I just got a message on my answering machine, bruiting of disease. The spinach I bought at the grocery store is being recalled because it may have been tainted with salmonella. The automated massage said it was for spinach I bought over a week ago, and had already eaten. They knew I had the spinach because I used my "smart shopper" card at the check out. I trust that a public health robot is examining my medical history right about now, with clinical dispassion. They don't need to get their semiconductors in a knot. I'm fine. Though I may never feel the same about spinach.
You should see my fore arms balloon when I eat some. Haven't sung a sailor's jig all day.
So while I'm recovering from the panic attack, I get a visit from Little D, not his real name. He hasn't been coming around as much since he got hitched. I guess it's safe to tell the weasel that I'm off my graze. Just got a scare. Don't have my sea legs. Should have known all along Little D was a slow acting snake in the grass. All he has to know is that you have a soft spot.
"I know a guy you can talk to," Little D boasted, practically in my face. I used to think of 'a guy you can talk to' as a teacher or responsible small business representative. Maybe I gave the twerp too much information by declining his offer to help me initiate a frivolous law suit. A creep like Little D sees that as an opportunity to twist the purpose of moral scruples. Like it's dumb enough to have them, and a bigger waste not to use the trait, in others, for personal gain.
He moved in next door a few years after I found a two room hell hole in a barny looking wood aparment complex with spindly stair cases. Little D quickly established himself as an indispensible companion. The way an item can. I once had a vacuum black head remover that was so helpful in controlling acne that I thought of the plastic syringe aparatus as a companion.
You can kill a million scabies with a cream, and it's so legal you get the poison from the doctor. People think like this when they are stewing.
Maybe a year before my spinach trauma, Little D hitched himself to the hairy fore arm of fortune. This was about a charter school that didn't allow him and all the other litigants to serve the slum community. They were all veterans with hinky records, and had been supposedly entitled to hiring preferences.
Answering the phone is like drinking from an alien creek. Praise technology for the answering machine. It told me I could have salmonella. So when I decide to just answer the phone, myself, it's Barry Scumbag, attorney at law, wants to talk to me about my experience hearing of the tainted spinach, and more importantly, did I eat some.
"I ate some, Barry. I ate the whole bag of spinach. With some croutons and dressing. No, don't think there was anything special about the toast chunks and salad oil, how can I help you today, Barry."
Barry was trying to get a word past me the whole time I was talking. Couldn't wait to ask Barry if he was the one who told Little D about the class action law suit that he seemed to fit into like, like a hand in a silk glove.
I let Barry get to the point. I fucked up. I should have said I was puking blood.
I'm getting time frames mixed up. I could die of salmonella any minute, and I just got off the phone with Barry Scumbug. Little D tried to shake down a charter school about a year ago. For some reason, he and I are still speaking.
Little D worked like a charity martyr, calling everyone he ever met, asking if they liked spinach, and if so, did they know it could kill them. Barry, the professional, would emerge from the rear, soon as someone said they were sick. Alright, it was a month ago that I ate queer spinach and got an automated warning not to eat it on the answering machine. Getting nearer the present, Little D's new bride has been complaining something awful. Seems she is acutely ill. Symptoms something like salmonella.
Now both Little D and Barry Scumbag have been calling me ten times a day. Seems there's a legal loop hole. Might still be able to sign onto the Spinach Caper. Meantime, a local songstress is rounding up singers who lost their voice from puking real hard after getting sick off the spinach. She's been calling here. Nice voice. A little raspy. From all the puking. I hit the play button on the answering machine, and hear, "This is LaVoris Crackman, and I need you to help me sue."
It's hard to convince people I'm healthy as a horse and happy as a pig. LaVoris was calling from the dressing area at her club, The Pink Camel. It's owned by the gay Libyan cat. They say he's hung like mule.
"Come on sugar. Tell LaVoris what really happened to you. When those bad food handlers made you ralf up blood."
"Well, they scared me, LaVoris. That much is for true."
Somehow, I knew that if I went for this thing, I'd be wearing a hair shirt loaded with Noxema. There would be discomfort, salved with something made for women with bad skin. I'd be wearing the unwashed hair shirt to bed, with people. Other people. Lay down with bad people, wear a greasy hairshirt. No. I'm not waking from this greasy.