in a restaurant during my last year in college and one of our servers who also lived out of his car and showered at the college did that too. I think I just threw up in my mouth.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      “who also lived out of his car” was a particularly nice touch.

  • http://jugglingeric.blogspot.com Eric

    JCO

    Fuddruckers is the bomb..

    I’m surprised that you still don’t do it to feed your horde..

  • http://jugglingeric.blogspot.com Eric

    JCO

    Fuddruckers is the bomb..

    I’m surprised that you still don’t do it to feed your horde..

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    I really can’t decide.

    I mean. Clean looking old ladies? I mean… do they eat at Fuddruckers? Do teenaged guys notice old ladies, clean or otherwise?

    I believe the Ramen Noodle part. And the partying part.

    Shoot. I’ve worked at several restaurants and never seen this occur… but I guess that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen!

    I’m gonna vote JCO again. But I hate being wrong. :/

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    I really can’t decide.

    I mean. Clean looking old ladies? I mean… do they eat at Fuddruckers? Do teenaged guys notice old ladies, clean or otherwise?

    I believe the Ramen Noodle part. And the partying part.

    Shoot. I’ve worked at several restaurants and never seen this occur… but I guess that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen!

    I’m gonna vote JCO again. But I hate being wrong. :/

  • Maryellen Tipton

    I say true. If you didn’t do this, you undoubtedly knew someone who did. Having worked in a restaurant, I don’t think this is THAAAAAAAAT much of a stretch. It’s gross, and I’d think it would be more likely to happen with just fries or chicken fingers or something, but I believe you.

  • Maryellen Tipton

    I say true. If you didn’t do this, you undoubtedly knew someone who did. Having worked in a restaurant, I don’t think this is THAAAAAAAAT much of a stretch. It’s gross, and I’d think it would be more likely to happen with just fries or chicken fingers or something, but I believe you.

  • http://www.latifahshay.com Latifah Shay

    I agree with the last caller,.. If you didn’t do it, someone else undoubtedly did. I worked in the restaurant industry for far too long, and oh, the stories I heard!

    Hmmm, I say def Believable. But YOU??
    I’m going to go with JCO. 😉

  • http://www.latifahshay.com Latifah Shay

    I agree with the last caller,.. If you didn’t do it, someone else undoubtedly did. I worked in the restaurant industry for far too long, and oh, the stories I heard!

    Hmmm, I say def Believable. But YOU??
    I’m going to go with JCO. 😉

  • really?

    Oops! But, but some of my best friends are men! I also have only brothers and attended school for the first 7 grades with all boys, (yes, in a two room school, walking uphill through the snow both ways, etc.) I may not have worded things properly, but I’ve been around long enough to know, that generally speaking, the male & female brains work differently, and at age 19? Seriously. But you are correct, it was my limited brain cell access that fed the comment, with no malice intended. Thanks for being gracious.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      no malice taken! my response to your comment (just like the comment itself) was tongue and cheek. i loved what you had to say.

      you=funny. (and smart b/c you were pretty much dead on!)

  • really?

    Oops! But, but some of my best friends are men! I also have only brothers and attended school for the first 7 grades with all boys, (yes, in a two room school, walking uphill through the snow both ways, etc.) I may not have worded things properly, but I’ve been around long enough to know, that generally speaking, the male & female brains work differently, and at age 19? Seriously. But you are correct, it was my limited brain cell access that fed the comment, with no malice intended. Thanks for being gracious.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      no malice taken! my response to your comment (just like the comment itself) was tongue and cheek. i loved what you had to say.

      you=funny. (and smart b/c you were pretty much dead on!)

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Hmm, ever get into a fight while waiting in line to see Dancing With the Stars. It is great fun. I think that you’ll appreciate my answer. I am writing it in invisible ink.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      i’m putting you down for NO.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Hmm, ever get into a fight while waiting in line to see Dancing With the Stars. It is great fun. I think that you’ll appreciate my answer. I am writing it in invisible ink.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      i’m putting you down for NO.

