My best pal is Chris Fulaytar, aka Wookiee, and he turns 32 Friday (which, for most of you is today). I actually have a couple of people I could classify as "my best friend", that being Michael Nipp (who also has a birthday on Friday) or Ty Coffey, but my friendship with The Wook goes back to 1993... 13 long years.
We met in the midst of Dr. Padgett's journalism 101 class in the fall of 1993, then became friends when we realized our respective chicks were living across from each other in Hamil Hall. I was with Katherine "The Freak" Gates (she was normal until she met Mike Dunn, origin of The Mike Dunn Hypothesis) and he was dating The Wench.
Anyway, I saw him through two bouts with The Wench, Martine Moore and other girls he went out with... he saw me through The Freak, Heather Howell, Julie Echols, Julie Haynes, Melanie Jackson, Jennifer Mullins, Amy Wible, Amy Worthy, Chrissy Bullock, Melissa Stanley and a few others I cna't think of at this late hour.
We were in FarmHouse together, and were roommates from the summer of 1994 up until July of 1998 when he moved to Hazelhearst, GA, to teach... then moved back to Wetumpka, AL, then ended up on our couch at The Deuce two different summers, before being the best man in my wedding in 2004, and finally selling his house and moving to Gardendale--with his new lovely wife, Gina (I was honored to be the best man in his).
Its kinda fun because back in the day, maybe ten years ago, I told him he'd be my best man. And of course, over the course of a 13 year friendship, there will be lots and lots of laughter along the way.
And I'd like to give my Top 8 Funniest Things Wookiee Ever Said. (It was a Top 10 list, but I lost it, and I can only remember 8...)
8) Broken Explorer
So Wookiee just got his new Explorer, a big step up from his Bandit-style white t-top Trans-Am. I climb in the passenger seat for the first time as he drives around, showing me the fun it can bring. I reach up to lower the visor and the clip that holds the visor in place falls off into my lap. Wookiee just looks at me, frowns and says, "Dude... you broke my car, man." Gosh that was funny.
7) Body Rush
Driving somewhere, I don't remember, was myself, Wookiee and Elisabeth Malphrus. The immortal Jann Arden came on the radio with her one hit wonder, "Insensative". When the line "...how do you numb the skin, after the warmest touch, how you slow your blood after the body rush..."From out of nowhere, Wookiee goes "Yeees, body rush". Cracked me the heck up.
6) The Rat
I came home one evening to change clothes, as I was going on a late night venture with some friends. Wookiee was in the corner of his bed, which was next to the wall, playing a video game. I asked what was up. He deadpans, "Dude, there's a rat in here." I laughed and left. When I came back, probably around 3am or so, several hours later, he was in the same position, playing the same game. He said, "Dude, I hate rats. I'm not putting my feet down." (He later went out and bought about a dozen rat poison things, put them all over the apartment--the rat died behind our stove and smelled really, really bad.)
5) Hardee's Pizza
On our way to Six Flags from Troy, it was myself, Allyson Guy, Martine Moore, Tara Powell and Wookiee. We are all at Hardee's, getting breakfast and such, and for whatever reason, mine was taking an extra long time to get ready. So, Allyson, Martine, Tara and Wookiee are all crowded around the front door waiting on me, when Wookiee shouts across the restaurant, "Dude... what'd you order? A pizza?"
4) Fruit Wheels
So, I'm a brand name kind of guy. I buy Coke. Wookiee buys Dr. Thunder. I buy Head & Shoulders. Wookiee buys Southern Home Hair Foam. I buy Fruit Loops. Wookiee buys Fruit Wheels. One late night, shopping at Winn Dixie, we are both standing on the cereal aisle, and I'm figuring out the best deal between "Buy 2 Raisin Bran, save $1.00" and Corn Chex on sale for $2.89. Suddenly, down the aisle, Wookiee has this look of sheer glee in his eyes. His whole face lights up, as if you told him the Cubs, the Bears and the Auburn Tigers had just won their respective national championships... he reaches his hands out, pulls back a big red box and says, "Hey Dave! Fruit Wheels twin pack!" Perhaps it was more the look on his face than what he said, but it made me laugh so hard I had to sit in the aisle doubled over.
3) Stupid kids
Shawn, Michael, Tom, myself and Wookiee were all hanging out at The Deuce, discussing how we can make life miserable enough for the DeRamii Clan downstairs, miserable enough so they'll move and we can lease that apartment too, having a Deuce Deuce.
Shawn, who works Bellsouth, says "I'll cut their phones off."
Tom, working for Napa, says "I'll break their cars down".
I, working for a radio station, say "I'll make their radio stations crappy!"
Michael, working for Compass Bank, says "I'll screw up their banking."
And finally, Wookiee, who is a teacher, pipes up "And I'll make their kids stupid!"
2) George Bush
If you've ever heard myself, Stephanie, Ty, Michael, Shawn or any number of Deuce people say the word "Yes" before we say something fun, such as seeing Whataburger in Mobile might make me say "Yes, Whataburger!" or hearing the Carpenters on the radio might make Steph say "Yes, the Carpenters!" Well, one day, when Wookiee & I shared a bedroom in our first apartment, we were both lounging in our beds on a lazy Saturday. I was half asleep, and former president George Bush came on tv. Wookiee piped up "Yes, George Bush". I laughed hysterically. And a phrase was born.
And finally, one that will go down as one of the funniest things I've EVER heard from anyone, the Wookiee #1.
1) The Shower Curtain
In our apartment in Thomas Circle in Troy, the vent in our shared bathroom was a bit weird. When it was on, and you were in the shower, the curtain tended to fly in on you. Quite a weird phenomena. I actually thought it was just me, but one day, Wookiee opens my bedroom door. Standing there, dripping wet, towel wrapped around him, he looks at me with the seriousness of someone who had cancer, he says, "Dave? When you are in the shower... does the shower curtain ever, like... attack you?" I think about it now, and I crack up (like I'm doing right now).
And there's the list. Happy Birthday, Wook-Fu. To quote Ronnie Milsap, "...what a difference you made in my life... what a difference you made in my life... you're my sunshie late at night... oh what a difference you made... in my life..."