Often enough, I think people are out to get me – I think it’s a little-sister-of-two-big-brothers complex – so I gave him a pointed look and asked him what the hell was so funny.
Of course, he wasn’t looking, or laughing, at me – he was looking at the sanctuary candle with a picture of the last Pope (as in not the current, German one) on it. You see, Bethany had ordered this drink called Holy Water and the ingredients are: Green tea vodka, St. Germaine and lemon juice – with a sanctuary candle on the side. The candle might have a picture of the baby Jesus or the Virgin Mary or, in this case, the Pope. (And the drink is delicious to the max.)
“Oooohhh,” I said. And tried not to look like an asshole.
And then he asked me why I was so grumpy. And I told him that he didn’t know me well enough to call me grumpy. And I said, ‘What if I’m not grumpy? What if this is just my natural state? Wouldn’t you feel like a jerk?”
He said he didn’t think it was my natural state, so he wasn’t worried – and then told me he was grumpy, too. Something about some cowboy at work who goes off and runs wild, gets himself into impossible situations and then needs my new ‘friend’ to help him out – even while he’s on vacation.
“What do you do?” I asked.
“I work for AT&T,” he said.
I refrained from saying something nasty, and instead implored, “And what do you do for AT&T?”
And he just gave me this ‘lips sealed’ kind of look.
“What?” I said. And his girlfriend piped up, “He could tell you, but then he’d have to kill you.” Which he didn’t appreciate at all.
And then my earlier refraining was lost. “What? Do you chase after people who leave AT&T for Verizon because of all the dropped calls and break their kneecaps or something?”
He was totally not amused and made several off-color remarks about how I have a big red mappy network thing hanging over my head. “Listen,” he said. “Call someone and say, ‘I’m going to k**l the Pr****ent’ and watch what happens. But don’t really do that, okay? It’s not pretty.” (See, he made me wicked paranoid, I can’t even bring myself to say those words in this post – which is not part of the AT&T network.)
“Are you serious?”
“AT&T listens to phone conversations?”
“…and texts and emails. And it’s not just AT&T, don’t kid yourself. We have it all, everything you’ve sent or typed into your phone.”
I guess I knew this on some level – Patriot Act and all that – but I’ve been busy blocking it out. “I suppose this should make me feel safer.”
“As long as you’re not stupid,” he said. And then he bought us a round of drinks – I’m guessing because he felt guilty for all the eavesdropping…and the dropped calls.