WELL PLAYED, SIR, WELL PLAYED
Knowing how to pick your battles is half the battle.
Back when I lived in my cousin’s garage, I used to kick it with Mongoose on a regular basis. We spent a lot of time hanging out in front of his pad, talking loudly into the wee hours of the night, and as such we would get hit up by druggies and drug dealers alike. Mongoose never touched the stuff, and I stayed true to my promise, so it was annoying to have to shake off these low-lifes almost every time we chilled. Then one night, a tall white guy pulled up in a Jeep and walked towards us. I thought to myself, “Oh great, another junkie looking to buy,” but as it turns out it was an old friend of Mongoose’s named JT who was actually a very interesting cat. We exchanged business cards, and I told him to call me some time.
As we started kicking it, I became close friends with JT and learned that he was a very generous person. JT helped me on countless occasions with everything from moving, to fixing my car (his dad owned a repair shop), to giving me a place to stay for the night when needed. And it wasn’t just me; I’ve seen him help out many of his friends and neighbors during the time I’ve known him. Thus, having JT in my life has been a real blessing. However, he did have one predominant flaw that was rather unexpected: he was extremely quick to feel excluded and could be very paranoid about assuming that he was intentionally not invited. I myself was a story teller and loved to entertain people by recounting the drunken antics that me and my friends would get up to. Oftentimes, I would start telling him a story with, “So this one time me and my friends were at the Dawg House (a local bar),” and he would interrupt me to say, “You went to the Dawg House without me? Thanks for the invite!” obviously jumping to the conclusion that he purposely wasn’t invited without giving the story a chance which if he had, he might have learnt that it happened years before I met him, or on a night he was doing something else, or whatever the case may be.
Now I admit, I didn’t like to mix crews until I got really comfortable with someone, and also, I did things very last minute which JT hated, thus he usually turned down last minute invites of mine. So sometimes I didn’t invite him assuming he was just going to turn down the invite anyway. But one night, showing foresight I rarely possessed outside of business, I called JT and invited him as the homies and I were deciding where to cause trouble that night. I did this knowing that the night was going to result in some crazy antics and that if I told him about it the next time I saw him, I was going to get the standard, sarcastic, “Thanks for inviting me.”
Therefore, I called him up, “Ay dog, me and the boys were thinkin’ bout going to Fullerton tonight, wanna come with?”
“Oh no, I can’t stay up late. I’m waking up early tomorrow to go jet skiing.”
I replied, “What?? You’re going jet skiing? I’ve never even done that before! Thanks for the invite, jerk!” and with that, I hung up the phone butt-hurt as a mofo.