Youse

The caddie to-do wasn’t ever much more
than an anglerfishworth of gender trappings;
our souls’ faint inner-shirkings
beg to interrupt the rat race formula
so conveniently laid out for us.

Failure is a foregone conclusion
when you stack the chips a certain way.
Of course, we all must stray
from our internal clocks

for the convenience of our plutocratic overlords.
Demean yourself so you can put food on the table,
then you’ll be the richest of us all, I tells ya.

Then maybe one day you can afford
to take a ride on the merry-go-round
of solid gold. Only one ride though,
are you crazy? We’re not running a charity here.

Or perhaps it would be easier to imagine that we are,
if that’ll help you sleep at night. Anything
to shut youse up for a couple hours, you’re exhausting.
Now go play with the TV in the other room for a while,
and try not to get electrocuted like last time.

Eatery / Watering Hole

It’s that time of year again, Linda! All the kids have been plunking themselves down in front of their TVs this evening for one reason and one reason only: The 46th Annual BacArthur Restaurant Industry Genius Grant Conferment Ceremony, brought to you by Susan and Thomas Q. BacArthur, The Gene F. and Billy D. McGillicuddy Foundation, viewers like you, and several billionaires. The festivities kicked off a few hours early this year, with a charming cocktail reception that appears primed to become a yearly tradition, should the food and beverage industry continue enjoying unprecedented growth–our economic experts unanimously agree to this trend’s sustainability as we close out 2019.

Several of the past year’s top emerging bartenders have been hired to wet the whistles of the greatest eatery / watering hole luminaries in our tri-state region. If you look carefully, you might just see the glimmering looks of magnanimity in the eyes of all these foodservice professionals as they wait with bated breath to find out who’s the lucky recipient of the prize that will allow them to explore their more scholarly pursuits for at least a week–perhaps a fortnight, depending on their current cost/s of living–without having to pick up a desperation shift at the last minute next Friday night.

Truly the American Dream, Linda.

Folksy Ties

Ever more dissatisfactory than the wrought inheritance brought forth by bankruptcy of character, our thoughts of Swiss cheese benevolence really have no bearing on what it means to be a profitable avocado salesman in this neck of the woods. Don’t get me wrong, I have long-espoused numerous methods for informing individuals of their folksy ties to the apocalypse, but I choose to evaluate sparingly, for the more a person speaks his or her mind, the more likely they are to compromise their mystique. I don’t personally take my old rapturous censorship more seriously than the average ridged potato chip, though perhaps I should. Perhaps I should. Egads! All this food talk has done me the ages-old disservice of fabricating hunger pangs when my stomach really had no business engaging in such a thought sequence. Well, my stomach has no business engaging in any thought sequences, but that’s neither here nor there.

Inherent Value

Poet: I got a steal of a deal on turkey today! I’m unreasonably happy right now.

Accountant: So… why’s that? It’s just turkey.

P: Well, someone dropped one of those shrink-wrapped breasts on the floor, and it had already been opened, so their policy was that they had to toss it.

A: Let me guess, you–

P: Yup, got it for free! Gino was working behind the counter today and came out back on his break to “dispose of it,” i.e. let his buddy have an ample supply of salty fowl meat.”

A: Gross.

P: I didn’t see it fall, but Gino said it got picked up in about a second, and the floor was pretty clean at the time.

A: Pretty clean?

P: Come on dude, I get floor food all the time and yet never get sick. Coincidence? I think not.

A: Well… you might be onto something there, but you’ll have to walk that tightrope without me.

P: How very cryptic, yet obvious. Did you think I was going to try to share this miraculous bird boob with you? Fat chance, señorita.

A: Señorita?

P: Yeah, I’ve been starting to call white cisgender males señorita lately, to get them to question their binary perception of sexual and social roles (unless they already think about these things, in which case they’re cool with it anyway).

A: Good to know.

P: Back to the point at hand: you were insinuating that it’s only a matter of time before I ingest a floorbound grape and contract some horrific illness. Sometimes I wonder why it is that you actively root for my destruction.

A: Geez! Where did you get all that from?

P: Tonality, body language, eye movement, the usual.

A: Well it’s not true, dude! You really take things too far sometimes.

P: Yeah, whatever. That’s what they all say. All those… “people.”

A: People, sheeple, I know where this rant is going.

P: Fine, then let me localize my argument to this room and the mind straddling the body in my vicinity at the moment. I have been observing for some time that you repress your instinctual side, and the passive-aggressive comments you make on a fairly regular basis are vessels for your packing-up of creative frustration. You lob them–like grapefruits–right down the pipe and I hit tape-measure blasts from time to time, depending on my energy level at the particular moment of said pitch. My diagnosis: Boredom-itis. Prescription: Weed and painting classes.

A: Ooh, ow. Oh yeah, you really pegged me, you bedraggled son of a gun, you.

P: Glad you at least acknowledged it this time.

Sticklers

Sticklers twist stomachs with unbending adherence to arbitrary rules. Most common among those: never eat cheese on a Wednesday morning, always bring a spare umbrella during a hailstorm, only taste cake frosting with the pinky finger of your dominant hand, and if you’re ambidextrous, pick the hand that has more positive connotations in your life. The further down the list you go, the more detailed the rules get. Sticklers especially appreciate the needlessly-complicated ones, as they get a chance to memorize line after line of text from the Tome of Troublesome Tricks that Tame the Tummy.

XCI

Food. Good grief, all this food. What do I look like, Charlie Brown? Good grief. Actually, scratch the good. Great grief. Grief suitable for the likes of The Great Gatsby. This food causes me so much grief that I will spit it out, 92% unchewed, in the face of the next person I see. No, I won’t do that. It will be 86% unchewed when I spit it. I need a good coating of saliva on my ammo before I can predict its path from my mouth to this innocent bystander’s face. It must be made clear that I have the skill necessary to sully a perfect stranger’s honor without making an ass of myself in front of the general public. The case may be made that I’ll make an ass of myself regardless of outcome, but I don’t want to make the mistake of being labeled an incompetent ass. It took me six years for my reputation to recover from the last time that happened.