This is a combined story effort between Jake Rivers and me (DG Hear). Carl Smith has two great songs that are complete opposites in their story lines: "Hey, Joe" and "Back Up, Buddy"
Hey, Joe! is the story of a guy that wants his buddy's girl. Back Up, Buddy is the story of a man telling his buddy to leave his girl alone. We thought it would be interesting for readers to see these stories at the same time by two different authors. We have no idea what the other is writing.
Back Up, Buddy
Back up, buddy, don't you come any closer,
I know you want her but the answer is no, sir
Back up, buddy, don't you come any closer,
she's mine all mine.
Though we've been the best of friends
This is where our friendship ends
I gotta have that dolly for my own.
It all began years ago when I was in my senior year of high school. There wasn't anything special about me. I was one of those 'one in a thousand' you see in a crowd. I wasn't an athlete, even though I played sports like most guys. I ran on a cross-country team and a couple of the relays on our track team. I wasn't one of those 'stand-out in a crowd' sort of guys. I was just an every day Joe, except my parents called me Joseph. Even that doesn't sound very macho.
I really didn't date much but went out with groups of people. I enjoyed my life and my friends. I hated homework, I wasn't the smartest kid in the class, but I wasn't the dumbest either. As I said, I was one of those kids like most of us that was in the middle of the pack.
Late in my senior year we had some new neighbors move in next door. They had a daughter, Gloria, who was a junior. They moved here from Kentucky. She looked like a southern doll and had the cutest accent. I later found out she had a married sister and two brothers who were in college. It was over a year before I met any of her siblings. Of course she was the baby of the family. Her family came over to meet my family and we had a cookout. I couldn't take my eyes off of her.
I remember my dad saying that maybe I could show Gloria around the school so she could get acquainted. Man, was I happy with that statement. I'd love to be able to show her around.
On the next day of school we walked together; it was about a mile. I hated waiting around for the stupid bus. I preferred to walk. Gloria was so down to earth. My dad was born in Kentucky and told me that Kentuckians were some of the friendliest people. If they were all like Gloria, my dad was surely right.
We got there a little early and I walked her through the building. I saw her schedule and we didn't have any classes together, probably because I was a year ahead of her. I showed her to her locker and headed to my own. Just before I left, I introduced her to Marie, one of the cheerleaders. We were friends but ran in different circles.
I met Gloria after school at the front door and we walked home together. She said she had the most fun and met so many nice people. She was a cheerleader in Kentucky and said she was going to try out for our squad.
We walked to school together for about a week. After her cheerleading try-out, she told me she made the squad. I knew she would make it with ease. I was happy for her but sad for me. It meant she would be hanging with a different group.
A couple of the cheerleaders drove to school together and started picking her up in the mornings. Let's face it: why should she walk every day when a free ride was available. She asked me if I wanted to ride to school with them but I declined. As I mentioned before, they were classmates but we all ran in different circles.
After school when she was finished with practice or I didn't have a race we actually hung together. We would sit around and do homework or we would shoot some hoops. I couldn't believe she wouldn't be out more with her friends. She told me that her parents were somewhat strict and besides she felt she wasn't ready for dating yet. She did go to group events like ball games and dances.
I had a part-time job at the supermarket so I missed most of the games. I was putting money away to go to a trade school. I decided to become an electrician. All I needed was less than two years of trade school. I had taken some classes at the vocational school that would be credited to the trade school.
I had a younger sister who was two years behind me in school. I hate to admit it but she was a heck of a lot smarter than me. She was a lot more popular than I was too. She had a boyfriend but they really didn't date so to speak. They hung out and of course went to group events.
Sometimes when I came home from the market, Gloria would be sitting on the porch talking to my sister. There was nothing that could put a smile on my face faster then seeing Gloria sitting there. I remember one time seeing her sitting there in a pair of black shorts. She had her knees pulled up and her arms wrapped around her legs. She had a blond ponytail and when she saw me, she just smiled. I'll never forget how sexy and cute she looked all rolled up into one. I honestly didn't think she knew how beautiful she was.
The junior/senior prom was coming up in a couple of weeks. I wasn't really planning on going until I met Gloria.
"Gloria, would you like to go to the prom with me?" I asked.
