Sunday, July 7, 2013

The "I Need a Friend" Friend

You know who I'm talking about.

"Hey!  Haven't heard from you in a while.  Want to get together?  I could really use a friend, right now."  Sound familiar?  It should.  You either are that friend, or you have one.

I don't know how it happened, but that friend is me.

I am here, today, on behalf of I Need a Friend friends everywhere.  To speak out against the injustice that forever banishes us to the friend you call when you need a babysitter.  When you need a counselor.  When you need bail.

Believe it or not, we're perfectly willing and capable of holding your beer.  Yes, we're going to tell you that what you're about to attempt is unsafe and stupid.  Natural law and self-determination of the I Need a Friend genus requires that we absolve ourselves ahead of time of any responsibility for your injury/hospital visit/loss of work.  Really.  But we'll still hold your beer.

In fact, we're probably the soberest friend at the party.  Therefore after you blow off your hand/foot/eyeteeth, we're perfectly happy to run you to the emergency room/dentist.  We're not above saying, "I told you so," but damn.  We would so love-- just once-- to join in the conversation that goes, "Remember when I--" "Oh, shit yeah.  It was awesome.  Show them the scars!"  Instead, we smile and nod and wonder why we weren't invited to that party.

I think it's been 20 years since anyone called me and said, "I'm bored.  Can I come over?"  I miss those days.  I don't know what happened.  One day, I'm running down the street like Wile E. Coyote with a firecracker chasing me, and the next day I'm "safe."  Whitewall tires and picket fences.  Pimped out soccer van and PTA meetings.  I fill the lonesome hours, but I'm careful to keep my cell phone handy.  Nobody's there to hold my beer when I do something stupid... Gotta keep those emergency room visits to a minimum.  What would the neighbors think?

But we remember.  Oh, yes, we're keeping count, my friends.  And when the Zombie Apocalypse strikes... there are those of you that we plan to trip.  If you rat us out to the commune... who are they going to believe?  We're the I Need a Friend friend.  We're safe.  We're dependable.  We're the one you call when the Undead want to eat your brains...

Think about it.

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