Last night I met a kid through a mutual friend at a bar, and over the course of the evening (while Heineken girls in green dresses and sailor hats and white go-go boots accompanied by a man in a full captain's outfit handed out beers; it was all a very surreal scene) this kid told me about back when he worked at the UPS store and how the Red Sox and their wives (and mistresses) would come in regularly. The best story he told was Mike Timlin, or, at least, I thought it was the best, because it basically lives up to the Timlin Image we've all constructed and lovingly cultivated over the years.
The story was brought out in response to affectionate comments from Steve and me last night when Timlin was shown on the bar TV. Immediately our friend reacted with disgust.
"I hate that guy," he said. "That guy is an asshole."
Soon I had wrung, squeezed and siphoned every detail out of him. Apparently, or so the story went, Mikey came into the UPS store and wanted a stamp.
Acting out the story, the kid gritted his teeth as hard as they would go, and then in the growliest voice he could effect, went, "Gimme staamp."
This is pretty much when I fell off the couch. (Yes, this bar had couches. It was a very chi-chi place in the North End.)
"So I said, 'why don't I just take the letter and put the stamp on it for you'?" he recalled.
Then he switched back to his Timlin imitation for the reply.
I was howling so loud, I spilled my drink. I tried to explain to him why I found it so funny.
Eventually, he obliged with the next line: "Just show me where it is."
You had to hear the way the guy did the voice, though. The gritted teeth and the scratchy, gruff tone way in the back of the throat. It was just amazing.
The kid had also told me about the time he had to mail a bicycle for Manny or the time a woman in a crushed velvet track suit with fake blonde hair and acrylic nails came in and made sure everyone in the store knew she was mailing something for Mr. Keith Foulke (oy). But nothing topped the point where he added the detail that, after the kid (who I should point out at this point is gay and pretty femme) went, "Listen honey, here's your stamp," and flung it in Timlin's direction and Timlin stomped off, Dawn Timlin waited till her husband's back was turned and mouthed to the kid, "I'm so sorry."