If Judd Hirsch Were My Best Friend

“Judd, that Junior Bacon Cheeseburger, there’s only one bite out of it, are you going to finish it or what?” I asked.

Judd Hirsch was my best friend. He’s a lot older than I am, but age isn’t important when you both love the Everyday Value Menu at Wendy’s.  He looked up from his chicken nuggets, “Touch it and lose your hand.”

I looked from my hand to the JBC and then back again. Hand or Junior Bacon Cheeseburger? Quite the dilemma. I guess it’s easier to purchase another JBC than a new hand. Well, it is for me anyway. I don’t have a hand guy.

I scanned my surroundings. I always enjoyed how Wendy’s had carpets. Not many fast food joints had carpets. I think the intention was to appear classier. They must think their clientele are pretty dumb.

I straightened my tie, dabbed the ketchup off my chin with a serviette and sprinkled some black pepper on my Value Fries. Meanwhile, the chefs worked diligently behind the counter, creating reasonably priced masterpiece after reasonably priced masterpiece.

I was out of money and still hungry. I eyed Judd’s JBC again and took a sip of my frosty. “Hey Judd, when they cancelled Dear John, did they, you know, write you a Dear John letter?”

Judd rolled his eyes and shook his head as if to say, you’re a moron.

“Did it say, ‘Dear John, by the time you read these lines, this show will be gone’?”

I could see Judd angrily crushing the life out of his Sour Cream and Chive Potato. The sour cream oozed out from between his fingers. Who gets baked potato AND fries? Potato much, Judd? Geez. You know, the fact Wendy’s offered baked potatoes was another effort to separate themselves from the rest of the fast food chains. Hey Wendy’s, we’re not imbeciles. We know this is fast food. Duh.

Judd took a deep breath and cleaned the potato from his hands. “The cancellation of Dear John was a rough time for me. I’d appreciate if you didn’t joke about it.”

I raised my hands to show I was no longer a threat. “Sorry, won’t happen again. Looks like you’ve got yourself some mashed potato there now Juddaroo.”

He smiled, I smiled. Our meal resumed peacefully. Best friends, right?

I wasn’t going to bother him anymore, but I saw how he was eating everything besides the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger he knew I coveted. I also noticed Judd was dressed way too casually. Did he think this was McDonald’s or something? Did he not see the carpet on the floor and remnants of baked potato caked between his fingers? The hell with this. I went back on the attack.

“Juddster, remember when you use to wear ridiculous sweaters? Were you trying to be like Billy Cosby? Did you seriously think you could be like Billy C?” Left, right, uppercut. Judd was going down.

A confused look spread over Judd’s face. I wasn’t surprised, the dude is almost 80. “I’m not sure what sweaters you’re referring to, but I never tried to be like Bill Cosby. Never.”

I reached into the inside pocket of my tuxedo and pulled out a picture. “You don’t think this is a Bill Cosby sweater?”

Judd was speechless.

“I showed you. So Judds, when Taxi was taken off the air, did you leave the set by–here it comes–taxi?”

Judd dropped the tortilla chip from his Chili Cheese Nachos. “Why are you torturing me?”

“Why aren’t you eating your JBC? Listen Hirschy’s kiss, let’s make a truce. Put this behind us. Done. Truced. So tell me about Kirk from Dear John. You can’t look that much like a pedophile and not be at least somewhat creepy in real life. Was he creepy?” I held up a picture of Kirk that I’d been carrying for such an occasion.

“I know what he looks like. We worked together for years. He’s a good friend of mine and not creepy at all.” Judd was gritting his teeth. When you’re as old as Judd, gritting your teeth could lead to some serious dental problems.

“Juddsy, I’ve seen rabid, snarling wolves that looked friendlier than you do right now. Relax man,” I held up my chocolate shake, “stay frosty.”

Judd stood up. “Enough of this. Our friendship is done. I’m outta here.”

He started to walk away, his Junior Bacon Cheeseburger was soon to be mine. I took one last jab, “If you’re leaving, the least you can do is write me a Dear John letter.” My Dear John jokes were clearly limited, but I love me some bad jokes.

Judd stopped dead in his tracks, turned around and stomped angrily across the beautiful floral carpet back to the booth. He then proceeded to take a pen from his pocket, a homicidal smile crept across his face.

“Uh, what’s up Judd?” I asked nervously.

He picked up the JBC and began to write on the bun. He read aloud as his pen tore through the bun, “Dear John, by the time you read these lines, I’ll be gone. Asshole.”

Upon finishing the letter he smashed the burger onto the table. If buns made for a good writing surface, kids in school would be taking notes on baguettes instead of lined paper, but that’s not the case so Judd just ended up destroying the burger all together. I didn’t dare tell him the lines were illegible, and because he had already read them aloud, reading them just seemed redundant.

I looked around, waiting for Judd to be escorted out by the Maître d’, but Judd saw himself out. Judd was gone, the JBC was ruined. Had I gone too far?

I reached into my pocket to find some tip money and found a couple of dollars hidden deep within my pocket. Looks like I could afford another JBC after all. Man, Judd is going to laugh when he hears about this.

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