Jim Olivo left a note behind for me
many summer camps ago–pinned
to a pine–that reads:
“If you want the recipe for that turkey sandwich from mess hall, you’ll have to pry it from the clutches of none other than Neander The Articulate. Born with almost-exclusively neanderthal blood, his scrawniness prevented him from competing with his peers on a physical level, leaving him alone with his thoughts on a regular basis. Over the years, this ostracized fella developed a peculiarly sharp wit, mainly due to his constant observation of the individuals he would have considered his peers (if they would ever let him). Little by little he started sneaking tiny esoteric quips in edgewise–mainly in passing–that befuddled the muscly alphas and intrigued the blossoming females.”
It goes on like that
for a couple more pages.
I think Jim was working out
some kind of material on me,
because I couldn’t ever find
a turkey sandwich recipe
or a local neanderthal
for the life of me.
Maybe he was talking about
the camp across the lake.
The gratitude of my temporary inmates seems only to ring truer with each passing circumstance. I suppose I may have acquired a skill or two over the years where it pertains to the custodial caretaking that so many in this throwaway culture would prefer to ignore.
It’s not Stockholm Syndrome that these folks have come down with, since I’m not the one responsible for my subjects’ captivity, but it is definitely a similar phenomenon (a guy sure could get used to all the attention, anyhow). My wards do actually receive that kind of no-strings care that the medical insurance industry forgot about as soon as private concerns got their hooks into it (even though their advertising tries to sell a different story).
Perhaps because of this comfort, every single one of our emerging beer-krausening technologies has been behind schedule under my watch. Maybe it was a mistake to combine a halfway house with a chemistry lab. Our three chemists-in-captivity are functioning alcoholics who just use this particular project to get tanked on the job all day–with my tacit blessing, I suppose. Last Thursday, Ernie–the least-tactful of the three–decided to not look both ways before crossing the street on his lunch break (I do give them at least a little time in each week to get out and smell the flowers). Long story short, Ernie got hit by a shipment of cabbages (with a truck attached), survived, and is now suing the city for not putting a stop sign in a 40 MPH zone. As soon as he got back from the hospital, you’d better believe I gave him quite the lecture on roadside awareness!
Why has such a billowing young man allowed himself to fall down that greased-up rabbit hole commonly known as chicken-shaped coffee can concerns? As bizarre as that may sound to you, I happen to be something of an expert on chicken-shaped coffee can concerns. I was a commodities wiz for several decades, made and lost millions in a single day at my peak.
But don’t let my obvious charisma throw you off the scent of justice, m’boy. Fads are fads, and you don’t wanna be the only one left holding your bag after the euphoria ends. Trust me, that gets old real fast. Speculation for speculation’s sake can be fun, of course, but why risk your shirt when a perfectly good bullion or two will do? That young man would do well to stay within his means, and not getting unnecessary credit cards in a manic hysteria (another one of my finer moments).
Buying 14 hoverboards might seem like a sound investment right now, but I’ve found a full night’s sleep before making impulsive decisions has helped me immensely over the years (to the tune of at least 200 grand). I realized that I had to take more preventative measures after that one time I plunked down all my liquid assets on that damn stadium (right after liquidating all my hard assets). I was genuinely screwed for years, considering that I got in right at the top of the market. So here I am, living on the catwalk of this blasted arena (well, just sleeping there sometimes as a way to impress the ladies), pondering all the choices in my life that led to this moment.
But what were we talking about again? Right, some young whippersnapper’s trying to beat the market by flipping bologna down there at his corner deli (yeah right, like corner delis exist for guys like him). You may think I’m out of touch, but you’ll quickly learn how overvalued being “in touch” really is.