My Old (Young) Friend from College
I was thinking over the last couple of days about a good friend of mine from college and some of his funny quirks. At first, I thought of taking funny characteristics of several friends, then pretending that they were all the same person. However, I realized that he deserved his own post for the things he did and said. For the purposes of this post, I will refer to him as "Josh". Also, for the purposes herein, I am only focusing on humorous and odd things. Please don't think for a second that I disliked him. He was in my wedding and he was a close friend, just a little weird sometimes.
Josh was the valedictorian of my college class, with a perfect 4.0. Impressive? Indeed. Our school was academically very strong, and he was a hard worker and a smart guy. Unfortunately, smart didn't really translate to "cool" sometimes. He was my roommate during my sophomore year, along with another very good friend of ours.
Josh was an old soul inside, and I don't mean that in an entirely good way. He was the only 19-year old dude I ever knew who made a point of preparing vegetables to eat with every meal. He even reprimanded our other roommate once (who had a proclivity for eating the exact same tuna-noodle dish every day). He said, "You might die of scurvy," without any hint of irony in his voice. I haven't known anyone who has had scurvy in the past few hundred years, unless they were a seabound pirate.
As a roommate, he excelled in irritation. He brought an unwanted pet cat into our home without asking. It was a tailless black cat named "Jet". Clever, huh? Jet black, get it? The cat basically was only good at two things - irritating our other cats (which belonged to my girlfriend and me), and pooping on the furniture. It truly seemed to have digestive issues. Maybe that is too much information. At any rate, it caused me to get more angry at another human than I have probably been ever since. On another occasion, Josh decided that he wanted to debate with me about whether or not animals were sentient beings. This kind of thing was fun for him, since he was a philosophy major.
He drove a two-tone brown station wagon (again not ironic), and his car stereo system had NO BASS at all. It was a real joy to ride with him and listen to his favorite bands (Rush and Triumph) in full, tinny glory. Maybe it seems harsh and judgmental of me since I now drive a mini-van, but I didn't drive one until we had our second child. Josh was only 19. Once, when my wife and I were dating, we went to the dollar movie with Josh and he drove. When we were leaving the theater in his car, Josh was talking non-stop with his in-depth commentary about the movie, and after we had gone a couple of blocks, he was pulled over by the police. I couldn't even imagine what he was being stopped for. As we waited, the tinny faint music set a marvelous tone. The officer came to the window and asked for Josh's license and registration, which he promptly produced.
"Sir, I stopped you this evening because you were traveling very slowly and I thought you might be unfamiliar with the vehicle. We have had several car thefts around here."
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That was the funniest and least scary encounter with the police that I have ever had in my life. Josh was like an 87-year old man while driving. I asked my wife tonight about this story, and she thought that Josh was probably going 10 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone.
Speaking of movies, Josh managed to inadvertently teach me a valuable lesson in my relationship with my wife that has stuck with me ever since. He had a very bad habit of revealing the ending of the movie WHILE YOU WERE WATCHING IT. If you were watching a movie like "Sixth Sense" (although this was clearly years before that film was released), he would just say, "Oh, I get it now. Bruce Willis is dead the whole time." It drove my wife nuts (and me, too, frankly). I learned to never ever do this around her unless I wanted to incur her wrath, at least for a short time.
In the summer of 1991, Josh got a cool "hangout" for us to watch movies and play drinking games. It was his grandmother's trailer! Honestly, I will admit that it was fun, but Josh was the only friend I had who would be willing to housesit for his grandma while she was away. I actually sort of began a more serious courtship with my future wife there while watching a rented copy of "Pump Up the Volume" with Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis.
Come to think of it, Josh was really a pretty good guy.