On this particular occasion, it turned out to be a bad thing. In my baking class a couple weeks ago we made fruit tarts. We each made 4 mini tarts and one large tart and then took them all home with us. I live alone so that meant I had way more fruit tarts than one person could ever need and since they had pastry cream under the fruit and were glazed, they weren’t suitable for freezing. After eating my way through the 4 mini tarts, (one of them didn’t even make it so far as the photo taking stage) I decided it was not a good idea to start on the big one and that it had to leave my house. I have a friend who lives across the street who is usually willing to accept treats but she was gone for the week. Another friend can’t have dairy products so the pastry cream made it unfit for her. Another friend didn’t want to have to carry a fragile tart on the subway. I began to get desperate. It got to the point where I considered throwing out the tart, but I just couldn’t do it. Throwing out a perfectly good tart seemed sacrilegious and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. There was only one other option but every bone in my body was telling me not to do it: I could give the tart to Ozzy.
I’ve mentioned Ozzy before on my blog, he’s the nutcase that lives below me and looks just like Ozzy Osbourne. Because I live in what is essentially a paper shanty, I can hear everything that’s going in the apartments above and below me and I could hear that Ozzy had company for the weekend. It sounded like a zoo of children were down there, (turns out there were 4 of them and an extra adult) and I figured at least they would gobble up the tart and I’d be rid of it. So I summoned up all of my courage and brought the tart to Ozzy’s door. As I handed it over I tried to downplay my act of giving by saying that I had made the tart for school, I had no one else to give it to, it would go in the garbage if they didn’t want it and there was no need to thank me. I hoped that it would not be seen as an invitation to come and visit me later on. Sadly, that was indeed the way it was received.
A couple days later, after his company had left, Ozzy showed up on my door with a beer in one hand and a bag in the other. He proceeded to thank me profusely for the tart and I insisted that it was really no big deal. Somehow during this conversation he managed to back me into my apartment, (I hate close talkers, especially creepy ones!). At this point he asked me if I had a glass and in my confused state I pointed to a cupboard. He got a glass, opened the beer, poured half of it into the glass, handed it to me and began drinking the other half of the beer from the bottle. (Sidenote- Who brings someone half a beer???) He continued to chat away while I stood there looking like a deer caught in headlights. He then asked if I got the present he left me the week before and all of a sudden some puzzle pieces started falling into place. One day I had come home from school and found a used calculator and a Campino candy, (that looked as though it had been sitting on someone’s car dashboard for the past 2 years) sitting against my front door with no clue as to where they had come from. I assumed they were from my weirdo Landlord, (more on him here and here) because he had recently had a garage/junk sale on my front steps and I thought it might be leftovers from that.
Apparently it was in fact Ozzy that gave me this bizarre gift for no reason. As I thought all this through Ozzy was still rambling on when all of a sudden he shoved the bag he had been holding in my direction and told me he brought me a present. Without even looking in the bag I immediately try to refuse it and say it wasn’t necessary. He insisted and I grudgingly took the bag. I opened it and found a sport style watch and some face cream. I would like to point out that at this point my confusion was at an all time high. He then told me that the face cream is the best ever and that the gift was just to thank me for the tart. I continued to try to tell him it was unnecessary and he continued to talk in my general direction, telling me stories about our landlord and other tenants, while I looked on, stunned. Ozzy revealed that the tenant who lives above me is something of a writer and had written a short book which he insisted I should read. I tried to tell him that I was busy with school and wouldn’t have time to read it but he wasn’t listening. He rushed downstairs to his apartment and returned with the book in one hand and another beer in the other, (which he proceeded to pour half of into my glass). If it had of been any other night I would have made up an excuse about having to go somewhere and then gone for a walk around the block to escape, but we were in the midst of a torrential downpour and I really didn’t want to go outside. In retrospect, I should have braved the rain instead of Ozzy. It was forty five minutes later before I finally got him out of my apartment. Let this be a lesson to you, if you feed the crazies you’ll never be rid of them! Ozzy has returned since that awful night, but that will be a story for another post…
**I debated writing this post because I have an irrational fear that Ozzy will read it, damn my googleable name! In the end I decided to go ahead with it and on the one in a million chance that Ozzy reads it, well, it will make for an interesting follow up post.