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Issue Date: Thursday, Jul. 28, 2005

At the present moment I feel as though I am about to spontaneously combust.

I know, I know… North Texas had a cool front move in early Tuesday morning. But all that did was result in a bunch of BAM BAM BAM BOOM! Rumble… rumblerumble FlashFlashFlashholycrapmyeye FLAAAAAASH! Storms, and drizzle. And more humidity. Yay.

My internal thermometer is set somewhere between Yeti-wearing-cashmere-in-a-rain-forest and harvesting-watermelons-in-Texas-while-wearing-a-dive-suit.

I love me some cashmere, but that shit is a bit warm. Kind of like wool… in a dryer. And on the watermelon thing? Well, why don’t you gather around kiddies, let me tell you a little story.

One summer a friend of mine named John W. asked if X and I would help him haul watermelons for the weekend. His normal workers were on holiday visiting their families and he needed some cheap labor, namely a couple of buddies that he could count on for pretty much anything.

X and I said that we’d help John out and we planned on meeting him at 7 am that following Saturday morning.

I need a nametag that says “SUCKER” in huge red letters. Can any of you guys hook a sister up?

I got up at six am that Saturday to just sit for a bit because, DAYUM, six AM? That is the ass crack of dawn ya’ll. I know that my alarm is all up in dawn’s proverbial ass now but this was a few years ago and I was all about, “If I get three hours of sleep, I’m good. I HAVE to be in bed by three ya’ll. Have too!” So, yeah. It was early. I dressed in boxers, soccer shorts, tennis shoes and a t-shirt and then woke up X. He fell out of bed and put on some of my old cut off jeans (ps, fucker… I used to hate it when he would wear my clothes…. REALLY HATED IT.) and a shirt, a hat and some shoes.

We drove over to John’s house and he had his trailer set up with all the watermelons loaded in. He had harvested them in West Texas the week before and we were going to make deliveries to the grocery stores in the surrounding counties.

I had driven by his house every day that week going to and from work and I had seen the amount of watermelons in his trailer, but nothing really prepared me for standing next to the vehicle, seeing the sheer volume of watermelons and the realization hitting me that with the oppressive Texas sun already starting it’s path West and with each moment I could feel the moisture collecting on my skin from my own perspiration in the heat and that I would be on the feeble three man/woman team responsible for unloading the freaking truck I was standing next to.


Off we went…

The first grocery store was a local Brookshire Bros. and John pulled around back and backed the truck into the loading dock. X opened the door and hopped out. I swung over the door frame and onto the big honkin pile of watermelons while John went to go find the produce manager. The produce manager was located, a bin for the watermelon was located and I started to bend, grab, turn, heave and throw the melons to X who in turn, threw them to John. John would then put the melons into the bin for the produce manager who would then put them on display for the customer.

These melons were on average 11 to 15 pounds.

We left that store at 7:45 am.

I was wet with sweat. I immediately lit a cigarette, we all did.

We traveled all over East Texas. Center, Lufkin, Reklaw (not really), Jacksonville, Rusk all over and at every Brookshire Bros. grocery store, it was the same. Bend, grab, turn, heave and throw. Or catch. And I’m not so much for the positive experiences with humongous spherical objects being hurled at me though space. While the mercury steadily climbed the thermometer to over 103 degrees. The humidity was like…

Have you ever been playing in a pool and you have your towel in there with you to cool it off…(stay with me here) and you lay the towel out on the surface of the water and then you go under the water and then come up under the towel and make a little bubble fort? The “SPLORCH” noise the air makes when it is being sucked in through the wet towel was the noise we were making that day trying to breathe.

Now I have done hard manual labor in my day ya’ll. Normally I don’t mind it. I don’t particularly like bailing or throwing hay, it’s itchy.

But this was bad.

The sheer weight and repetition of those damn smooth, therefore slippery melons. Good Lord. Not to mention the fact that most of the delivery docks were located RIGHT NEXT TO the dumpsters for the grocery stores which, is not pleasant to say, but smelled like hot ass, sour cat breath and death.

Much like Curious®.

The last city was something on the other side of Rusk, Cushing or something. The rhyme or reasoning behind Johns pattern was beyond me, but I didn’t care if I ever got home, I just wanted a cold shower.. from somewhere. A hose? An errant benevolent elephant?

After that last load we piled into the truck and John fiddled with the knobs on the dash. It appeared that the A/C was broken. Even though it wasn’t his fault… I looked at X and laser beams shot out of my eyes and I burned all of the hair off of his head and just left him with a slightly askew mustache and goatee.

True story.


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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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