Brent worked really hard to come across as a real manly man, sometimes a little too hard, and sometimes not hard enough. He was, unfortunately, one of those guys who just wasn’t comfortable as himself, in his own skin, so he thought he had to be like a character from some television show in order for people to respect him. He went for the bad boy biker look, which was a bad choice for him.
He wore faded jeans and a black t-shirt with holes in it, but everything was extremely clean and had a Febreeze smell to it. He grew a long beard, but trimmed it so carefully into its shape that it was just a facial contradiction. And the dark black sunglasses he wore everywhere, even indoors, cost him all of two dollars at a gas station somewhere. His home was full of porcelain knick knacks that he couldn’t bear to throw out after his mother passed away, and a collection of lunch boxes from the seventies and eighties.
So, when the nuisance wildlife control professional showed up at his door to get rid of the gophers in his yard, he was more than confused. At first glance, this stringy thirty-five year old who answered the door seemed like he wasn’t the kind to seek out a professional to get rid of gophers. He looked like he was the kind of loud, beer-guzzling jerk who would pull out a high powered rifle, aim it at any critters crossing his yard, and yee-haw his way into the hospital. But, as soon as Brent started explaining the problem he had with gophers, it was a whole new matter.
“See, man,” Brent started, “Look over there, man, and you’ll see, like, five different holes, right there in the dirt.”
Indeed, there were five holes with all the tell-tale signs of gopher activity.
Continuing in a voice that cracked occasionally, Brent said, “And, look, man, see I don’t want to get all girly, but those gophers are creepy looking. I saw one of ‘em come right out of the hole, right when I was standin’ there. And, it just looked at me, like it was daring me to do something. I think I saw something like that out of an aliens movie once, ya know, man? And, like, they’re just under our feet, right, just breathing and eating and doing, doing, like, gopher stuff, man. Plus, I’ve tripped like eight times when I try to mow the lawn, and I think I pulled something. It’s just bad, just nasty, am I right?”
As soon as Brent saw the gentleman from the wildlife control company unload his equipment from his truck, he knew he’d be safe. He adjusted his dark glasses, pulled on his beard, and sauntered back into his home. It was time to dust Mom’s old knick-knacks.