Thursday, December 9, 2010


"I could get a job picking strawberries," said the thoughtful rough-neck at the bar.

"Oh, yeah?" I asked to no one in particular.

"Yeah, pay's good, but I don't know if my back can handle it," he said, hunched over the bar in a decidedly non-ergonomic fashion. "Need to find some artichokes, but I don't know if they're in season."

"Avocados are easy to pick, and they'll be here soon."

"I don't like avocados. They're so bland and mushy and people are always making such a goddamn, brother-loving deal out of them," he said a little too loudly.

"Easy to pick, though."

"Yeah, but you need two trees, a male one and a female one. And the female ones are impossible to pick up," he said for the benefit of the avocado tree with all of the unsolicited ice-tea buckets in front of her at the end of the bar. "Anyway, that's how you know God is a heterosexual."

"Because of avocado tress," I non-asked.

"Because of avocado tress," he non-asked.

"What about dolphins?" I asked.

"Oh, I'm definitely too old for dolphin poaching. Plus, they moved all those jobs offshore. Gotta go to Japan to get a decent wage as a dolphin-stabber, and, even then, practically none of those jobs are left. They've got this racket going in an Indian depression-assistance help-hotline call-center where all they have to do is give dolphins corrupted information and they just kill themselves. Dolphins aren't involuntary breathers, you see. Whenever they see fit, they can just pull the plug, so to speak. That's how you know dolphins don't respect the sanctity of life. That's why we need honest dolphin-stabbers, because those dolphins are smart, and before you know it, they'll be doctors, surgeons and authenticity regulators with no qualms about pulling the plug any old time someone doesn't feel like living anymore."

"Well, you definitely have the required skill set to work at one of those call centers."

"You gonna buy me a ticket to India?"

I said I was not.

"That's alright, I'll get a job picking strawberries or something."

"What did you do for work before?" I queried.

"Well, I'm a stripper by trade, but it's only a matter of time before somebody pushes you off a stage around here. How do you think I hurt my back?"