Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Overheard While Picking Tomatoes

I picked these mofos last night, grown right here on my patch o' Johnny-Come-Lately dirt, and with my own two Johnny-Come-Lately hands.

While admiring the glorious tomatoes, a 20-something man walked by, on his chirp phone, with desperation in his voice. The woman with whom he was speaking said something I couldn't quite make out, but I heard her tone loud and clear: she was done with him.

He pleaded:
I was thinkin'–
I got ta be the only one for you
That's right, Bitch, you the only one for me.
Bitch, you the ONLY one for me.

He was sincere. I believed his cheatin' days were done. But I hope this doesn't make me sound old or prudish: I'm not a big fan of the casual use of the word bitch. I am all about appropriate usage, and there are times when it is the perfect word, and no, I don't just mean when one is describing an unspayed dog. Sometimes "bitch" is the only word to describe a person (man or woman).

If I were the woman on the phone, I would also object to having a private conversation on friggin' speaker phone because I wouldn't want anyone to overhear the details of our personal heartbreak. But mostly, if he cheated on me, and then called me "bitch," instead of "honey" or "sweetie" or "babe" or even "woman," I'd find him and punch him right in the head.

Girls, when did "bitch" become the new "babe"?

I know too, that men at that age can be difficult. They don't have many redeeming qualities, but biology is powerful. Young women are drawn to them anyway. Do not let them call you "bitch," ever, girls. If they're still doing it in their 30s, you only have yourselves to blame.

That said, I AM a Johnny-Come-Lately, and maybe "bitch" is just done here in Trenton. Paul Pintella, please be patient with me. Someday I might get it.

Anyway, I went inside and photographed the tomatoes before we devoured them, because I was hoping to write about some kind of gardening-type thing today. But couldn't get the words of the cheatin' man out of my head. I was able, at least, to use the tomatoes as a spring-board into some linguistic (?) rumination, specific to my bit of Trenton.

I then prepared dinner. It was a simple meal, but celebratory, in honor of our Canadian houseguests: burgers and marinated mushrooms, grilled; tomatoes and pickles were available to garnish said burgers, or to eat on the side. The tomatoes were sweet and juicy. They are so fleeting that it can't get any better than to be able to enjoy them on a balmy August night, especially when the tomatoes are very literally the fruit of your own labor. But it ain't a celebration unless there are Fritos, and so, there were Fritos as well. Glen picked up a couple of cases of Yuengling, which is unavailable in Canada, and the Canadians like it so much that they doberman each other if there's only one bottle left. Luckily, we still have plenty. We don't want the bloodbath.

Sophie, the not-quite feral cat, sat with us, begging for a taste of burger, which she received; and the humans talked and caught up with one another. Our neighborhood was teeming last night, and in a nice way: kids were out and the ice cream man made his way up and down the streets, and adults were chatting with one another. But we were engrossed in our own stories, and so I'm sure there were some strange tidbits overheard from our yard. It's just the way it goes in the city, I guess.

Off-Topic Epilogue:
The Canadians made me go inside to watch the "Dog The Bounty Hunter" special; not something I would have chosen, if left to my own devices. But don't get me wrong, I think it would be fan-friggin-tastic if Dog came to Trenton, with Beth and her, ahem, "Twins." He's an asskicker, and sincerely compassionate. But he gets a bit Hallmark-y at times, you know? Dog, what's with the dreamcatcher earring? And the vest open to your navel? And the weird marriage of the pompadour and 80s metal hair? AND the braids? You cannot combine THAT many bad hair ideas. And seashells all over your body. You're a friggin' bounty hunter; isn't stealth a virtue in your line of work? You are so adorned that you must sound like a windchime; and visually, you and the family STAND OUT. You cannot sneak up on anyone. How do you do your job? I'm not really the sort to judge someone by his looks (that much), but Dog, come on, you're a public figure. Button up the vest even just a bit (you are fit, we know that; be a tease for a change instead of so damn obvious) and for the love of god, pick a new earring. And you gotta lay off the verbal cheese a bit. I mean, I tasted vomit when you told your former bail bonds partner that "If there were a recipe for Dog, it would need a cup of you." {gag}

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