I couldn't believe I asked her. Girls like her didn't hang around with guys like me. It was like beautiful people and average people don't mix. I guess that was just the way I looked at it.
I was about as happy as a guy could be. I started thinking how everyone would be jealous of me with a girl like Gloria on my arm. Especially the jocks - they always acted like they had exclusive rights to the popular girls, and believe me, Gloria was one of the most popular girls right now.
She had it all, pretty, kind of tomboyish, smart, and friendly to everyone and a personality like no other gal I've ever met. I couldn't wait to get her on the dance floor. My daydream was quickly broken.
"Joey, I can't go to the prom with you. I'm sorry. Maybe we can go next year when I'm a senior."
"It's okay, I understand. Someone else probably has already asked you."
"Well, to be honest with you, five guys asked me to go but the reason I can't go is because of my grandma's birthday. She's going to be seventy and our whole family will be going to Kentucky to surprise her. I'm so sorry; I would have loved to go with you."
"Well, maybe we can do something else together sometime. Right now you're probably my best friend, you're definitely my prettiest friend," I smiled.
"I like you too, Joey, and, yes, I consider you a really good friend too."
I didn't end up going to the prom. I don't know exactly how to say it. I felt differently about Gloria than I have ever felt about any girl. It was like falling in love with a centerfold, only Gloria was real. I just couldn't tell her. I didn't want to put her on the spot. The last thing I wanted to do was alienate her.
When I graduated she came to the party at my house. It was mostly family but I was just so happy to see her there. I couldn't believe it when she kissed me. Maybe I thought more of it than I should have but it nearly took my breath away. I remember a few of my cousins saying what a nice person she was. I knew my male cousins wanted to say knockout, but there was too much family around.
My Mom and Dad said that we should all go to Cedar Point, the amusement park. It would probably be the last time we went as a family. Dad told me and my sister Cheri that we could bring one friend along. Cheri asked if she could bring her friend Jeff. Dad agreed since we would all be together. He asked me who I was going to bring and I told him I would let him know.
I wanted to ask Gloria in the worst way but I was really afraid of being rejected. I was sitting on the front porch thinking about it when Cheri came out to talk to me.
"Joey, I know what you're thinking. I don't have any idea why but she really likes you."
"What, who, what are you talking about?" I asked Cheri.
"Hey, Goofball, I know you really care for her and I also know that if you ask her she'll say, 'Yes, ' so go over there and ask her."
I replied, "Oh, yeah, what else do you know, 'Oh thou mind reader'?" I asked.
"Quit being stupid! I talk to her all the time while you're at work. God knows why but she has been waiting for you to ask her out. Oh, just so you know that I'm a mind reader. She's a virgin, but you better not tell her I told you or I'll tell her you wank off thinking about her at night," replied a laughing Cheri.
God, this was embarrassing. How did my sister know? Damn, I didn't know what to say. If I denied it she would just talk more about it.
"How do you know she's never been with anyone?" I asked.
"I told you we talk a lot to each other and that's one thing girls talk about. You know she's just one year older than me. What she sees in you I'll never know. I can't believe the dates she turned down waiting on you to ask her out."
I couldn't believe what my sister had been telling me. I built up the courage and went next door and knocked on their door. Gloria's mother answered it.
"Mrs. Jones, is Gloria home? There's something I'd like to ask her."
It was odd. I really don't remembering going in their house even though they lived next door. We either sat on the porch or she was at our home.
Her mom called for her and she came into the room. God, I don't think she would look bad in anything. She just had on black shorts and a white blouse but to me she looked gorgeous.
"Joey, what brings you here?" asked Gloria.
"Well, mom and dad are taking us all to Cedar Point and I'd like to know if you would go with me? Cheri is taken her friend Jeff and I would like for you to come with me." I know it came out really nervous but it was hard for me.
"I'd love to go. I've never been there. I have to ask my mom if it's okay."
My stomach dropped. I knew with my luck her parents would say no. I heard her mom talking from the kitchen.
"Gloria, Dad and I heard Joey from the kitchen. It's okay with us as long as his parents are going."
I couldn't believe my ears. I don't know what came over me but I leaned forward and took Gloria in my arms and kissed her. When I realized what I had done, I quickly backed up and apologized.
"No apology necessary; I liked it," smiled Gloria.
