EDDIE JAMISON: A SKETCH OF A PERFUNCTORY CHARACTER
Some say Eddie Jamison has the manners of a baboon. What with him always burping and making all kinds of other obscene noises with his body. Others say he’s just a boy trapped inside a grown man’s body, because he has the mind of a five year old. His total disregard for manners and hygiene are other aspects of his childish mentality. With no job to go to, he bums around all day long, watching television game shows in the afternoon, or, catching a snooze, or,
eating cereal out of the box
always coming over at least once a week to do his laundry, dishes, and other cleaning duties, in addition to bringing him a good supply of groceries. He eats enough for five people. There is garbage all over the carpeting of the living room, dining room and his two bedrooms. Not to mention the overflowing garbage can in the kitchen and more all over the floor. He has a full bathroom and it smells like, no, I’d say worse than the Kalamazoo River. A person can pass out from the odor. The mirror in the bathroom has spots on it, because of his finger prints when he got a Band-Aid out of the medicine cabinet after getting a paper cut from opening a box of cereal.
The first thing Mrs. Katherine Jamison does after setting aside the two bags of groceries is turn off the stereo and the television. Then, she wakes up her son who is reclining on his favorite lounge chair asleep with a newspaper over his face snoring loudly. “Eddie, dear. I’d like to do some cleaning after I put the groceries away. Do you mind taking a drive so I can clean your house today?” Mrs. Jamison declares.
“Okay, okay.” Eddie gets up from his lounge chair to put on his shoes and jacket. Picking up his keys from underneath the sofa cushions, he heads out the door. “I’m gonna drop by Reggie and Sarah’s, and hang out there for a while.”
“Eddie, Reggie is at work. You know he works a twelve hour shift each day, three days a week at Marigold Hospital, and whatever time he does have to spare has to be divided between his personal time, Sarah and the kids. Sarah dropped the three children off at her mother’s and headed over to her job at the post office. Why don’t you go to the mall to hang out there for a while?” Mrs. Jamison pulls out fifty dollars from her purse and hands it to Eddie. “Here. Pick up some nice new clothes. And from there treat yourself to a cheeseburger, if you want. Anything you can do to stay out of my way while I’m cleaning.”
Eddie stopped off at a video game store to look for some new CD-ROM’s. Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and the like are his all time favorites. But video games have changed since he was a kid. They have become more highly sophisticated. He liked anything to do with science fiction. The money his mother gave him was only enough to buy one video game. He couldn’t find anything that struck his fancy, so he left and went to a sporting good store to look at the various baseball caps. The ones that most impressed him were with the logo of the Dallas Cowboys. From there he looked at different kinds of sports jerseys. He had enough for only one. Taking his purchases with him, Eddie stopped off at a fast food place for a cheeseburger and a cola. It’s a boring afternoon. All he really wants to do is to go home and sleep.
After driving around for three hours, Eddie heads back home. He’s anxious to get back to watching a music video channel. When he arrives home, he throws his purchases on the sofa. Flicks the remote, and reclines on his lounge chair once more. Mrs. Jamison comes into the living room to inquire about his outing. “Did you find anything you liked at the mall, Eddie?”
“I stopped at a sporting good store and bought a Dallas Cowboys football jersey and a baseball cap with the Dallas Cowboys logo on it.” Eddie sighed. He wasn’t really paying attention to his mother, because he was to busy gazing at the television set.
“Eddie, dear, isn’t there something more constructive you could be doing other than watching television all day long. The only time you leave the house is every Friday afternoon when I come to clean and bring you groceries. Don’t you think it’s time you’ve taken on some kind of responsibility. Ever since you graduated from college you’ve been bumming around. I want you to shower and put on some nice, clean, clothes and go put in some job applications. I really mean it, Eddie. Get some use out of that degree of yours. You took sales and marketing in college, Eddie. Not only that, but you know quite a bit about video games. Apply for a job at a video game store, if you wish. But don’t let that good knowledge go to waste.” Mrs. Jamison advised Eddie.
