Den of the Beastly Bear
I used to work with a guy when I worked the line in Pontiac at the Truck plant there. Let's call him "James".
James was a good 10 years older than me...which would have made him about 45 at the time.
Five foot eight and about 225 lbs., pudgy and blonde with a full blonde beard. He was one of those guys that worked into every other conversation what a good, Christian man he was.
How he was an Elder, and Youth Pastor at his church.
On the flip side James had had an affair with his kid's babysitter, divorced his wife and then married said babysitter. He was also one of the biggest racists and bigots you'd ever have the displeasure to meet.
James worked the next job up from mine.
Across from me worked "Jill" (names have been altered to protect their anonymity).
Jill was a blonde haired, blue eyed, married mother of three.
She was genuinely one of the nicest people I have ever met.
She was friendly with and to everyone she met, slightly hard of hearing and the plant being noisy she'd stand maybe a little closer than normal, and cock her head to hear you.
She also had the endearing habit of placing a hand on your arm as she leaned in to hear you...this led some to believe she was being flirtatious.
James took quite a shine to Jill, and flirted with her relentlessly...until one day she rebuffed his advances.
Guess I missed that part in church where it's ok to hit on married women if you're a good Christian...
He then took it upon himself to pick at her, and make comments...
Like the time a youngish black foreman was talking to her, and she laughed at a joke he had made...suddenly James was beside me and said low "Guess she likes the dark meat now..."
I turned and gave this "Good Christian" a look and said:
"Or perhaps he said something funny James, or maybe she's just being polite."
At least once a day he'd come stomping up to our work area and start bitching at her about something....which was never work related as she worked on the opposite side of the line from him.
Too nice a person to defend herself, she'd listen to whatever the day's diatribe was in silence, until he left and then tell me "What a jerk!".
I asked if she'd like me to intervene on her behalf, she always said "No, no like a storm...he'll blow himself out."
Well he didn't...
So this particular day, James was in a foul mood and came again stomping up to where I worked next to Jill.
I'd had just about enough...
Before he could open his mouth I turned on him:
"Jesus Christ James! What the Hell's your problem today??"
Caught off guard by my sudden intervention he immediately went on the attack, puffing himself up with indignation...
"My problem is you using the Lord's name in vain!" He pronounced with pomp and bluster...
Well Thank you James for handing me a big stick to poke you with!
"Well Jesus Christ James, did I do that?" I said slapping my forehead.
"Oops! God Dammit I did it again...."
"Whoops! Oh Jesus!!!"
He glared at me, I just smiled...you know, the F.U. smile.
"You are NOT funny!" he said and stomped off the way he'd come.
"You did it now," Jill said next to me "now he's gonna be after you too."
"Bah! He's about as worrisome to me as a cloudy day..."
I told her as we returned to work.
He left us both alone the rest of the day.
The next day when I came in, James walked down to see me.
"Morning James." I said
"I brought you something..." He said and offered me a paper lunch sack.
"James, you shouldn't have..." I said taking the package.
I looked inside and slid out a VHS tape of....
"The Life and Times of Jesus Christ"
"I thought after yesterday you could use it..." He said
"Well Jim," I said dropping the tape back in the sack and handing it back to him "why don't you take that, and shove it up your ass sideways!!!"
He just blinked at me...
"Just who the fuck do you think you are??? You don't know a damn thing about me do you? Do you know I was raised in the house of a Baptist minister? Do you know I've probably forgotten more bible passages than you'll ever know? Frankly I've had religion and religious hypocrites like YOU up to here!" I told him holding my hand a foot above my head.
"And just who YOU think appointed you the authority on who Jill talks to or what she does, I don't know....but you come up here bothering her or me, just one. more. time....and you'll leave wearing your ass as a hat....do you understand me?!?"
He just nodded, as I took a step towards him and lowered my voice menacingly.
"Now get the Hell out of my work area..."
Now folks, I'm normally a live and let live kinda guy. If you want to dance naked around a hamster head on a popsicle stick in the pale moonlight, and call that a religion...more power to ya!
I don't care...
But come around trying to cram your crap down my throat, that I'll have a problem with.
You look to your soul, let me look to mine...
Tail between his legs, James left, carrying his tape.
Jill came in a few minutes later, oblivious to what had just transpired. I smiled and waved just like any other day.
She smiled and waved back.
After a few days of no James she said:
"See....blew himself out."
"Yep, must have..." I replied.
James never troubled Jill again...and the skies were not cloudy all day. ;-)
Be Well Folks!