That was the start of our relationship. We held hands all day at Cedar Point. I held on to her as tight as possible on every roller coaster. Life didn't get much better than this for me. I bet I kissed her a hundred times that day. I think Mom and Dad knew I really cared for her. Now I had to wonder how our relationship would hold up.
We went out a dozen times that summer. We went to the zoo and to a baseball game. It was bat day and I got one of those little bats that were mainly for kids but I asked for one anyway.
I wanted to see her in a bathing suit in the worst way. I even told her so. I took her to Salt Fork, a beach not too far from us and when she came out in a skimpy two piece suit I swear I got a hard-on. I threw a towel over my lap so she didn't see but I think it was too late.
"By the look of things, I guess you like my suit," she laughed.
"You are the most gorgeous woman I have ever had the pleasure of meeting."
I might say at this point that when we went to the beach, zoo, etc. that Cheri and Jeff came with us. I guess our parents felt it was safer that way. I will say that Gloria and I did a lot of petting but we didn't have intercourse. She wanted to wait before having sex. I could say I felt the same but I didn't. It was her will power that kept us honest.
I started at the trade school and between school and work I didn't get to see much of Gloria. She had cheerleading practice most everyday. I was lucky to see her for a few minutes a couple of times a week. Around the holidays things became more hectic. The Jones family went to Kentucky for Thanksgiving and again right after Christmas. I did see Gloria long enough to give her a present. I bought her a necklace and a matching bracelet with our names engraved on it.
Cheri had told me I should try to attend a few of the games. A number of guys had their eye on Gloria. I started attending a few games and afterwards they had dances and I went to them with Gloria.
She told me how glad she was that I was there with her. She mentioned that a few guys kind of bothered her. The one which she said bothered her the most was Buddy.
A little about Buddy. I can't really say we were friends, but we weren't enemies either. You see, Buddy was a big guy on the football team. He stood about 6" 4" and weighed about 250 pounds. He pretty much muscled his way around. Everyone was kind of afraid of him and he usually got his way.
Now I was only 5' 10" tall and weighed 150 pounds. A fight between me and Buddy would only lead to disaster for me. You know how guys always say, "I'm a lover, not a fighter." I was one of those. I didn't know how to fight and I was hoping I could talk to Buddy but it didn't work out.
Gloria and I were dancing and I was holding her close when Buddy said he was going to take Gloria away from me.
"Over my dead body," screamed Gloria at him.
It was then that I recalled some of the words from that song about Buddy.
Oh, buddy, I've seen you winking your eyes at the dolly I've got with me
I'll whittle you down to a punier size if you don't let her be
She's pretty and cute as a doll could be; she's a-loving and a-cuddling too
But her cuddlesome charms are only for me and not for the likes of you
Oh, buddy, I've seen you making your play for the baby doll on my arm
You'd better back up and get out of my way; I'd hate to do you harm
I'm crazy in love and maybe that's why I'm a little bit jealous too
So back away, boy, don't give her the eye; don't make me mad at you
I never have been the troublesome kind but it's never too late to start
And trouble is what the joker will find that flirts with my sweetheart.
Back up, buddy, don't you come any closer,
I know you want her but the answer is no, sir
Back up, buddy, don't you come any closer; she's mine all mine
Buddy came over to where Gloria and I were dancing and grabbed her by the arm. I pushed him but it was like pushing a fat tree. He didn't budge. Buddy laughed and hit me on the left side of my face. I went down like a ton of bricks.
I heard Gloria yell, "Leave him alone, you bastard!"
Immediately the chaperons at the dance came over and asked Buddy to leave.
He looked down at a crying Gloria and said, "Next week come without him because you'll be with me."
Someone brought me an ice pack to put on the side of my swelling face. I looked up and really felt defeated. How can I keep my girl? This ape man said he was going to take her. I know she wouldn't go with him but I needed to do something to protect her.
Gloria had to drive us home since I had trouble seeing out of my left eye. My sister and Jeff saw the whole thing. Cheri went to tell Dad about it while I went up to my room.
Dad came up to talk to me. "Joseph, your sister told me what happened. Do you want me to call the police and file charges?"
