Tatter Taylor Professional Visitor
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Charles H Mercer
You look like a nice person, do you live around here?
I wish I could tell you where I live, but I can't, nope, I can't even tell you my name.
Have to keep real hush hush; it's all on account of a fellow named Tatter Taylor.
Wait, let me tell you what happened.
You see, it all began on a hot July afternoon.
Did you ever have one of those friends that comes to visit you for a weekend, and then stays for six months?
Or maybe a friend who eats you out of house and home?
Or even an overbearing friend who tries to take over your life?
Well Tatter Taylor was all this and more.
For these reasons you might imagine, I was not too happy when my doorbell rang one evening and there stood Tatter Taylor; big, fat, and carrying two huge suitcases.
"Happened to be in town, thought I'd drop by for a short visit." Tatter said.
He gave me a big smile, winked and pushed his way past me and into the house.
"Whew! It's been really hot today; you wouldn't have a soft drink around would you?"
Tatter made his way uninvited to the fridge, opened it and helped himself to my last large bottle of cold soda.
"Hey!" I yelled, "I was saving that for later."
"Now don't get yourself all worked up over a soda." Tatter said as he drained the last of the drink, "Remember your blood pressure."
He pointed to the suitcases on the floor by the door, and said, "Be a sport and take care of these for me will you? I'll see if I can put myself together a little snack while you're gone,
You don't mind do you? I'm famished, haven't eaten since five."
I looked at my watch, it was six thirty, Yep, Tatter Taylor had come to visit, and needless to say, Tatter stayed, and stayed, and stayed, no matter how many times I hinted that he should leave.
My food bill was going through the roof, he left a mess behind him everywhere he went and never made any effort to pick up after himself.
He slept until noon and stayed up until all hours of the night watching television, or playing music, which he had the habit of singing along with, loudly and off key, in addition to eating nonstop!
I was losing my mind, I just couldn't take it any longer and he had been here more than five weeks already.
This was serious; I had to get Tatter out of my house.
One day, in desperation, I called some of my friends and we all agreed to meet at my friend George's house later that night.
The topic of discussion was, of course, how to get Tatter to leave my house and not show up at one of theirs.
After a while we came up with what we thought was a daring and somewhat foolhardy plan. There were two peculiar things about Tatter, one, it seemed like no matter what kind of mess he got into, he always managed to come out on top, like karma or something, and two, he was a chronic sleepwalker.
Our brilliant plan was to use this last trait to our advantage.
We would convince Tatter that he had entered a contest while he was asleep, and then we would arrange for him to win the fake contest.
The catch would be, he would need to go to Los Angeles to claim his prize.
It would be a cruel joke, but I was desperate.
Fortunately George had a long-time friend who lived in Los Angeles, and he would ask him to send the telegram to Tatter notifying him that he had won.
"What do you think he'll do when he finds out there's no contest?" asked George.
"I guess he'll be pretty mad, but what can he do, he will be in Los Angeles and far away from us. And I will be rid of him!"
The next day, when Tatter got up, I said to him, "Tatter, I saw that contest entry form you filled out last night and I went ahead and mailed it in for you."
Tatter scratched his head and yawned. "Contest, what contest?
"I don't know" I lied, "The form was lying here on the table and all filled out, so I figured you wanted to enter."
Tatter looked at me through half opened sleep filled eyes and said, "I don't remember joining any contest, what was it for?"
I said with fake surprise, "Wow, you must have been sleepwalking again, and filled it out in your sleep, anyway it was for a one week all-expense paid vacation to Hawaii.
I thought you wanted to enter so I mailed it, sorry."
Tatter shrugged and downed the last of a litre of milk, wiping his mouth on his bathrobe sleeve he said, "Don't worry about it, no harm done, I might even win."
I endured another week of Tatter's abuse waiting for the day the telegram would arrive.
Sure enough, one week later Tatter got the notification.
'To Mr. Tatter Taylor', it read, 'this is to inform you that you are the grand prize winner of an all-expense paid vacation for one to the island paradise of Hawaii.
Please come as soon as possible to the address below and claim your prize.'
George's friend had included the name of a local travel agency as the place to claim the prize.
Tatter, who, as always was a little short on cash, wanted to borrow enough from me to buy a one way ticket to Los Angeles.
Of course I gave it to him.
So it cost me a little, but it was worth it to be shed of Tatter.
The next afternoon, Tatter, his suitcases and I, left for the airport.
I didn't breathe a sigh of relief until I saw his plane lift off and disappear into the distance.
I called my friend George and said, "We did it, he's on the plane and gone, and it's all thanks to you."
George said, "Yeah, but if he comes back here all mad and stuff I'm putting all the blame on you."
Almost a week went by without a word from Tatter, and then I got a letter from him in the mail.
I opened it nervously, wondering what he would have to say about the terrible prank we played on him.
Inside was a picture of Tatter, standing between two beautiful Hawaiian girls.
He wrote, having lots of fun here in Hawaii, strange story though, I went to the travel agency and they didn't know anything about me winning any contest!
I was standing outside the place and I thought, there must be some mistake, so I turned around and when I walked back in, would you believe it?
I was their one millionth customer, and as such, had just won a two week all-expense paid vacation to Hawaii!
So here I am, fun in the sun, luaus at night, party, party, party, but don't worry old buddy, my dearest friend, I won't forget about you, I'll come back and visit you again next year.
Oh, and I think I left a pair of socks under the bed, could you be a pal, wash them and send them to me?
Your friend, Tatter Taylor.
I thought to myself, I don't believe it, he's done it again, fell into a mess and came out on top! Only one thing left for me to do, sell the house and move away,
Don't tell anyone where I'm going and leave no forwarding address, may even change my name.
That may seem a little drastic to you, but then, you've never had a visit from Tatter Taylor!
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