Although Buford Dufresne was in his late twenties, his hair was still stuck in the early 1990s. No one had informed him that the mullet had gone out of style long ago and no one was about to do so no. When it came to his hair, it was all business in the front and a party in the back.
Even so, he managed to squeeze into the least stained white shirt, pants, and tie combo available and roll into the dealership, where he would hide in his office all day, ignoring any and all customers while he played video games.
And boy, did he have an impressive rig. Two massive monitors attached to a Nantuzasaki Game Tower, complete with a top of the line graphics card, dual core memory, solid state drive, and enough RAM to choke a horse. All of this processing power allowed him to run over pixelized prostitutes with the greatest of ease as he played the most violent video game ever, Car Thief Mayhem.
Knock knock. The Mayor’s fist pounded on the door. “Son?”
Buford sipped from a straw stuck inside a gallon sized cup of convenience store diet cola. He threw a few potato chips into his pie hole for good measure, then returned his eyes to the screen. He clicked a few buttons, causing his character to get out of a stolen car, bonk the prostitute over the head with a lead pipe, then steal all of her hard earned trick money.
The Mayor knocked again. “Buford? You in there?”
The young man clicked more buttons. His character got back into his stolen car, ran over a few pedestrians, and then ended up in a high speed chase with the police.
“Buford!” the Mayor shouted. “You playin’ with yourself in there!”
Buford sighed. “No, Daddy!”
“Then open up the goddamn door, son! I need to talk to you!”
“I’m busy, Daddy,” Buford said. “Come back later.”
Buford clicked a few more buttons. His character drove his car off a cliff and crashed into a helicopter. It was a horrific, fiery explosion that won Buford 10,000 points. The young man celebrated by opening up his soda cup, dumping in the contents of an energy drink can, then closing up cup’s lid and sipping away.
“Buford Bartholomew Dufresne!” the Mayor shouted. “You will open the door for your Daddy this very instant! Don’t you think for one second you’re too big for me to take you over my knee!”
Buford sighed. He felt defeated. He knew his old man had the energy to knock on his door all day. He realized the sooner he got the lecture that was coming his way, the better. He paused his game, got up, and opened the door.
“Buford,” the Mayor said as he stepped into his son’s office. “I got to talk to you. I heard you…”
The Mayor pinched his nose. “Jumpin’ Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick! This room stinks! The last time I smelled a stench this bad I was digging a latrine in De Nang.”
The old man looked to the corner, where Buford’s trash can was overflowing with used fast food containers, some of them weeks old.
“Who are you, Little Lord Fauntleroy?” the Mayor asked. “You too good to empty your own damn trash can?”
Buford sat back down and unappeased his game. “Sorry, Daddy. I just been busy.”
“Busy killin’ your brain cells on them shoot ‘em up video games!” Buford said. “I never should have bought you that stupid thing. When the hell are you gonna get up off your fat ass and get out on the floor and make a sale?”
A little bit of drool pour out of the right side of Buford’s mouth as his eyes remained fixated on the screen. “I’m working up to it, Daddy.”
The Mayor took off his cowboy hat and dabbed at the top of his bald head with a handkerchief, removing the excess sweat. “You’re working up to it? Shee-it. And I suppose the Lord Almighty is workin’ up to the rapture. That’ll come first before you start earnin’ your keep around here.”
“Come on, Daddy,” Buford said.
“Don’t you come on Daddy, me, you little sack of shit,” the Mayor said. “Look at me, son. I’m Sitwell’s pride and joy. I got a business that employs over a hundred people. I’m a beloved mayor who makes important decisions every day. And what the hell are you doing with the one and only life that God will ever give you? Running over computerized prostitutes instead of doing something, anything, literally anything at all to better yourself.”
Buford mashed the buttons on his controller. His character respawned in front of a hospital, then stole a truck and ran over a contingent of little old ladies, leaving behind a trail of blood and broken walkers in his wake.
“I blame myself,” the Mayor said.
“Aww, Daddy,” Buford said. “Don’t gimme that speech about how you blame yourself again.”
“I will give it to you, boy,” the mayor said. “Your old daddy wasn’t around enough when you were growin’ up. I was too busy wheelin’ and dealin,’ chasin’ that green that I never took the time to teach you how to be a man. Now you’re like a man-child, a little baby stuck in man’s body. You’re more confused than a horny alley cat trapped behind a spay and neuter clinic.”
Burford moved the sticks on his controller. His character performed a drive-by on a nun convention.
“I set your momma up right,” Buford said. “She never had to work a day in her life. I thought she’d be able to take care of ya, teach ya how to behave all proper like but I was foolin’ myself. Old Lurleene was just a simple minded stripper, dumber than a box of rocks and hooked on anything she could snort up her nose or shoot in her veins. Hell, given all that, I’m surprised you didn’t turn out worse.”
Buford took a sip of his soda. “It weren’t all that bad, Daddy.”
The Mayor put his cowboy hat back on. “Son, will you let me be there for you now?”
The young man paused the game and looked up at his father. “What’s that now, Daddy?”
“I know it’s awfully late,” the Mayor said. “I’m a tired old fart and you’re almost thirty. I doubt I got many good years left. Let me teach you how to be a man, how to take care of yourself. You got to learn, boy, because one day your old Daddy won’t be around to take care of you and then what are you gonna do?”