  • Patrick (yeah, that one)

    I unfortunately am more than willing to believe that this is a JCO. Because I know you. :-p And even if it isn’t true, I’m going to save it in my mind as a ‘true’ statement. :-p

  • Patrick (yeah, that one)

    I unfortunately am more than willing to believe that this is a JCO. Because I know you. :-p And even if it isn’t true, I’m going to save it in my mind as a ‘true’ statement. :-p

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad

    It’s lunch here, I’m hungry, and I’m thinking it sounds good. Put me down for JCO. You seem opportunisitc.

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad

    It’s lunch here, I’m hungry, and I’m thinking it sounds good. Put me down for JCO. You seem opportunisitc.

  • TAD

    I know wheather or not it is JC NO or JCO because I lived with you then while working at the very posh eatery known as Shuckers, so I will abstain from voting so as not to sway public opinion either way.
    T Siler, I believe that you where supposed to be living with us that summer too. I’m tellin ya, you missed out on quite a ride! (But Country Joe was a good substitute…)

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      well said, brother. miss you.

  • TAD

    I know wheather or not it is JC NO or JCO because I lived with you then while working at the very posh eatery known as Shuckers, so I will abstain from voting so as not to sway public opinion either way.
    T Siler, I believe that you where supposed to be living with us that summer too. I’m tellin ya, you missed out on quite a ride! (But Country Joe was a good substitute…)

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      well said, brother. miss you.

  • WEH

    I say definitely true because I used to wait tables throughout high school and college and did it all of the time. AND, I’m not a guy, but instead, I’d like to consider myself a perfectly normal (for the most part) even somewhat cute and funny girl.

    Pizza was the best because you could take an inside piece that hadn’t been touched.

    Wow. I’ll be really embarrassed if this isn’t true now…..

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      @WEH
      HOLY. COW. that pizza tip is OFF THE HOOK clever. too bad i didn’t work slinging pies for a living. oddly, the very next summer i actually did work in the pizza industry. i was a delivery guy from Sharkey’s pizza on Hilton Head Island and i have some CRAZY stories from that. come to think of it, i may run with one of them (or perhaps a made up one of them) next week.

      thanks for reading, WEH!

  • WEH

    I say definitely true because I used to wait tables throughout high school and college and did it all of the time. AND, I’m not a guy, but instead, I’d like to consider myself a perfectly normal (for the most part) even somewhat cute and funny girl.

    Pizza was the best because you could take an inside piece that hadn’t been touched.

    Wow. I’ll be really embarrassed if this isn’t true now…..

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      @WEH
      HOLY. COW. that pizza tip is OFF THE HOOK clever. too bad i didn’t work slinging pies for a living. oddly, the very next summer i actually did work in the pizza industry. i was a delivery guy from Sharkey’s pizza on Hilton Head Island and i have some CRAZY stories from that. come to think of it, i may run with one of them (or perhaps a made up one of them) next week.

      thanks for reading, WEH!

  • Stephanie

    Of course it’s true. I love this story. Too many details not to be true..

  • Stephanie

    Of course it’s true. I love this story. Too many details not to be true..

  • http://fekkefekke.blogspot.com/ Nadu

    I say true just because of the details. They’re too er.. ‘fresh’ to be made up!

  • http://fekkefekke.blogspot.com/ Nadu

    I say true just because of the details. They’re too er.. ‘fresh’ to be made up!

  • TSchmid

    Gotta go with BS, or JC NO. Good story, worthy of another Mark Twain trophy!

  • TSchmid

    Gotta go with BS, or JC NO. Good story, worthy of another Mark Twain trophy!

  • http://www.realmendriveminivans.com PJ Mullen

    I’m calling BS on this one. My friends that worked in restaurants during school just re-allocated supply from the chill box. In other news I”m no longer interested in the larabar I was just about to eat.

  • http://www.realmendriveminivans.com PJ Mullen

    I’m calling BS on this one. My friends that worked in restaurants during school just re-allocated supply from the chill box. In other news I”m no longer interested in the larabar I was just about to eat.

