I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Cost of Fun

It’s Friday again, my bloggish friends, and the iPod is at the ready.

What say you, my technological oracle?

Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz
Watchin the Detectives by Elvis Costello
Get Up (Sex Machine) by James Brown
Getting Down by The Kills
D is for Dangerous by Arctic Monkeys
Hem of Your Garment by Cake
Avenue B by Gogol Bordello
Goin Down by The Monkees

Hmmm. I’m sensing a mixed message here.

And yes, the last song, “Goin’ Down” is by The Monkees. THE Monkees. Perhaps one of their coolest songs ever with a screaming trumpet part that I suspect is Al Conti.

I could look it up, of course, but why deny someone the opportunity to prove me wrong?

As has been previously blathered on about, I enjoy a good wink -- a wink and a smile -- and I've been thinking about that since I mentioned Downtown Smiling Man a blog or two back.

Of course, Grandpa winked. And all his farming buddies, the guys who cracked raw eggs in their beer -- they were winkers, too. Mighta had something to do with the raw egg, but no. They were quiet men, Midwestern farming salt-of-the-earth men. The wink was as quiet an affirmation of your presence as their two-fingered "wave" over the steering wheel of the car -- a quick flash of their first two fingers at an oncoming friend. It said "I see you and acknowledge your presence. Let's not make too much of this."

I like that.

But all this wink-thinkin' got me reminiscing about other winks.

When I was 18, I had three jobs. One of them was pumping gas. Best tan of my life. I would French braid my hair and wet it down periodically -- best blonde streaks ever. And was my neck tan? You bet. Not sure what I was going for, but it was my brownest summer ever in a time when tan meant healthy.

I miss those days.

Anyway, gas was right around 90 cents a gallon at that time, and one day, I pumped gas for a roadie for Lynyrd Skynrd.

OK -- he wasn't really a roadie for Lynyrd Skynrd, but he certainly looked like he could've been. He was a tall, lanky man, skin-tight bell-bottom blue jeans, a thin, plaid cotton cowboy shirt with pearl snaps. He had long blonde hair disturbingly like my own and a droopy, Sam-Shepherd-sexy mustache (which looked nothing like mine).

"Two dollars, please," he said.

He wants two dollars' worth of gas? I'm gonna give it to him.

I pumped the gas, put the cap back on, and he handed me a five through the driver door window.

I handed him three dollars change.

"Thank you, darlin'," he drawled. "A couple gallons of gas, and I still got me three bucks for a good time tonight."

He winked at me, grinning, and with a slight nod of his head, he tore out of the station lot.

I'm grinning right now, just thinking about it.

Hope everyone has a good weekend and finds at least three dollars' worth of fun (adjusted for inflation, of course).

Y'all come back now, ya hear?


The Jules said...

Of course, that three-dollars went on a crack-whore and a bucket of ribs.

Mmm . . . ribs . . . in a bucket . . .

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I wish I had an interesting story like that about winking. The only jobs I had at that age had to do with kids and I mean the very young still in diapers set.

$3, I could use $3. I don't know what I'd buy (okay I do actually. I'm craving Taco Hell. Can you get anything there for that cheap these days?)

ICKY said...


Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I can't help thinking what kind of good time he was after with that three dollars ; -)

Chris said...

Fun story, Pearl. And since I'm a former trumpeter, I'm compelled to tell you (and your readers who are undoubtedly on the edge of their seats about this) that the trumpet player on Goin' Down was Bud Brisbois, who also played with the Stan Kenton Orchestra among many others.

powdergirl said...

Oh Pearl, I was a farm girl from southern central Canada. I know those waves and winks and the farmers who through them around, and I miss them too. And I think the bell-bottomed winker might have carried on across the border to find another braided, tanned, blond streaked, girl working at similar fuel stop
Thanks for the memories.

Jodie Kash said...

That could be the start of some porn ;)

Eskimo Bob said...

Pearl -

I used to play trumpet so believe me when I say: It's spelt Lynyrd Skynrd.

Madame DeFarge said...

My, but he sounded good is a tough-but-soft farm hand type of way. Don't get many of them round my way. I've never had a Sam Shepherd moustache. More like a Frank Zappa.

mbuna53 said...

Ah, the old finger wave from an on coming pickup, or from a farmer on his tractor, when you are driving down a country dirt road on a warm spring day, nothing says welcome to rural Minnesota better than that.
Makes me think of driving down to Southeastern MN to visit grandpa.
Think I might go for a drive in the country next week.

Douglas said...

When I was a lad of 16 (long before your time), $5 was enough for a date. $1 for gas, $2 for the drive-in, $2 for popcorn and soda and a $1 left over for the coffee after. Of course, gas was only 25 cents a gallon then. OTOH, I only made $20 a week part time as an usher...

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

*wink* *wink*
Well, its mothers' day this weekend so reckon we may have a good time, eh?!

Anonymous said...


A winking man makes me blush instantly.

That's all I'm admitting to.

Carry on.


Beth said...

Three dollars of fun!? That is just crazy talk!

mapstew said...

Cool playlist.

Not The Rockefellers said...

I once gave a bum $2.00 and he asked me if I wanted to fornicate.

No lie.

Peace - Rene

kavi said...

Simple things can give such lasting fun and memories !

Wonderful isnt it !!?!


But then, a wink is not so simple a thing ! I think ;)

Michelle said...

Get up - Get down - Going down!

You are going to be busy this weekend Pearly-Q!!!


Great story!! Hope your feeling much much much better!!!