Freudian Slips: Slim Pickings

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

August 10, 2006

Slim Pickings

Two of my favorite pastimes are writing and eavesdropping. Pastimes recently collided while my pen idled with blank copy inside a crowded doctor’s office in downtown Philadelphia. As if summoned to stage, a peculiar looking hillbilly followed a regularly dressed man into the office.
After registering with the receptionist, the unlikely duo sat down within my listening distance. The hillbilly immediately came under everyone’s scrutiny from head to toe. Wrapped around the crown of his misshapen head, a dish towel crudely doubled as a bandana. On a ninety degree day stifled by humidity, he chose to fashion himself in a tee shirt and a sweatshirt. Below two layers of clothing, he wore dungaree shorts that looked like they had been artistically frayed by a pair of scrapbooking scissors. Color faded tube socks stretching to his kneecaps stuck out of combat boots. His unintentional appearance gave him no more credibility than a circus clown.
“I’m grateful for hiding me out on da boat on da river, boss.” thanked the hillbilly. “Da coppers never looked for me there.”
“Never mind about that.”
The hillbilly decided, “I’m right plumming to sharpen the machete when we get back to da shop.”
“You do that, Slim.”
Slim seemed to broadcast his every thought. “Maybe I’ll try out that new fangled machete by hacking da brush back yonder of da fence. It’s a sight for four eyes.”
“Four eyes? You mean sore eyes.” corrected the boss.
“No.” contradicted Slim. “I’m talking about me and you, boss. We’s got four eyes. Count’em.”
“Whatever. Just make sure all your work is done first before you go gangbusters.”
“Yessum, boss.” answered the hillbilly. “Work done before I get me to swinging the machete.”
A lull in the conversation allowed my pin backed ears respite while my scribbling pen kept up with the unfolding story. I knew I would be hard-pressed to invent a story this rich in character, this good in dialogue. Freudian Slips kept the live microphone on these characters.
As if wanting to prove he never earned a black belt in critical thinking, Slim invited more puzzling conversation. “I’m right fixing to pick poison ivy and swallowering me some of them there poison ivy leaves.”
The boss crinkled his newspaper shut and looked up for the first time. “Only nubian goats can get away with that. Why would you do that, Slim?” he asked disappointedly.
“One of my kin claims he made himself immune to the pestilence by eating poison ivy.”
“It sounds to me like someone in your family is trying to kill you! Don’t be stupid, Slim.” remonstrated the boss. “You keep flapping your gums with such nonsense in public and people are going to think differently of you.”
“I reckon that I’m gonna be different no two ways about it. So it might be hot doggie and kraut for lunch but I’m picking and eating poison ivy before dinner.” promised Slim. “Yep, gonna finally cure myself of da rash or croak trying.”
“Die trying is more like it. I’m telling you as your boss and as a trusted friend, don’t eat poison ivy on my property.”
“Don’t ya worry none, boss. I got me in my pocket that in-surance card ya gave to me. Just in case, ya know? Hospital has to take care of me with in-surance. They will put me somewhere if I eat poison ivy even this far from home. If I ate me poison ivy leaves in da big city what hospital da ya thin they would take me to?”
The annoyed boss concluded, “The mental hospital!”

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7 Comments:

Anonymous marcus said...

funny and silly. get this guy to do my leaf work in the fall

10:56 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

marcus,
if the police can't find him, what makes you think that I can? lol

11:29 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

Wonder what he'd do with nurse sharks?

12:21 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

merci,
you are up entriely too late tonight. You need some creme brule to nod off.

12:53 AM  
Blogger meekon5 said...

An interesting conversation. I miss travelling on buses quiet as much, I used to hear some very interesting little conversations.

12:18 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

LOL, sounds like it would be humane to let him eat the damn leaves. Hopefully he has never reproduced.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

meekon,
yeah buses and cabs are glorious conversation collectors.

Pat,
Sorry to disappoint. I remember a sidebar conversation in which he had caught his daughter smoking in her bedroom closet the night before.

6:22 PM  

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