By JOHN E. BIALAS
After all these decades, I guess it’s finally time for me to write about a true and funny story that has a strong beginning and a weak ending.
Me and three of my eighth-grade classmates at Notre Dame in Biloxi, an all-boys Catholic junior high and high school, went over to Charlie Braun’s house on Querens Avenue one day after school in 1965 or 1966.
Charlie was also in our class and we were looking for something fun to do before his parents and sisters got home.
It might have been a Wednesday, the third day in a row Brother Marco was a no-show to teach us his 9 a.m. Latin course at Notre Dame in one of the back rooms adjacent to the stinkiest bayou in Biloxi.
Of course, we were glad to be free of Brother Marco in the morning because we had the room all to ourselves once again. No substitute teacher meant that some guys practiced spitball and I worked on an idea for after school at Charlie’s.
I kept my idea a secret until the afternoon at Charlie’s. It was 3:30 or 4 and it was just us guys.
I suggested that one of us call Hugo’s on Division Street to order a pizza and have the restaurant hail a taxi cab to deliver the order to the home of an old couple who lived directly across the street from Charlie’s house.
Hugo’s was just three minutes away from where we were goofing around, so the cab thing upped the craziness of my plan. The restaurant wasn’t miles away. It was yards away. I want to say 500 yards.
Everybody liked my idea. I was too introverted to call Hugo’s and Charlie ended up doing it. When he got on the telephone, similar in style but not color to the image at the top of the post, we all stood behind him to hear what he would say to Mrs. Hugo, and I’m certain he talked to Mrs. Hugo because she always took the calls from customers.
Charlie placed the order like a pro and he said the cab would bring the pizza to the house across the street in about 20 minutes.
All of us laughed for the next 20 minutes and beyond, and looking through the curtains of the front window, we saw the cab pull up to the house across the street and deliver the pizza.
We pulled off the prank, thanks to my idea and Charlie’s bold execution. Man, that was teamwork.
And this is where the story pretty much ends.
I would like to know what happened between the cabbie and the old couple. The interaction. The conversation. The shock and the surprise.
Did the couple also pay the cab fare after paying for the pizza?
And back at the restaurant, what was Mrs. Hugo’s reaction?