Tuesday, July 11, 2006

the adonis phone book company

The new phone book showed up at work the other day. About the only thing I use my phone book at home for is to keep up with the Alexander family and their automotive empire through the ads that have graced the back of each year’s edition since for as long as I can remember. The son appears to be in the Air Force now, and the daughter is practically all grown up, but I can remember a couple of kids fighting off that awkward middle phase just long enough to help pops sell a couple of Fords. Mrs. Alexander’s hair has been cut increasingly shorter, but I like how she has it now. Mr. Alexander still looks like my childhood dentist.

Anyway, with typing things into the Internets being so much easier that flipping through hundreds of sickly yellow and easily smeared pages, my Rutherford County phone book has increasingly served as more of a yearly postcard from the Alexander family than an actual source of information.

Still, it’s nice to see it out there on the step each year.

Workplaces generally receive multiple phonebooks stacked in clear plastic bags in front of their main entrance. That’s how we received ours the other day, but I forget to check the back to see if folks outside of Rutherford County get to feel that same Alexander love I’ve come to look forward to each year.

You probably don’t.

Anyway, whether at home or at work, the phone book always reminds me of this guy I knew back in Alabama who went by the name of “Bubba”.

Yes, there are a lot of those in Alabama, but most have an equally stereotypical given name that “Bubba” takes the place of. Not this Bubba. This Bubba bore the real name of Adonis. I made him show me his driver’s license once.

Adonis, as we will henceforth refer to him, was the husband of the office manager at a print shop where I worked during my first two misspent years of college back in Florence. I drove the delivery van there, and you should remind me sometime to tell you the story about the when the brakes went out as I barreled toward a busy downtown intersection.

Good times.

Anyway, Adonis was six and a half feet tall and bore an uncanny resemblance to that big guy who chases Pee-Wee around the dinosaur in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. I’m really not sure as to his line of work, other than it had something to do with maintenance at a few different apartment complexes, but I do know that he was rarely at work, as he spent most of his time hanging out at the print shop or sitting around smoking on the loading dock out back, leaving only to hit the fast food restaurants within a certain radius of the print shop two or three times a day.

We all liked Adonis. He was a simple and easily amused man who could’ve snapped any of us like twigs with only the slightest of efforts at any given moment. I think another term for this would be “fear”, and it motivated us to always humor Adonis.

Anyway, Adonis pulled up to the print shop one day and beckoned us outside to his truck. The truck bed was a sea of bright new yellow phone books. Adonis leaned against the side of his rusting truck and asked, “Y’all want a phone book…for free?”

“You workin’ for the phone book company this year, Bubba?” someone eventually asked.

“Naw”, he said. “ I just showed up and fount ‘em all just sittin’ outside the apartments free for the takin’, so I snatched ‘em all up before anybody came out.”
What followed was a confused and uncomfortable silence broken only by the clear sound of our office manager slapping her forehead.

9 Comments:

Blogger Ryan said...

I think I just may know Adonis. But he lived in Augusta, GA at the time. In fact, I believe I know a FEW such "Bubbas". All of whom live in Augusta, GA.

Best,
Ryan

8:16 AM  
Blogger ceeelcee said...

In Davidson County it's been the Omer family of James Omer and Associates. The "associates" are a series of sons who apparently make it out of UT law school every couple of years and onto the back cover.

I went to elementary school with the oldest associate and all I remember about him was that he was a raging UT fan with really brown teeth. Sounds like the makings of an excellent DUI defense attorney to me, as long as he favors yellow ties.

9:00 AM  
Blogger SistaSmiff said...

I have seen Bart Durham get his hair colored before.

It wasn't pretty.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous eric said...

I saw Bubba this morning while I was shaving.

9:52 AM  
Blogger JD said...

New phone books? I used to get as excited as Navin R. Johnson whenever a the phone book came out with me listed in it. Now? I can't remember the last time I even cracked one open.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

I keep meaning to get my name taken out of it. There's another guy in town who shares my name, and he goes in and out of rehab quite a bit and is often sought by lawyers for various traffic offenses. Unfortunately, I am the only one of us listed.

5:10 PM  
Blogger newscoma said...

Our phone book here in Hooterville is tiny.
There's a picture of Reelfoot Lake on it.
Umm, that's an hour drive down the road.
They just aren't putting a lot of effort into it, if you ask me.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

I think they're missing a great opportunity to display some aliens or giant vegetables, Newscoma.

6:19 AM  
Blogger newscoma said...

Well, the latest is the Wal-Mart bags lining a backroad filled with poop on the backroads of Palmersville (pop. 250 or so).
I wish I was lying. I'm not.
People thought it was meth stuff, but nope, it was poop in plastic bags.
There were like thirty of them.
I opted out of taking that picture.

7:29 AM  

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