A Note from Ando:
I was going to try to get some pics of Arthur or maybe even some video, but as you’ll see, I never really had the chance. Sorry this seems so text heavy. Blogger is being difficult and pics aren’t embedding.
Today is the day I know you all have been waiting for. The day when Arthur Bailey was to come and whack my weeds. Before we get into today’s events, I should tell you that Arthur Bailey has become something of a legend and I don’t mean just from the tails told on this very blog. Since I first made his acquaintence about three weeks ago, I have received word of several Arthur Bailey sightings around town, most involving members of my own family, disconcerting as that may sound.
The first fable involves my dad and youngest sister. They were in line at the local Barnes & Nobles and a man fitting Arthur Bailey’s description was behind them in line and seemed rather impatient about the wait. Finally, he turned to my dad and said, “Hey, take this book. I was going to return it, but this line is taking too long. You can keep it or return it and keep the money.”
“Well, why don’t you just wait and return it and get your money back?”, my dad replied.
“No, I don’t have time. They’re going too slow. Here, it’s yours.”
And he left.
The second story involves my cousin. She was recaffinating herself at one of the 600 Starbucks in town when a man fitting Arthur Bailey’s description came in and proclaimed, “Free coffee for everybody, I’m buying! Get venti’s, it’s on me!”
Some of the clinentelle deferred, “No, no, that’s ok.”
But the Starbucks emplyoee’s said to just go ahead and accept. Apparently he does this all the time.
The third tale involves my mom’s co-worker and my uncle’s business. This one possibly took place on the day I first met Arthur. My mom could see her co-worker out in front of the office talking to a man fitting, who else, Arthur Bailey’s description. He was holding a Starbucks cup and was curious as to just what kind of business JK Datacorp was in. They talked for a while and Arthur was off on his way, possibly to see about some weed whacking.
These facts are important given today’s events. I set the alarm for 7:45 AM so I would be up and ready for Arthur’s arrival at eight. He arrived right on time, with a Starbucks cup and three newspapers. I said hello and he commented how I was up early this morning. “I was waiting for you.” I said. He then began to tell me that he had to sell his weed whacker (“a really good one”) because his landlord didn’t want him storing it inside and he had no other indoor place to store it.
“I know you probably can’t afford both me doing the work and buying the weed whacker, so if you have like 175 bucks I’ll sell it to you. Plus I’ve got over $100 worth of the 2-cycle oil at home.”
I wasn’t quite sure what to say, except that I didn’t have 175 bucks and was only able to pay him $45 for the work he was going to do. I assumed this would end the conversation.
“That’s fine. It’s yours.”
“No, Arthur. That’s not fair to you. This is a nice weed whacker. I can’t take it for only $45.”
He went on to explain that he really didn’t have a place to store it and didn’t want to leave it outside because it would get ruined. He really wanted to respect his landlord by not storing it inside and the money wasn’t a big deal. It would all even out.
I felt bad, but he was very insistent. “I’d rather you have it than it get ruined from sitting outside.” He said he got it from Yardbirds a few weeks ago, but they aren’t taking any returns because they’re switching over to be a Home Depot (I in fact knew this to be true). So after a few more minutes of trying to talk him out of it, I gave in and accepted it. I managed to scrounge up ten more dollars for a total of $55 for the weed whacker, oil, and gas can. He still has my two VHS movies, so that evens it out, right? Honestly, I do feel badly about it, but he really wouldn’t let me say no.
So, after our transaction I gave him a lift home. Plus I had to pick up my case of oil. I paid good money for that oil. We had a nice conversation on the way to his house. I found out that he used to live in Rohnert Park and is hoping to move back there, into some new places they just built. Once he gets into one of those and gets his Playstaion 3, he’ll be all set, he said. He was indeed the generous customer at Starbucks and does that all the time. “I just like to bring people cheer.”, he said. “Did I bring you cheer the first time I came over?”
How could I say no to that? I’ve managed to get four or five blogs out of this, countless laughs and a story to tell for years.
After stopping by his house, or more appropriatley, bungalow, I drove downtown to drop him off. I had a CD that I had burned playing in the car and so before he left we played name that tune. He would listen to a few seconds of the song and try to guess who it was. I gave him the CD since he seemed to enjoy it so much, and because I had paid him 50 bucks for a weed whacker worth at least three times that. As I finally wound up the conversation and he was exiting the car, he said possibly the most ominous words ever spoken to me, “You’re a really great friend. When can we get together again?” ………. It was all I could do to keep my jaw from hitting the floor. It was at this point that I felt it wise to give him my phone number and a thinly veiled admonishment to call, rather than stop by if he wanted to talk to me. We then shook hands and off he went, with his Starbucks and three newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal.
I find it interesting that a couple days after posting about humanities obession with stuff, I am here blogging about an individual that has nothing but gives it away anyway. In most cases similar to this one, I would assume that the guy is selling his weed whacker dirt cheap because he’s in need of some crack. But I really don’t think that’s the case with Arthur Bailey. I won’t go so far as to say that I’ll miss the guy, but I don’t know that I’d change the way anything occured…except maybe for him to actually “terminate” my blackberry bush. Oh well, at least now I’ve got a really nice weed whacker. And I’m sure this isn’t the last I’ve heard from Arthur Bailey.