Ask and Ye Shall Reprieve
(Published in the December 2010 issue)
We all know someone like Chris Boyer: the eccentric at work that says outrageous things, but he’s
so honest and childlike, you love
Boyer doesn’t believe in Christmas, but he’ll
come to the parties. He’ll even get you a gift if he
draws your name at the office pool-and you’ll
never be disappointed, because if you like him,
you’ll like anything.
He’s one of my best friends of all time, yet
sometimes he drives me nuts. But, you know
something? It’s my own damn fault.
Allow me to share one of my favorite Chris
Boyer Christmas stories...
First, a little character background:
I have worked with Boyer since 1987, and
not one day has gone by since then that he’s
acted conventionally. I take that back. In 1994,
he acted conventionally for three straight days,
but that was only because he was attending a
convention at the time.
It was the 1994 Consumer Electronics Show
in Vegas, where, after a long day of fondling the
latest VCRs and Donkey Kongs, Boyer and his
Gadget Brigade went searching in vain for a strip
club some other tech-nerd had recommended.
The place was called The Boys and Girls Club
which sounds skeevy even by
After snagging the address
from the White Pages (a pre-
Internet search engine made
from paper products) dangling in
a telephone booth (an outdoor
glass closet once-upon-a-time
used for coin-op land-line calls),
Boyer and company loaded into a cab, their
black socks and pen-protectors chock full of
$1 bills. Nearly an hour later, after navigating
through a series of Vegas suburbs, they arrived at
their destination: an unlit facility surrounded by
a chain link fence and the faint whiff of chlorine.
Yes, these bozos had mistakenly taken their
jollies to an actual Boys and Girls Club.
Back to the Red Roof Inn for a late-night
consolation of vending machine Nutter Butters,
Diet Dr. Pepper and MST 3000 on the Zenith.
They were happy as clams. Why didn’t they
Like I say, eccentric.
Fast forward to a holiday party last year,
before which I called the hostess and asked if
she needed me to pick up anything on the way.
“The only thing I couldn’t find was Boyer’s
favorite beer, Beck’s Dark,” she said.
I said, “No problem, I’ll go to BevMo
and pick him up a six-pack-see you
BevMo is the United Nations of beer.
They carry 34,596 different brands of beer
from around the globe. All your favorites,
plus some of the more wildly obscure
brands like Burmese Lite, Darfurian Stout
and Siberian Summer Ale.
Guess what brand this BevMo didn’t
carry? Yep, Beck’s Dark.
I immediately dialed Boyer on
my phenomenal iPhone, which only
dropped the call thrice as I strolled down the
Ugandan beer aisle. Boyer didn’t answer. Thrice.
Left him a message: “Call back quick.”
He didn’t call back quick. I figured, screw it.
Why buy him some random beer he probably
won’t like anyway? “Let him drink out of the
toilet like his dogs,” I thought to myself with
As I get to my vehicle in the BevMo parking lot,
I receive a text from Boyer: “At lunch, wassup?”
“About to navigate out of jam-packed Mission
Valley parking lot empty-handed in a futile effort
to make you happy, you non-answering douche
bag,” I thought to myself, but instead replied,
“Never mind, buddy, see you tonight.”
Later that evening, tardy and gracious as
usual, Boyer was perfectly content with the
beverages on hand, charming one and all with
his good cheer and freshly unwadded Hawaiian
And there I was, gritting my teeth in his
direction for an unfulfilled favor attempt he
didn’t even ask for. He never asks a favor, yet is
always quick to offer one.
a backup and I joined him. His happiness made
me happy and I forgot all about my hostile
thoughts. I wish I could be more like him-
smile at the world and have a good time.
Imagine an atheist making someone act more
like Jesus. Miracles can happen, I suppose, if you
ask the right question:
What would Chris Boyer do?
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