Earlier this year, I wrote this post as a tribute to my dear friend Bobby T, who passed far too young . . . I ran into his son at the gym yesterday, and it's fascinating how life works at times . . . I've been thinking a lot about Bobby T lately, and to see his son was the highlight of the day, without a doubt . . . As I left the gym, my feeling was, I have to reprise this post as a tribute to Bobby T, but also for his family, who are experiencing Christmas without him for the first time . . .
My good friend Bobby passed a few days ago (A toast to you Bobby), and the memorial service/celebration of life was held yesterday . . .
Bobby . . .
No words can adequately describe exactly who and what you were . . . The speakers tried, and everything they said was so accurate, but there was more . . . Every one of the hundreds there could have spoken, but still there could be more . . . You were the epitome of "bigger than life" . . . Listening to your younger brother was like listening to a toned down version of you . . . The same sense of humor, but not quite with the edge your had, and delivered in a softer voice . . . But still, it could have been you speaking . . . I laughed my ass off, because I and everyone else could easily see and hear you in all the situations he described . . .
You always thought you were smarter than everyone else . . . In truth, you probably were . . . You thought you were a better athlete . . . Again, probably . . . You thought you were better looking . . . Well, I'll give you this . . . You were a handsome dude! But I'd never give you the satisfaction of admitting that to your face . . . Are you satisfied now Bobby? You WERE all of those . . .
You were a terrific husband and father, and then grandfather . . . You always had your priorities in line . . . You knew where to expend your energy . . . I think you actually liked your grand kids more than your own! Well, maybe not, but it's always easier with grand kids, isn't it? You don't have to discipline them, you can spoil them, and then send them home for the parents to deal with the "damage" you've inflicted . . . And you inflicted a LOT of damage, spoiling them like crazy . . .
What a friend you were Bobby! The more you liked someone, the more you insulted, trashed, and savaged them . . . But, you could pull it off in an affectionate way, and get away with the trash talking . . . People expected it, enjoyed it, and some actually wanted to be the butt of your shots . . . How many times did you call friends "peckerhead'? How many times did you call ME peckerhead? I should have kept a running total, because I know the number is up there . . .
I remember so many crazy things you said and did like they were yesterday . . . You calling me fat and ugly? You probably don't remember that, do you? Let me refresh your memory . . . We were sitting with some colleagues discussing something or other, and I made what I thought was a brilliant point . . . You looked right at me and announced, Snake, I don't know how anyone as fat and ugly as you can have any friends . . . Everyone laughed, because that was classic Bobby . . . Insult someone so outrageously that no one can possibly take your comment seriously . . . 'Cause I'm definitely not fat Bobby, and you know that . . . The ugly part, well, that's subjective . . . Hah!!
You loved to greet people with a good-natured insult . . . Anyone foolish enough to try to match it would be hit with another insult, making it clear you'd play that game as long as they wanted, and you'd win . . . Always, you'd win . . . So, one day I simply responded with, Bobby, is that the best you can do? You didn't have a comeback . . . You just shook your head . . . Remember? Probably the only time I ever got you, and you'll probably try to tell me I'm making shit up, because NOBODY ever got you . . . But Bobby, I'm not making shit up . . .
Man, you really got all over me about The Tie . . . You knew I loved that tie, and you hated it! It was a love it or hate it tie, with no middle ground of opinion . . . It seemed like 80% loved it, and 20% hated the thing . . . First time you saw it, it was in a group of people . . . You just looked at it for a few seconds and said, That is the UGLIEST tie I've ever seen! And walked away . . . Just like that . . . From that point on, I did my best to torment you with The Tie . . . And it seemed to work . . . It was liked showing a cross to Dracula . . . You'd recoil and say something like, Get away from me with that fucking tie! Or, maybe the best line of all, It would be easy to strangle you with that tie, since it's already around your neck . . . You'll be happy to know Bobby that I'm no longer in possession of The Tie . . . I left it in a hotel room two years ago and no doubt someone else wears it and loves it now . . . And maybe they have a Bobby they can torment with it! I hope so! Ah yes, The Tie . . .
One of the things I appreciated most about you was your iconoclastic nature . . . You didn't put anyone on a pedestal that I ever knew of . . . As a matter of fact, you always enjoyed kicking the pedestal out from under people who took themselves too seriously . . . A classic Bobby T moment . . . I KNOW you remember this one Bobby . . . The new boss came in, he gathered the staff and began to talk in serious tones about what he expected . . . A few minutes into his well-crafted speech you said, McMillan, you've been here five minutes and you're already pissing me off! Great, classic Bobby line . . . You took all the shine off his metal . . . And only you could pull that off! How did you get away with so much Bobby?
But the best part, by FAR, was your loyalty . . . Once a friend, always a friend, no matter how many insults you hurled in a person's direction . . . Fifteen years ago when those whackos came after me, trying to destroy my reputation . . . You and so many others jumped into my corner because you knew it was all bullshit, but you were there first . . . You made damn sure that my reputation wasn't damaged . . . And then, you and others exacted your revenge on them on my behalf . . . It was a beautiful thing to see at the time . . .
Yeah, Bobby, you WERE one of a kind, and everyone who knew you can think of you and laugh, because you constantly made us all laugh, often at our own expense . . . But we loved it, and we loved you Bobby . . . No, that's wrong . . . We LOVE you Bobby . . . Present tense . . . And it ALWAYS will be present tense . . .
Life is beautiful baby!
Peace and love . . .
Until next time . . . Ciao!!