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06:34:59 - 2000-03-25

CHARLIE

Have you ever had someone in your life that you just wanted to KILL??? I mean...besides Corey Feldman...

...Charlie was mine.

I had been working at a magazine for a few years when the boss called all the employees into his office one day.

He introduced us all to Charlie, a nice looking, clean cut guy, who was starting work with us that day.

I was standing right next to Charlie as he was introduced.

As it turns out, Charlie was on work release from the local prison. He was serving ten years for vehicular manslaughter of which he was currently on his fourth year. While driving at 6:30 a.m., drunk and high on cocaine, Charlie ran his car into a pregnant woman's car, killing her and her unborn baby.

At that point, and the people in the office can testify...I SLOWLY started to inch away from Charlie.

He was now a born-again Christian and had been a model prisoner for the past four years.

By the time we walked out of that office, I was impressed and felt bad for the guy.

He was soft-spoken, very appreciative and just an all-around nice guy.

After his first day, I volunteered to be the one to shuttle him back and forth from prison each day. Which meant, I had to go inside the prison and sign a form to get him out each day and have strange prisoners ogle my fine male ass.

We developed a nice little friendship during that time. Even though we weren't supposed to, sometimes I would detour and get him some Krystal burgers, which are similar to White Castles. He loved them before he was sent to prison and hadn't had any in years. He was always so thankful for those burgers.

Oh...did I mention that his aunt owned not only the magazine that I was working for, but a whole slew of magazines across the nation and that she was filthy fucking rich?

I didn't?? Oh. Well, toss that into the equation somewhere.

Charlie worked for us for about 2-3 months before his parole hearing came up. After being cited as a model prisoner, it was determined that Charlie was rehabilitated and ready to get out of prison five and a half years early.

Charlie was ecstatic.

THE DAY HE GOT OUT ... he changed.

Gone was the humbled, quiet hard working young man.

Now we had the arrogant, self-serving, lazy little prick Charlie at our services.

Charlie decided that he would come to work on the days that he felt like it. He would take 2-3 hour long lunches. He would REFUSE to help answer the phone in our offices, saying he didn't get paid to answer phones.

And his first paycheck was TWICE what everyone else made.

One thing about yer good ol' Unca Bawb.... I do NOT suffer fools lightly.

Our relationship deteriorated faster than a leper's toenail.

I cannot BEGIN to list the various fights he and I had. He was undoubtedly the most lazy and worthless employee I have ever come across in 22 years in the workforce. We were forced to share an office together, where he would spend all day, tieing up one of the company phone lines to get caught up on the last four and a half years with his college buddies and how he "never" let another man touch him in prison.

Yeah right, pretty rich boy. His ass probably got hammered more than a rusty nail.

And I SWEAR to you...this arrogant bastard would make JOKES about the day he killed this woman and her unborn child. Not "jokes" jokes, but stuff like "Hey, I can drive. Just make sure there's no pregnant women on the road" kinda stuff.

The WORST THING Charlie ever did to me...the one time that I REALLY felt like getting drunk and plowing into HIS ass was when he saw to it that my job description changed dramatically.

I was writing my humor column for the newspaper at the time, as our magazine had acquired the newspaper I currently work for. One week I wrote a column about telemarketers and how I handle them (a recurring theme that is used when I have writer's block).

I didn't have any idea that Charlie had been put in charge of organizing a telemarketing team to help sell the newspaper. Charlie's job description changed every month as the general manager would try to find things for Charlie to do that he would actually FOLLOW THROUGH ON.

(At one point ... talk about ludicrous...our company started a new publication and put Charlie at the head of it to give him something to do. After two issues, Charlie lost interest in it and simply quit working on it, leaving advertisers and clients hanging. To this day, we STILL get mail for this long-defunct magazine, people wanting to place ads in it.)

Charlie was furious and thought that my telemarketing column was written to belittle him and his work. On our deadline day, before the paper went to the press, Charlie read my telemarketing column and DEMANDED that it be pulled.

I said there was no way. We were minutes away from deadline.

Charlie stormed into the general manager's office (who, in turn, answered to Charlie's aunt). Charlie TOLD him to get out there and pull my column out of the newspaper NOW.

...This is a young 32-year old telling his boss, a man in his 60s, what to do.

The boss came out, read over my column, saw nothing wrong with it and let it run.

By the end of the day, Charlie had a conference with his aunt and it was decided that I would no longer be writing a humor column effective immediately.

AND the general manager got a severe chewing out by Charlie's aunt for not kowtowing to Charlie's every whim.

I was crushed. I had just started to establish myself with this column and this murderer took it away from me.

Charlie actually smirked at me the next time he saw me, giving me a look like "Fuck with me, will ya???"

I was assigned a reporter's job and did that for a few years. Did it pretty well, too.

Then, Charlie's aunt decided to sell the magazine and newspaper. Which meant Charlie would no longer have a job with us. NOBODY could stand his arrogant ass and we were ALL excited to get rid of him once and for all.

I still remember his last day ... a Friday.

NOBODY took him to lunch. NO goodbye party or cake.

Hell, most of us left early that day just so we wouldn't have to stand around and wish him luck.

As soon as the new (and current) owner of the paper took over, he asked me why I quit writing my humor column. I told him the story on how Charlie took it away.

"Well, I want it back in the paper next week. My wife LOVES your column," he said.

I was on cloud nine. I wanted to kiss the new owner.

That was three years ago ... the last time I saw Charlie.

Last night, Susie and I go out to eat.

I've got my face in my plate, like the lil' piggy I am when I heard that voice.

"Uncle Bob!"

Oh holy shit.

There was Charlie, his wife and his little ugly assed kid that I had never seen.

We shook hands and made small talk. He wanted to know how I was doing, blah blah blah.

I never asked him how he was doing or what he was doing.

First off, I knew he was working for his aunt. After prison, there was a certain amount of years where he couldn't work for his aunt ... he had to "make it on his own".

So he worked for us...a company silently owned by his aunt, where his lazy ass could be protected.

I was so disturbed by seeing this jackass one more time that we got the rest of our meals put in a "to go" box and left.

Susie said I handled him very well and was extremely cordial to my number one enemy in the world.

Which means...I didn't kick him in the balls once.

I must be growing up after all.

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