We Mobbed Over and That's How We Roll

The Subway by Winco in Eureka, CA is the home of many fascinating cartoon-characters.  The more cynical side of me says they are placed there to let me know we really are living in a computer generated reality.  The realistic side of me says people are just really cardboard cutouts with no real sense of self and even less sense of purpose.  Case in point, the man I call Dawg.

I call this man Dawg because that's what his hat said.  Dawg.  A purposeful misspelling of "dog,"  something that humps your leg and shits on the floor when you aren't home.  Something they eat in foreign countries.  Dog.  Dawg.

A shock of red hair was under that hat.  A TapOut shirt (of course) clung to his torso.  Baggy jeans and sandals completed the picture.  The usual assortment of bad tattoos that were, oddly enough, pot related, dotted his arms.  He looked to be about thirty-five-years-old, but he could have had a hard life and was maybe fifteen.  He sure as hell talked like it.

He was ahead of me in line and on his phone.  He was talking loud.  I don't know if it was because his reception was bad or because he thought he was the center of the universe and all those little planets around him wanted to hear his conversation.  His conversation was not about the situation in Libya or the legal stand-off in Wisconsin.  It wasn't even about the Giants or the NASCAR race that was getting started.  In all honesty, I couldn't understand what it was about because I don't speak Moron.

"Yeah, we mobbed over and that's how we roll."

That was the only line in the conversation that was anything more than two words strung together and accented with a "fuck, dawg."  "Yeah, we mobbed over and that's how we roll."

If you're over fifteen and say things like "mobbed over" and "that's how we roll" in a way that isn't meant to be ironic, you don't deserve to have anything you say taken too seriously. 

What really completed the picture was the arrival of his lady and, from all indications, his child (a five-year-old boy also in a TapOut shirt who is doomed before he started).  They "mobbed" in, not bothering to meet the eyes of those who wanted to marvel at the kind of woman who would accept Dawg sperm.  She wrapped his arms around Dawg's waist.  The boy looked hopeless.

"My old lady's here.  Later." (She looked ten years his younger.)

When their turn came to order, Dawg, Mrs. Dawg and Dawg, Jr. proved their grasp of sandwich ordering wasn't much better than Dawg's grammar.  Maybe it was their first time in Subway.  Maybe they were just naturally undecisive.  Maybe they couldn't read the fucking menu and the accompanying pictures were just "too damn complicated, Dawg."  What should've been a quick and easy order, quickly became anything but.  "What do ya mean, 'footlong?'"  "If ya toast it, how crunchy does the bread get?"  Mrs. Dawg funneled all her requests through Dawg, who should not consider interpretting as a new career choice.  Her constant tugs on his shirt and corrections to the orders he was giving threw the guy off.  He constantly had to correct and get items taken off her sandwich.  That's how they roll.

The woman who was the "sandwich artist," as they used to be called, was doing her best to maintain her cool.  She was Asian, a fact not lost on the ever-observant Dawg.  At one point he told his old lady who was younger than he, "She don't understand me."  This was accompanied by him putting his finger at the corner of his eye and pulling it to the side.  I imagine he was trying to show Mrs. Dawg his Asian impersonation, which, since he used one eye was, in his world, really the mark of being half-Asian.  Luckily, the employed woman (Dawg's employment was questionable, but I know which side I find myself on) had her back turned at the time.

I must have muttered something out loud because Dawg turned to me and said, "I know, right?  She don't know."  Oh, I think she knew, all right.  Then he noticed my septum piercing.  "That is tight.  Where'd you get that at?"

Tight?  It is tight?  I'm sorry.  I don't speak Dumb Motherfucker.  Well-versed in Sarcasm and Fuck With You, though.  Very well-versed.

"I don't know.  Got all messed up on PCP and woke up with it, yo."

He kinda laughed at that.  Then he told me he was thinking of getting it done, but wondered if it would hurt too much.  "Tats ain't nothing, but that's sticking a needle through your skin."


"I wouldn't know about that," I said, crossing my arms, which have a few tattoos on them.

With that he turned back to complete his transaction.  Arm around his old lady's shoulders, kid forgotten, but in tow, they made their way from the restaurant.  I watched to see if God would do the world a favor and have an Escalade plow into them at 45 mph, but God was apparently too busy mobbing somewhere else.  The happy family, someday Harvard bound, made their way toward Winco unscathed by Social Darwinism.

I ordered my sandwich with far less difficulty.  The Asian sandwich artist seemed relieved to be done with the Dawgs.  "I'm going to tell you something very scary," I said to her as she placed my bacon in a microwave.

"What's that?"

"They may continue breeding."

She laughed a bit nervously.  Like she knew she wasn't supposed, but it was funny.

"That's one dog that definitely needs to be fixed." 

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