Color­ful urine

The Covington News - - OPINION -

There used to be a guy who would come to my of­fice once a week, ask­ing me for money.

I don’t usu­ally tol­er­ate such so­lic­i­ta­tions, but this guy’s con­sis­tently ap­peal­ing pitch was im­pres­sive.

“ Lis­ten, I gotta sit- eation, Mr. Len,” he would be­gin. It’s a good idea to ad­dress some­one as “ Mr.” when beg­ging for money, un­less it’s a wo­man ( a mis­take I made with my banker). “ I need $ 4.75. Our dog chewed up my sis­ter’s shoes. Her fa­vorite shoes she was want­ing to wear to the ball­game to­mor­row night. My mama gave me $ 20 to buy the same kind of shoes, but they cost $ 24.75 down at the dol­lar store. I wouldn’t ask you nor­mally, but her cousin is play­ing a solo in the band and she re­ally wants to see it. She’s seven years old, and if she can’t go the ball­game be­cause she don’t have no shoes, she’s gonna cry her­self to sleep for a week.”

Per­haps he was telling the truth. If so, my phi­lan­thropy was cer­tainly needed to stop a 7- year- old girl from cry­ing for a week. Of course, he may also have been ly­ing. If so, his lie was so creative, it de­served $ 4.75.

And ev­ery week, he would come up with an equally com­pelling, in­ven­tive rea­son why he needed a pit­tance from me. He needed $ 6.50 to make the last pay­ment on a gold tooth or his girl­friend was go­ing to break up with him and join the Army. He wouldn’t ask nor­mally, but he needed $ 5.20 to buy baby for­mula and food for his cousin’s baby, who he was babysit­ting while his cousin was at “ driver ed­u­ca­tion school.” Each week, his sto­ries be­came more and more en­gross­ing and ab­surd. Then, he just stopped com­ing around.

I’ve never wit­nessed any co- work­ers or em­ploy­ees use such in­spired de­vice to get out of work­ing, but I’ve heard some whop­pers.

One comes from my brother- in- law, who runs a small man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tion in mid­dle Ge­or­gia.

A fe­male worker came into his of­fice re­cently, sat down and said, “ Mr. Gary, I’m gonna need a week off,” ob­vi­ously privy to the un­writ­ten rule about the use of “ Mr.” in such ne­go­ti­a­tions. “ What for?” “ I’ve got a se­ri­ous med­i­cal prob­lem,” she said.

Con­cerned, my broth­erin- law asked, “ What kind of med­i­cal prob­lem?”

“ Well, some­thing’s wrong with my kid­neys,” she said. “ What ex­actly?” “ Well, it’s real bad,” she said. “ I’m uri­nat­ing blue.”

Gary was per­plexed for a mo­ment, then re­mem­bered that he had re­cently put those blue tablets in the com­pany toi­lets.

“ Why do you think you need a week off?” He said, hid­ing a smirk.

“ Well, Mr. Gary, I’ve had some­thing like this be­fore, and I know it’s gonna take at least a week to clear it up,” she re­sponded.

I don’t think he gave her the week off, but I would have — just for com­ing up with that gem.

ROB­BINS

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