Dead Dogs Don't Roll Over
Written by: Alex Sandell

Chapter 37
Thomebody Who Cares

I try and dissolve the lump in my throat before walking the halls that take me upstairs. I don't want to look like I've been crying, just in case the disappearing Sue happens to have miraculously reappeared. I stop in the break-room and poor myself a small glass of Sprite. I grab a couple tissues, dunk them in the Sprite, and dab off the brownish sleep that has started forming around my eyes, too stressed out to be bothered by the stickiness.

I look at the clock and see that it's time for my first break. I try and locate someone that's carrying a walkie-talkie; I finally see floor Supervisor, Greg. Greg is one of those guys that everybody likes, and that you try real hard to get in good with. I swear that I've had the most idiotic conversations with the man, just to maintain some form of friendship. If you don't like Greg, and even more important, if Greg doesn’t like you, you're just not too hip at the casino.

The first time that I saw him, he intimidated the hell out of me. The guy's like six-four and built like some sorta flesh covered freight train. His face is chiseled into a perfect square, and he's always got a five o' clock shadow, as though he’d need to shave every fifteen minutes, just to have a clean face.

One of the main reasons he comes off as a "people's person" is because he's got a David Letterman gap between his two front teeth, which causes him to have a "Cindy Brady" lisp. I think the Cindy Brady thing makes this muscle-machine come off as slightly vulnerable. The tough guy with the heart of gold. Gap, or no gap, you just wouldn’t see Greg biting off somebody’s ear. Oh, another thing people like about him is . . . he's simple. A simple man to please the vast majority of simple people that inhabit this complicated Earth.

He finds interest in the little things, the simple things, the things that don’t threaten anyone. Things like the ballgame, the new pizza place being built uptown, or the problems he's been having with programming his cable-ready VCR. Everyone chuckles at his pleasant comments. They all watched the game, too. They all noticed that pizza place, just like Greg. Most of all, they can all identify with his VCR-programming problems.

One time, just to liven up the conversation we were having about tuna-fish, I decided to ask Greg what he thinks about the Republican party’s lack of empathy for the lower class working man. "I dunna know," Greg replied, "I haven't really thought about it much." I pushed the subject further, "you can't actually think it's fair; the way they want to cut the programs that help the poor, but then, at the same time, give gigantic tax breaks to the rich."

After hearing my comments, Greg's poor, gap-toothed head looked as though it may explode. He rolled his eyes up into his skull, as if hoping to see some sort of answer crammed into his brain. After a minute or so of looking, Greg made a polite exact. "Thorry, I have to go, I think Julie needth thome help with a cuthtomer." Ever since that day, I've felt a certain sense of guilt over violating Greg's simple place.

Greg’s voice pulls me from my thoughts of Greg. "Wayne! Hey Wayne, what'th up, buddy?" I smile when I see him running toward me. A big lumbering teddy bear, obviously thrilled to death with life. "Hey, Greg, how's it going?" I ask, trying desperately to keep everything simple. "Great, great. Did you thee the game latht night? It wath great!" I smile and calmly tell Greg that I didn't watch the game. He looks sad. "That'th too bad, I would've taped it, but I can't figure out how to work my V-THEE-R." "That's alright," I reply, "I can read about it in the paper." Greg leaves me for a moment to grab the sport's section. "Here ya go, buddy," he begins, "check out that thcore." "Radical!" I reply, hoping that I said the right thing. I try my best to avoid letting fellow penis bearing mammals know that I'm sport’s illiterate.

Greg smiles hard and returns the paper to the janitor that was reading it. "I with that I could thtay and talk, but I'm already a few minuteth late getting back on the floor."

That's my favorite thing about Greg. He’s fair. Being fair is a concept that flies over most managers’ heads. Greg makes sure that if he tells employees to be no more than a few minutes late, he'll try his best not to be late himself.

I'll catch ya later, tho?" Once again, Greg pulls me out of my thoughts of Greg. "Yep, maybe we'll meet up on second break. See ya." "Thee ya," Greg returns, he's nearly out the door by the time I remember to ask him to use his walkie-talkie for me.

"Greg!" I scream, far too loudly. Greg jumps before turning around and politely asking me "what?" I talk through my embarrassment. "Could you call upstairs and ask Floor Supervisor, Richard, if I could go on my break?" "Thure," Greg cheerily responds, "just give me a thecond." He brings the walkie-talkie to his mouth, absolutely ecstatic over doing a favor for me.

He turns a knob, presses a button and begins to speak, "floor Thupervithor, Greg, looking for Floor Thupervithor, Richard. Richard, do you copy? Over." I hear a bit of static and then, Richard's wicked voice emanating from the walkie-talkie's speaker. "10-4, Greg, what's up?" Greg smiles, happy to have reached Richard. "I'm down in the break room with Wayne. He want'th to know if he can take hith break." The walkie-talkie goes dead for a moment, most likely waiting for Richard to verify my break-time in his little black notebook. "That's a positive, Greg, tell him he can take his thirty. Just tell him it’s pretty busy up here, and not to be a minute longer." Greg's chest puffs out, causing him to look proud as a Peacock. "Copy that, Richard, thankth a bunch, buddy." Greg takes his finger off the talk-button and snaps the walkie-talkie back onto his belt.

"Go ahead and take your break, buddy, it'th all been okayed." Greg pats me on the shoulder as he relays the news. "Thanks, bud," I say as Greg lessens his powerful grip and removes his hand from my shoulder. He smiles, his pearly whites (and big, black gap) staring out at me. "No problem, glad to help. Thee you on the floor!" "Yep, see ya." I say, "thanks again for the help." Greg's chest puffs out even further, "Really, Wayne, it wath no problem at all." He then proceeds to walk, no, walk's too small a word for Greg, he then proceeds to bounce out of the room. It's nice to meet up with someone that friendly on a day as unfriendly as this, especially a day that’s only going to get worse as it progresses.

Go to: Chapter 38

1997 Alex Sandell but, if you're a book publisher and, you wanna get this puppy out, please get in touch with me, hand me a nice, big contract and, of course, a 12 pack of Grape Soda and maybe we can do lunch.

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