Lunch With Otis

My annual trek down to the seafood festival yesterday turned out to be something else. I met Otis.

Otis was walking away from the festival and I was walking to it. From a distance, I could see that this guy has something going on. I mean, aside from the bright red hat and umbrella. Curiosity getting the best of me, I had to stop and talk to him.

He let me take his picture then we talked. Knowing that I wanted to use his picture in my blog, I wanted to get his name right. And having nothing to write on or with, I pulled out my wizbang iPhone and recorded his name in the voice recorder. What followed was not what I expected.

Turns out he was just looking around. Asked if he had any of the seafood there he said no, he didn’t have any money. Upon which I instituted my own stimulus program. He accepted my offer to buy him lunch. He had calamari for the first time, some crawfish pie, and an adult beverage in a can. I ate the same, except for the beer. I’m not a big beer drinker.

I didn’t talk about politics with him, on purpose. We seemed to enjoy each others company and I didn’t want to do something that might have spoiled that chance encounter. I mean, it just didn’t seem the time or place to discuss liberal v conservative politics, or to point out that people like President Obama think that I hate black people and poor people because I consider myself allied with the tea party movement.

Lunch with Otis audio


  • Ross: Otis Womak, works at the Coffee Cup restaurant. Are you a cook?
  • Otis: A dish washer.
  • Ross: A dish washer, oh, outstanding.
  • Otis: I was dishes. I {unintelligible) work there for six and a half years. I came over to see my momma and daddy in the nursing home. So I ran down here to some, ya know ….
  • Ross: Get a little seafood?
  • Otis: Yeah. No I didn’t get no seafood I had no money.
  • Ross: Oh man.
  • Otis: I’m broke, today. So I go over there (unintelligible)
  • Ross: Ya wanna go eat some seafood?
  • Otis: Huh!
  • Ross: Come on with me.

It all worked out just fine. I’m satisfied in knowing that we both had a good meal and some fellowship from complete strangers. I gave him a ride home and called it a day.