Blog: Troy and Mindy

Burt Ross

There we were before Covid-19 struck, just the two of us, smoking our stogies at the Malibu Cigar Lounge. Gary Busey was reminiscing about the time he was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of the great Buddy Holly, and I was recalling the time when I was nominated to be president of my freshman class in high school. 

Gary did not win the Oscar, but I was elected class president. Some people might argue that being nominated for an Oscar is a greater accomplishment than being elected class president, but I am certainly not one to take that position.

Just as we were walking down memory lane full throttle, a couple entered the store. It turned out they were half siblings who shared a common father who had recently died and whose ashes they were spreading around Malibu, a place of special meaning for their father.    

They introduced themselves as Troy and Mindy (no relationship to Mork and Mindy). Both were equally outgoing with an easy smile and laugh. Mindy lived in Ventura, but Troy had moved to the outskirts of Chicago three years ago when his job relocated. 

At first blush they seemed perfectly normal, if there is such a thing anymore. That is when Troy revealed his true self. “I really love the midwest,” he declared. I was naturally quite curious, “Why?” I asked.  His answer took me by complete surprise, “When I was in Indiana I bought myself a shovel. I love to shovel snow,” he explained.

There are times when I don’t fully understand what I am hearing, and this most assuredly was one of those times. “Let me get this right,” I said to my new found friend, “You love the Midwest because you can shovel snow?” I asked with more than a bit of skepticism in my voice. “That’s right,” Troy explained as both he and Mindy laughed.

I could not help myself and asked Mindy when she first realized that her half brother was suffering from a serious mental condition. I think I referred to his condition as “nuts.”

You my reader should understand that I believe any person who likes snow for any reason including to ski upon is certifiably “nuts.” Having spent my first 68 years on the East Coast before arriving here in paradise, I had more than my fill of the white stuff.

Troy was not even the slightest bit defensive, “Yes, I love snow. Can’t get enough of it.” I thought a minute and then offered Troy what I thought was a positive suggestion, “Have you seen the movie “Fargo?”  Troy had. “Then for you to be entirely happy the rest of your life, you might want to move to North Dakota.” Both Troy and Mindy laughed, and as they left the cigar lounge, I had the distinct feeling that Troy was seriously considering my suggestion.