Guest Columnist - John Ropa
Posted: February 5, 2016
I am very reluctant to do what I now must do. I have to introduce you to Charley, the most ornery, obnoxious man I have ever met. Charley had seasonal affective disorder in each of the four seasons. He laughed only at wakes, funerals, emergency rooms and while he motored along at 35 miles per hour in the passing lane on the Beltway. With each day, Charley disproved the adage that "there is something good in everyone". Quite simply, Charles is a man you'd never want to meet.
In spring, Charley was the Johnny onion seed of garlic mustard, a nasty invasive which is virtually impossible to remove. Late at night, Charley would sneak through neighborhood gardens, placing the seeds carefully where the plants would be exceptionally hard to eradicate.
He spent much of the summer harboring Japanese beetles and planting things, like cherry trees, that would bring more beetles into the area. His favorite song was Tom Lehrer's "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" and he followed the instructions to the letter, also hoping to get a sparrow or two. Whenever he encountered someone fishing in the local waters, he would proceed to throw rocks into the pond, usually for an hour or until the fishermen left.
Charley didn't believe in anything, let alone Santa Claus, but just in case, every Christmas Eve he built a huge fire in his fireplace, and sure enough, on Christmas morning, the plate of crackers and the six pack were still where he had placed them.
He never married, nor did he ever even have a date. The LGBT group, as well as the entire straight community, rejected him. These rejections didn't bother him; rather, they reinforced his misanthropic approach to everyone. Some left wing, newer dictionaries use his name as the definition for misogynist. Charley's only distinguishing feature were enlarged nostrils cause by his incessant nose picking.
The local constabulary followed him on occasion, hoping to catch him in some pedophile act, but they were never successful because, like everything else, Charley hated kids.
If he ate at a restaurant, his tip, if any at all, rarely exceeded one percent.
Finally, you can imagine how dumbfounded I was when society named a day after Charley Valentine.
John Ropa is a retired executive with Abbott Laboratories. He wrote a book, entitled "The Non-Product Consolidation Operation", published by Xlibris Corporation. (1-888-7-XLIBRIS)