The other day I ran into an old friend from high school. I usually run into him once a year, often in a place I don’t normally stop at. A few days ago I ran into him at a convenience store that I used to walk to when I was a child. It had been years since I was last there. It just so happened that when I opened the door, he greeted me in the way we used to greeted each other regularly. He got me first this time. “Yer Dead!”
It started in Math 11. Whoever was in class first waited to yell out at the other one. After high school if we saw each other at a party, the same greeting would ensue. Sometimes one of us would yell it out in anger and point and rush the other one. I’m pretty sure people figured out after a few parties that we were friends.
When I first started working at the movie theater in 1999, we used to be assigned to do the “Front of House”. On a busy Friday or Saturday night, a staff member would be scheduled to go from auditorium to auditorium and announce the film. I loved this job. I got heckled sometimes but was fairly quick with a retort that was G rated. One evening, I saw my friend enter a show moments before I had to go in. He never saw me. I walked in a short time after him and began my spiel. He was still looking for a seat when I called out in the microphone, “And Don… Yer Dead!” It was a pretty good mic drop moment in my mind.
Last year he got me at the A&W. I never eat at the restaurant, but was wandering in on my way the another store because one of kids needed a restroom break. The lobby of the fast food place wasn’t super crowded, but when he yelled at me, everyone stopped to see what was going on.
It’s an interesting way to greet an old friend. Even after 20+ years we still do it. I’m glad that we have this to go on. It brings back a flurry of memories between us. We usually take a moment or two to talk about life before heading our separate directions. We don’t call or text, that’s not what our friendship is.
I wouldn’t change it for any reason. It’s perfect in its own way. Hopefully next time, I’ll get him first.