Humor Magazine

Now with More Room in the Garbage Bag

By Pearl
I stink of onions.
One washes, as one does, but if you make enough sandwiches, the smell gets in your pores, into the very whorls and striations of the hands.
Clark’s Submarine Sandwiches:  a brown polyester uniform with an elastic waistband and a free sandwich every time you worked.
Plus:  onion stank. 
A gal could do worse.
Brandi was in her late 20s, maybe even 30 years old, an impossibly old woman in my 17-year-old estimation.  A simple woman with a good work ethic and the ability to spin a broom like a color guard with a coke habit, Brandi worked all the hours she could get.
We are in the back, late on a Thursday night. 
I am slicing my way through a 20-pound bag of onions.  Wheeesh.   Wheeesh.  Wheeesh.  I’ve been working the mandolin slicer for a while now; and despite holding a piece of bread in my mouth, my eyes are burning, tears running down my face.
Brandi grins at me.  “You got any other jobs?”
I stick my tongue out, show her the bread.
“Oh, yeah,” she says.  “Anyway,” she says, “I got other jobs.”
Wheeesh.  Wheeesh.  Wheesh. 
I raise my eyebrows at her.
“Oh, over at the Kutz and Kurlz,” she says.  “I been there for a while now, sweepin’ up hair, folding towels.”
I purse my lips, nod sympathetically.  I don’t feel much like talking, what with the onion fumes and all.
My other job is bussing tables at a nearby Mexican restaurant.
Brandi pulls the garbage bag out of the 20-gallon can.  Full of rusty lettuce, onion ends and tomato butts, it’s a heavy, wet mess.
“Hey,” she says.  “I know a trick for getting more garbage into a garbage bag.”
Wheeesh.  Wheeesh.  Wheesh. 
I raise my eyebrows again.
“You spray it,” she says, nodding.  “You spray it down with water and then it gets heavier and sinks to the bottom.”
She smiles.  “Yep,” she says.  “Learned that over at the Kutz and Kurlz.”
I smile, show her the piece of bread again, and she laughs. 
Wheeesh.  Wheeesh.  Wheesh. 

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