Russell "Buddy" Jenkins hoisted himself out of his lawn chair to dig for another beer but all he found was some partially melted ice and a few empties.
"I knew we were drinkin at a good pace, but I was shocked to find out that we finished off a 30 pack before noon," a befuddled Jenkins said. "My brother-in-law pulls this same shit every weekend. He bums my smokes, takes my last beer and leaves without sayin nuthin!"
After aimlessly walking around his backyard at a snail's pace wearing nothing but stained shorts and old flip flops, Buddy approached me, took a drag from his cigarette, ashed on his dog and blew smoke out of the side of his mouth to avoid offending me. (Truth be told, the smoke would have been a welcome change from what my nostrils were experiencing at that moment)
"I mean, now what the hell do I do," he finalled announced. "My sister took my truck and I ain't walkin to the store for more beer. I aint cuttin the grass neither. I busted my ass all week at work. This is Buddy's time."
Pondering his options, he asked me if I would drive him to the store. After refusing his proposal, Buddy requested that I help him assemble a make shift pool in his backyard. After a brief negotiation, we settled on laying out a slip n slide on his lawn for his four ragamuffin children to play in the sun.
"Fuckin water's cold Dad!" his six year old son Garth yelled.
"Buddy, is your son chewing tobacco?" I asked.
"Don't worry, it's just Skoal," Buddy said. "Kid stuff." After packing his cigarette box, he slowly pulled out another cigarette and in a very matter of fact manner told me, "Well, I aint watchin the race without beer. So we need to think of something quick."
I finally caved and drove him to the local convenience store for his fix. Blatantly ignoring the store's No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service sign, Buddy walked into the mini-mart and took dead aim towards the rear corner of the market. Before I could catch up with him, he was walking towards me with a 30-pack of Keystone Light 16 ounce cans.
"I forgot my wallet, could you spot me till we get back," he boldly asked. I agreed under one condition. I would buy his beer as well as a bumper sticker that read "Re-elect Obama" which he would have to put on his truck.
"Fuck that," he yelled. Completely oblivious that children were around.
I sweetened the pot by tossing in a Larry the Cable Guy trucker hat which read Git 'R' Done to the deal.
"Throw in a slim jim and you got yourself a deal. The extra long one right over there." I agreed.
The drive back to his domicile was a quiet ride. He hungrily ate his beef jerky and cracked open a Keystone Light pounder.
When his sister finally returned and the race was over, (Jr. lost-again) we went outside to affix the bumper sticker. I decided it would look best in between the "Cheaper to Keep Her" and Calvin character pissing on a Ford logo.
I'll never forget those tense two hours in between beer runs while my new friend Buddy weighed his options.
"That's how I roll," said a visibly drunk Jenkins. He then casually turned his head and vomitted into a trash can, calmly grabbed the remote and changed the channel.
"Fuckin A," he said as he blinked his one eye and cracked open another beer.
Fucking A indeed.