Freudian Slips: Standing Tall

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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 03, 2008

Standing Tall

I stood in my family room complaining of the scaffolding needed to paint my vaulted twenty-five foot high walls. All of a sudden, Irving Magill’s face entered my memory banks. There he was and I knew damn well why. Irving tumbled forward to remind me that I had taken life for granted.
Like a Midwest sheriff from a yesteryear staled by blowing tumbleweeds, security guard Irving Magill wore a cowboy hat and a shiny badge of self-importance. He stood about 6’8” tall, a lanky appearance about as unattractive as they come. He walked with an unbecoming scissor gait like he had just been hit by gun shrapnel. Not unlike his unusual walk, his ways were also off kilter. Irving didn’t have a bad bone in his body but he annoyed people without even trying down to their bones.
A security guard at Bally’s gym, Irving took his job too seriously for common folk. He pretended to show valor where courage was never circumstantially questioned. When locker room crime slid on the fritz, Irving directed incoming traffic in the busy parking lot. He wielded a blow whistle, flashlight, and moved orange cone props around the parking lot like an obstacle course at a Nazi driving school. Bally clientele showed impatience with his high-strung antics. Many challenged his authority while insensitive patrons downright ridiculed him.
Irving had very little going for him in life other than the thankless underpaid job people gave him a hard time doing. His older more society-deemed successful brother worked as a decorated police officer. So I recognized Irving’s need to wear a badge but I don’t think many other people figured that one out. They viewed Irving like an overzealous school crossing guard working the wrong checkpoint. He told people they parked their cars cock-eyed within the white lines, yelled at adult pedestrians for running in the parking lot, or asked patrons too many awkward but well-meaning questions.
One night his big paw waved a halt sign my way in the parking lot. I obliged by stopping my vehicle dead in its tracks. I rolled down my window and awaited further instruction.
“Joe, did I tell ya I am getting my first house next month? I go to settlement in a few weeks.”
“Congratulations, Irving.” I complimented, “You must be darn proud.”
“I am blessed but it’s just a little trailer home. Not much to speak of but it is a place to hang my hat, call home. That is always a good thing.”
“Where is this place that you will be hanging your cowboy hat?”
“Thanks for asking.” He smiled in front of the idling cars lining up behind my vehicle. “They are hauling the trailer tomorrow to its final resting spot in the boondocks of Vineland. I gotta make some modifications to it before taking up residence. After that I’ll be able to stand without hitting me head in all but two of the rooms. That is always a good thing.”
Walls between people are artificial. Walls in need of painting are as high as you make them out to be.



Blogger mommanator said...

you would need scoffolding even if ya hired Irv! those ceilings are always a pia!

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There you go again. Tackling a project without consulting the professionals (remember the deck). Or, wait a minute, is this really a subtle cry for help?

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's a cry for help!!!!

1:06 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

I have not seen old Irv. He went mobile like his trailer.

I presumed all your porfessionals were out for coffee in Camden. lol

It was reflection not a cry. Got to go, hard to type holding this tissue.

6:49 PM  

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