Recently, I was on the telephone with Mr. Bananas and I mentioned letting my day-job co-workers in on one of our inside jokes. It’s such an an “inside” joke that even though three people know about it, I’m sure that I’m the only one who even thinks about using it. He was impressed that people with zero vested interest in the “joke” would latch onto it and said, “You’re good at that, actually. You can tell people about our jokes and make them feel a part of it.” I don’t know if this is an innate talent, or just a relentlessness in using the catchphrase* and explaining it’s uses.

*Let’s go with catchphrase from now on. They aren’t jokes**, even though they usually elicit a smile, but it’s fun to have this insider lingo anyhow.

**Okay, here’s a joke: A priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them and say, “What is this? Some kind of joke?”***

***My apologies for telling a joke about a joke.

Anyhow, in case I do have an innate talent, and in the interest of developing some content for this here blog, I thought I’d start going through some of our lingo, and get you all saying some of this stuff too. Many of these things you have heard and said yourselves, like “motherlover,” “strong,” and “sha-sha.” I will go over these again if you’d like, and add as many as I can recall.

No, not all in one post.

num7Today, we will be covering the ever popular “Nah, Bro. Seven.” Part of the humor in this phrase is understanding who said it and what he was like. I won’t use his name, but will instead make up a different name. How about… Mookie?*

*Believe me, his real name is just as ridiculous.

Mookie had three characteristics that I remember distinctly:

1) He was a terribly unreliable worker.
2) He wrote “G-Unit!” on everything.
3) He would never ever admit to being wrong. Ever.

Okay, so let’s flesh this out: The G-Unit thing was weird, but 50 Cent was, at least, popular at the time that I knew the guy. He wanted to be a part of something, even if he had no business doing so. He latched on to 50 Cent and G-Unit because that’s what MTV told him to do. Fair enough.

He was unreliable. Well, almost everybody in our [Wrall and my] job at the airline was pretty unreliable because they were young and didn’t have any really good role-models.* When I saw his name on the schedule I was always a little bummed, but not much more than with a lot of people. I expected him to be fired for a long time before his last day, if that means anything.**

*I remember that, while being trained on my first day, the guy training me wanted to show off his customer service skills. He asked a fifty-ish woman, who was clearly very vibrant and healthy, “Ma’am, can I get you a wheelchair out to the plane?” I was completely mortified standing next to him, but not half as mortified as she was. I hope she realized that his statement said more about his idiocy than her appearance.

**Mookie’s last day was classic. At one point, he and I were the only ramp agents on the tarmac and he called me on the radio to tell me that he was “going to use the bathroom, bro.” (At least he didn’t say “broseph.”) Well, a few hours later, when my boss radio’d for him and he didn’t respond, I realized that I hadn’t seen him since that moment. As it turns out, he had walked out of the airport, wearing his orange vest and radio, carrying his wands, got in his car and drove to the boat- we worked at the airport remember; we could fly for free. Now, he got on a bus on the other side and left the state, where he was on trial for possession with intent. I would emphasis that, but we’re already in italics here. So let me say it again: he walked off work and took a boat and a bus to go on trial for dealing cocaine. Okay? The trial and all that, you can take from that what you will. The fact that his plan for showing up to this trial was to say, “I’m going to the bathroom, bro” on the radio and then leave me, and everybody, high and dry, so that he could take a ferry and a bus out of state… I’m sorry, I can’t tell it again. It’s totally ridiculous.

7numbersevenincircleAlright, hopefully now you get a bit of an impression of this guy. He was a weirdo. But it’s the fact that he couldn’t admit that he was wrong-ever-about anything is the part that I’m here to talk about. If he said that it was Monday on a Tuesday and you corrected him, he would stick to his story no matter what. So, one day, when he asked Wrall to switch shifts with him, we should have expected something to go wrong.

“Hey, Wrall. Can you work my 8-4 shift on Tuesday, and I’ll cover your 10-6?” In those days, Wrall was not an early riser. Nowadays, he opts for the 5:30 shift, but back then, he really didn’t like getting up early. It would take some convincing, even for just a couple of hours. But, being a nice guy, Wrall eventually said yes.

That morning, Wrall showed up at 8am to an unhappy boss. “You’re working Mookie’s shift, right? You were supposed to be here at 7.”

“He definitely told me it was 8-4.”

“His shift was 7-4.”

Wrall was perplexed. There was no way he would have agreed to work a longer shift that started that early. No matter how much he needed the money, the guy was not going work any more than he was scheduled. When Mookie arrived, Wrall asked him about it:

indiana_number_71“You told me it was an 8am shift.”

“Nah, bro. Seven.”

“There is no way I would come in at seven. You told me eight.”

“Nah, bro. Seven.”

“Listen, Mooks. I’m not trying to get you in trouble here, but I can’t be looking like I don’t care about this job. I showed up at the time that you told me, and you must have told me wrong when you said eight.”

“Nah, bro. Seven.”

“Mookster, listen to me. When counting, the letter before nine is eight.”

“Nah, bro. Seven.”

“I’m pretty sure there are four horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

“Nah, bro. Seven.”

You get the idea. He was sticking to his guns until the end. He’d believe the same thing on Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened on Tuesday.

And it would likely include a “bro” or two.