In my previous post I alludued to a friend that is no longer with us whom I used to meet at the WTC. This is not my normal post but there is a place for a loving and comedic tribute to a man who is in a better place. I want to be sad but his smile and funny ways filled my life with joy.
My friend was named Larry but we called him Big Bad Larry after the song. He was a giant of a man at 6'5'' and 450 lbs and every thing about him was larger than life including a booming voice. He had a cherubic smile and a great sounding laugh. Larry was intense and did everything at 100% an hour . He had no stop buttom and was always on the go . Even going with him for drinks was tough because he would knock them back easily. Part of this intensity meant that if he were concentrating you could say anything to him and he would say Yeah Yeah. His name was changed to Big Bad Larry Yeah Yeah. He had a tough temper but it was like a thunderclap and he resumed his jovial but intense ways.
One day Larry and I went to the local all you can eat buffet with our crew. The look of horror in the owners eyes was priceless as the Giant went to the fix his plate. The little man said " Remember it is all you can eat not eat all ". The whole place started laughing including Big Bad Larry. He lit up the room with his patented smile and got all the good food. I scratched my head but never seemed to find the shrimp or the spare ribs. They seemed to be attracted to Larrys plate like a magnet. All I ever seemed to get at the buffet line was some rice.
We were at the WTC and on the train to Jersey when we were told that service was disrupted. Someoe had tried to commit suicide on the tracks. I was cheery as usual and made light of the situation. Maybe its a peer trying to get out of our boring staff meetings. Big Bad Larry almost had a heart attack and bellowed " Run the son of a ^&^*^& over !!!! I am going to be late to work and I have the keys." I could not stop laughing and I stared at another coworker Winston. My laughter was making Big Bad Larry progressively angrier.
Finally Big Bad Larry had enough and he got out of the car and moved to the end of the platform. Big Bad Larry yelled at the suicidal man "You son of a %&%&^9if you don't get back on the platform I'll go down there and do the job myself ".
Amazingly the sucidal man got back on the platform and the police took him away. We were on a train and there was dead silence. An old woman asked "Would you really have killed the son of a ^(*&*^(". I turned to her and said " You don't understand my friend . He hates people that say they are going to do things and fail". The whole car laughed and and Big Bad Larry gave me a swat on the side of the head that I felt for a month. Then he joined in the laughter and it was a running joke for weeks.
There was a Chinese resturant with a typo on the menu. Normaly I toss the menus but this was irresistable. L5 read Crap meat sticks instead of Crab meat. I played a series of prank calls with my weekly order and most of the time it was a big order around $40.00. The owner would get mad and start cursing and we would put it on a speaker phone. A typical call was as follows "I want an L5 what is that." I said . You lousy son of a low life ^&%%#$$@#% ." You do this same $#^@# every week you lousy(^%($%$ moron". No matter how many times we did this joke it was funny. Then other offices started to do the same joke and he had to hire two extra delivery men. One day he got tired and said , "You little ^%* piece of $%&^ I am coming down to whip your %*&*. What is your name ? " he said " Sure just ask for Big Bad Larry". The whole office starts rolling on the floor laughing as I give the money to Larry. The owner pulls up and asks Where is this Big piece of*%^^%* Big Bad Larry. The Chinese guy took a look at the size of a perplexed Big Bad Larryand said " you guy tip to well must kick %$*%$* later "got in his car and drove off. Larry was the only one who didn't get the joke. On a side note as soon as the owner fixed the typo his business went down . I walked and he told me " worst thing I ever do for business is fix those typos send my business down by 30%." . So he made new menus with the old typo and got some business back.
I recieved the word that my friend had died and I was heartbroken. I attended the funneral in Brooklyn and everyone noticed he was much smaller in the casket. My buddy Alphonso said " You know he's half the man he used to be . I'll miss the big guy". I turned to my friends and said " You know that diet he's on was a toughie but it only works once". Another friend Robert pointed out that " he lived such an intense life that it was bound to happen. He is in the great buffet in heaven".
I was fortunate to know Big Bad Larry and to have him as a friend . He was intense but had a good nature and better heart. The world has lost a giant but Heaven gained a smile.