I got a little more exposure to the new guy we hired last Monday yesterday. The first couple of weeks of a new hire's life is one I'm not exposed to much quite frankly. For one, the newbie works exclusively with the boss for training purposes. Two, the boss doesn't want the newbie to pick up my bad habits, at least immediately.
He seems like a likable kid, and has a girlfriend who works in the mall as well. Yesterday was a slow day in the mall. Freezing rain kept most sane people off the road and at home. The boss, newbie hire, and I were just shooting the breeze when the newbie's girlfriend comes into the store on her break.
She walks up to me and introduces herself as Loni, states how much she's heard about me, and how pleased she is to meet me. Nice girl, but very gullible, along with newbie hire being gullible as well. The conversation is as follows:
Newbie Girlfriend: (walking up to me) Hi! I'm Loni, (newbie hire's girlfriend)
Me: Hi back. Weird, you're only the second person named Loni I've met in my life.
Newbie Girlfriend: Really?
Boss: Hey JPT, why don't you tell (Newbie Hire and Loni) about the first Loni you met.
Me: I don't think they'd be interested quite frankly.
Boss: C'mon, sure they would.
Newbie Girlfriend: Sure we would! I can't believe I'm the only second Loni you've ever met.
Newbie Hire: You might as well tell her about the first Loni, she 's just going to wonder how it's possible you've only met one before her.
Boss: Go ahead JPT. They'll be amazed by this one.
(Now the boss is just goading me on and wants a joke to be played here. I'm more than willing to play along at this point.)
Me: Well, the first Loni I ever met was Loni Anderson.
Newbie Girfriend: Are you kidding me?
Newbie Hire: Seriously?
Me: Wow, I'm impressed you know who that is. I figured you two were too young to know who that is.
Boss: Tell them the whole story.
Newbie Hire: Whole story?
Boss: He didn't just meet her. He knows her very well.
Newbie Girlfriend: You actually know her?
Newbie Girlfriend: Oh my gawd! You actually know a celebrity?
Boss: He sure does.
Newbie Girlfriend: That is awesome! How'd you ever meet her?
Me: Well, she's from Iowa (not really) and I lived there for several years (really) and we met at the state fair back in 1981.
Newbie Hire: Loni Anderson and you met at a fair?
Boss: They did, he's got pictures to prove it.
Newbie Hire: Seriously?
Me: Yup. She was doing some TV promo and I ended up getting a picture taken with her while she was there.
Newbie girlfriend: So you ended up being friends with her because of a picture?
Boss: Just tell them the whole story. You guys will be amazed.
Newbie girlfriend: There's more?
Me: I guess there's a little more.
Newbie Hire: Like what?
Boss: He dated Loni Anderson for almost a month.
Newbie Girlfriend: You've got to be kidding!
Me: It was only for about three weeks.
Newbie Hire: You dated Loni Anderson? How did a picture turn into a date?
Me: It wasn't just a picture. She's a huge fan of ferris wheel rides. I ran the ferris wheel that year at the fair.
Newbie Hire: You worked at the fair?
Me: That's just one of the jobs I've held. I gotta tell you, carnies get a bad rap.
Newbie Girlfriend: You were a carny?
Me: Not a full fledged one, but I operated the ferris wheel that year and Loni Anderson and I talked for a bit while she was waiting in line for a ferris wheel ride.
Newbie Girlfriend: That is so bizarre!
Me: It is, now that I think about it.
Newbie Hire: So how did this all turn into you dating her.
Me: When she got off the ferris wheel she asked me when I got off work. Jokingly, I told her any time she wanted me to. She then asked me if I'd like to go to dinner with her that evening and I said yes. That's basically how it started.
Newbie Hire: I'm not sure I believe this.
Boss: I can tell you it's true. He has several pictures of them together doing a lot of things and in a lot of different places.
Newbie Girlfriend: So what happened?
Me: Well she was between a marriage and before hooking up with Burt Reynolds, who's an asshole by the way. I was simply a fling for her. A boy toy if you will. You have to remember I was only 21 and she was about 14 years older than me.
Newbie Hire: So, did you and her....?
Me: C'mon now. That's not the kind of thing I'd talk about.
Boss: They sure did!!
Me: Thanks boss.
Newbie Girlfriend: Wow, just wow! That had to be an exciting time in your life I'll bet.
Me: Some would say intoxicating.
Newbie Girlfriend: So what happened to end this?
Me: Burt Reynolds.
Newbie Girlfriend: No wonder you think he's an asshole!
Me: No wonder indeed.
That pretty much ended the conversation. Newbie hire and his girlfriend decided to go eat lunch. The boss and I chuckled quite a bit while Newbie hire was gone. I'm sure one of these days I'll have to explain to these gullible people that while it's true I've only met one other Loni in my life, it was my ex-sister-in-law, who was not Loni Anderson by any means. We'll see how long we can string them along though before that happens.