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!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Let Them Eat Skeeters

A repost from July of last year.  It was warm then, so very, very warm, and I was working a graduation party in the sweltering heat...


“You look hot,” says a woman. 

Hey, I think, the sweat beading on my upper lip, a trickle of sweat running down my back, who doesn’t look hot in the garb of the serving class?

Several inappropriate answers apply near the front of my brain for release, and I riffle through them before landing on something work-suitable.

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Polite chuckles all around, and I return to clearing the plates from a table of wealthy graduation-party attendees.  Dressed in linens and sandals, they sit under open-sided tents, drinking iced beverages and eating fruits and kabobs from the buffet.

As they should.

I move amongst the tables, out into the 94-degree sunlight to the chef on the other side of the lawn, where the heat and smoke of the six-foot grill parked under an enormous tree intermittently blind him.

Service runs from 3:00 to 8:00.  It is around 6:30 when I first notice that the heat has begun to melt my facial features.  I anxiously reach for my ear lobes, which I discover lying on my shoulders.  My brain begins laughing, then divorces itself from me on grounds of cruelty and leaves the party for the swampy lake at the bottom of the lush, expansive yard, where it lies, squelched in the cool mud and humming from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

I had liked my brain up to that point.

My body, having absorbed four large bottles of water since 4:00, trudges onward.

I am casually considering the words “swamp butt”, thinking of cool showers and talcum powder, when I realize that one of the plates I’ve just cleared belongs to a man I used to work with, a VP of Finance with whom I was friendly just three years ago.

Sweat streaming from my hairline, my starched shirt showing sweat-bleed-through in the crooks of my arms, I smile at him. 

“Hey, Mark!” I say.

He looks at me blankly, then dons a thin-lipped dismissal of a smile, and I realize that right now, he doesn't recognize me.  I am a humidity-afflicted, red-faced woman with a stack of dirty plates in her arms; and he can't place me because he doesn’t know anyone for whom that would be an apt description. 

He turns away from me without returning the smile, stabs a chunk of pineapple on his plate and swallows it after two quick chews.

And in the dreadful heat, the sweat pooling at my collarbones, I am able to hang on to my smile.

Because Mr. Finance has just eaten a mosquito.

25 comments:

joeh said...

Ah yes...perfectly demonstrated how it is just the little things that makes life worth living!

And on the off chance that you could work up a little siliva on such a day I am always polite and friendly toward anyone who has access to my food.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I hope it pierced him from the inside out.

esbboston said...

That is a cool title, nothin' but e's for vowels.

esbboston said...

Every word has a t too.

esbboston said...

Every word has its own unique set of non ET letters.

Pat said...

And we all have a little holiday in our hearts:)

jenny_o said...

So many lines to love in this piece, but my favourite has to be this:

"My brain begins laughing, then divorces itself from me on grounds of cruelty and leaves the party for the swampy lake at the bottom of the lush, expansive yard, where it lies, squelched in the cool mud and humming from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack."

Stayin' alive, stayin' alive ...

Priceless, lady!

sage said...

I remember this story and laughed a second time rereading it. I don't know if I shared this with you before, but it did remind me of a funny story from my past: http://sagecoveredhills.blogspot.com/2007/11/eatin-oysters.html#comment-form

Vapid Vixen said...

Sometimes, I forget how much I love your writing style. And then I have time to read a post. And love it all over again.

Eva Gallant said...

Always, always, you entertain with your stories!

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Have a lil protein with your pineapple, Mr. Mark Finance, Executive Director of A-hole.

David Macaulay said...

ha, ha and so the expression 'swamp butt' enters my vocabulary

wellfedfred said...

loving this, people never know me out of (their) context. And the mosquito is enough to restore one's faith in God.

The Elephant's Child said...

My fellow swimmers and I have been known to greet each other in shopping centres with 'I didn't recognise you with clothes on'. The looks we receive from passersby are worth it. And I echo Delores in hoping that the mosquito skewere him - a tonsil or an adenoid perhaps. Or just his tongue...

Daisy said...

Hahaha! You always brighten my day, Pearl. Thanks! :D

Shelly said...

I do love the way life evens things out...and it always seems to, one way or another.

River said...

Cool showers and talcum powder. These thoughts are uppermost in my mind for most of our Aussie summers. In between every nap.

Linda O'Connell said...

You had me at swamp butt, and then he ate a mosquito. My neighbors think we have an animal over here, because your posts make me howl.

bettyl said...

Giggling to myself, as usual!

Macy said...

Hey, and now readers in Scotland are reading this, fascinated at the thought that anyone could get that warm

the walking man said...

He probably thought you were going to ask him to dry the dishes. No man named Mark likes KP. See we marks are all to a man wonderful beings but don't have the quick brain of melting Pearl.

Sush said...

Hi Ho...been off the blogging track due to part choice then fully forced when the old computer died. Happily I finally have a new one and I'm busy running around like a new puppy greeting all my friends and fellow bloggers! Glad to see you are still entertaining us all with you wit and charm...even when you are melting!

I'll be going through the list of your posts and chuckling as I go!
Hugs~

Diane Tolley said...

Ah! Revenge is pineapple sweet. With little wings . . .

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Now how this story ended made me smile a little revenge filled smile......lol

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Dontcha love karma?