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Labor Day by Ray Printer Friendly

So I made it through another bullshit holiday. I remember once, when I lived in New York, I’m sitting there, I’ getting dressed in my stupid work clothes, and Trey’s hanging out, smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer.

“Sucks you have to go to work, man,” he says to me.

“Yeah. Stupid Labor Day. What’s this holiday for, anyways?”

“It’s a day of rest for the common man—for the laborer, if you will.”

“Then why is that I—the commonest of common men—am going to work, while you are not?”

“Because the guys that do the labor have to do it everyday—otherwise the world would stop functioning like it’s supposed to.”

“So this holiday is a day to honor the guys that bust their asses everyday?”


“But without them busting their asses everyday, things get messed up?”


“So it’s a holiday for everyone except for the guys that the holiday is for?”


“That blows.”

“That’s why you go to college, man,” he says, and goes to get another beer.

I don’t know what Labor Day is all about, man, but I know that if you’re in retail, it’s just like any other holiday—some stupid day where everyone who should be locked away in a cubicle or office is free to come make your life even more miserable.

I made it through, though, and I didn’t even punch anyone in the ear—and that’s a pretty good day for me, whether I’m at work or not. I picked up a couple of movies, and I’m thinking that another too-long movie review is long overdue. We’ll see, though.

My hands still reek of onion from when I cut some up the other day for soup, and that really sucks. Have you ever cut up a bunch of onions, where the smell stays on your hands for a couple days?

I used to work as a short-order cook, and it was part of my job to slice up onions for the buffet. About thirty pounds, every other night. Dude, you cut up thirty pounds of onions every two days, and you smell worse than a dead bum. It’s everywhere, that’s the thing. Like every time your hands sweat or get wet, that smell is all over the place. Nothing works to get it off, either, or even to prevent it.

You know how I finally got my hands to quit smelling like onions? I quit my job, and then I didn’t cut anymore onions.

What the hell am I doing talking about onions?

Anyways, I made a friend at the grocery store tonight, and I did it by being an ass. It’s a boring story, so if you’re expecting some great story about spies and monkeys and poison, you should probably go look somewhere else. My story is just about this lady and I standing at the deli, waiting to get some meat and cheese (in no particular order), and the guy that cuts stuff, he goes, “Who’s next?”

She looks at me and I look at her, and she goes, “Was it you?” I go, “I think you were first, actually.” And then this fat guy just walks up out of nowhere and goes, “I need three pounds of honey ham, sliced at number two.”

And the butcher walks over and starts cutting. The lady, she looks all confused. She doesn’t know whether to take this injustice in stoic silence or cause a scene, you can tell. So me—being the friendly as shit guy that I am—decide to save her the trouble.

“I don’t know if you were next or if I was,” I tell her, “But I know for sure that it wasn’t that fat bastard who’s getting the three pounds of heart-stopping pig sliced up right now.”

She coughs out a fit of laughter before her social graces take over, and she looks at me like I’m crazy. The fat guy glares at me. What’s he gonna do, though—chase me? He’s fatter than me, man: he’s running nowhere. I can at least make it to the parking lot before I stroke out. Plus, I don’t care about this guy—he cut in line, man.

Here’s the thing: I recently got chastised by my princess for being too…um…outspoken, is a nice way to put it. Basically, she’s sick and damn tired of me being an asshole in public. Probably ashamed, too. So I’ve agreed to follow the rules of social acceptability, right? You know, like not telling people they have stupid, undisciplined children, and not telling the girl with horrible hair that it looks like a bird nest fell out of a tree during a storm and landed on her head, and not tripping old ladies on the wine aisle and then muttering about how she's drunk to all the passers-by. But once someone breaks those rules, I don’t have follow shit, man.

What it boils down to is this: be a fat, nasty bastard with your belly button sticking out a foot and a half like a pedophile’s tool at a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament—I won’t make fun of you. But if you break the rules (a.k.a. if you cut in line), you will pay the price, fatboy. I will call you out about your enormous belly button, I will call you out about your inability to understand the simplicity of waiting your turn, and I will tell you all about how your kid is so ugly that I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of horrible genetic beast that should have been torched to ashes at birth while you apologized to society for ever trying to reproduce.

I was just starting in about how his wife performed donkey shows behind shabby motels for food stamps when my princess walked up and asked me if I was being good. Apparently the horrified looks from everyone around me had alerted her. I told her that I was being just fine, and then I proceeded to order my shaved turkey. The fat guy, he rushed away to the candy aisle. Probably wanted to get some snacks and get out to the parking lot in time to catch the second show.

Trips to the grocery store, man.

Anyways, I guess that’s enough of this venom for now. ‘Night, Li’l Homies.


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