The Adventures of Ogden: Man of the Suburb
September – Cafeteria Conversations

(The first of a new monthly series written by Jamsco and brought to you by the Responsible Puppet)

Ogden was in the corporate cafeteria at his workplace, reading “The Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. He was just finishing his slice of pizza (a regular Thursday ritual for him), when two older ladies sat at the table just behind him. They were in the middle of a conversation.

    “So my daughter Susan just rented that Robin Hood, Men in Tights, that Mel Gibson movie and she said didn’t like it. She said it was too silly and the attempts at humor were not funny.”
    “What?” thought Ogden. She was not speaking quietly and he didn’t have to eavesdrop to hear. “She must mean Mel Brooks.” He tried to ignore them and get back into his book.
    The other lady was puzzled “I thought that movie was more of an adventure and a romance. I don’t remember it as trying to be funny.”
    “Oh, I think you’re thinking of the other Robin Hood movie. The one with Kevin Co – , oh what was his name. Kevin Connery. That’s it.”
    “Kevin Costner,” whispered Ogden to himself, “Costner”
    “Kevin Connery? Isn’t that the guy who was James Bond?”
    “Yeah, I think so.”
    “But I didn’t think the Robin Hood guy had a very good British accent.”
    “That is strange. You’d think they’d pick a guy with a good accent for James Bond.”
 
    Ogden wasn’t aware that he we crumpling up the pages of his book as he listened.

    “Well, the last movie that I saw with Kevin Connery was that Indiana Jones movie. I think it was ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Evil Temple.’ or something like that. With Harrison Ford.”
    “Now Harrison would have a good British accent”
    “He would?” asked the other lady.
    “He would?” thought Ogden. He started to pick up his lunch.
    “Yeah. Well, wasn’t he one of the Beatles? You know, the peaceful one, or whatever?”
    “Oh, that’s right. He was the one who knew that other singer, who got them into drugs. Bob D-, What was his name?”
    “Bob Dylan!” whispered Ogden.
   “Bob Denver.” The lady said. “That’s it.”
   “No, Bob Dylan!” said Ogden somewhat out loud and with somewhat of an upset tone in his voice.
   “Excuse me?” asked the two ladies cheerfully, turning around to look at him.
 

   Ogden forced himself to smile as he turned around and he said, with as much pleasantness as he could muster, “It was Bob Dylan. Bob Denver played Gilligan.”
    “Oh,” said one of the ladies.
    “Oh.” said the other. “Well, thanks, obviously we didn’t know that. In fact, I didn’t even know that the Beatles were ever even on Gilligan’s Island.”
    Ogden bit his lip for a second. He stood up with his tray and said patiently and calmly, “No, the Beatles didn’t know Bob Denver, they knew Bob Dylan. And I think the Beatle you’re thinking about was George Harrison, not Harrison Ford.”
    “Oh, yes.” said the second lady.
    “Thanks for clearing that up for us,” said the other.
    “You’re welcome” said Ogden, anxious to leave, “Bye now.”

    As he left, Ogden noted Phil, a fellow departmental person, just now entering the cafeteria with his bag lunch.

    The two women watched as Ogden walked around the corner. When he was out of sight, they grinned at each other and then laughed. One of them looked at her watch. “That was pretty good. Less than 3 minutes. Should we try for two and a half?”
    “You bet!” whispered the other, seeing Phil sit down behind them. And then she said loudly “But if John Denver was on Gilligan’s Island, Why didn’t he sing more?”
    “What?” thought Phil.