Freudian Slips: Rolling A Gutter Ball

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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.

February 27, 2008

Rolling A Gutter Ball

I have an unbreakable habit of relaxing when I am alone in the company of another high functioning developmentally disabled client. I sometimes forget my place as their social worker and fall into a normalized pattern of camaraderie thereby treating them as equals. Even though my contemporaries believe I work best with the profoundly retarded, I relish the rare opportunities of sharing the banter with a highly verbal person possessing only a mild disability.
Alone with Beatrice Dungstone as both her transport and informant for a group home placement interview that advertised a vacancy, habit reared its head. As I schooled Beatrice about what to expect during the interview process, she preferred to talk about other stuff. She broke out chewing gum that she cracked like bubble wrap and soon I got lost in her reminiscing about her glory days of captaining a bowling team in dubiously titled Hell’s Angels. Soon I found myself driving around in circles lost in a rural town, hell on wheels. Without the correct phone number to the group home, I announced to Beatrice the need to call the local police station to ask directions to what could only be the only group home in this small town.
In between her lively stories of carrying a cocktail-laced 159 bowling average wearing a faux motorcycle jacket, Beatrice impatience escalated from annoyance to barbs about my driving ability. So I reached into my actor's bag of tricks deciding to make a crank call for levity purposes.
I faked the first call to the police station. Only mimicking touching my cell phone’s key pad, my improvisational acting rolled a gutter ball. “Yes, is this the police? Good. Good. I just wanted to speak to a sergeant. Oh, hello, sergeant. My name is Joe Tornatore and I am a social worker. I just picked up a homeless person right off of the streets. Yes, she was definitely loitering. And she threw her gum wrapper out of the car window so that is littering, right? What? Hold on. Yes, she looks kind of dangerous. In fact, she is claiming to be a former reputed member of the Hell’s Angels. I will do that. Right away. Yes, sir.” I hung up the phone and turned towards her. “Beatrice, Sergeant Kovacs wants me to bring you in for questioning.”
After I swung the car around, Beatrice did not miss a beat. “I question your jokes. You are making stupid jokes that I am homeless! Shame on you! You know how nervous I am about this placement interview and the dread of moving. You get me lost and late to my appointment then start making crank calls to the coppers about the name of my bowling team back yonder. What kind of a social worker digs up my past to make jokes about me? Be thankful I can think for the both of us because I don’t think you can work and chew gum at the same time. I am going to report you to your supervisor and you can believe your lousy driving will come up too.”
Beatrice’s scowl rattled my unprofessionalism. “You are right. I am sorry. Bea, I will be more considerate to your situation.”
“Joe, you better be nice to me. Now that I have your ear, I want you to buy me a carton of cigarettes, buy me lunch somewhere nice, and before you leave I want a big long hug from you like you really mean it.”
“I was only joking.”
“I’m not!”

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good story! This time, the yolk was on you!!!

8:32 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

With the egg on my face, it is no wonder I got lost driving.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, I love Bea
She's my kind of gal.

Catherine Mary

1:29 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Catherine Mary,
Yeah, she put me on trial and I did not even have to go to Phillies Dream week. lol

3:36 AM  

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