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Meeting Scott’s Family: A Very Special Brian Schropp

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

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By Brian Schropp

By Brian Schropp

The note came to me during a hellish mid-morning rush at the ‘Pizza-A-Round’.

Truthfully, all times have been quite hellish since Scott (my manager) has been away. He initially got wrapped up in the glam and glitz of community theater with his lover ‘Lizzie Starlight’ (not her real name, actually BALD!!). And now Scott is out seeking revenge upon her once it was revealed that ‘Lizzie’ is really a High Priestess of a whacked out pizza sect who tricked Scott into doing some of her evil dark cultish bidding.

No one at ‘The Round’ had heard from him since and it showed- the place was almost at its breaking point, teetering on full-blown anarchy. Rumors were running wild along the prep line that the owner was going to be bringing someone new in soon but who knew when that would be or what would Scott think when he got back?

I didn’t see who dropped off the message (one of the phone staff brought it back to me). I was too busy trying to help Big James clean up his nacho cheese station. Without the stern hand of Scott lording over him, he had really let it go and weeks worth of nacho cheese were encrusted on his work table. The Health Department (making a surprise visit) were giving us two hours to clean up the mess (along with a million other areas) so I was taking an industrial-size sander to it.

The note itself was just a folded piece of paper which either had blood or pizza sauce on it. Pulling up my goggles (safety first!!!) I took a look-

Bri- Need a big favor. Word has gotten to me that some ‘major shit’ is going down on the homestead. It was my Mom’s birthday a few days ago and for some reason, Dad hid her cake. This will not stand. I want you to go over, assess the situation, and find that cake. Be back soon-Scott

At the bottom were vague instructions on how to get to his house.

I was at a crossroads on what I should do. I didn’t feel right leaving “the Round” on the verge of possible permanent closure yet Scott wouldn’t have sent the note if it wasn’t urgent. I was going to ask Chet Cameron (who fancied himself ‘the big dude on campus’) but he was up to his eyelids getting pizza after pizza out of the oven. So I went to Charlie ‘The Nugget Guy’ who was crisping up the chicken delights for a ‘Mid Morning Snack Pizza’.

My manager, Scott. When was he coming back?

My manager, Scott. When was he coming back?

“Well Bri, Scott still is technically in charge so you would just be following orders. Anyway, this place is so crazy right now with the health department here that no one will notice you were gone. Just look over there, Big James has been snoring in that corner for hours without one fool giving a second look.”

So, taking Charlie’s advice, I crept out the back, unchained my push scooter and headed towards Deep Eastern Suburban Lankville. I never understood why people called this area ‘suburban’. Sure, there are houses (mainly trailer homes) scattered around but it’s mainly large rocky hillsides with a low-lying swamp region. It was taking all my strength to push my sleek scooter up the winding roadways (I had also been using an industrial sander not that long ago) and then the sudden mind-numbing descents marred by the semi-poisonous smell of  ‘swamp gas’.

Up and down, up and down. I lost all sense of direction which really didn’t matter because Scott’s directions were so vague in the first place!! Not to mention all the natives in their huge trucks or rusted out cars flying around the corners almost knocking me off the roadway. The madness finally came to a head when one guy in his truck pulled over after almost hitting me. I didn’t really notice him (or his loud cussing) I was too busy in my haze muttering to myself, slowly pushing the scooter up the steep embankment. The next thing I knew I was flying off the hill with my scooter (broken in two) not far behind. The sweet hand of fate must have been looking out for me. I bounced off an Eastern Pine with minimal impact and landed in a heavy bed of pine cones that cushioned my fall. I rolled down the rest of the way. The big tumble shook me out of my fog and I dusted myself off while taking a look around.

Scott's grandmother

Scott’s grandmother

Before me was a group of trailer homes, three of them to be exact, in the classic Eastern ‘F’ formation. My heart beamed when I saw by the mailbox a spray-painted cardboard sign which read ‘Scott’s Domain’. I knew Scott was a popular name for the area plus it was known in these parts that last names weren’t used but hopefully I had just hit lighting in a bottle. I realized this was the correct port of call when a little further down the driveway there was another spray-painted sign which read, “I AM SCOTT”. Rubbing my hands together I thought, “let’s get down to this cake business.”

Approaching the first  trailer (which made the back of the classic ‘F’ shape) I was greeted by an older lady pointing a gun at me. This turned out to be Scott’s Grandmother.

“You better start talkin’ quick, why you’re steppin’ on Scott’s Domain.”

I waved the note in the air. “Hello!! Scott sent me here to help you guys.”

She aimed the gun and shot the note right out of my hand, it was quite a feat of marksmanship! “A lot of folks named Scott in these parts. A lot of folks bring notes too.”