Eddie reluctantly showered and put on some dress clothes and then left to look for a job. He went back to the video game store to put in an application. “Excuse me. Are you doing any hiring at the moment?”
“As a matter of fact we are. We haven’t put up the notice yet. One moment. I’ll go get you an application, sir. They were behind the counter, but my father is printing up some more,” the cashier informed Eddie. She went into the office. “Dad, there is a gentlemen interested in a job. How long are you going to be with the applications?”
Mr. Sawyer hands one application to his daughter to give to Eddie to fill out. “Take this one and give it to him, Alice. Have him fill it out. Get a resume from him. Tell him I will be there in fifteen minutes. I’m trying to finish up here.”
Eddie looks at some catalogues while he waits for the cashier to return. He clears his throat and flips through the pages. He’s startled when Alice approaches the counter and hands him an application. “Just fill this out. I’m going to need your resume from you when you turn in your application. My father said to tell you that he’ll be right with you. If you can give him fifteen minutes to finish up with what he’s doing.” Alice joyfully told him in a giddy way. It’s just that she developed a crush on him, but she didn’t dare pursue him in that she wanted to remain on the professional level.
For someone who just got hired for a job, Eddie wasn’t really enthused about it. The drive home was not very exciting either, because Eddie spent a great deal of time trying to get bird poop off his windshield with his wipers and windshield washer. He took a trip down to the junkyard to see if he could find anything useful. Junkyards are his other passion. He collected different parts for cars and bicycles, because one never knows when they will come in handy. When Eddie was in high school he worked for his Uncle Toby at his fish bait and supply shop. Eddie knows which bait works best on different kinds of fish. He collected books and magazines on fishing itself since the time he was six years old, but as he got older his interests expanded and he developed an interest in auto mechanics. He studied the craft all through high school in addition to taking courses in economics and accounting to learn the basics of running a business. Before he got his Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing, he went to school in Denver, Colorado for a couple of years to earn an Associates degree in auto mechanics, got certified and made enough money to continue his college education to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Eddie not only had skills, but he had talent and brains. After he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, he took a leave of absence from Dane’s Auto Plus, because he felt he was due for a nice long rest. He needed a break from work altogether, because he was burned out what with going to school year round and holding a full time job at Dane’s Auto Plus. Eddie’s boss, Dane Philips, called Eddie after taking two months leave from work to inquire about Eddie’s interest in working for him. However, as things turned out, Eddie grew bored with his life and he told Dane he will be staying out of work indefinitely. Eddie wanted bigger thrills out of his life than auto mechanics. He developed an interest in The Price Is Right, because he loved watching other people make fools of themselves on television. He also loved playing
Mrs. Jamison was putting the towels and sheets into the linen closet when Eddie walked through the front entrance of the house. “Eddie, wipe you feet good. I just finished shampooing the carpet . I don’t want the dirt from your shoes getting all over the place, making a mess. Better yet. Remove your shoes and bang them together outdoors. Then come inside.” she scolded him. “Oh, by the way. Your father called. He told me that Mr. and Mrs. Faulk stopped by. Their daughter, Susan, is supposed to come into town from Chicago. You know, the attractive, but shy, red head. In fact, she’ll be in town in about another hour. We thought it would be nice if you’d show her a good time when she arrives and then gets settled at her folks.”
“Are you talking about Mouse Face?” Eddie poked fun about Susan.
Mrs. Jamison smacks Eddie on the back of his head with her hand. “Eddie, she’s a lovely girl. You be nice to her!” she demanded angrily.
“And just what time is my torture to begin.” Eddie groaned.
