My Friend Kitty

My friend Kitty and I have been pals for many years, now that I've moved away I don't get to see her as often, but I call her every morning on my drive to work and we talk for the 15 or 20 minutes it takes me to make my way to my office... no subject is off limits between us...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tracking Down a Bum

Since I don't talk to Kitty, generally, on the weekends, just our morning calls Monday through Friday, when I write on Saturday or Sunday, I'm thinking I'll relate some of our adventures together over the years...

Kitty had a fellow over to give her an estimate on fitting a wooden double door to replace an old sliding glass door in the house she inherited when her mother died. Andrew was a Scottish fella who had immigrated to the US several years back after an ugly divorce. He came to North Carolina to be near his son. He owned his own carpentry business. Andrew arrived, being recommended by someone Kitty knew and trusted, gave her the estimate of his work, took some money to purchase wood and supplies from Lowe's and promised to be back in three or four days to begin the work.

A week passed, then two, and Kitty didn't hear from him... she called his cell phone numerous times, leaving messages, but getting no response.

This particular evening, Kitty called me (she works at the local public library and gets off work at 8 p.m. each evening) and told me she was going looking for Andrew to either get her money back or find out why he had not come to do the work or when he would get started... She had found out where he lived and was going to his house... I expressed my concern about her going alone, it could be dangerous, she didn't really know this man! I was worried about her undertaking such a mission... did I want to go with her, she asked... Well...

I met her at the proposed intersection, got in her van with her and off we went to confront Andrew...

We found his driveway (it was very dark outside and he lived in an extremely rural area)... we lurched down the rutted, bumpy dirt drive and arrived at his house... maybe house is too much of a word to describe where Andrew lived... cabin? No, sounds too cozy and warm... Not quite reduced to a shack but close... Shanty? Maybe...

The house was dark, no vehicle sat outside... no one was home...

Never one to be deterred by such a minor inconvenience, Kitty, her anger and determination built up to a momentum, stated matter-of-factly "I know where he hangs out, we'll go there!"

We headed to town, to a small, private "members only" little tavern, "County Cork," parked about a half block away from the club, and decided to stroll past like we were window shopping up and down the street, and look in the window to see if we could see him inside.

We could see the bartender/owner, Geoff, along with 3 or 4 customers gathered at the small bar (it WAS a weeknight so the bar was mostly empty)... Kitty straightened up and stiffened... "There he is!" she said softly, "We're going inside!" We are? This is a private club, can we do that?

Boldly and determinedly, Kitty stepped inside, me following nervously... She greeted Geoff confidently and told him, "We're here to talk to Andrew, is that OK?" "Sure, come on in ladies!"

Andrew looked up from his pint and smiled broadly... in his thick, Scottish brogue, he shouted "Kitty! Come in, come in, let me buy you ladies a drink!"

Kitty accepted a pint of ale and I agreed on a small glass of white wine. We sat and chatted and laughed at the stories Andrew and his fellow drinkers were batting back and forth. He was quite charming in a sleazy, greasy sort of way.

After half an hour or so, Kitty and Andrew came to somewhat of an understanding about the carpentry work, and I'm happy to report he eventually did finish her door to her satisfaction, after some minor confrontations on her part... she, of course, never hired him again... too much work to track him down and keep him on task!

But that night, for some reason, Andrew decided to become enamoured of me! ME! He was funny and charming and interesting to chat with, but believe me I had NO romantic interest in him AT ALL!

As we got up to leave the club, Andrew said to me in his charming Scottish brogue, "I been dying ta kiss ya ever since ya walked in here!" I was flattered, but a little nervous. I declined quickly, but after much cajoling and pressuring on Andrew's part,  I agreed to take his phone number and told him I would try to call him some time (I never did after all the trouble he caused Kitty, I truly did NOT need such an irresponsible character in my life!)

And so began and ended my one and only international courtship!

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