Biff America: Free food? Don’t mess it up |

Biff America: Free food? Don’t mess it up

Jeffrey Bergeron
Vail, CO Colorado

“Dicky Taylor could screw up a free lunch.” That assertion was an often-vocalized observation offend by those of us who knew well Richard Taylor.

Dicky T. has been a friend of mine for over three decades. We met on Cape Cod when we both worked at the Seaside Dinner Theater. The establishment had signing waiters, dancing waiters and acting waiters. Being that I lack both rhythm and talent, I was an insulting waiter – kind of like if Don Rickles served food. Dicky was kept in the back of the house away from the guests, working as a prep cook.

It was back then where I first heard the declaration that Dicky T. could screw up a free lunch. It wasn’t offered as an insult but more a simple observation.

Dicky was a sad-sack type, but also a good natured guy, but one who always seemed to do the wrong thing at the wrong time. He’d be the one who got too drunk at a wedding, knocking the bride’s mother off her feet on the dance floor. He’d be that guy who would loose his wallet 10 minutes after he cashed his paycheck.

I was with him at a reception (free lunch) when a bee flew into his ice tea. When Dicky put the drink to his lips the bee stung him on his mouth, causing an allergic reaction that required a trip to the emergency room. I drove him to the hospital (his car had been towed due to a parking violation).

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And if those examples were not enough, Dicky had his nose broken by a female midget; but that is another column.

I’ve been in and out of touch with Dicky Taylor for three decades. Last I heard he was living in Maryland, cooking at a restaurant his ex-wife won in their divorce.

It would be safe to say this about my old friend – he could take a good situation and find a way to mess it up; partly because he is human. Let’s face it, as a species, humans can screw up a free lunch.

Not sure why that is. We are the smartest, most adaptable and emotional of all the animals god put on earth. Certainly we are not the biggest, badest, fastest, strongest, and we do require toilet paper but we have conquered the rest of the species with our brains, science and weapons.

But while doing that we have certainly messed some things up.

Whether you believe that global warming is man caused or not there is no denying that we have polluted the planet and caused entire species to vanish. I just read that there is an island of plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean that is twice the size of Texas. The prevailing currents have picked up this mass of liter from around the world and left it in an ocean eddy. Our air, rivers, soils and streams are not as they were as recently as 100 years ago

Then there are the wars. I would acknowledge that some conflicts were unavoidable but I just went on E-History archive and under “Major Wars” from 1479 B.C., starting with the “Persia Empire War” to Iraq, this planet has had 75 major conflicts comprising of over 4,000 years of killing. I think that is a little excessive.

If there is one free lunch we’ve messed up that I’m most disturbed about, it’s god.

Actually we haven’t mess up god. We messed up the religions we have created to worship him/her. Two-thirds of the wars mentioned were fought over religion. Leaders, then and now, have been able sell the populous on the idea that “Our God is better than theirs, so let’s kill them.”

Whatever your faith, the will of god is not so much a mystery – kindness, compassion, love, acceptance. Mankind could simply work on that stuff and we would be good to go. Instead we have created endless derivatives and variation of a beautiful and simple message.

For the life of me I still don’t know how jihad, snake-handling, crusades, polygamy, and opposition to gay marriage figures into the package. All that stuff is man made and missing the point.

But on the plus side we have a multi-faith manmade holiday season that is all about (or should be) the best of the prophet’s intentions – compassion, giving, celebration of life and recognizing a power greater than ourselves. That’s a free meal of love that even Dicky Taylor couldn’t screw up.

Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be seen on RSN TV and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at

Biff’s book “Steep, Deep and Dyslexic” is available from local book stores or from

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