The Gum Bumper

He took a swig out of his mini pitcher of Miller Lite and let the beer in his mustache drizzle down his lip. He didn’t have a neck.
He said, “I don’t mean it in any racist kind of way or like I’m proud of it or nothing but white people are killers. And the thing is- we’re really good at it.”
Watching him drink from the mini pitcher was like watching a greedy fat kid with red high fructose corn syrupy juice in a sippy cup, sucking furiously and without rhythm.
“I got blonde hair and blue eyes, I know but, trust me, I’m a stone cold killer.” His laugh started slow like it was churning from the massive cauldron he called a belly and escaping through his nose and mouth into a super speed C sharp crackle.
We were sitting in the bar area of the restaurant where my boyfriend works, listening to Alice in Chains “Rooster” on the jukebox and being introduced for the first time.
“It’s very nice to meet you, Miss Pixie, my name is William Grace but everybody calls me good ol’ Willy G.”
Willy G’s reason for why he should get away with whatever he wanted was because he was white. His reason for why he could do everything better than anyone else could do it was also because he was white.
He sat closest to the jukebox, my guy in the middle of us and me on the opposite end. It felt like if my boyfriend had not been there, this dude just may have assaulted me in the parking lot only because he could get away with it or kicked my chair for no reason at least.
Willy was all arms and a thick stocky body, 5’8 & 225 lbs, with a huge strawberry head, that looked red and swollen. He kept saying how attractive he was compared to the rest of the bar patrons even though he was clearly drunk and rubbing what looked like a belly growing healthy twins.
“You know what time it is when somebody is feeling froggy? I don’t know if African Americans ever say froggy, you know what that means? Means that somebody will leap into some shit at any minute. I’m like that. I like to get froggy.”
I knew what it meant but I listened and acted surprised.
Every time a Sublime song came on the jukebox, Willy G stopped sharing his personal war stories and sang the lyrics to the song loudly and incorrectly, losing some of the words as he tried to drink and sing with the same brain.
“What chu mean I can’t drive, good? Girl, I’m white!” He was nearly yelling it now.
I found out much later in the evening, when my boyfriend and I were driving home that the dangerous Willy G lived in a trailer park. Not one of those nice ones, where the trailers actually look like normal homes in a regular neighborhood, no, he lived in one of those tragically comic ones, the scary ones with no grass that they show on television when they are mocking people like him. He told my boyfriend a while back that he was happy there in his tiny, sad trailer and that’s why he stayed.
“You know what a banjo minnow is? You know. That old toy they used to have in the 90’s that looked like a mounted fish but when you walked by it would dance and play banjo music. That’s what we call them girls who like girls in the South. Banjo minnows. Attracting all the other fish.”
Willy G grew up in California and moved to the East Side of Dayton and has lived a life of an outlaw biker and drug dealer… so far.
“Oh hell don’t matter to me, I’m white.” Good Ol Willy G chimed.
He told me stories about fighting when he was a kid, and getting his nose broken and how some “old school” African American man fixed it by putting a thumb on each side of his nostril and popping it back into place in a bar while it was covered in blood. He kept asking me if his nose was straight now. He knew that it wasn’t but he gave himself a pat on the back, again, for being so good looking, to himself. I didn’t know if the man was “old school” because he was willing to serve Willy G or if he was “old school” because of the southern accent he gave the man when he was imitating him for the conversation.
“ What chu mean I gotta go to jail? Puhleease, I’m white!” I’m sure I wasn’t the only terrified person in the bar by now between this comment and his blood curdling laugh.
Willy G has KAWB on his arm. If you ask him what it stands for he won’t hesitate to tell you that it means, Krazy ass white boy. I didn’t dare ask why he spelled Crazy with a K.
“You may not have known this….” He said when I came outside to the table where the guys were smoking cigarettes with a beer for me and my boyfriend, “But black dudes have it way worse than Black females.”
I was afraid to say “oh really” because I was certain he would follow it up with some horror story or “It don’t matter to me though, I’m white.” So I just coolly sipped my beer.
Willy G mentioned, more than once in that evening that he had a baseball bat, a straight razor, a .45 and brass knuckles in his vehicle. I counted about 10 times that he said it and gave up. But he had changed, which was the part that we didn’t seem to understand. He wasn’t a killer anymore, he confessed. His girl got him to straighten up. Being a dad changed everything too. So after he was randomly discharging his .45 into the air in his yard one night for no reason other than the fact that he was drunk beyond belief, before the cops came, his wife had picked up all of the shells.
“She’s a good girl,” he said mid belch.
He said that back in the day he used to gut punch a dude with cerebral palsy that he worked with and one time, just for fun, he hit the dude so hard in the side that the guy pissed blood for three days.
“I said I was sorry but, I wasn’t sorry.” Willy G told me. It reminded me of Flowers for Algernon.
I found out a little bit later that he was quite fond of banjo minnow chicks but it was important that if you were going to date one that you remembered to always keep your eye on them, as he warned by boyfriend because even when you are fucking another “bitch” they want all the eye contact. Banjo minnows would make going to the strip club, amazing, he said, and nudged my guy.
” Never make a banjo minnow make you think you like someone else more than her though, it will ruin everything.” was his advice to us.
“When I used to sell booger sugar I used to wear a military issue flax jacket and on top of that a police grade bullet proof vest. I tried to buy some grenades from some Aryan Brotherhood dudes but they wouldn’t sell me any because I wouldn’t join their cause. They operated on hate. Me? I operated on money.”
We didn’t do much the entire evening but listen to Willy try and talk and sing and laugh. He was very fond of my boyfriend because they had worked together many years ago and my boyfriend would always try to get Willy G a job wherever he was whenever he could. Because of that, Willy vowed to protect my boyfriend from any kind of harm, from anyone. It was a good thing he was on our side but for a split second I felt like I was included in the list of people who would catch hell if I ended up on the wrong side of his friendship.
Willy G talked and talked. Mostly gloating and interspersed song ruining and laughing at the fact that his whiteness was akin to godliness and it had saved his hide many a time.
But I remembered that the real gangsters, the real scary dudes, the actual killers… don’t do a lot of gum bumping.
Gum bumping? I was starting to sound like him in my own mind! And suddenly, I was no longer afraid.
Instantly Willy G looked like a lost little chubby cartoon boy, crying inside at his misfortunes and desperately needing a hug to help give him the courage to shoo his demons away but when it came out it sounded more like a threat than the whine that it was. He had become one of those tiny yelping dogs that bark insanely because well, that’s all they’ve got.
If I hadn’t interrupted him he would have chatted himself up until dawn, poor thing.
It was late, we had paid too much for beer and I needed to pee. So finally I piped up to my boyfriend, “I’d like to go suck your dick now.” It was a strategic statement.
Willy G blushed like a virginal school girl and even let out a tiny giggle. But surprisingly he had nothing more to say. He stood up, blinking furiously and let us know that his wife was going to get after him, if he didn’t get home soon.


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