Dogs Don't Roll Over
Written by: Alex Sandell
We Bob Our Heads Like Roosters
I'm still shaken by my dead dog incident, when I pull into the "Broken Arrow Casino Employee Parking Lot." "Broken Arrow Casino" is my "fine" place of employment and "a fun place to work." Being that so many people are so desperate to give their money away, there are no spaces at the casino for employees to park. Consequently, we get a parking spot about seven miles from the casino.
We are forced to arrive at the parking lot half an hour before our shift. If we come any later, we will get to our job late and, at high-school level employment, being "ON-TIME" is the be all and end all of job security. Once we park, we wait at the parking lot until an overcrowded shuttle arrives, ready to trudge all the dreamers, fools and dropouts through the dreary seven miles to work.
I put my car in park, shut off the boombox, flick on the radio for a minute and listen to the spokes-lady explaining that "when she smells that crisp Autumn air, she thinks of nothing else besides juicy, green, Minnesota apples." I smile and think, "at least my life's not as pathetic as hers." When I notice the crisp Autumn air rousing thoughts of apples, I think about moving.
I step out of my car and wave at a familiar (but, as always, with a memory like mine, nameless) co-worker, she smiles back, apples seem to have disappeared from my mind. I walk up to greet the discernible co-worker. She ducks her head down and lets out a irresolute "hi." We both look away from one another and bob our heads up and down in the traditional, "I can't think of anything to say so I'll smile and look like a rooster" pose. I debate over asking if it's cold enough for her and then rest assured that it probably is.
I turn my head to the right and see that the 5:15 PM bus is just leaving the parking lot. I look at my watch and realize I have to wait twelve more minutes for the next bus in the company of this fellow bobbing-headed rooster-human. I start telling her that she's the cutest rooster I've ever seen and decide, mid-sentence, that I should start up a more casual conversation.
"I wouldn't be surprised if one of us blew away." I say, using the large wind factor as my stepping stone into the world of conversational ambivalence. She smiles, not very amused, and responds with a sharp "it would have to be a LOT more windy than this." I contemplate over facetiously asking her how windy it would have to be before the two of us took flight. I remind myself that she would most likely call me on the sarcasm I was intending and decide to bob my head up and down a couple of times instead. I nearly start clucking.
I shift buttocks in mid-conversation and put my weight on my left leg for a while. "So," my lip twitches nervously, "how long have you been a slave for this fine gaming establishment?" Her eyes light up at my question. "Oh- do you like this job too?!?" My utilization of the word "slave" instead of "employee" flies straight over her seemingly vacuous head. I realize that I didn't have to worry about asking her how windy it truly would have to be to sweep us away.
This is the last verbal exchange my fellow bobbing-headed Rooster Human and I have before the shuttle arrives. I admire her beauty for a little while and wonder if she'd be interested in a date. Then, I remember Sue. Nothing, or no one could ever compare to Sue's beauty and, there is no other woman that I would rather date. My thoughts drift between beautiful women and a rotting dog with a staring problem.
The twelve minutes seems to CRAWL by. My neck starts getting sore from all the head-bobbing I'm doing and, I start wondering if the next shuttle will ever arrive. By about my thirtieth "I really CAN'T think of a thing to say but, I feel silence is the enemy so, I'll clear my throat again" throat-clear, I see the shuttle pull around the bend. I hop in and say "hi" to the driver. He gives me a sneer and mumbles something about how I "need a shave."
I watch the attractive rooster-girl take the last seat on the shuttle, I'm left standing. The bus pulls out of the parking lot and, I nearly lose my balance and fall. I hear a few snickers and, itch my nose, pretending to be confident in my standing abilities.
I can already tell I'm in for one Hell of a day.
Go to: Chapter 3
©1997 Alex Sandell but, if you're a book publisher and, you wanna get this puppy out, please get in touch with me, hand me a nice, big contract and, of course, a 12 pack of Grape Soda and maybe we can do lunch.
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