“He-he said in that note that his Dad hid a birthday cake. I’m pretty sure I have the right place, I saw a spray-painted sign back there with ‘I AM SCOTT’, he yells that all the time.”

“Well, that is my grandson’s ‘calling yell.”  She eyed me up and down more carefully. “We did get a note from Scott saying he was sending some sort of simpleton who worked for him.”

“I bet he couldn’t reach that person so he got me instead.”

She eyed a pile of trash bags that were near me. “Scott said the person would know what to do with them sacks.”

Scott must have forgotten to include this detail in his note but I knew what to do anyway. I took off my clothes and made a trash bag poncho out of one.

“And the dance? The note also spoke of a dance.”

Again, not referenced on my side. I could only think of one thing, the popular ‘Pizza Whip’ dance which Scott would make employees do for a chuckle. So I gave it my best shot (so I wouldn’t be) flinging my arms and hips in that nutty rhythmic motion.

After a full minute she chuckled and told me to stop my gyrating . “Scott sent us no note, haven’t heard from that little shit since this damn pizza cult business. I guess any fool who goes through these lengths musta’ been sent here. Come inside and mind the waterworks.” I decided to leave the trash bag poncho on.

Inside their ‘living area’ there was a younger woman (Scott’s Sister) trying to comfort a middle-aged lady (Scott’s Mom) who had her head down on the kitchen table crying uncontrollably. The sister looked up at me and asked, “Who is this freak and why is he wearing a trash bag?”

“Says Scott sent him on down to talk with Daddy about the birthday cake.” The mention of the cake sent Scott’s Mom into a harder crying fit.

Scott’s Sister took a swig from a bottle she was holding before talking. “Oh yeah, I meant to say Scott sent a letter about him.” She nodded over to a messy area which had a few chairs and a TV showing a scrambled talk show, “Said if it was really him he would know what to with that outfit.”

I walked over and saw a pink dress haphazardly thrown over one of the chairs. I looked at some of the other dirty clothes laying about in hopes that it could possibly be another garment. “Nope said it was the dress.” Could Scott’s sister read minds?  Why didn’t he mention this in the note!!  I quickly took off the trash bag and got into the dress, then giving myself a nice spin around. I thought the pink ensemble actually fit my form quite well!

Scott’s Mother looked up through the tears. “And the make up, the letter also said make up—“. I had no idea how to apply any sort of cosmetics so with the unsteady hand of Scott’s Sister (I could smell whiskey on her breath) the bright blues and deep pinks were applied.

When all was said and done I stepped back for the three ladies to see. “Well–isn’t this proof enough?!!”

Scott's sister

Scott’s sister

There was brief silence. The silence was followed by hysterical laughing. Even Scott’s Mom who moments before was on the verge of a breakdown couldn’t control herself. After many, many minutes of laughter, things finally calmed down. Scott’s Grandmother led me over to the kitchen table and told me to have a seat. She got a glass of strawberry milk out of the fridge for me. “Start drinking this and we will tell you what’s really going on.” Scott’s Sister walked over and started to pour the contents of her bottle into my glass causing it to spill over. “You’re going to need this breakfast sandwich boy.”

Scott’s Grandmother spoke again. ” Now let’s quit all of the joking around, yes Brian, we knew you were coming. The situation with the birthday cake is all too real. Daddy has hidden it and won’t tell us where or why. We got him tied up in another trailer, no easy feat, still won’t give us any clue. He’s hysterical, ranting and raving like a mad man. At first we thought it was just a bender but the man has been sober for a few days now.”

Scott’s Mom, who was in good spirits, turned sour again placing her head on the table. “I just want my cake!!”

I was looking at my make-up job in the reflection of my strawberry milk glass. “Why the dress and the make up?”

“Well Bri, Scott’s sister has been staying in touch with Scott throughout his ‘pizza cult ordeal’. They have always been close, a little too close sometimes if you ask me. Anyways, since Scott couldn’t come back he came up with this crazy scheme. He said he always thought that in a dress and make up, you Brian would look exactly like Daddy’s long dead sister which in fact you really do!”

Scott’s Grandmother took out a picture and showed me-she was quite right!!

“It’s a long shot but we’re hoping if you go in and pretend to be the long lost spirit of his sister you will be able to get the whereabouts of the cake. A very risky plan though, if Daddy catches on even with his hands tied he will attack like a savage dog. We had to somehow get you in the dress and make-up in case you said no.”

“What about the trash bag?”

“Scott said you would fall for anything. That was me just having a bit of fun–”

Scott’s Mom looked up from the table again, a sobbing mess. “You gotta help me get my birthday cake!!”

What choice did I have now? Could I pull off playing the part of Daddy’s dead sister? Find out next article dear readers. Happy Eating!!-Brian

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