Three Hey, Yous! (Written by Bob Aul)

Editor’s note: In addition to the many tales of life in Orange County that readers submit, sometimes our staff and contributors share their stories.

Illustration by Bob Aul

It was really nice to see your sushi place near the Newport pier still open and brightly lit on Christmas Eve, when it seemed the whole town was otherwise already dark and closed-up. I’d been craving sushi all day, so I made a beeline there. You guys welcomed me in and took my order, which came almost immediately, as I was the only person there at first. I still had a nearly full Sapporo, so I decided to skip the hot sake I usually like to have with the meal. When your server checked on me later, I was already slowing down, but she convinced me to go for the sake I was missing—it was Christmas, after all, she said cheerfully. I finished the last few pieces of sashimi along with that sake—it really was the perfect touch. When the bill came, she told me the sake was on the house! It was Christmas, she said again. I went back out into the cold and dark with a renewed faith in humanity . . . not to mention glowing-red ears from the sake. I sure hope the tip I left reflected my appreciation for your kindness. Thanks again!

Illustration by Bob Aul

You’re the talkative old fella who sat down next to me at the Tustin Kean Coffee and started a conversation by declaring, “You know the only people who don’t bus their own tables? Liberals.” After a brief headspin, I replied amiably, “Well, I don’t see how that holds much water, since I tend to lean in that direction and am pretty good about cleaning up after myself.” When your first statement didn’t seem to have the desired effect on me, you simply soldiered on with an anti-Obama screed that only someone with a FOX-rich diet could regurgitate. Since you appear in about the 75-to-80-year-old age bracket, I tried engaging you on a few different matters just to determine if you weren’t just senile or maybe insane, but it seemed as though you were still pretty current. You even had an iPhone on which you would periodically play speeches by leading right-wing players to whomever was in earshot. Turns out you own some brass-technology company in town, and the only thing that matters to you apparently is the money the president is supposedly trying to take from you. It must be nice to approach life with such a streamlined set of concerns. So stuff it, Mr. Brass Technology man. I will be sure to not sit anywhere near you in the future, but thanks all the same for the crucial glimpse into the self-righteous mind of an industrialist.

Illustration by Bob Aul

This wasn’t the first time I’ve had to ask a professional to stop the job I asked them to do, but when you took the small, unreinforced art print I just wanted to have securely packaged to ship overseas and stuffed it without any backing into a nebulous wad of bubble wrap sandwiched between two bent scraps of cardboard smaller than the actual print, and then wound several yards of plastic around it from a spool on a handle, I started having my concerns. When you slipped the assembly into a flimsy paper DHL box, weighed all fractions of a pound of it and informed me shipping would come to $127, I asked you to unpack everything and instead bought a cardboard box from you for less than $4. I went home and cut it down to the flat and sturdy package I thought you’d know how to make (and without all the needless plastic waste you generated) and shipped it via the U.S. Postal Service for $104 less than what you quoted and only about $5 more than I guessed. With expertise like that, it’s a wonder you’ve stayed in business for so many years.

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