Ed’s been thinking it over. If it sometimes takes a village doesn’t it make sense that sometimes the village gets paid back? He thinks this over every time there’s a professional sport league having a draft. He knows that mixed in with the dozens of stories of triumph and hardship there will be a heaping helping of young men who grew up with nothing suddenly being transformed into wealthy citizens. Some of these men were raised by single mothers who never worked a day in their lives. These typically rotund women have six kids from five different fathers. Their vaginas have been DNA laboratories since they started having sex at 14.
Why doesn’t the village hand this newly minted millionaire a bill? They have been living off of the village teat, why is it they get to keep all the cash and buy their mom a new house and car when against all odds it is found out that they can dribble a ball or lay somebody out with a block? What did she do except get knocked up, bleed the system and provide the kid the name of his father and which penitentiary he is currently serving his time?
Doesn’t seem fair to Ed.
Another thing Ed doesn’t understand is why more people don’t raise those toothless Turkish carp (Garra rufa) that are all the rage overseas where people pay top dollar to stick their feet in a tank full of them and let them eat away all the dead skin. Fish pedicures they call it. He suspects it’s because eventually people will start sticking things in the tank other than their feet and they don’t trust themselves not be one of those people. Ed is pretty sure he’d have his balls in the tank within an hour of the delivery man dropping them off.
Ok, maybe Ed understands that one.
But not the whole minimum wage argument. Ed has devoted a lot of thought to this and he doesn’t understand how people think that minimum wage is supposed to be enough to support a family on. There are certain jobs that aren’t meant to be done by heads of households. They are meant for part-time workers, high school kids and old folks. Apparently some people don’t care about the actual impact of such “feel good” economics, they will just keep braying and whining about ‘fair’ pay.
They will also be the ones braying and whining about $12 hamburgers because they are probably the ones making minimum wage in the first place.
Something else Ed grapples with a few times a year is why people feel they have to go to parties where the hosts know that nobody wants to be there but everyone will come anyway. Doesn’t the fact that the people throwing the party don’t care about the enjoyment of those attending cancel out any obligation they have to go? Is there anything worse than a rendition of Happy Birthday when it sounds like a dirge? If there was some time and energy put into the get-together with an eye for keeping those in attendance entertained that would be one thing but when the whole joyless event is done with no consideration for anyone involved it just seems like someone should stand up and issue a big “No thanks!”
Ed has a shoebox he calls the “shoebox of truths”. On the outside in black ink is written Shoebox of Truths. Inside it are things like losing lottery tickets, a picture of his parents with Sammy Davis Jr., a Hacky Sack that she had given him, old party invitations, a crude drawing he did years ago of all the high school jocks sporting horns and pointy tails sodomizing the only cute girl in the school who wouldn’t try out for the cheerleading squad with a pitchfork, a couple baby teeth his Mom saved for him but later admitted weren’t his, a piece of flint, a bullet (because the movie Man on Fire says a bullet never lies) and a few unused prescriptions for drugs he no longer feels he needs.
He admits to himself that after he dies he hopes that somebody finds it. Not so much as to endear himself to anyone in particular but simply to explain.
Ed wonders why his tongue creeps back so far into his mouth when he yawns. Is it shy? Whatever the reason Ed has started to make sure that he sticks it out as far as it can go when he yawns.
Ed does a lot of thinking and he’s come to the conclusion that even if the merge sign is 100 miles away from where the left lane actually ends there is no reason to completely disregard it. It should stand there through the sleet and the heat and the rain and the fog and proudly announce to the world “Merge – 100 Miles Ahead.”
So Ed does.