Road trip to JacksonvilleOne of the guys I used to hang out with at Florida State was Benny Hamovitz. He, like Steve Pla, was from Tampa, Florida. One weekend he asked me if I wanted to drive to Tampa with him and a friend of his (whose name completely slips my mind and I do apologize to this man on behalf of my senior style recollections). Anyway, Benny was a year older and one of a handful of sophomores who had a car on campus. He said we needed to gas up before heading out on the road, so we stopped at a Gas Station just off campus. Since it was Benny’s car, I was going to pay for the gas going and the other kid was going to pay for the gas on the way back. All I had on me was the $20 bill I had been paid with for 5 hours of catering on Campus…easiest job I ever had. Gasoline was a lot cheaper in those days, something like 25¢ a gallon so it didn’t take a lot of money to fill up Benny’s 20 gallon tank…it was something like $3.75 as I recall because he wasn’t totally empty. Before I continue this saga, I should mention that the attendant was a student in one of my large lecture classes. Anyway, when this future Businessman told Benny the cost, I passed my $20 to him and he in turn placed it in the grimy, outstretched hand. It seemed to me that the guy was taking a little too much time making change and when Benny gave me the rolled up wad of bills and a quarter, I started to count it to make sure that I had not been cheated. Just as we ran through a red light (Benny wasn’t a very good driver), I started laughing hysterically. Benny’s friend (I will call him Fred…why well because I can’t keep referring to him as the dude or guy or whatever for the entire length of this story), Fred asked me what was so f***ing funny, he was known as Foul-mouthed Freddy for good reason. I told them that I had counted the change because I was afraid of being short-changed, but I wasn’t. I announced that I knew the major of this genius with numbers; he had to be math major because he gave me $21.25 change. After the belly laughs died down Benny announced, “No…he didn’t make a mistake in math Paul, he just gave you change for a $25 bill”.
Well, we could not drive directly to Tampa as we had to stop at Freddy’s house someplace close by like Quincy, Florida, but before going I made a stop at the liquor store where I was a regular customer (did I ever tell you about the batty woman who worked there or the field promotion I received for using the place? If not…I have a good idea for a future MAAS) and I purchased a fifth of Jack Daniels Black Label Tennessee Sipping Whisky…no time for any further elaborate description of this sour mash liquid refreshment. Anyway, when we got to Freddy’s house, no one was home so as all red blooded male students attending FSU at the time would do, we cracked open the bottle and asked our host if he would care for a wee dram. Elated at his response (he did not drink) we ignored his activities (he was supposedly cleaning his room and doing his laundry) and procured the use of rather large water glasses for our first drink and after finishing those “over the rocks” drinks, the trip became a hazy, fog filled adventure. Before I knew it the night had passed and I woke up, feeling fairly…make that very hung-over, possessing light sensitive throbbing eyeballs and in a bed that was obviously in a motel room.
On the other side of a night table, upon which was perched a large bottle of Old Granddad 100 proof whisky along with wallets change and another empty bottle of something alcoholic (black label Jack Daniels I think but my eyes were not focusing so well), was Benny laying in his own bed thank God (Benny, if you ever read this story there is neither innuendo nor demeaning accusation being hurled here it’s just that you are definitely not my type.) About the time my eyes focused on his torso, he allayed my fears by opening, although ever so slowly his own, obviously hurting eyes and muttered “Oh, it’s you. Where the hell are we and did you get the license of that Bus?” Sitting up at the same time I forced my body to respond to the same impulses, I replied that I had no idea but thought that “The Hair of the dog” would be a good idea so we poured the remainder of the Old Granddad into two conveniently placed Motel room cups, drained them, almost choking and in unison inquired, “Were is Freddy?” Leaping from his bed; throwing open the door and searching around the parking lot, , Benny suddenly became extremely sober, alert and agitatedly boomed “…And just where the F**K are my F**KING keys?”
Next week's 09-20-2010 (#159) title: Part II of Road trip to Jacksonville