Monday, May 1, 2017

An Enlightening Conversation with the Guy who Checks my Ticket on the Commuter Train

The following is a transcript from my enlightening conversation with the guy who checks my ticket on the commuter train. His name was Gary, I believe. But I’m not sure, so let’s go with Sasha. Sasha was kind enough to take a short break from his ticket punching duties to talk with me last Friday night. He’d had a long week, I could tell, but I really wasn’t interested in hearing his stupid life story.

Me:                 Sasha, are you embarrassed of your job?
Sasha:              What? Why?
Me:                  Well, you have to wear that stupid little hat, for starters…
Sasha:              I don’t HAVE to, I want to. It projects authority.
Me:                  But the top of it is mesh. I can see right through it. And you’re stashing tickets up there, on your head.
Sasha:              You aren’t supposed to be able to see that.
Me:                  OK! So how soon until robots do your job?
Sasha:              I don’t think that will happen. Robots could never do certain parts of my job.
Me:                  Like what?
Sasha:              Robots can’t wear hats, as far as I know. Now, my information may be wrong.
Me:                  No, that’s absolutely correct. I hadn’t thought about that.
Sasha:              Do your research next time, Woodward.
Me:                  How do you deal with all the hobos?
Sasha:              This is a commuter train, there aren’t any hobos.
Me:                  What about that hobo right there?
Sasha:              That’s a professional woman. She’s reading a book.
Me:                  Ah, ridin’ the rails!!!!

I very much enjoyed my talk with Sasha. He didn’t feel the same and I completely understood.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Yard work!!!

     It’s almost spring and you know what that means, don’t you? It means lawn care! And for those of you who still rent (seriously???) and don’t have your own patch of heaven to tend to, well, stop reading. Hahaha, JK, you’re welcome to tag along! Anyhoo, every year when spring rolls around, I gather with my lawn guy, Jesus (pronounced: hey! – Zeus), to discuss the plan of attack. Now, Jesus’s primary language is Spanish and mine is English so right there we have a problem. I use a lot of hand signals and Jesus giggles. Most of the time it works but more than a few times Jesus has ended up cutting my hair. He does a nice job so I don’t say anything.
     Our relationship is much like father and son: Jesus shows me the proper ways of opening up the soil after a long winter and I eat snacks and watch baseball. But I’m not soft – far from it. I’m still very involved in my own lawn care. Yessir! Just last week I power raked the back yard except I didn’t actually do that at all. What I did do was watch videos on power raking then pace around the back yard until I felt too tired and overwhelmed with the work in front of me. That happens a lot. And then I get sad. And you know what’s really hard to do when you’re sad? Yard work. Because who fucking cares what shade of green your god damn grass is when night is always coming?
     Anyway, that’s when I call Jesus. He comes over and I signal like a deaf person on crack and he giggles like a child. And then he makes my lawn look like god damn Astroturf while I play guitar or drink coffee or some shit. We just make it work. I like to think that over the years, Jesus and I have forged a special bond. He thinks very little of me while I continue to pay his bills as late as possible.
     But it’s the unspoken code we have developed that is most important to me: like the time I found Jesus talking to my wife about the perennials in the side yard. Not only did I learn that those fuckers can come back EVERY YEAR, but that Jesus speaks very good English. And here I am learning sign language in Spanish! So as spring returns, I wish you all a hearty, healthy lawn to carry you through summer. Jesus and I will see to it that mine is green and lush. And if not, I will fucking fire his ass.