Mrs. Jamison smacked Eddie on the back of his head once more. “You are to pick Susan up at seven-thirty tonight. I want the evening to be a night of magic. Do you hear me?! I want sparks to fly like fire crackers bursting on the Fourth of July. This is to be a night of passionate love in both your eyes and hers!” She demanded. “Just think, Eddie. If things work out, your father and I will gain a daughter-in-law. Then, down the road, we’ll become grandparents all over again.” Mrs. Jamison then puts her hands to her face, and sighs. “Oh, how wonderful it will be to have little feet running around the house once more. Your brother’s children are five, seven, and nine years old. A little infant or two would be a fine addition to our beautiful, happy, little
“Don’t you think you are getting ahead of yourself. First of all, in order for a baby to arrive, it takes a man and a woman,” Eddie said snidely.
“Edward Louis Jamison! Do I need to smack the back of your head again?!” Mrs. Jamison shrieked.
“No. I’m just being honest. So where do you expect to get these grandchildren from?” Eddie shouted from the top of his lungs.
“Isn’t it obvious?! From you and Susan, of course. Now, get ready. Susan will be waiting for you. I want you to start getting ready from now so you will have plenty of time to make yourself nice and handsome for her.” Mrs. Jamison ordered.
Eddie arrives at the Faulk’s residence on his bicycle built for two. It’s actually two ten speeds molded together, so the bicycle has twenty speeds all together. He rides into their driveway, gets off his bike, walks around the side of the house and picks some red, white and yellow roses from Mrs. Faulk’s garden to present to Susan. Then he rings the doorbell. Susan comes to the door and accepts the beautiful roses from Eddie. Her eyes fill with tears as she smells the beautiful scent from the roses. “Thank you so much, Edward. They’re very beautiful. I’m going to put these in water right away.” Susan’s face was narrow and her eyes were beady. She sported an outdated bobbed hairdo that went out of style after the nineteen eighties. Her cheeks were rosy, because it was her natural complexion. Her nose was bony and long. Susan also had on some perfume that took Eddie’s breath away. So much so that he started wising. Then he took tiny breaths to get air back into his lungs. He took a big, long breath of his own armpits to recharge up the cells in his brains. It’s a good thing Eddie rode his bicycle built for two, because this way he’d be out in the open air and the oxygen will be able to circulate better in his lungs. Susan ran into the kitchen to get a glass of water to put the flowers in, and then she proceeded with Eddie on their date. They took a stroll on his bicycle built for two. Susan was impressed with it. “You know, Edward, this is quite charming. Wherever did you find a bicycle so quaint? And with twenty speeds?”
“I play around here and there with parts and gadgets. This little number is actually two ten speeds molded together.” Eddie says with pride. He bends down to flick the switch of the radio to the heavy metal station, and turns up the sound loud enough to hear it, but no so much that it would get him a ticket. Eddie even inquired about Susan‘s preference in music. “So, Susan, you like Ozzy Osborne or Metellica?”
“I’ve never heard of those names. I usually listen to opera or classical music. But this music of yours is something quite out of the ordinary. What I mean two say is. It’s different. But then again. To each his own. However, I must say this radio attachment to your bicycle is most clever. Imagine that. A radio for a bicycle. Edward, it is a charming touch.” Susan said with admiration.
Eddie takes Susan to the root beer stand for hotdogs and soft drinks. From there they go to the mall for a ride on the carousel. When the music stops, they get off, and, Susan heads to the ladies’ room. After she was clear out of view Eddie ditches her on his bicycle built for two, because not only was she ugly and wore stinky perfume, but her voice alone was annoying.
Eddie worked for the video game store for two months, before everything got old and boring. He needed excitement back in his life. And the only place he got his thrills was from television game shows, so much so that he finally jotted down the telephone number and became a contestant on The Price Is Right. He won ten thousand dollars, in addition to a living room set and other nice prizes. He traded the living room set and other prizes in for some cold hard cash. Upon his arrival home, he went to the bank to purchase some CD certificates to have for his old age. As for the rest of the money, he lived off it for a while until another job came along.