Sunday, March 19, 2006

Manly Manliness, Plus the Ambassador

So Friday night, Craw and the Kid and I went out for some Eye-talian food. On the way home, we were walking past the exit of a parking garage as a group of 20-somethings were walking there, and some guy comes RACING to the exit and all of us turned on him and were like, yo, asshole, WTF? As he turned out of the exit, he could hear us all calling him a jackass and the like, and he started driving slowly, glaring at us, which prompted me to point out his Manly Demeanor (which probably didn't help). The two groups of us, plus the guy, made it to the corner, where he caught the red light and we all crossed the street, not quite together. I don't see Craw, though, and I turn around and find that the guy has GOTTEN OUT OF HIS CAR and is standing there confronting Craw (yelling, puzzlingly enough, "Are you pissed off? Are you pissed off?"). Craw is just standing there in front of him, hands in his pockets, and he notes the alcohol on the guy's breath and says, "You're drunk, aren't you." Whereupon I suggest we find a police officer (because I figure, if nothing else, this guy will be screwed upon getting behind the wheel while that drunk, and Craw hasn't had anything stronger than San Pelligrino). Drunk guy goes back to his car at this point, and we turn around to find out that at least two of the people from the other group have sort of milled around in the background, and one of them, a tall black guy, says to Craw, "Hey man, I had your back." We chatted long enough to agree that if you're going to get drunk, don't drive a car, and then we all went our separate ways. But it was sort of interesting, not least because I suspect Drunk Driver sensed that Craw wasn't alone, or alone with the Kid, and therefore would be less easy to take on somehow, and also because this group of strangers really was making sure that Craw was okay.

Meanwhile, my arm, wrist, and hand hurt, and I have no fucking clue why. I suppose it could (and probably is) work-related, but I wish it would go away. It feels like a sprain, but I can't think when I would have done that. I'm hoping that this weekend's croissant production will be sufficient--I keep finding out about this or that order that I didn't know about, which meant there weren't enough of the plain croissants and Johnnie had to make some, which I really don't want to happen.

Johnnie has an interesting position in the bakery--he's basically the ambassador, in some ways. His English is enough better than the other three guys such that he'll translate if necessary, but I sense it's more than that. The guy who bakes the cakes--the whistler--does, indeed, as the owner said, "know what he knows." But he doesn't know much more than that. He does know a lot, and he works his ass off, so I'm not criticizing, but I do see his limitations. The guy who runs the ovens and makes some of the breads, he'll get into conversation with Brad or with Johnnie, but, again, will not be asked to do anything beyond the (considerable) range of things he already does. Johnnie, though, can fill in anywhere, and he's the one of the three of them most likely to be working late. I also noticed him translating/explaining something to the dishwasher guy the other day. It's always difficult to tell about these things--there's no way to know how literate someone is in their first language, or how much education they had in that language, for example--but the fact that Johnnie is kind of ambassador-like tells me something. Johnnie is also the one who's most likely to make a joke, sometimes in my direction. The other guys don't have any interest in entertaining me (or anyone else); work is work is work, I think. And Johnnie sees more of the dynamic of the bakery, too--the other day, as they were on the make-up line doing some kind of coffee cakes (I forget what I was doing, but I get put on the line, too, when I'm needed), the whistler must have said something to Johnnie to hurry up, and Johnnie said, in English, "You see my hands? I have two of them." Last week, after the whistler and the Baker had left, a timer went off for something in the oven, and Johnnie calls out, "It's okay, [Baker], I've got it." I just looked at him and grinned. He's also an incredible flirt--not so much with me, which is fine with me, thank you very much, but he's quite cute, and something of a player, I suspect; it's more that he likes to have an audience, and, since I'm willing to be entertained, he'll entertain me occasionally. When it's just the two of us, though, I try to get him to teach me some words in Spanish. Which I really must learn for real.


Anonymous Larry Jones said...

Getting out of the car, weird and scary as it looks, is actually a good sign around here. The shootings are done by those who don't get out.

6:24 PM  

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