Sunday, September 14, 2008

Forty Acres and a Fool (part 2 of 2)

This week, our penumbraed protagonist plots to procure his pals from crop share confinement ... on CP time.


Beau, where are you? It’s been almost an hour since you left to get the money.

Oh, I was feeling icky, Mandy. I just wanted to shower and throw on some fresh clothes before I—

Before you came back to the farm and bailed your girlfriend and friends out of indentured servitude? Come on, Beau. Get your ass down here.



Riiiiiing! Riiiiiing!


Beau, what the heck is taking you so long? You’ve been gone for two hours.

Yeah, I clicked on the tube as I was about to walk out the door and, wouldn’t you know it, La Bamba is on HBO.

You haven’t even left the house yet?

Mandy, you know how I am with La Bamba—Lou Diamond Phillips and that powerful performance by Esai Morales as Ritchie’s brother, Bob.

Beau! I can’t believe you! I’m working my ass off out here. You need to go get the money and get down here right—

Oh, gosh … the bridge scene. Oh my gosh, the bridge scene.


This is it—sniff—the scene that always gets me … when Bob goes out to the pasture where he and his brother used to play … here it comes … he’s about to scream it …


Sob sob sob … Oh my gosh … Esai Morales, what are doing to me? Sob sob sob … I apologize, Mandy. I have to go.

[ Click ]

Later, still

Riiiiiing! Riiiiiing!

I hope you have the money by now, Beau. It’s been over three hours.

That’s the thing. I just realized I’ve got, like, fifteen bucks in the bank.

Where’s your checkbook?

Back at the farm

Four hundred bucks? You’ve got to be kidding.

Afraid not. Freedom ain’t cheap round these parts.

But an extra four hundred-dollar fee wouldn’t even make a seasonal crop share worth it … it’d be cheaper to just buy organic at the grocery store.

What can I say? Some people just like to be seen at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays—

Nuff said.

OK, here. But, Beau, I don’t have enough in my bank account to buy anyone else out of servitude.

Ahhh, don’t worry. The others will figure out a way to get their freedom.

In the field

Hey, Jared. Think I can borrow that pitchfork?

Sure. What, do you want to bale pine needle mulch for a while?

No, I want to go puncture Beau’s car tires so he can’t leave here again without us.

Whhup! Too late … there he goes.

That’s it! I’m staging an insurrection to overthrow this farm. Who’s with me?

Hmph. Frickin’ sheep.

At the local gym

Beau, I don’t know why you dragged me here. I just performed grueling farm labor for four hours. Working out is the last thing I want to do.

Dropping you off at home first would’ve been going out of the way. Besides, you look stressed; a little exercise will do you good.

A bit later

Huff. Huff. Huff.

What’s wrong, Mandy? I’ve lapped you on the track, like, four times.

Beau, I’m dead tired! I’m filthy! I just want to go home!

Can’t go home yet; we’ve got our book club meeting this afternoon, remember? You can just hit the showers here before we leave.

At the book club meeting

Furthermore, stylistically, I found Steinbeck’s chapter written from the perspective of the crooked used car salesman to be utterly delightful, as well as an impressive employment of 2nd-person perspective.

Well said, Beau. I agree. … Mandy, what did you think of The Grapes of Wrath?



Whu—? Yawn. Oh, the book? Yeah, I like the happy ending.

Mandy! How could you disparage one of the greatest works of American fiction by leveling the charge of its having a “happy ending?” If you didn’t read the book, do not waste this club’s time with your unenlightened responses!

Please excuse her, Gloria. Her background, upbringing … she doesn’t know any better.


At a diner, later

Mmmmm, munch munch.

Are you going to eat all those fries, Beau?

Hmph. I was gonna. Are you hungry?

Beau! I did farm labor in the scorching heat all morning and then you’ve dragged me around town all afternoon; we haven’t even gone home yet … Can I just borrow two dollars to get a burger? I don’t have any money left.

Sigh, if you must.

??? Excuse me?

Mandy, it’s just that these are the sorts of situations that have come to typify our relationship. Don’t you see the pattern that has begun to emerge?

No, Beau. Enlighten me.

Be it at the gym or the book club meeting or here at the restaurant, I’ve bested you physically, intellectual, and financially. This imbalance in our relationship clearly corresponds to the inherent differences between you and me.

Meaning what?

Isn’t it obvious?

Why don’t you say it straight out, just so we’re clear.

But it’s as apparent and cut-and-dry as black and w—

Just say it, already!

Fine. Compare Nelson Mandela and George H. W. Bush ... Oprah Winfrey and Sean Hannity ... Michael Jordan and Pau Gasol.

Paul who?

The difference is obvious: Liberal Arts degree holders—like me—are superior to those who don’t hold Liberal Arts degrees—like you—in virtually all degrees of measure.

That’s absurd. A person’s major in college has nothing to do with one’s inherent worth.

Hey, it got me off of the farm.

So my MBA counts for nothing? Yeah, top-tier universities are just giving those away.

In your case, Mandy, I’ve taken a special liking to you, condescended to help you out of your meager circumstances at the farm so that you might ascend to a higher, albeit still humble, station in life, and I've taken you under my wing to provide myself with variegated companionship and a simple means of diversion.

But you didn’t even buy my freedom at the farm. You just brought me my checkbook.

As for Jared and Jessica, your fellow Business majors, they still have to prove themselves, show me that they’re something more worthy than the most base level of humanity that typifies members of their course of study.

But Beau, the only reason you’ve bested me in all these things, the only reason you think you, a Liberal Arts major, are superior to the rest of us, is that I’m dead tired. Of course you’ll one-up me if I’ve been subjected to forced labor for the better part of the day.

Excuses, excuses. I remember my time on that farm—earlier this morning—how I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, put in the hard work, saved up my scrip tokens, and eventually purchased my freedom, made my own way.

Beau, that’s total baloney. Everyone pooled his or her tokens to get you off the farm. You didn’t have to work a lick!

That’s not the way I recall it.

I’ve had enough of this. I’m going to a Cash Advance center to get the funds to bail everyone else out at the farm.

Ah yes, you people love those sorts of establishments, don’t you? Why don’t you go rent some furniture while you’re at it? Piddle your time away playing Playstation and getting high!

Back in reality, at the farm

Mandy! You OK?

Wha—? How? Where am I?

On the farm. I think you kind of zoned out there for a minute.

Must be the heat…. I had the weirdest daydream: You turned into a condescending elitist, making this ridiculous case about how you were so much better than the rest of us.

Ha ha. Good one, Mandy. Me, a lower-class African American male? An elitist? Ha ha!

Yeah, I guess it’s kind of silly.

Hey, look at how Jessica’s hoeing out that seedbed … Ha ha. Can you tell she’s never worked a day of hard labor in her life?

Ha ha.

Ha ha ha.

Ha ha, hmph.

OK, so maybe your daydream wasn’t too far off base.


rebecca said...

The Blossom


Merry, merry sparrow!

Under leaves so green,

A happy blossom

Sees you, swift as arrow,

Seek your cradle narrow

Near my bosom.


Pretty, pretty robin!

Under leaves so green,

A happy blossom

Hears you sobbing, sobbing,

Pretty, pretty, robin,

Near my bosom.

-----by maple story account

Steven said...