"Dude! I didn't know you were writing a book! Am I in it?"
Getting a call from Bad Robert is always an adventure because you never know what's going to be on his mind. Was his poop a funny color this morning and he's just dying to tell somebody? Did he discover a new curse word that he needs to try out on a friend? Has his Super Deluxe Girlfriend finally come to her senses, realized that Robert will never change, and moved out? You just never know.
"Oh yes, absolutely you're in it." I said. "Why? Do you not want to be in it?"
"No, that's cool," Robert said almost in a whisper. "Nah, I was just wondering what you're going to say."
This was a bit puzzling to me, as Robert is not the kind of guy to care about stuff like this. Whenever I've asked if he minds being written about in my blog, he's always blown it off as no big deal. But maybe Robert feels being mentioned in a blog is different than appearing in print, and I'm suddenly hesitant to mention that not only is he in the book, but there's an entire chapter devoted to him. I don't get to see Robert very often, but he's had a huge impact on my life. I can't imagine him not appearing in Daveology, because the stories are just too good.
"How about I promise to send you anything I write about you, and you can tell me if I can put it in the book," I say.
"Oh yeah! That would be great!" Robert says, his relief audible.
So last night I emailed him an outline of his chapter, then attached the stuff I had already written. Just in case anybody is interested, I've reprinted the first part of our Las Vegas adventure, where we've just passed through airport security at Seattle and I've headed off to use the restroom...
Completely ignoring the unwritten rule that dictates you should leave an empty urinal between yourself and any guy already peeing (if possible), Robert trotted up to the urinal next to mine and set about his business. This was a bit unnerving, but I was able to cope by amusing myself with the entertainment at hand. But since the only thing in my hand at that moment was my penis, my options were limited. I would have looked around for something else to distract me from this uncomfortable situation, but there was nothing else in my viewing angle except other men and their penises. Since amusing myself with my own penis or watching other guys using theirs is frowned upon in any public restroom outside of Los Angeles, I instead decided to concentrate on my shiny white urinal, noting how its manufacturer, American Standard, became Nacirema Dradnats when spelled backwards. But just as I was thinking how “Nacirema” kind of sounded like “Macarena,” and how I haven’t heard that song in a while, the inevitable happened.
“Holy shit!” Robert exclaimed at full volume. “Dude! There’s a pube on top of the urinal!”
Before leaving on our trip, I had worried about the strange things that seem to happen whenever Robert is around. He’s like a magnet for trouble and weird happenings, and going to a city like Las Vegas with such a person is bound to be somewhat problematic. I had consoled myself by thinking my past experiences of hanging out with Robert would prepare me to deal with any situation that might occur. What I didn’t expect was having to deal with a situation while my dick was hanging out of my trousers.
Mortified beyond my ability to express, I tried to concentrate on more pressing matters and pretend I didn’t know this deranged man peeing next to me. But such efforts are futile when Robert is involved.
“How does a pube get on top of the urinal?” Robert said, transfixed by the errant pubic hair. “Did a 10-foot giant pee here?”
“Uhhhhhhhh...” I stammered uselessly, “I guess so.”
“Well that doesn’t make any sense!” he shouted. “Because wouldn’t a giant have giant pubes? This one is normal sized.”
At this point I was considering whether I should continue to stand there urinating while an entire restroom of guys stared at us, or zipping up and peeing my pants so I could flee. In my mind both options were equally embarrassing.
“Look at it! Just look at it!” Robert cried, his face getting closer and closer to the object of his newfound obsession.
Using all the force I could muster, I managed to expel the remaining contents of my bladder in record time. Unconcerned as to what damage this might have done to my urinary tract, I practically ran to the sink so I could wash up and escape.
“Dude, this is seriously fucked up!” Robert shouted over his shoulder, ignoring the stares of guys desperately trying not to stare in a place where staring can get you in serious trouble. “Where’s your camera?”
Sweat pouring down my forehead, I exited the bathroom with my hands trembling. We were only twenty minutes into a three-day trip and I was already a nervous wreck. With an hour left until we boarded the plane, I quickly began calculating how much alcohol I could consume in the time available. The only way I was going to survive this weekend was if I were drunk or Robert were sedated.
Then this morning I get another call... "Did you read it?" I ask.
"Yeah. Yeah. But where is the time we nearly got beaten up by that trucker at McDonalds? That was pretty funny! You should put that in there too. Oh! And what about my cat? How come my cat isn't in the book? Oooh! Don't forget about the Skittles! You've got to tell the time about the Skittles!"
So I guess Robert doesn't have a problem being in the book. It would seem his only problem is that the book isn't entirely about him.