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The Gile Steele Tapes

The Further Adventures of Gile Steele; The Man Wearing A Camel Hat

Who WAS that man in the Camel hat?


Interview: 12/18/18 TGI Fridays

So, I guess it was a couple hours ago.  I was waiting on that table in the corner and over to my left was this guy with all the looks of a typical older guy, white haired with one of those goatees every man over fifty seems to have to have like it’s some kind of requirement that if you are a cool older dude you have white chin hairs! .. ha ha ha .

He scared me at first because I couldn’t figure him out.  He was definitely different.

So I’m talking with the customer about the shrimp on the menu and she said something funny and I’m laughing when out of the corner of my eye I see this guy … this man … signaling to me like he’s lost at sea.

I glance up and my eyes meet his and they’re pleading eyes really big and he’s pounding the palm of his hand against an imaginary ketchup bottle like it’s a HUGE ketchup bottle, kind of ridiculous looking.  He does these ketchup bottle moves then gets carried away and it looks like he’s pumping ketchup through one of those plunger type squirt guns you use in the pool.  

He’s either got a grin on his face or he’s looking like he’s pleading with me for ketchup but he looks serious and deadpan at the same time.

I know right away he wants ketchup!  Before I even nod my head he’s giving me the thumbs up and I’m so surprised because originally I was kind of afraid of him but now I realize he’s just this non obtrusive guy who doesn’t look like he could hurt a flea. I forget all about the ketchup because Matt took them their ketchup but, later when I walk past their table he collars me and he wants to talk about ketchup so we’re talking real close like our faces are two or three feet away from each other having this mock serious discussion about ketchup and I don’t know what he wants from me so I just play along because it’s fun sooo … it’s obvious he’s “putting me on” about the whole ketchup thing. 

He tells me he’s a super hero whose name is Ketchupman.  He asks me if I want to know what his super power is and it’s that and he can tell when people need ketchup before they even KNOW they want ketchup so can be there in a heartbeat.  This is so ridiculous but it’s funny because, whoever heard of a super hero named Ketchupman?

I ask why he didn’t have any ketchup on him back a little while ago and he tells me it’s a long story that he’s not feeling well these days and I say maybe you’re sick and you should see a doctor and he just fires right back like he already knew twhat I was gonna say “Yeah, I think it’s time to start taking medication.”  Which seemed a funny ass thing to say at the moment because we both gave each other that ‘look’ … 

His eyes follow me as I have to walk away but, we are both laughing because of the …. insanity of the conversation, and I have to keep walking to my table but I can’t stop laughing.   For some reason it’s the funniest thing.

And it was so funny to be with somebody who’s funny like that and … maybe, unconventional I guess you’d say.  I just can’t remember ever just …. ‘bungling’ like that.  

“Wasn’t that the guy with the camel hat?” 

So I say, “I don’t know I didn’t see no camel hat.” 

We’re both heading out the door when we run into Sharon.  

“Hey you guys,” she says.  “Who was that man wearing the camel hat?” .  

Gile Steele; The Man Wearing the Camel Hat

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