One of the most frequent questions I get asked, (and not always from family,) is: Headley, why are you such a pathetic loser?
At first I found the question offensive, but as I was asked it so often, I decided to look at it in a good way. It turns out there is no good way to look at a question like that, so I figured the best thing would be to answer here on the blog and maybe that would get everybody OFF MY BACK!
Back in December of 1989, I wasn’t a complete loser. It’s true that I had a lousy job, and a worse work ethic. I had poor taste in clothing, questionable hygiene, and a diet that included too many gassy foods, but I also had (wait for it,) a girlfriend named, Hermosa Golden.
Hermosa finished second in the Babe Most Likely to Cause a Heart Attack pageant, an annual event in her upscale town of Chapavinhyaniceaster, Mass. It was sponsored by Construction Workers local 142 and the League of Women Voters, (the hard-hats were concerned that the name might be insensitive, but were over-ruled. They had some odd women voting in Chapavinhyaniceaster, Mass.)
In addition to being a beauty queen runner-up, Hermosa was a cardiac surgeon, (probably just as well she didn’t win the Babe Most Likely to Cause a Heart Attack pageant,) a personal friend of Mother Teresa,
and the only heir of her senile father, Richie Golden. Richie Golden owned a chain of active gold mines stringing from Alaska to Chile (the country
not the food, for, though I really like chili the food,
that wouldn’t make much sense.)
Yup, Hermosa was a winner. Most of our friends agreed that Hermosa’s only fault was her taste in men, because Hermosa loved me like salami loves mustard – or some more appropriate simile (or maybe metaphor.)
Among Hermosa’s less questionable enthusiasms was her obsession with New Years Eve.
“Whatever else happens, Headley, we must kiss at midnight on New Years Eve,” she told me. “If we kiss at midnight, we’ll get married, be rich, happy, healthy, and live in joy for the rest of our lives.”
“I could live with that,” I responded romantically. See – I could sweet talk with the best of them.
December 31, 1989, Hermosa called me from the hospital around 10PM. “Pope John Paul has had a heart attack,” she told me, “and they need me for emergency surgery.”
“Yeah, well hurry it up,” I replied. “I charged some chicken wings to your credit card, and they smell great! If you don’t get here soon, I’m going to start eating them.”
“I knew you’d understand,” she said sweetly.
While Hermosa was taking it easy saving the Pope, I was trapped in her luxury apartment with 2 dozen of the sweetest smelling chicken wings I’d ever had to sit and watch (and not eat.)
I resisted the temptation to open the box of wings. I didn’t blame her. I understood that love was all about sacrifice. For nearly two hours I sacrificed and sacrificed. How can chicken wings smell so fantastic for so long? What were these – chicken wings of the gods?
The phone rang.
“We saved His Holiness,” said Hermosa.
“Forget about that!” I shouted. “Get over here, fast!”
“Don’t worry, Baby. I’ll be there by midnight. We can kiss in the New Year and be happy forever!”
Happy forever sounded nice, but I REALLY wanted a chicken wing!
I watched Dick Clark, (who was still a teenager back then,) as the aroma of those chicken wings battered at my olfactory nerves (though they weren’t battered chicken wings.)
When they started counting down the last minute, I realized that Hermosa wasn’t going to make it in time, so I ripped open the box of wings. That’s when I realized why they smelled so good for so long. The store didn’t send us wings – they sent us drumsticks. I thought I heard a key in the door, but I’m not sure because I was focused on the sight in front of me.
“Oh Baby,” I shouted. “What legs!”
I quickly grabbed a drumstick from the box, smacked my lips and bit into it.
“MMMMMMmmm, ooooooooh, slurp, mmmmmm!” I said (or something like it.) My mouth exploded with flavor as the ball hit zero in Time’s Square.
“Happy 1990, Baby!” I shouted.
I might have heard a door slam, but I didn’t care at that point. I went on to devour all the chicken legs and go into a food coma – the delicious kind.
A couple days later I began to wonder what happened to Hermosa. I never found out, but I did get a visit from a process server with a court order to vacate her luxury apartment.
So you wonder why I’m such a pathetic loser? It’s because rich, beautiful, medically talented women that are friends with Mother Teresa are clearly unreliable.
But MAN, do I love chicken legs!
Yes - that last romance was 25 years ago - what of it?