Buford sighed. “I just don’t think I’m cut out to sell cars, Daddy.”
The Mayor sneered at his son. “Look, I’ll tell you what. I’m a silent partner in a number of business I have invested in town. One of those businesses happens to be Big Ray’s House of Funbags, the classiest titty bar this side of Orlando. I’ll talk to Big Ray. He’ll give you a job as a manager. You can squire around the girls and polish their titties with titty wax before they get on stage. You’ll be on your own, independent, doing something with your life.”
Buford shoved some more chips into his mouth. “I don’t want to do that either, Daddy.”
“Are you serious?” The mayor asked.
“Sure am,” Buford replied.
“Son, that’s a primo offer,” the Mayor said. “Oh Lord, you’re not one of them gay fellas, are you?”
“No, Daddy,” Buford said.
“Because you know son, you can tell your Daddy if you’re gay,” the Mayor said. “I don’t approve of that, but all them Democrats tell me I’m legally obliged to still love you even if you’re gay so I reckon I still will.”
“I’m not gay, Daddy,” Buford said. “I just don’t want to work in no titty bar.”
The Mayor took a deep breath. “Then son, what is it, pray tell, that you want to do with your life?”
Buford pressed some more buttons on his controller. His character drove a big rig through a department store.
“This,” the young man said.
“This?” the Mayor said.
“Uh huh,” Buford replied.
“You want to play video games?” the Mayor said.
“Until the day I die,” Buford said.
“Son,” the Mayor said. “How do you expect you’ll earn a living playing video games?”
Buford shrugged his shoulders. “I dunno. I’ll get real good I guess. Maybe I’ll compete in some video game competitions and earn some big money.”
The Mayor repeated half of what his son just said, just to make sure he was hearing correctly. “Compete in a video game competition and earn big money? Oh Lord, how I have failed you.”
“Daddy, I’m comin’ up to a real hard part, here,” Buford said.
“I made life too easy for you,” the Mayor said. “You never had to struggle. Never had to fend for yourself. Never had to fight for scraps. I gave you everything you wanted in the hopes that one day you’d outshine me and now look at yourself.”
“Blah, blah, blah, Daddy,” Buford said. “You gonna stand there and yap all day?”
The Mayor lost it. He picked up one of the monitors and heaved it against the wall, smashing it into hundreds of pieces.
“Daddy!” Buford shouted. “What the hell are you doing?!”
“Get out!” the Mayor shouted. He grabbed the other monitor and hurled it against the wall. Then he picked up the game station, tossed it on the floor, and stomped on it with his cowboy boot.
Buford grabbed his soda, then ran out into the showroom. His father quickly followed.
“Get the hell off my lot, you no good lazy, loafing son of bitch!” the Mayor shouted.
All of the customers and salesmen turned around to watch the scene unfold.
“Daddy!” Buford shouted. “Why’d you go and break my video games for?”
“So you’ll grow up, you dumb shit!” the Mayor shouted. “No son of mine is going to waste his life the way do for you! Offices are for people who do work! You do one goddamn day of work in your life and you can have it back! Until then, get out and don’t you dare come back here until you do.”
Buford looked around, confused and embarrassed.
“OK I’m sorry Daddy,” Buford said. “Let’s just cool down and we’ll talk about this at home.”
“That’s MY home, boy!” the Mayor hollered. “Don’t you step one foot back there!”
“Daddy!” Buford shouted. “You’re kicking me outta the house?”
“You’re damn right I am,” the Mayor said. “You can either go live with your whore of a mother or you can be a man, earn a living, and find your own place, but I aint gonna coddle you into being a big giant man baby for one day longer, you hear me!”
Buford hanged his head down low and performed the long walk of shame towards the door. “Yes, Daddy.”
“I mean it, boy!” the Mayor said. “You won’t get one more paycheck from me. Not one more hand out, not one more dime until you learn how to become a man. I know there’s something wrong with you, boy. If you aint gay, then it’s something you aint telling me and if you don’t tell me then you’re going to have to sort it out on your own.”
Buford lost it. He threw his soda cup against the wall and it exploded, sending drops of diet cola all over the nearby customers. “I aint gay and there’s nothing wrong with me!”
“There damn sure is something wrong with you, boy!” the Mayor shouted. “You’re not right in the head and any two-bit, half-ass shrink could easily see that from a mile away! Fix yourself and do it pronto!”
Buford threw his father the middle finger. “Choke on a ten foot dick and die, Daddy!”
“Oh!” the Mayor said. “That’s real nice talk! I bet you learned that from your mother!”
“I’ll prove you wrong, Daddy!” Buford shouted. “I’ll be richer and famous-er than you ever were!”
“Good!” the Mayor said. “Then I won’t have to worry about your stupid ass, anymore!”
Buford gave his father two middle fingers. “Fuck you, Daddy!”
The Mayor returned both middle fingers. “Fuck you back, son!”
The young man exited the building and slammed the door behind him. The Mayor looked around at all of the astonished customers. He straightened his tie.
“Sorry about that folks,” the Mayor said. “Tell you what? Ten percent off any car built during the Clinton administration for all your trouble!”