Friday, July 1, 2011

The Penguin And The Posty

Mornings are a special type of wonderful in the Dirt Worker’s World, or I should say wonderfully entertaining. I was riding into work a few years ago and a coworker said “I just don’t understand all the bumper stickers we keep seeing.” Which ones I asked? He points to the car in front of us and said, “My Boss Is A Jewish Computer.” This is where reading silently pays off. I see the sticker says, “Jewish Carpenter.” Then I look up to see my boss looking back at me in the rearview mirror. His eyes narrowed with amusement as he tried not to start laughing. Don’t get me wrong, I misread things all the time. We’ve all done it, but answering at this point with a straight face was almost impossible… Somehow, I was able to pull it off with just a slight grin and a nod. “I don’t understand them either, my man…”

Riding with coworkers is always interesting, but riding with my super religious mother when I was in high school, well, that was a trip all to itself. Having a southern accent kinda goes along the territory when you grow up in North Florida… My pronunciation could be at times comical to friends. So, one day a friend, while riding in my car, decided to help me out by writing a word down for me on a posty note that I had been saying wrong for quite some time. As she stuck it to the dash board of my car she said, “It’s Vagina, not Fagina Jason!” I didn’t think much of the posty note at the time, it kinda blended in with all the skateboard stickers on my dash. So a day or two went by and I found myself driving back home after a night out on the town. As I looked down the long stretch of highway I saw a familiar sight, my mother’s car on the side of the road, and my mother, The Penguin standing with her hands on her hip. She acquired The Penguin as a name from one of my good friends that thought she acted like the nun in The Blues Brothers. The one that could float across the room and beat people with rulers and stuff…

I pulled over and asked her if she wanted a lift home. She was coming back from church and it was already mid-afternoon, way too hot for The Penguin to walk in her best Sunday clothes. She climbed in and we started back home. As we rode, she seemed talkative at first, then she became eerily quite. I could sense something was wrong but what could it be? Then I saw it, the posty note with all caps, “VAGINA.” I thought, What? Damn! How can I distract her and grab it before she sees it? Jason, she has already seen it. Even The Penguin knows what that word is. My God, what could she be thinking of right now, "Why is my son riding around with a note that says VAGINA on it? What is wrong with that boy?"At that point of the ride I just watched the road, hoping my driveway would somehow magically appear in front of my car. I can see you haven’t been to church lately! Was The Penguin’s favorite saying when I was growing up. I just knew, I would hear those words, but I didn’t. In a way I wish I had, but instead nothing but silence. A fate worst than any other coming from The Penguin.

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