… and we all thought the other person knew him.
None of us knew him.
He was a literal stranger.
Here is the story.
In the beforetimes, Tim, Mickey and I sold lollipops once a year at Tom & Dan’s Bad at Business Beerfest. These lollipops were special and sold under the name “Big Tim’s Fancy AF Lollipops”.
And they were.
Very Fancy AF. VERY. Some of them even had edible gold in them! I loved hearing Tim sell those, in particular.
“Hey, them’s got edible gold in ’em, friend.”
(I guess I am lucky that I can perfectly recall a voice in my head even if I can’t picture anything.)
It was a very most excellent times.
I always made at least one special lollipop to sell at these events. One time I made Peanut Butter Uglies.
I didn’t intend for them to be ugly. I wanted them to be very beautiful because I made them at the request of a friend.
They took forever to make. I’m talking hours for one single batch of lollipops.
And I only got 10 whole lollipops out of the batch! But they tasted like the inside of a Butterfinger candy bar, but smooth and non-crumbly somehow.
And they looked like butts! It was not intentional.
Since there were so few and they took a long time to make, we numbered them and made them limited edition.
We sold out almost immediately.
But this wasn’t the same day as the stranger dinner.
That year, we decided to theme our entire lollipop offerings to “Always Sunny”. The ‘limited edition’ lollipop that was was the “Rickety Cricket”. Yes, there was a cricket in it.
I honestly have forgotten what flavor the lollipop itself was. Oops.
We also made Rum Ham (with bacon it it), Fight Milk, Riot Juice, and too many more. I think it was the most lollipops I had made at once, but, y’all, my love for The Gang runs deep and I wanted to make sure to pay homage to all of my favorite episodes somehow.
Well, my favorite episode (at that time) was “The Gang Does the Boggs Thing” and, well, the year before, AT THIS VERY BEERFEST, Tim, Mickey and I DID THE BOGGS THING.
(except instead of full sized beers we did the lil beer fest samples, but then also, people knew by that time that at beer events I really really really loved to shotgun beers and I had a ceremony that I had inherited from my friends at the bestplaceinOrlandoever Oblivion and I really liked to perform it. I did a lot of shotguns in addition to the Boggs Thing is what I am saying.)
Dood, I barely drink anymore and know that there was a time I was VERY VERY out of control, but the days I did the Boggs Thing were some of the best I can remember. All three of us were in our elements at these events. We didn’t feel socially awkward. We all had clear roles. And it just worked liked magic.
We felt unstoppable.
So, of course the year we themed the lollipops to the Gang we did the Boggs Thing again, but this time we sold lil packets with a white t-shirt and a sharpie and a BTFAFL sticker, so that other people could also play along that day (we got a lot of jealous stares the first time we did it.)
We sold out IIIIIIIImmediately. And, suffice to say, we all had a DAY.
And at the end of it we were hungry.
As I write this I realize that I am not even really telling a story, but telling you how I felt when things happened? I dunno, it’s how I remember things.
After we packed up the car with all our lollipoppin’ gear, we tried to figure out where we wanted to eat and ended up at the exact same place we went the year before because it was so delicious.
I can never remember the name of it, but I can walk you there if we are ever in Sanford together.
That’s another thing I do not understand about my brain. I have no sense of direction while in a car or looking at a map or a globe or anything like that, but ask me to walk you to a place I like (as long as the starting point is a place I’ve walked there from before) and I am confident I will get you there.
Oh, I looked it up! The name of the restaurant is Negril Spice. And I love their oxtail so much.
Okay, so we’re sitting at the table and I don’t even know how the fourth person appeared. It was as if he was always there. I honestly do not even know the dood’s name.
Mickey and I assumed Tim knew him, since they were talking so easily together. We figured it was one of those BDMs (that is what the Tom & Dan podcast calls their paying fans) that everyone just seems to know.
We eat and the food is incredible enough that there are no sounds but moaning for a while.
Then, the stranger gets up to go to the bathroom.
And Tim leans forward and whispers, “Hey, uh, y’all know him?”
I think something mangled-sounding like, “You… wh-hu-… You don’t?” came out of my mouth.
Mickey and I, being the socially awkward autistics that we are did not know how to handle it when he got back, so we let Tim take the lead.
We were sure he wasn’t a scary fella, cause we were surrounded by friends at the Beerfest and they wouldn’t let us go off with a known creep.
So now we were just curious.
When he got back to the table, Tim asked, “Hey, man, do we know you?”
Turns out he had heard Tim on the podcast and was a fan and had, in fact, bought lollipops from us earlier. So he just kind of integrated himself into the group.
We were Boggsin’ too hard to remember, I guess.
Also though, I am terrible at first meets unless I mentally give you a nickname.
And this dood’s nickname is “The Stranger” so that was his distinguishing feature.
He also paid for all our damn Jamaican food, too. After we’d been selling lollipops all day.
So there was a LOT of it.
And in conclusion, there is a great chance this didn’t go down exactly like this. Like I said, I can remember sounds and the way I felt. The rest of the blanks just get filled in with what feels right.