The greatest pen in the history of Western Civilization
Do you consider yourself a sucker for advertisement? If you see a picture of a battery powered posthole digger does it cause your palms to sweat? Stuff like that does not affect me. I am practical beyond reason. Most days.
Yesterday, I was getting my oil changed at Troy Garrison’s new automotive shop on South Frazier near Gladstell. Troy, his dad and a friend named Jerry just set up the place. It’s called Jay’s Automotive. I only mention it because the experience is tied to this story, and because Troy’s an ex-student and among the most honest mechanics in the county. Maybe the world.
So, I’m sitting in Jay’s waitingroom watching TV ‘cause I’m tired of reading my Larry McMurtry book --“The Wandering Hill.” McMurtry introduces about two dozen characters in the first 20 pages. I’m good for five, tops.
That’s why I started watching “Price is Right” with Drew Cary, a comedian who stepped into something lucrative, but o’ so demeaning. As I looked up to see my car and the TV at the same time, a contestant had just gone absolutely freakizoid over winning a hot tub, a Vespa and about 100 other things.
It was the blue Vespa that called to me. How cool is that thing? You don’t straddle it, you just sit down like you’re at the kitchen table and the handlebars are your fork and spoon. My big brother Larry owned a white Vespa back in the sixties, when it was groovy for a guy to ride a sissy motor bike. Self-awareness was unfashionable.
When I got home, I mentioned the Vespa to Kay and she was not all that excited. Tell the truth, I don’t think she took me seriously. Not even when I told her I could drive it around the neighborhood and maybe down to Sonic to bring us home some tater tots. You wanna know what her response was? -- “Sonic never fries their tater tots enough.” –Thanks, Sonic.
Okay, let’s go back to Jay’s Automotive. While I was paying Troy’s dad for the oil change, he handed me a complementary pen. It had “Jay’s Automotive and Transmission” printed on the side and – Get this! – a tiny flashlight bulb on the opposite end of the writing part. You push on the bulb and the thing shines one of those bright LED lights. LCD? One of those tiny lights.
When I showed Virginia the pen, she went squirrel spaz on me. I had to try to wrestle the thing out of her purse. Who needs a pen with a light on the end? I do when I’m on the rooftop at night, but Virginia definitely doesn’t need one. Yet, she punched, kicked, and karate chopped her way out of my house.
Crazy thing is, I understand why. Just a little while ago I was looking at the ads when I saw something I really wanted. Almost needed it, even. You’re absolutely right. It was a picture of a pitchfork.
There is no farm implement that intimidates more than a pitchfork. Anytime a pitchfork is introduced into a movie or TV show it ends up in somebody? Can you imagine Kay and I watching “Longmire” and all of a sudden there’s a home invasion. Two thugs manage to kick, knock and pry their way into the house, and I reach over and grab the pitchfork next to the couch.
Instantly, I become a most menacing figure. – “Hey, Four Toes, we’ve got a really mean one here. He’s got a pitchfork!” – “Oh, yeah? Well plug him!” – “Did I mention he’s holding a pitchfork!” – “Oh, right. Let’s get outta here!”
The mental image of getting pitchforked is among the worst imaginings known to man. One step below putting drops in your ear. Regardless, I’m not getting a pitchfork. Kay doesn’t want one in the house. She said my second wife may not mind so much.
And, that’s not all. I know you wish it were. But, yesterday, Kay’s cousin Sharla, posted on Facebook, an ad for weird office supplies. Among the ads was a Desk Egg Paperclip Nest. You put a pile of paperclips on your desk, and then set this fist-size magnetic egg on top. Instantly the clips surround the egg to the point where it looks like it’s in a nest.
There are four paperclip holders in this house. But, not a one of ‘em is a magnetic egg. I have no use for one, but I feel a need. Kay says there will be a pitchfork in the living room, before there will be a magnetic egg on my desk.
I was actually glad to hear that, ‘cause it looks like I’m gonna need a pitchfork before I ever expect to get my flashlight ballpoint pen back. Ruby Jewel would be so disappointed in her daughter if she were alive to see how she covets her friend’s stuff. It’s one of the Commandments, you know? I believe it was Moses who said, “When it’s hot, want it cold. When it’s cold want it hot. Always wanting what is not.” Maybe Noah.
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