I was stone dead asleep early this evening when Gary woke me up, screaming something about football history being made. Evidently, there was an important game on. I didn't care, I don't follow football, but I like watching Gary watch football. Plus, the halftime show with Marshall Faulk brought back fond memories for me.
To tell this story, I have to "out" an anonymous friend. Friend #3, Marcia, has a last name that rhymes with "Faulk." Her full name is Marcia Cock.
She once mentioned how it was distracting to listen to sports on the radio, since every "Marshall Faulk" sounded like "Marcia Cock."
Well, one day I was with the work crowd at the Starbucks across the way. We got coffees, went outside, and the others suddenly huddled squealing, "Oh, my God, I swear to you, that was Marshall Faulk in line behind us!" I knew Marshall Faulk was a football player, because Gary would watch games and scream, "Faulk! Faaaaulk!" Sometimes even when Marshall wasn't playing.
Marcia said on the way back to work how she had wanted to introduce herself one day to him with "Hello, Marshall Faulk, I'm Marcia Cock."
"Well, you should," I said, "He's still in there."
She stopped dead in the crosswalk. "Will you go with me?"
I turned and we headed back to the Starbucks, because I doubted it was the famous running back. He just hadn't seemed large enough.
He was the only patron still in there. Marcia hung back staring at him for a second, but I tromped up to the counter where he was getting his four Vente coffees.
"Is there a problem?" the barista asked, surprised to see me so soon after we left.
"Nope, I just need to know this man's name." I smiled at the nice man getting his coffee.
"Chris," he said, pulling one of the cups out of a cardboard sleeve marked "Chris."
Suddenly Marcia was there, explaining that he looked a lot like Marshall Faulk, and that she'd always wanted to say "Hello, Marshall Faulk, I'm Marcia Cock."
"Heh. That is pretty close," Chris chuckled, backing out the door.
After Chris escaped, I said, "Sorry, Marcia."
If I recall correctly, Marcia's response was, "Why? We just met Marshall Faulk!"
"Chris. His name was Chris. It was even on the coffee."
"Oh my ass. That was Marshall Faulk. No one else has that Joker smile."
I would have spent an enjoyable day ridiculing Marcia (Cock), but when we got back to the office I had to admit that this:
...was the smile I saw in the Starbucks. It's a pretty distinctive smile.
My favorite thing about this story is that we were able to meet Marshall Faulk, but he still got to keep a little distance. He got to be "Chris," and no one argued with him. And independent sources did place Marshall at our Starbucks that day wearing the clothes we saw "Chris" wearing.
Of course, if it's an argument you're looking for, I can bet you Marcia Cock has a totally different memory of this story.