Freudian Slips: The No Joy No Luck Club

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

April 18, 2006

The No Joy No Luck Club

In retrospect, I have had the privilege of only peripherally knowing Theorell Z. Chapman. Since we attend the same gym, sheer proximity has been a causative factor in our interfacing. He once asked me to be a good sport and play him a game of racquetball or we might never have wound up on the same court. We shared the same Trotter workout equipment on occasion. I cycled next to him on a stationary bike when there was a machine available. We passed each other incidentally on the jogging track never more familiar than a stated first name and standard hello.
About the time I considered Theorell not a stranger and an acquaintance, he became stranger. He started to behave so differently it would have been easier to argue a body snatcher theory and that he became a different person all together. Fellow gym members spread rumors about his outrageous behavior that spared not bursts of aggression and touched on inappropriateness with females. I expressed a word of caution to his best friend in that he might seek professional help for Theorell. All in all, the word around the gym was fitting of a midwife; give Theorell a wide birth. After heeding the community warning, twenty four hours later I realized how difficult even good advise is to employ.
As I approached the club from the parking lot, I saw Theorell's looming face nearly pressed to the glass windows. Just my luck. As if I were his long lost best friend, Theorell nearly vaulted over the counter after he saw me enter the gym. He whisked by vending machines and two startled ladies on a tour of the establishment to approach me from behind. His frantic maneuvers bordered on an emergency needing my immediate attention.
“Just the guy I was looking for. Give me your home phone number?” he asked.
I turned to head him off at the pass. He was a steam engine cooling so it took longer than it should for us to stop in the vestibule.
“What for?” I asked.
“Joe, just give me your phone number!” His perseverance succeeded only in spraying me with a dose of spittle.
I took a step backwards, which I reasoned was etiquette in establishing a no-spittle zone but an act that he perceived as a breach in interest.
“If you don’t want to give me your home phone number, let me take your cell phone number.”
Theorell moved back in close to me and made no bones about invading my personal space. The amount of spittle spraying from his mouth convinced me of two things. My no spittle zone lacked a large enough perimeter and Theorell had forgotten how to talk.
“What do you need my phone number for?” I fretted. “You see me all the time at the gym.”
“Just in case.” he spat.
“In case of what?” I asked. He didn’t answer. In fact, Theorell was growing perturbed by my roadblocks. I invited, “I got a great idea. Why don’t you just talk to me now and we can call it a day?”
“A phone number is required for what I have planned for you.”
“And what exactly is your plan for me, Theo?”
“I started a secret racquetball club.” He whispered in hush tones. “I want to make you a high ranking official. I got vice-president position still open, if you want it.”
I have gotten my share of bad bounces in racquetball but this was the most perfect three-wall shot that came from nowhere to crack unplayable in the corner. Theorell held up his cell phone and advertised that he was primed to store my number in his directory. No luck and now no joy. I took a moment to gather my faculties, insight now sorely lacking in Theorell.
I volleyed back. “I am a reasonable man but how secret can your secret racquetball club be if the game is played on public courts?”
“Be that way!” Theorell dismissively threw up his hands while his voice vexed anger and rejection. “You don’t have to join our secret club. You think you’re too good for us.”
My stride quickened and the locker room was almost in sight. I was almost away from Theorell when I heard him launch another counter attack. “Okay, how about your blog address? Joe, give me one of those business cards that you give out to club members.”
I didn’t give him my business card. Theorell doesn’t need to read about himself here. Perhaps his secret society is doing just fine without me and maybe it is a well kept secret afterall….because nobody has seen Theorell in a long time.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous t said...

Joe,

WOW...

9:57 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

t,
what a workout...of the mind.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

Don't kid yourself Joe. He's probably just storing up the spittle. It's not like there's an endless supply, you know.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

weary,
i love ad hoc comments.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Maja said...

Is it just me, or do you actually attract nutty types?

4:53 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Maja,
Keen observation. I'm a magnet on a refrigerator of lunacy.

9:33 AM  

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