"Dad, the bastard said he's going to take my girl. Filing charges will just delay the inevitable. No, Dad, I need to stop him but I don't know what to do. If I had a gun, I'd shoot his sorry ass. Sorry about the cussing, Dad, but I'm really mad."
"Joseph, if your mom asks, we never had this conversation. She'd kill me for telling you what I'm about to say. Back in Kentucky when there was a fight, we used an equalizer."
"What's an equalizer, Dad?"
"Anything you can get hold of to make the fight more equal. You don't want deadly weapons like guns or knives. You don't want to go to jail. You just need something to prove your point. Just make it an old Kentucky brawl. Even if you lose you'll be glad you tried. I know you, Joseph, you're no loser."
"Thanks, Dad, I'll give it some thought. Mind getting me another ice pack?"
I sat on the porch the next day and Gloria came over.
"I'm sorry for yesterday. Don't worry; I won't let that ape hurt you. You're my girl and I will be there to protect you," I said.
Gloria hugged me. "Can you even see out of that eye? I want to tell you I'm proud of you for standing up to that lug even if it was only for fifteen seconds," she laughed.
"Stop it! Laughing makes my face hurt," I replied.
We talked about it and she said not to worry, everything would be all right. I had no idea why she said it. I guess to make me feel better and to let me know she was still my girl.
As the week went by, I was able to gain some of my sight back but my face was still bruised. Cheri told me that Buddy was kicked out of school for two weeks for fighting on school property. It made me feel a little better. At least Gloria was safe at school. Cheri also said Gloria's friends were all behind her. A couple of Buddy's friends said Buddy was going to beat the shit out of me and then abuse Gloria.
Cheri then said to me, "I asked Gloria if she was afraid and she said 'No, I'm not afraid of that ape. Everything will work out fine.' I hope she'll be okay, Joey."
It got me to thinking again. I knew I had to show up for their game Friday. Buddy wasn't allowed to play in the game but I would bet a million bucks he would be there.
I made it a point to go to the game. There was my girlfriend doing her cheering. Damn, she looked good in her cheerleaders outfit. She saw me and ran up to me.
"Are you all right? Are you sure you should be here? Your old friend, Buddy, is sitting on the bench. They wouldn't let him dress for the game. He's a bit pissed. So far he's stayed away from me."
"You're my girl and I'm here to be with you at any cost," I said"
I was nervous as hell and shaking in my shoes. I really wanted this night to go away, hoping it was just a dream. I saw Buddy look in my direction. I decided to take the lead. I went over to where Buddy was sitting. I knew he couldn't do anything to me there since we were at the school and he would probably get expelled if he started something since he was on suspension for two weeks.
"Buddy, stay away from my girl or I won't be responsible for what happens next." God, was I ever nervous.
"You little shit, Joe. I'm going to beat the hell out of you and then do what I want with that cute little squeeze. You won't be able to do shit about it," he laughed.
"I warned you but you're too stupid to listen. I'll be in the parking lot across the street after the game and after the crowd clears we'll settle this once and for all. It's not school property so you won't get expelled. Either leave my woman alone or be in the lot after the game," I tried to say in my meanest voice.
"It will be a pleasure! I don't know which will be more fun, kicking your ass or taking your girlfriend," he said in a most haunting voice.
His friends next to him heard everything we said. I walked back over to stand near where Gloria was. She looked very strangely at me.
"What did you say to Buddy?" She looked a little scared now.
I couldn't lie to her so I told her exactly what I had said to him. By halftime the word had gotten around. "Joe's getting his ass kicked again by Buddy after the game." Damn, maybe this was a mistake.
After the game I walked over to the parking lot and got prepared. Most people had left but quite a few students were mingling around. I knew they were waiting for the fireworks. After the crowd cleared Gloria came up to me.
"Joey, you don't have to do this. I love you, that's all that counts." She did look a bit scared.
"Gloria, I don't want to do this; I have to do it. A big ape threatened my girl. As a man I have to protect you at any cost. I have to do it for me as well as for you. Regardless of the outcome, remember I love you."
I looked up and saw Buddy and three of his cronies walking up toward me. There were about twenty people waiting to see what was going to happen. I asked Gloria to stand back as Buddy approached me.
I had my little bat that I got from the ball game that Gloria and I went to in my right hand. I had my left hand behind my left hip.
"What the hell is that?" asked Buddy laughing.