Friday, December 30, 2005

When O.J. stopped by for dinner

The day was turning to dusk when the black Hummer limo pulled into my driveway. Looking through the kitchen window, I had no idea who it might be. I wasn't expecting anyone. But who was it? Surely the Jahoveh's Witnesses haven't upgraded from walking to Hummers. After the limo pulled to a stop, I watched as a neverending stream of people stepped out. It was like an entourage. A posse. And then, a tall, familiar figure got out and began walking to my door. "Oh my God," I thought. "It's the Juice."

My brain began to osilate between answering the door and hiding in the laundry closet. Afterall, O.J. Simpson is rumored to have a checkered past when it comes to ringing doorbells. Wahdoidowhadoidowahdoido? ok...Ok...OK...huuuuuuh...oh boy. I took a deep breath and walked to the door. Maybe O.J. is just stopping by to say hi. Or maybe he wants to see if he still has the touch. As I opened the door, and saw the former running back with 20 people in black suits and sunglasses standing behind him, he smiled.

O.J.: "Hey, how are you? I'm O.J. Simpson. We got lost and we're hungry. Could we come in for dinner?"
Me: "Wha..."
O.J.: "Thanks!"

And as The Juice and his posse filed past me, my brain was flatlining. I don't even know how to cook! When I walked back inside, I asked O.J. what he wanted to eat. He replied, "Steak. And lots of it." When I said I don't have any steak, he said, "I thought so," and then snapped his fingers to one of his posse members who walked out to the Hummer limo. Returning with is arms full of steak, the man said no words as he walked to my grill and began cooking.

O.J. stood in my kitchen noding his head and staring contently. When I approached to speak to him, he said, "I know what you're going to ask. Why is O.J. Simpson standing in your kitchen with 20 other people. It's not something you see everyday, I know. But you must understand that I am in the middle of a very important task. I must find who killed Nicole and Ronald Goldman. If it takes a lifetime, so be it. Your town is the latest stop on my worldwide tour. No city, town, hamlet, village or dwelling will be spared. Consider me a modern day Genghis Kham without the pillaging and killing. Well, I will pillage if need be, but I don't want to kill anyone. I want to find the killers. I think the steaks are ready now, son. Say, do you have any A-1?"

After I pointed to the refrigerator, he patted me on the back and walked away. Previously, the thought of O.J. Simpson patting me on the back was a terrifying thought. Now I understood the pain the man lived with everyday. He had a mission. An impossible one. He had to find the killer. And I was going to help him.

Sitting down to eat, O.J. talked to no end on many subjects. How he wished he hadn't left the Buffalo Bills for his last two seasons. How never winning a Super Bowl still frustrates him. How Leslie Neilson is the most underappreciated actor of our time and the "Naked Gun" series has never been fully embrased by the American public. "It's better than three-fourths the crap made today," he said. And, man, he ate a lot of steak.

When dinner was over, we did not bother with cleaning the dishes. I would not be here again. The dishes did not matter. What did matter was my new purpose in life. It is a strange feeling when you abandon your world for something completely new. But when it is an existence as noble as helping an accused and acquitted man find the real killer, it is a worthwhile life to live.

Maybe one day we will find who committed the evil crime. Or maybe we won't. Either way, at least we will have tried. And as O.J. and I walked to his Hummer limo that night, the look in his eye told me that together, we will succeed.


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