I Bought a Beeper at a Roadside Fruit Stand

Out to Lunch, 1998

One alarming by-product of the burgeoning lottery industry is thatout to lunch everyone seems to be selling the dream of easy money.

Entrepreneurs of all stripes are jostling to get in on the action. If you had the notion, you could buy lottery tickets at Joe’s Pool Hall & Discount Carpet Emporium.

You can buy Quick Pix at the window tinting place down the street, Powerball 7s at the Piggly Wiggly, and run-of-the-mill Lotto tickets from that guy selling watches out of his trench coat by the side of the road.

This is, if you notice, the same marketing strategy that has caught on in other industries, to wit, personal communications. I must be the only human being left alive who is neither using nor selling a beeper.

By the way, on a metaphysical note, if everyone has a beeper, what use is it to anyone? Similarly, when everyone in the world has a cellular phone, is there any advantage to having one?

Anyhoo, I was down at the court house the other day, negotiating over a pending lawsuit when my worthy adversary interrupted the proceedings and said “By the way, I’ve got beepers in deco colors if you’re interested, and who wouldn’t be interested, right?”

I decided, instead, to purchase my beeper from some guy selling winter squash on the roadside. there are advantages to buying a piece of electronic equipment at the same place that you buy rutabagas, namely, that it makes for good column material.

I filled in the wrong year on my check to Pee Wee’s Fruit Stand (for the beeper). Usually, during the first couple of months during a new year, I fill in the last year when dating things.

To throw myself off track this year, so far my mistake has been to write in the year 1988. Perhaps this is some indication that my subconscious secretly desires a return to a Republican administration, which is no real secret, but what my inner child finds so appealing about my third year of college I’ll never know.

Maybe it was the romantic appeal of always being broke, having to eat cafeteria food, and getting turned down for dates to frat parties. But then, how would that be any different from last week?

Speaking of last week, I finally got my Christmas tree out of the house. The thing was so big, officials at the Department of the Interior accused me of pirating my tree from the Sequoia National Forest. For those of you just now waking up from New Year’s Eve celebrations, that’s where the trees get really big.

The tree was much easier to bring into the house, because it was wearing one of those tree girdles, and could probably have fit in a Size 7. Without the girdle, though, we’re talking Size 42.

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