was back in the day when I worked at the instant restaurant w/brother bear, who for this story will only be referred to as Robert because there’s another Bob in the story. Bob was the target of this practical joke.
Bob was one of the new hires to get the restaurant back on it’s feet. I just knew that I went to work one day and there was a very large man behind the cook line. He was quiet at first but he leered a lot. One of those people that makes your skin crawl a little bit. Once Bob did start talking he pretty much didn’t have much to say that wasn’t lewd. He remains to this day the only person I’ve ever sprayed beer at. You know, when you take your own bottle of beer, put your thumb over the opening, shake it up and aim it at someone before you take your thumb away. I’m not much of a Bob fan.
When Bob started working at the restaurant, his brother Doug started hanging out at the bar. As much as I’m not fond of Bob, I adore Doug. Night and day these two. Eventually Doug came on board as our janitor, as his 2nd job. Doug is an amazing people person, he’s very funny and he’s a nice guy. Doug is one of the few people I’ve met that would actually give you the shirt off his back. Way back when I left my husband, he was the only one of my friends who asked me “what can I do for you?” He offered his home to my children and myself. Didn’t take him up on it but nice to have the offer. I have plenty of Doug stories but this is about the practical joke.
Bob is not just lewd, he’s also suspicious. I would also guess that he’s maybe a bit jealous of his younger brother because Doug is a people person. Everyone liked Doug and just put up with Bob. Bob knew I didn’t like him and knew that I appreciated his brother. I can only guess that in his mind the only reason I would ever befriend Doug would be if I was sleeping with Doug. Right, that’s Bob. Anyway, I decided to feed that thought. I shared my idea with my husband, brother, friends, co-workers, the bar regulars, EVERYONE. Involve that many people and you end up with great ideas when everyone not only adds their input but they also put their heads together to come up with even better ideas. Lots of ideas started forming. We carried them all out.
There were only two restrooms in the restaurant, one male, one female. No separate bathrooms for the employees. From the cook’s line Bob would have to walk through the bar to get to the restroom. We always had someone give us a head’s up when Bob was coming out. I would drop everything to make sure I was rapt in deep conversation with Doug whenever Bob walked by. Bob started using the restroom more and more often, just to spy. We had the bar regulars telling Bob “yeah, I saw Doug and Jacque checking into such and such hotel today, what’s up with that?” I bought lingerie, took the tags off, put them in a bag and sent them home with Doug for Bob to find. Bob fell for all of it. Rob had a real job but still would bar tend on Friday nights. To add fuel to the fire, one Friday night while Rob was working and I wasn’t, I got a baby sitter and Doug and I went out, very advertised, to dinner and then to a bar to hear a band. Guess who showed up at the bar when he got off from work. Right, Bob. I saw Bob before he saw Doug and I and very quickly dragged Doug out to the dance floor before Bob spotted us so we could be “caught” slow dancing.
All of us, except Bob, had a great time for the next few months. With that many people involved and that much time passing, we had him hook, line and sinker. There was no doubt in Bob’s mind that Doug and I were having an affair. As all good things must come to an end, this did too. At the time Bob and Doug shared a residence, it was Doug’s residence but Bob lived there. One Saturday night after work we all went over to Doug’s house. This was going to be the night. I need to share that Bob is one of the laziest people I’ve ever met and that of course this was another set up. Bob was the last to get off work, except for Robert and everyone had fed Bob stories about a showdown between Rob and Doug going on that night at Doug’s house. All the bar regulars came to Doug’s that night but before they came, they offered Bob a ride. Mr.-it-takes-too-much-effort-to-lift-a-finger-for-any-reason chose to walk home. That’s at least 5 miles. Bob would only walk that distance if he thought he would be avoiding anything that may be unpleasant.
As stated, Robert was the only only one to get off from work after Bob. Robert got there and was surprised to see no Bob. Once informed that Bob had chosen to walk, Robert went off, found him and brought him back to Doug’s house. When Bob walked into the house, sitting on the couch, in order, were Rob, me and Doug and we were all looking at him. This wasn’t what Bob had expected to come home to. Doug’s kind of big and Rob is kind of on the smaller side and I think Bob was maybe expecting to come home to a homicide and there we were, all sitting side by side on the couch. Bob wasn’t speechless much, he always had something to say. This night, however, he was speechless. Leave it to me to start laughing. At that point everyone, everyone, the co-workers, the bar regulars, the friends, everyone then started telling Bob of their part in this sting. It was fabulous, that’s all I can say. It was a moment to relish. One had to be in on it to fully appreciate it. Bob, of course, started going off about how he was going to “get “each and every one of us, payback, etc, etc, empty threats.
One would think it would end there. As much as we laughed it up that evening and listened to Bob’s empty threats we figured it was a done deal. Not one of us watched our backs, no matter how much Bob spouted we knew there would be no recourse. So anyway, life happens and within the next few months our restaurant closed but half of us would still do the instant restaurant thing once a week at a different restaurant that was associated with ours which had closed but was actually trying to reopen and stay afloat. Bob was one of us who would travel once a week to the northern suburbs of Minneapolis to pull this off. Like I said, it had been a few months since we ended the joke. By that point I had discovered and shared with the world that I was pregnant (with Samantha). As it turns out, Bob was still suspicious. Doing my best to keep him at arms length, he would occasionally, from across the cook’s line ask me a question regarding my baby and his brother. My response was always to just give him a sly smile and leave the alley. That was fun for a while. That went on for about a month of us working together once a week. However, one day Bob cornered me, literally, cornered me, and he said to me “Jacque, I’ve just got to know…who’s baby is this….Rob’s or Doug’s?” That’s were I failed. Face to face with Bob, and counting the fact that I was cornered by a sumo-wrestler, and I mean that, Bob and Doug are half Japanese and Bob was shaped like a very out of shape sumo-wrestler. He was big, I was little, I was cornered so I was honest and finally told him ” I have never slept with your brother”.
So again, that too should have been the end of it. I was honest, I fessed up, that’s it, finito. One would think so but, nah, not quite yet. Samantha was born on Halloween in 1989 in the a.m. I wasn’t the only one who had a busy day. When Rob finally left the hospital late that night he stopped at the local watering hole where he saw Robert, Doug and Bob. Rob walked up behind Doug, wrapped his arm around Doug’s neck, got him in a choke hold and very loudly demanded to know why his baby had dark hair and slanty eyes. Bob…Bob made a bee line for the door.
Samantha will be 21 this Halloween. She obviously has no Japanese genes in her but I still think that Bob secretly wonders if she is his niece. Apparently some jokes can go on forever.