Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Lists; The Truck

(60) The Lists; The Truck


From God's To Do list:
--Shop.
--Peace in the
Middle East.
--Oil the Pearly Gates.
--Review Open Enrolment Policy.
--Give the Devil his Due.
--Bury Pat Robertson with Faint Praise.
--Get the blind spots out of the Ford Taurus.
--Pay off the Visa card.
--Get Jerry Seinfeld back on TV.
--Note to
St. Paul about over enthusiasm.
--Tune harp.
--
From Satan's To Do List:

--Shop.
--Promotion for Robertson.
--Move Taurus visibility director to GM.
--Furnace cleaning.
--Check on Nail Keg order with Sears, call UPS about shipping to
N. Ireland.
--Birthday card to Adolf.
--Plant more anti-Prozac items in the press.
--Bagpipe lesson.
--

Silverberg is worried. There's just been a notice put up on the bulletin board at Duffy Carting, and it says that during the summer, the dress code is relaxed, and people can come in wearing casual clothing. Silverberg works truck number "738," which is called “Barbara Ann.” And he dresses casually all year long because of the nature of his work, which is picking up stuff in big black plastic bags, left along the sidewalks, and putting them into 738's roto-gate on the back.
Silverberg is going to ask Mrs. Silverberg who is Sheila whether she has kept any of his old uniforms, because he would like to keep in step with the rest of his co-workers. But Sheila probably threw them out years -- and pounds ago.
Silverberg is doing this work because he enjoys it. It gets him home early, it pays well, and sometimes you find good stuff. Big Silverberg, his father, who is Irv, says this is not work for an educated man. But Silverberg does it any way because it gets him home before Sheila, and he can have a beer or watch the ballgame or read or nap before she starts in.
Sheila took her mother on a trip to
Vilnius last spring, and it was the quietest two weeks Silverberg has had in 16 years. But in the last day or so before she came home, he had a lot of work to do. Dishes, making sure the toilet seat was down, two weeks of laundry.

This is a guy who's worked the truck for 20 years with never so much as a bruise or a pulled muscle. But getting the laundry done, he wrenched his back which then was out for a month.
This made Duffy unhappy. It made Sheila unhappy, and it made Silverberg unhappy. Gotta watch that laundry-- it's dangerous.
One night, during Sheila’s trip, Silverberg was on the computer, looking at the "personals" ads, and there were things in there he could not understand or figure out.
He wants to know what does "short term" mean. Maybe an hour? A night? Six months? If you're 85, which he is not, that could mean 30 years. How about "other relationship." What's that mean? You do something with inflatable objects? You have an exchange of shoes or other articles of clothing?
Silverberg is learning to skip the ads that are made up of letters that don't form words. "BBF, WC sks SWCM or SWDM 4 LWITH." "Huh?"

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.™

©wjr 1999, 2006

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