Friday, April 17, 2009

The Velvet Bow

I used to work for a completely insane, drugged up, brilliantly talented dog groomer named Dave.

My friend Billy worked for him first. Then, Billy went to jail for drugs and Dave was without an assistant. Billy knew I had just gotten canned from my job (I was late every day for a year and a half. Oops.) and told Dave that he should ask me if I wanted to replace him.

So there I am, sitting in my living room, smoking the reefer and wondering how I'm going to afford next month's rent when Dave walks in. Just waltzed right into my house and introduced himself.

I knew who he was through Billy, but we had never met.

It was kind of funny to me that he didn't knock or think to at least stop in the doorway for a quick "yoohoo" before strolling in, but it wasn't uncommon. My home was a welcoming place at the time. The door was never locked and I often found friends hanging out at my place when I returned from wherever I was. It's not like I had anything to steal when I was that young, in my first apartment.

Back to Dave- he told me that he needed me to come work for him. He'd train me and I could schedule grooming appointments around MY schedule- he was flexible. Wow, what a great deal! No job search. No filling out applications. No driving to work even- he was a few blocks away.

I ended up working for Dave at the Velvet bow for about 9 months. Over that time, he got more and more strange, but he still paid me and I learned a lot about dogs and grooming, so I didn't mind much. The benefits were great too- he'd leave a pipe full of reefer in the bathroom for me, with instructions to turn the fan on in there to smoke so customers wouldn't smell it. AND he'd always leave a 6-pack of beer in the fridge and encourage me to have some throughout the day.

Things started to fall apart between Dave and his very straight & narrow wife and he started to have trouble with the law- something about the sherrifs getting pissed at Dave for shooting his rifle on his acreage late at night. He liked to do target practice in the dark.

He stopped showing up to work when I had appointments booked for him and I certainly wasn't about to try the super fancy cuts that he did on the dogs I booked for him, so we lost a lot of customers and I wasn't making as much money, and I left. On good terms though, no hard feelings.

I guess he and his wife broke up and he continued to get weirder- he showed up at the bar where my sister worked about a year after I left. He was wearing a bathrobe and was rolling on the floor. They asked him to leave and he did, but not before inquiring about how I was doing. That was an awkward call from my sister for sure.

I drove by the Velvet Bow shop last time I was in town and saw that it's now a massage studio. I was kind of sad to see the old place go.


Rassles said...

I groomed dogs at a place called "Groomingdales" for thirteen days. I walked out on the middle of a shift.

The owner was a righteous bitch.

sista #2 said...

I love your stories.
He was rolling around on the floor in a robe? LOL


theideaofprogress said...

I'd like to think that he owns and operates that massage parlor.

TC said...

Makes you wonder if he got his life straightened out at all, or if he's still hanging out in bathrobes in random bars.

gullybogan said...

When you shave a poodle, and the hair grows back, does it itch like crazy?

Maybe that's what happened to Dave. Maybe he started spending a lot of time in dressing gowns, secretly shaving his body hair into experimental poodle cuts, and then it got all scratchy and drove him nuts.

Although possibly not...

The Ambiguous Blob said...

Rassles, Was 13 days long enough to learn to drink beneath the hair in your coffee/tea/water? I think I learned after about a month.

Sista, He was indeed. And I wasn't even surprised to hear it.

Bad Boy the Idea of Progress, I'd be afraid of the stories his customers would leave with.

TC, I can't imagine him sane.

Gully, he probably spent enough time around dogs to actually turn into one!

O.G. said...

That was a great story. Owning a bathrobe in the first place puts a check in the crazy column...but to wear it out of the house is a whole other thing.