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Today, I met a woman straight out of central casting. She was probably in her late 60’s, had a whiskey voice, and her general appearance seemed to me to meet the definition of “ridden-hard/put-up wet”. I took one look at her, and thought, “Holy Smokes! It’s Large Marge!!!” (In case you’ve never seen Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, she’s the truck driver who picks Pee Wee up on the interstate as he’s hitching a ride on a dark Texas night. She also scares the bejeebers out of him by having her eyes pop out of her head, but that’s another story).
She also kinda reminded me of this actress, Rita Shaw, the woman who played the escaped convict who forced Barney Fife to dance with her after she had kidnapped him and held him prisoner in her mountain cabin. My “Marge” had the same forcefulness of character, and the same impressive height. Imposing would be a great adjective with which to describe my “Marge”.
So, here’s how I happened to meet “Marge”: I was sitting in the lab waiting room at the doctor’s office, waiting to go back and get my bone density scan. (Which I had, and I’m good. Pardon me for a moment while I engage in a quick, celebratory, weight-bearing dance. OK, now, back to the story.) I’m preoccupied, working a Sudoku puzzle to stave off the onset of Altzheimer’s that will undoubtedly get me in the end: my just reward for taking all these pre-emptive measures to maintain a healthy body. If I keep my body healthy, my mind will undoubtedly go to heck in a hand basket. You KNOW it’s all gonna go have to go south somehow!
Anyhow, I’m sitting there all alone in the empty waiting room, working my Sudoku, minding my own stinking business, when I hear this gravelly feminine(?) voice say, “Thanks, hon. You have a good day, too.” I look up, and entering the room is Large Marge, or, at least, her evil twin. She continues, “Now, why did I call her ‘Hon”? I hate to say that.” So, I looked up, smiled and said, “Oh, you probably like her and were trying to be nice,” and went back to my puzzle.
“Marge” replies, “Yeah, but I think it can be demeaning.”
“Well, yes, it can, but I bet she didn’t take it that way. You sounded like you liked her, to me.”
“Yeah, I do. Not like that other slut who used to work for Dr. Smith. I couldn’t stand her. She had to go.”
By this time, it is MY eyes that are bugging out of my head, and not Marge’s. She continues on, “I used to have a friend named Penny. She’s dead now. But she was the warden of the women’s prison. Some salesman had come into the office and was yucking it up with all the male prison guards in the office, and Penny comes walking in. He puts his arm around her and says, “Whatchew do aroun’ here, Hon?” and Penny says, “I run this joint,”. At this point, “Marge” chuckles heartily, clearly enjoying the irony of her story.
I am beginning to realize that I am sitting across from someone who is potentially a veritable treasure trove of great stories, here, and so I think, “Wow! I better keep this woman talking. I bet she’s got some great ones to tell.” So, I say, “You had a friend who was the warden of the women’s prison?”
As this point, one of “Marge”‘s eyebrows goes up, and she eyes me, archly, and then narrows those same eyes and intones with great weight and solemnity, “I worked in Paroles and Probation.”
(cue dramatic organ music: duh duh duh duuuuhhhhhh)
I feel a sudden need to squirm. I’m telling you, if her clients EVER did ANYTHING to violate their parole, I will guarantee you, “Marge” found them out.
Unfortunately, at that moment, the lab tech opened the door, and called “Marge” in for her blood work.
And I just sat there alone in the empty waiting room again and laughed and laughed. Maybe I’m easily amused. But MY! It takes all kinds. And I had just been treated to meeting one very special woman. YIKES!!!
So, Marge, Hon, (and I mean that in the most affectionate/least demeaning of ways), here’s to you, and I hope your bloodwork came out great. It’s people like you that make it safe for the rest of us to sleep in our beds at night.
That is, if we can fall asleep after we remember meeting you…
And I sure am glad that a woman of your sheer force sits on the side of law and order. Or else the rest of us would be in a HEAP of trouble.