Big John weighs in on text dating

Published 9:14 am Thursday, November 19, 2015

Big John Hudson — all five foot four inches of him — burst through the front door of the diner, tossed his ball cap down on the big round table, and unleashed a flurry of pent-up agitation in the form of nine simple words, “It’s time to Taser girls that text and drive!”

Big John was known for getting the morning conversations rolling with his far from subtle opening commentaries. His morning ice-breakers were generally bombastic in nature and made little sense unless backed up with a second or third sentence. Unfortunately, John had a bad habit of neglecting to add those critical second and third lines — unless the other members of the Circular Conversation Breakfast Club pressed him for more details.

“I’m guessing you almost got rear ended by some girl that was texting while driving,” reasoned Tommy Jones, the octogenarian elder statesman of the group. Based on the little information at hand, what else could it be?

“Nope,” grumbled John as he motioned to Sarah, their long suffering server, for a cup of coffee. “She didn’t almost hit me.”

“That’s a shame,” cracked Harrison Winkle. “Maybe then, you’d have something to talk about that would be worth listening to. Did she run through a red light?” Since John’s lament had something to do with girls that text and drive, but did not involve crunching the rear end of his pickup, Harry figured that running a red light might be on John’s list of Taserable offenses.

“Uh-huh,” mumbled John as he shook his head. “She didn’t run a red light, either. Could I get a full order of biscuits and gravy with an egg over medium flopped on top, please?” Sarah had poured John’s coffee and then waited patiently for his order, while the outbreak of questions swirled around them.

“Did she pull out in front of you and drive real slow?” asked Jimmy. “I hate that — especially when they pull out into the left lane and drive ten miles an hour under the speed limit.”

“You hate anyone that drives slow,” countered Firewalker, “except, when you are the one driving slow. Then you hate all the speed demons on the road.” Firewalker poured some more syrup on his tall stack. “Did she have one of those ‘Baby on Board’ window stickers? I hate those. Why would anyone think I’m going to drive any safer, just because someone has a kid in their car — and a sign to prove it? ”

The conversation stopped for a brief moment as the congregation members tried to recall seeing a “Baby on Board” sign any time since 1987.

“No one pulled out in front of me and drove too slow with a ‘Baby on Board’ sign,” John was getting a little disenchanted with his compatriots inability to carry on a meaningful dialogue. “And could I get a couple of slices of raison bread toast with that?”

“Well, I’m getting a little bored with the twenty questions game,” grumbled Harry. “You’d better fill in some of the details before Jimmy starts talking about how great it is to be back on Eastern Standard Time.”

“Eastern Standard Time stinks. We should be on Central Time,” barked Jimmy as if on command.

“See what I mean?” cried Harry in mock horror. “Now we’ll never find out why Big John wants to get arrested for Tasering girls.”

“I tried a new text-dating system this morning,” John replied, begrudgingly. Unfortunately, the other members of the Breakfast Club weren’t sure if he was explaining his reasoning for Tasering girls, or if this was a new salvo of inexplicable commentary – requiring, yet another, unending round of questioning to drag out the obscure (and unnecessary) meaning of the remark.

“What does that mean?” Arnold Tobin was certain he didn’t really want to know the answer, but it was his turn to ask.

“It’s a sure-fire way to meet girls. If I drive past a pretty girl out on the highway, I hold up a sign that says, ‘Text Me’ with my number underneath, 555-BIG-JOHN.” John ripped open the little tub of non-dairy creamer and poured it into his coffee cup. “This morning, I drove passed a pretty girl, held up my sign, and she texted me back, immediately.” Stunned silence, fueled by total disbelief, hung over the big, round table in the middle of the diner — until Big John followed up with, “And she told me to do a couple of things to myself that I don’t think I can do while driving. Of all the nerve — she texted that while driving. There ought to be a law — backed up with a Taser gun.”

Several questions and comments raced through each of their heads — all of them revolved around the same incredulous theme.

“What made you think that was a good idea?”

“We now have a new definition of stupid.”

“You did what?!”

Sarah shook her head slowly, turned, and walked away. “You’re lucky you didn’t get Tasered, yourself.”


Larry Wilson is a mostly lifelong resident of Niles. His optimistic “glass full to overflowing” view of life shapes his writing. His essays stem from experiences, compilations and recollections from friends and family. Wilson touts himself as “a dubiously licensed teller of tall tales, sworn to uphold the precept of ‘It’s my story; that’s the way I’m telling it.’” He can be reached at