On Minding Your Own Business

My good friend John relates this story as true, but he loves a good story and has been known to embellish at times, so just know that going in.

When I heard him tell this one, we were sitting in his garage enjoying a beer, hands greasy from having just finished replacing a belt on his wife’s car. Said wife sent their teenaged son out to see John for a lecture about minding his own business (I can’t remember the exact transgression, but like the rest of this paragraph, it’s really not important.) Here’s the tale, as best I remember.

“Son, there’s nothing to be gained in getting in someone else’s business. In fact, the only time I forgot that, I almost lost an eye.” He paused to take a swig from the can, while his son gave him that look that only teenagers can give. John ignored the look (as if there’s any other response), and kept on.

“You see, when I was about your age, I was walking home from a friend’s house late one afternoon and had to pass by the old prison that used to be out past the dump. Unlike you, I generally listened to my Momma, so I always picked up the pace when I went by there. Plus, I always figured some ax murderer was gonna come across the wall and kill me. But that day, I could hear all the inmates out in the yard behind the wall, and they had this weird chant going.”

Son shuffled his feet like he had somewhere to go, but John just drained his beer and continued.

“Yeah, they were all chanting in unison, ‘Thirteen! Thirteen! Thirteen!’ Sounded like over a dozen grown men had all lost their minds, or maybe caught up in some religious thing. In either case, that’s when I decided to mind someone else’s business and almost lost an eye,” and with that, he sat back like he was finished.

Son and I both gave him the look this time. John glanced at us both in turn, and gave a weary sigh like he was the designated wise man in a village filled with idiots, whose burden was always having to explain the obvious.

“So anyway, I eased up to the wall as they just kept chanting. ‘Thirteen! Thirteen! Thirteen!’ It was downright spooky. I saw a small hole in the wall, probably where the ax murderer was trying to dig through, but I crept up to it anyway. I was going to peek through and see what was going on. So I got right up next to it, and eased my head up to the hole so I could see. Just as soon as I got my eye up to it, somebody on the other side shoved a stick through it and nearly took out my eye.”

Being the storyteller that he has always been, John paused for effect, and shook his beer can like he was surprised it was empty.

“As I fell on my butt trying to keep my eyeball from falling out, I heard the chant change, ‘Fourteen! Fourteen! Fourteen!’ And that, son, is why you mind your own damned business.”
OverWritten OverWritten
46-50, M
5 Responses Nov 27, 2012

That is perfect..... still laughing. Thanks so much. :-)

Glad you enjoyed, and thanks for the comment.

I hate when I fall for stories like this one, but I do every time, and then I laugh like an idiot, which is what I'm doing right now. I agree with slsr. Toss me a cold one. haha

Yes, John has a gift for making me do that as well. You'd think I would have learned by now.

I want to sit and drink beer with the two of you!!!

If nothing else, I can pretty much guarantee that you'll laugh.

Till your face hurts! Thats my favorite.

I kinda like this guy - John. Seems like quite a character. Good one.... A really good one....

"Character" doesn't begin to describe it. Pretty much anything I've ever done that could have seen me maimed, killed, or thrown in jail, included John.

I'm glad you enjoyed.

You know... that sounds like some real fun... post some more... share the wisdom... ;-)

Descriptively told! Although I can only imagine his son *rolling his eyes* at the punchline. lol