Thursday, October 17, 2013
George, George, Where are You?
The two delivery boys Daddy had at the drugstore when I was growing up were George and Elroy. They were both great guys, George in particular. He had this great personality that most people just liked. He looked just like Flip Wilson and sometimes acted like him. However, he wasn't the brightest bulb on the tree. After several days of his being out most of the day on a delivery run which should have taken an hour or two, Daddy began to wonder what was up. Was he going home for a nap, was he visiting friends, where was he all that time?
So, one day he asked an older friend of his who was retired to follow George around and see where he was going. Dad's friend came back at lunch (long before George did) just laughing. Come to find out George was just riding in circles. Basically, there was no rhyme nor reason to how he made his deliveries. He would make a delivery on one side of town, then make a second on the other side of town, the third would be back on the initial side, and the fourth would be in the middle that he had driven past twice.
From then on, Daddy put a map of the city up on a wall. Each time before George went out, Daddy and George would map out his route and number his packages. The system worked fine until one day, when George showed up about an hour before he should have. Daddy learned he had been on the other side of town, became confused about an address, so he drove back to the drugstore to ask for directions. Daddy suggested he just stop and call next time.
Always being the innovator, Daddy decided that he would put a two way radio in the delivery truck. That way he could always get in touch with George and Elroy if he needed them back at the store and it would give them a way to contact the store directly should a problem arise. He spent time showing both of them how to use the radio. The first few days, George and Elroy went out together to see how the radio worked and had no problems. This was going to help make things run smoother.
Every time George was out, Daddy never could get him to answer the radio. Finally he asked him, "George, did you hear me trying to call you on the radio today?" "No, sir." "Are you sure you know how to use that radio?" "Oh, yes sir Mr. Bill. I can hear folks talking on it all the time. But, I keep turning that dial and I never can find WDMJ, my favorite radio station. You know how I love to listen to my tunes when I'm driving." Daddy just shook his head. When he asked Elroy about the radio, Elroy told him that he could use it, but every time he got in the truck after George, it was never on the right channel.
Needless to say, Dad gave up on the radio with George. But, all was not lost. George made a great bartender at Daddy's parties. Everybody knew George and everybody loved George. He would show up at our house sharply dressed in a white coat with a bow tie and insist that he was there, not only to tend the bar, but to answer the door. Guests, not knowing any different, would think we had a butler and a bar tender. Dad laughed about it and made sure he introduced George to everyone who did not already know him.