Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Selling Apples

I grew up hearing about the Great Depression. You have probably heard about it too. Well we are sort of heading for another extended financial disappointment as we speak and, so far, the main difference I have detected between then and now is a distinct lack of financiers jumping off tall buildings and spattering them selves all over Wall Street. I think that was pretty common back in 1929 because these guys had let down their clients or couldn't make margin calls, the sort of stuff that honorable men couldn't face. Well today, these same sort of men and now women as well, are just walking away from these huge failures and some are taking big bonus checks with them. Failed banks are taking big handouts from the Feds and stashing the cash while hitting their consumer credit customers up like loan sharks.
Back in the depression years people worried about losing their homes and going to the "Poor House." I don't think they have poor houses any longer but people are still fixing to lose their homes. Makes me wonder where they go. Me, I have a fairly decent sized car. Another icon of the Depression, besides bankers leaping to their deaths, is the picture of guys selling apples. Now with the things the way they are, I think a person would have to sell a lot of apples to make an eating wage. I don't know where you can get a deal on any apple fruit, but I could lay my hands on some Tangerines for free. Thing is, if I went down the street to try and sell them, I'd get busted for vending food without a permit from the heath department or a vendors license which they won't grant in this town. Bottom line I sell tangerines or, apples I go to jail. I might get some press out of it, but I am not doing this for kicks or to get my name in the paper. I would just like to make some eating money. I could eat apples and all that but I have the cats and the dog to feed too. I can't even play my mandolin on the street for tips. That's against the law too.
This is ridiculous ! You might say, hey Texino, get a job! Well, I am disabled and I can only make a certain amount of $ above what social security pays and I make that fixing computers. Hard Times my friends. The shame of it all is someone always has it worse There is always the guy pushing the trashcan at the end of the parade. His job is to pick up the horse shit, most parades have it. When you think of it, horse poop doesn't look so bad. It almost looks packaged. Some lumps of dirt with some straw woven in. The town near by depends on the horse business and there are a score or so horses clopping about every day. They used to have a guy go around with some trash cans. Low end of the totem and all, but I would do that kind of work rather than sell apples. When I was a kid up in VA. A man would come around each year at strawberry time. There were two men actually. One drove a black pickup with wooden slope roof over the racks of fat red berries in the bed and a big "clock face" scale swinging from side to side hanging off the rear. That man drove the truck really slowly while his partner, a black man with a jumbo voice, would call out "Strawberries" a block or two in front.
Soon, a woman would come out and the voice man would wait for the truck and while he did, more women from the big houses or the back kitchens would Snow down on the big voiced black man with the jolly charm and an impromptu fruit market would take root for a bit and then move off. I could lie in bed on a Summer's morning and hear the strawberry man coming like some slow parade. You'd hear his music and then forget it till it came back a little closer and then fade and then return. His voice was ghostly in the way the bumps and drags in a haunted house can stay at the edge of your audio range but rarely challenge you directly. That is to say the strawberry was only real when you realized "Strawberries" was a question and answered the role call by going out side and saying "Here!' Now that's a bit like apple selling and a step up in respect to street sweeper. But wait! You can't sell fruit like that now, too many cars, and as far as horse shit sweeper the horses wear a canvas construction to catch the droppings. Talk about being SOL. Well, we will just have to get a hand on the situation and make some new low end employments for the new year. Watch this space for more.

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