Sometimes once you do something a few times it kind of loses its luster and tends not to be fun anymore – let me tell you about a little game that never happens with: Hey Hooka – how much? This isn’t Cranium people – you don’t just play it with anyone. It’s strategic and well-timed – like crop-dusting in the workplace. As is the case with most amazing inventions like Imodium AD and the shoe horn, this game popped into my head and I hit it out of the park one oppressively hot July day a few years back.
I was on the way to work and had the air conditioning cranked as far as it would go like Scotty giving it all she’s got with the Starship Enterprise. When I drive in hot weather (anything over 68 degrees) I have every vent in the car positioned towards my face with that delicious cold air blowing as hard as it can. On longer car rides, my face actually starts to get numb from the extended cold air rushing against it; my own personal form of botox. That’s also the reason that I have such soft cheeks that are as supple as a newborn’s buttocks. I know what you’re thinking and I don’t care; I will literally get gas every day if it rund out because of the constant ac usage and I don’t care if it goes to eight dollars a gallon. I will not ride in the car April through October without my air conditioning. Anyway, stop distracting me so that I can finish.
I had already sweat through one undershirt and dress shirt while walking the dog that morning and I was schvitzing like cottage cheese left outside at a picnic again. I was speeding as usual and cursing the hot weather when something caught my eye on the passenger side of the road…
I immediately threw that car into the far right lane and slowed to an ever-so-slight crawl as I rolled up on the crowded bus stop…I knew it was a huge risk to my health rolling down that passenger window in such extreme heat as it was close to a hundred degrees outside, but I chanced it once I saw her: one of my coworkers named Shalan. She was leaning against the bus stop pole in all her nine months pregnant glory; sweating like a Whore in church. If I had a sonogram machine in the car at that very moment, do you know what it would have showed? I’d have seen that tiny fetus wiping sweat off its little brow too as it was that hot!
If there was absolutely one person in town more miserable than me at that moment, it was her. Like divine intervention the game took shape in my mind and before I knew it, I was shouting out the window: “Hey Hooka – How Much?” I was laughing hysterically as I rolled by like a snail looking at all the people looking around at who I could be yelling to. She was waving her arms and yelling something to me as I rolled up that window and waved back. As I sped away down the street giggling, I couldn’t help but pat myself on the back a little for creating such a great little game back there.
As I got to work, I immediately went to tell my friend Tsunami about how funny I am. Once I stopped laughing enough to repeat what happened, she wasn’t laughing and looked at me like I was crazy and said “You didn’t stop the car and offer her a ride? It’s a hundred degrees out and she’s waiting at a bus stop nine months pregnant!”
I thought for a moment “You know, it didn’t even occur to me to ask her – it all happened so fast…”
“You had time to slow the car down, pull over, roll down the window and then yell Hey Hooka – how much? Yet there wasn’t time to ask if she wanted a ride? Were you running late and couldn’t stop – What’s wrong with you?”
“No, I wasn’t late at all. I actually went to Dunkin Donuts after it happened and almost told the guy at the drive thru about it because I was still laughing to myself about it.”
Guess who arrived about forty minutes later and didn’t think it was funny either? Some people are just sensitive I guess. She was telling everyone like I was the bad guy here. It’s not like she was in labor and I passed her…then I can see her being mad.
I did make it up to her a few months later when I saw her on a different street corner and slammed on the brakes to offer her a ride. How was I to know that she was standing in front of her house that time, but it was the thought that counts…I am going to reserve judgement and glaze over the fact that every time I saw her outside of work she was, literally, on a street corner. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
nyway – I broke that game out again this past weekend. It had been far too long since playing it and like the groundhog, this is a game that knows when to poke its head up out of its hole. I was dropping my wife off for her mommy’s night out dinner with friends when we saw our crazy friend Ann walking downtown. Immediately, I went into stealth mode and the game started. I was beeping the horn repeatedly while I opened the window and shouted: “Hey Hooka – How much?” Shockingly, there was no response from her at all. Like Glen Close in Fatal Attraction “I won’t be ignored” so I turned that car around and sped back towards her.
I pulled the car right in back of where she was walking and screamed again. “Hey Hooka – How much?” while beeping the horn twice as much this time on the off chance that she’s hard of hearing and I had just never noticed it before? All of a sudden she whipped her head around to call me an asshole and laughed hysterically when she realized who it was. She then got into the car and said that the first time she didn’t respond because she couldn’t tell who was being yelled at so she ignored it thinking that it was just some asshole. She also said that it sounded like a Hispanic guy yelling to her which I found to be the funniest part. My voice is pretty distinctive as you may have heard so to be mistaken for any accent at all is ridiculous – nonetheless Hispanic. Needless to say we laughed hysterically as we dropped them off to talk about what an imbecile my wife is married to over dinner.
Please feel free to start playing this game and share it with your friends. Consider it my gift to the world and use it wisely. And to our crazy friend Ann – you are a great sport and officially post-worthy!