  • Rob

    Although the dialog with Lovie is convincing, I believe it is a well crafted smoke screen. I vote JC NO

    Of course, I have further substantiation to my position. Follow me: Scottsdale. 105 degree heat. Volleyball. Bill C. untucks your shirt and wipes his sweat soaked noggin on your white polo. Your response: I believe that is one of the top three most disgusting things that has ever happened to me.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      holly cow. that’s right. that criminal walked right up to me and wiped his sweat w/ my shirt. and the response you attributed to me was nearly verbatim.

      the exact wording was: “that’s the second or third grosses thing that’s ever happened to me.” good stuff, rob.

  • Rob

    Although the dialog with Lovie is convincing, I believe it is a well crafted smoke screen. I vote JC NO

    Of course, I have further substantiation to my position. Follow me: Scottsdale. 105 degree heat. Volleyball. Bill C. untucks your shirt and wipes his sweat soaked noggin on your white polo. Your response: I believe that is one of the top three most disgusting things that has ever happened to me.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com john cave osborne

      holly cow. that’s right. that criminal walked right up to me and wiped his sweat w/ my shirt. and the response you attributed to me was nearly verbatim.

      the exact wording was: “that’s the second or third grosses thing that’s ever happened to me.” good stuff, rob.

  • http://www.whydwell.blogspot.com wendy wisniewski

    A shit-ton (it’s metric)? Classic.

    I am going to go with True. (Too lazy to go back and remember the acronym.)

    I worked in many a restaurant during my college days. Not only did we requisition food for ourselves as wait staff, we did the dish guys some favors too… Hungry is as hungry does.

  • http://www.whydwell.blogspot.com wendy wisniewski

    A shit-ton (it’s metric)? Classic.

    I am going to go with True. (Too lazy to go back and remember the acronym.)

    I worked in many a restaurant during my college days. Not only did we requisition food for ourselves as wait staff, we did the dish guys some favors too… Hungry is as hungry does.

  • http://liloladenvers.blogspot.com Lilola

    I’m going with JC O. Absolutely true. We owned a diner years ago and my husband bussed the tables half the time. He would pick off the plates periodically!

  • http://liloladenvers.blogspot.com Lilola

    I’m going with JC O. Absolutely true. We owned a diner years ago and my husband bussed the tables half the time. He would pick off the plates periodically!

  • Opus

    I say JCO. I’ve been tempted to do it as a customer!

  • Opus

    I say JCO. I’ve been tempted to do it as a customer!

  • Debbie

    JCO!

  • Debbie

    JCO!

  • http://www.thedadvocateproject.com Kevin (TheDADvocate)

    I feel so abused after last weeks contest that I’m almost hesitant to provide an answer this week. I’m kind of with FatherMuskrat on this one. I believe there is a lot of truth in this story but think it’s possible the ending is embellished. Despite that I’m still going with JCO. And as always I’m impressed with your ability to spin a tale.

  • http://www.thedadvocateproject.com Kevin (TheDADvocate)

    I feel so abused after last weeks contest that I’m almost hesitant to provide an answer this week. I’m kind of with FatherMuskrat on this one. I believe there is a lot of truth in this story but think it’s possible the ending is embellished. Despite that I’m still going with JCO. And as always I’m impressed with your ability to spin a tale.

  • http://sahdinlansing.com Chris (@tessasdad)

    This one is also a JC NO. Great tale either way though man.

  • http://sahdinlansing.com Chris (@tessasdad)

    This one is also a JC NO. Great tale either way though man.

  • Pingback: A Pack of Those D Batteries, Too, Please « And Triplets Make Six

  • Cgouffon

    I know for a fact that this is gospel, as do others who spent time in the lovely confines of Hilton Head that summer. I might add other methods besides pinching old ladies half eaten burgers and obtaining most of your meaningful nutrition from enriched flour and fermented yeast were employed to ensure an uninterrupted flow of good times. These methods are perhaps a couple rungs below the all ready mentioned techniques, and since I am not being paid for this spot the motivation to degrade myself is outweighed by common sense.

  • mike ziehl

    Coming upon this a little after the fact… I would have to say JCO from what I remember as your manager at the Hilton Head Fuddruckers in 1989. I seriously did enjoy working with all you clowns that summer. Made the season go just a little quicker. Hope things are well with you. Mike. (Dylan, Paul)