Saturday, December 15, 2007



Friends, I'd like to take a minute to talk to you about one of the virtues in life, one that seems to get pushed to the wayside more and more often in our workaday world. I'd almost call it the forgotten virtue, except that when times are darkest, in shines through as brightly as any....

It's honesty, friends.

It's about respect, really. Having respect for your common man. Having respect for his intelligence, for his state of being. It takes a strong person to be honest, to not mislead.

Especially when one is at fault.

That's why I'd like to single out my co-worker and my sometime reader Neil, for today's glowing display of forthright honesty.

It's the start of the workday. I'm a little chagrined at the lack of productivity of those who worked the night before. I know that it's going to be a rough day to start with, without having an extra load thrown on top of me.

And then Neil shows up. Neil and I talked of several things that are of mutual interest: each of us wants to start our own business; each of us loves movies; each of us enjoys threatening the other with horrendous, bloody violence--threats that have not come to fruition in the nearly four years we've known each other.

At least, not yet.

Well, Neil and I are chatting. I'm in the middle of describing the previous day's debauchery, when I smell something.

Now, working in a grocery store, as I do, is working in an environment rife with scents, both pleasant and nauseating.

To make a long story I told my story, one of the blistering, eye-watering smells I've ever encountered hit me.

Ho. Lee. Shit. I have no words.

My first thought? I was standing directly underneath the backroom's heater. I'm not much on things technical, but my brain first thought that something had gone terribly wrong, something had reptured within the heater, and that made the smell that I was now smelling.

My mind quickly dismissed that....and I started looking for a broken dozen eggs. If there is one constant in the universe, it is that a 17-year-old bagger will find a way to maximize both the laziest way to dispose of a broken dozen eggs and the most disgusting way. I was, for a split second, sure that if I looked hard enough and close enough to my personal space that I'd find a dozen eggs, broken, and left long enough to get hot and rotten.

And then it hit me.

Occam's Razor. The simplest solution is the best.

"Dude," I said to Neil. "Did you fart?"

And here, honesty shined through.

His response? With a smile:

"Oh, Absolutely!"

Honesty, my friends.

Two guys. One farts. Both knew who did it. And he didn't insult what little intelligence I have by telling me "no."

Or, if he were like me, given the paint-peeler he'd just sullied the atmosphere with....he was just a proud papa...


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