ONLINE SOAP OPERA

A TALL DRINK OF WATER

It only happens twice a month, but it’s always an experience. With a phone call from the receptionist out front, I’m spurred into action, grabbing the small mirror and lip gloss I have stashed in my top drawer before hurrying out to the lobby. Other folks who’ve been in my shoes before have dreaded these calls, knowing they’ll have to come out of pocket because others involved in the deal have coughed up very few contributing funds. The last time I got the call, I was having a bad hair day and secretly cursed my hairdresser for canceling my appointment two days before due to illness. But I pulled out all of my resolve, telling myself that I could make a sacrifice and face the music even in a most unattractive state – it happened so infrequently, there was no way I could miss out. So I ended up taking the unrefined (or, some would say straight-up ghetto) route and quickly slicked my hair back into a tight bun with a mixture of lotion, Vaseline, and water. Then, lips shining, check book in hand, I made my way out to face him.

The water guy.

A man in uniform already does it for me. Throw in a nicely cut pair of shorts and a hefty water jug slung over his shoulder, and it’s over. The water guy is the sole reason why I became president, CEO, and chairwoman of the Buena Beach Recreation Division’s water club. It’s for him and him alone that I trudge up and down the aisles each month, shaking folks for their dollar bills (checks no longer accepted, thank you very much) and loose change so I don’t come up short on the bill.

“Oh, shoot. I don’t have change for a twenty,” someone will say.

“No, problem,” I’ll reply, pulling out my stash. “What’cha need? Four fives? A ten, five ones, and a five? Four twos, one one, two fives, and a Sacagawea dollar coin? What’s up?”

That’s right. A girl has to get a little crazy like those collections callers so she can represent when the water man comes. I’ve never wanted to show up one of our bi-monthly exchanges with that line I’m sure he hears from everyone else: “Is it okay if we pay you next time?” No, I always have to show up with money in hand, even if the check I scribble out and hand over to him is hot. The last time that happened, I had to get serious with people, threatening to step down from my position and hand the baton to someone else.

“Oh, please Diane. Don’t do that.”

“Why not? Do you want to run the water club?”

“No.”

“Then, hand over your five dollars, please.”

It’s not the kind of power most people strive for, but it works for me. Everyone else who’s been in charge of the water club has stepped down after a month or two of chasing after everyone’s paychecks. When I took over, I’d planned to quit myself until I learned that the old delivery man, Frank, had retired, replaced by a beautiful brown-skinned brother with light eyes, straight white teeth, and perfectly chiseled lips. If some of these other women knew of the perks that came along with this job, I’d probably gain an associate director or a secretary who’d want to help me with my bill payment duties. But they’d certainly have to wrestle me down and beat me to a pulp before I’d surrender my responsibilities.

I refuse to give up my tall glass of water, even if it only means I get refreshed a couple times a month.

Diane is (quite) a character on the online soap opera Buena Beach (www.buenabeach.com). Her weekly insights on what’s happening at the Beach are featured exclusively on Urban Thought Collective.


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Comments

September 5th, 2008 at 11:35 pm kamalp says:

U gurls r as bad as us i c!!!!!

September 5th, 2008 at 11:42 pm Very Veronica says:

Girl this had me rollin’! I feel you. Theres a parking attendant at the lot next to the place that I get my nails done who is FINE AS HELL. I COULD park at the meter but I DO spent 2 extra dollars to see his fine ass for a lil bit. We a mess!

September 6th, 2008 at 12:04 am farah says:

Yep Kamal. You know it.
Another funny blog Diane.

September 6th, 2008 at 6:10 am Elsa Harkins says:

Diane, you have so many adventures in your office, your job must be fun. Or you just have a good behind imagination. It is always a treat reading your blog. You need to to a book!

September 6th, 2008 at 7:49 am Prairie Gal says:

I really like your blog Buena Beach,

September 6th, 2008 at 10:20 am nicq says:

The water boy? lmao i thought women wanted a man with money! lol

September 6th, 2008 at 12:03 pm lilmamma86 says:

Girl I love me sum men in uniform…Unless they coming to arrest me OKAY LOL!!!!!!!!

September 6th, 2008 at 12:48 pm Vic Vargas says:

Perfect Saturday morning laugh. I been watching too much CNN. Thanks.

September 6th, 2008 at 1:17 pm Ed80 says:

- I can imagine this vividly -
“What’cha need? Four fives? A ten, five ones, and a five? Four twos, one one, two fives, and a Sacagawea dollar coin? What’s up?”
- Too funny - best line -

September 6th, 2008 at 2:48 pm Mr.Fantastic says:

Lol whoa…maybe I need to be a waterboy lol

September 6th, 2008 at 4:20 pm Chatty Cathy says:

Yea thats me starring on the homepage babay! LMAO! Thanks UTC.

September 6th, 2008 at 4:22 pm Chatty Cathy says:

If he’s that fine Diane I’ll be the associate director. LMAO :)

September 6th, 2008 at 5:20 pm Stoploss Sweetie says:

Dear Diane,
Which one on the picture are you? Your escapades are so crazy. I imagine you being the one in the front but am not sure. Anywayz I like your blog a lot.
SS

September 6th, 2008 at 7:47 pm Byron Black says:

i don’t have the habit of commenting on anything besides this site’s political social commentary. i am a junkie for news and opinion. howewver i do read this blog and find the writing solid. i had to post tonight because i delivered water for about 12 years in my twenties. i’ve run across a few “chairwomen of the water club” in my time. they brightened my day more than i ever could have brightened theirs. trust.

September 6th, 2008 at 8:19 pm Bella says:

Stoploss Sweetie ~ Yes she is the one in the front. I saw her on BuenaBeach site.

September 6th, 2008 at 10:24 pm RedRazor says:

LOLOLOL based on experience i have to agree the ladies do love a brotha in uniform & we love em back.

September 7th, 2008 at 1:46 am renep says:

We’ve all done the grease slick back at some point! Funny reading it here.

September 7th, 2008 at 8:34 am Furious Styles says:

I like you whoever you are

September 7th, 2008 at 11:04 am ratty says:

There IS something about that water slung over the shoulder HAHA!!!

September 7th, 2008 at 1:21 pm Jalisa Lareaux says:

Well allright ByronBlack. I think I got a little UTC crush goin on. :)

September 7th, 2008 at 2:47 pm Jane Kennedy says:

collect them ends to see your man girl! ROFL love this

September 7th, 2008 at 2:57 pm Diane Brown says:

I agree, Jalisa - maybe you could take us back and take a picture with your delivery-guy uniform, Mr. Black; you too, Mr. Fantastic

Chatty Cathy, the two of us would be out of control!!

Elsa, working on that book

Stoploss, Bella is correct - that’s me right up in the middle

September 7th, 2008 at 4:23 pm Sasha Fuller says:

Hi Diane, Your stories are always sassy but sweet and always funny and they usually make me smile. I just wanted you to know.

September 7th, 2008 at 4:36 pm pmatters says:

LMAO! This is so funny. Every week this has me cracking up.

September 7th, 2008 at 5:06 pm Camilla George says:

I cant explain why but its true the uniform adds that something special! hilarious

September 7th, 2008 at 5:26 pm Phillip Giddings says:

Momma was wrong. I should have been a water guy instead of wearing a suit everyday maybe I would get more action!

September 7th, 2008 at 7:08 pm thelma says:

Girl this is too funny
Sexy blue colla brotha’s holla!

September 7th, 2008 at 10:57 pm Jane Kennedy says:

Oh the stories I could tell!

September 8th, 2008 at 12:42 am Regina Holloway says:

Too cute

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