Dutch Samson could not find time in his day to make out the necessary forms for someone else to effortless delegate responsibility to a third person to go out and buy a new, compatible battery for his cellular phone. Instead, he managed to keep his conversations short by beginning every one with the phrase ‘My battery is about to die, so we better make this quick’. His battery never died completely, but to keep Dutch and the parties involved in his conversations in suspense, it would beep loudly in the middle of a phonecall, prompting everyone to summarize their points, assign tasks, and get off the phone so they could go to work. Which is exactly what Dutch always did. Always does. He has never been convinced that everyone else does the same, but he never calls them up to double check, because he is never sure of just exactly how much time he had left on his battery.
He came out of the beer store on a Friday afternoon, carrying his black, plastic Beer Store bag, which held his two six packs of tall boy cans of beer, and looked across the parking lot to the Big Box Video store. He stopped for a minute and cocked his head to the side, looking at the store and thinking. A Beer Store customer parked right in front of him, got out of their car, and gave him a queer look on their way into the store.
“I’m going to buy four movies,” Dutch said before he could stop himself. He was thinking out loud and he guessed he scared the person who had been staring at him. When they heard Dutch talking to no one, they stepped up their pace and looked directly at the door into the Beer Store. Dutch wanted to curse, just softly, but held it in. He didn’t want to look foolish. All he wanted to do was to enjoy himself this weekend.
There were a couple of movies he could think of off the top of his head that he would enjoy watching. A movie purchase would cost him ten bucks or so. Four movies would be forty bucks. Renting was much cheaper, but having to go through the rigmarole of figuring out all of that required rental data and then having to remember the movies after he watched them and renting four movies was not a guarantee that he would watch all of them before the rental period expired. He thought buying was the better option.
“Maybe only three,” he said out loud. “Oh, shit,” he finished, before unlocking his car remotely using the keyfob and putting the bag of beer in the back seat next to his briefcase. Have to stop talking out loud, he said to himself. Keep it together.
He thought about taking his car the two hundred feet across the plaza to the Big Box Video store and decided against it. He wanted the time between here and there to be on his feet, so he could gather himself and reflect on the movies he would want to watch this evening and this weekend. He wondered if the video store sold potato chips or microwave popcorn. He hoped so. He thought of movies and he craved those two things, but he knew that a trip to the grocery store right now, while planning a decadent evening of cheap beer and popcorn, would kill his mood completely and likely end him up doing a bit of actual job related work before passing out on the couch. All of these thoughts went back and forth in his head, dodging around the looming elephant of his job, when his phone thundered to get his attention. It sounded like a herd of wild animals. It was the pre-programmed ring on his cellphone for when work called him. He programmed the ringtone to be a warning for him not to answer the phone. He answered anyway.
“Dutch speaking,” he said, unfolding it with a deft snap.
“Dutch. Keefer. We got a problem, man. I need your help.”
“Okay, ” Dutch said. “Start from the top. Is anyone hurt? Bleeding?”
“Nope. We’re all good.”
Dutch sighed. “Then we can take care of it one step at a time. I’m a manager, not a doctor. If someone was hurt or dying, I would be of fuck all use to you, sir.”