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Wavy Davy.   A Short Story Page One.
Davy and Arnie differ in what they think is funny.
 


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Wavy Davy . . .
          The joke got old five minutes after he started singing but that didn't stop Arnie from repeating it over and over again every day for nearly a week. That is why everyone on the crew was secretly thankful when Arnie rolled his JD350.

arnies_jd350.jpg - 5697 Bytes           On the job site, Davy was our Foreman. Davy was tall, lean and muscular. He wore his Levis tight which he complemented with a white tee-shirt. He smoked Marlboro Regulars in a hard pack which carried by rolling the box in the shirt sleeve at his shoulder. Although Davy was in his mid-forties, he still looked and acted as if he were in a movie with James Dean or Marlon Brando.

           Davy could go all day without saying a word. Don't get me wrong: It wasn't like he was stupid or tongue-tied or shy. It wasn't like he was stuck up or aloof. Davy just didn't have much use for words. Oh, he would answer if someone said something to him and he would laugh at the jokes others told. But, "Yep", "Nope", and "Uh-huh" were the mainstays of Davy's conversational palette.

           Usually, when Davy arrived in the morning, he would simply nod his 'good mornings' to the rest of the crew. In silence, he would check the fluids on his dozer then reach up to turn the master switch 'on' and fire up the big diesel engine. To pass the time while the diesel engine warmed up, Davy would sit on the track of the dozer, stare at the ground and light a cigarette. Occasionally, he would take a sip of coffee from a styrofoam cup while making round, thoughtful smoke-signals with every exhale. When smokes and coffee were done, Davy would climb up into his chair and drive his bulldozer to the job site.

           Every time he took off his hard-hat, Davy would pull a rattail comb from his hip pocket and perform three graceful sweeps through his hair - front to back - with a little flick of the wrist at the end. In an instant, Davy's hair looked just like the way it did the day he graduated. Arnie thought that ritual was the funniest thing he had ever witnessed.

           Arnie never bored of watching Davy flick a comb through his hair. Every time Davy combed his hair, Arnie would pound his knee with his fist and hoot as if it was the first time he had ever seen the display. The sight of Davy combing his hair seemed to be new and delightful every time Arnie watched it happen. Arnie never bored of watching Davy run a comb through his hair. As a matter of fact, he counted on it.

           I always thought Arnie looked like a certain character I remembered seeing in a Popeye Cartoon. He was medium height, round with a red face. He usually dressed in a pair of green overalls with a flannel shirt. Arnie was pretty much bald except for two hairs that always poked straight up from the top of his head.

           If you saw Arnie approach from far away, you might think he wore a 'Fu Man Chu" mustache. But as Arnie got closer, you would realize it was not a fashionable mustache, but tobacco drool. Arnie chewed Redman Tobacco. He always had at least one pouch of it in his top right overall pocket. Most people would think a pinch of Redman would be enough. But Arnie would take a big plug of the tobacco and fill both cheeks until he looked like a chipmunk. With all that tobacco in his mouth, Arnie would drool brown saliva every time he talked. And . . . if Arnie was awake, Arnie was talking.

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