You are the lowest of the lows,
Your belly usually firmly pressed against the cool laminate floor.
Your work receiving no accolades,
But you smile at each incident-free day that rolls by.
Never expecting your picture to be featured on the wall with the company best,
You attack your duties with the vigor of a man who knows his rewards are greater
Than any Employee-of-the-Month award could be.
Happily you crawl and wriggle about,
Unaware, (or is it uncaring?) of the curious customers who might catch a rare glimpse of you at work.
Using broom handle, yardstick or your own outstretched arm,
You wrangle those unruly spuds with a flick of a wrist, a swipe of the arm.
Happily, they seem to wobble towards him on their own accord,
As if they were penitent children, overjoyed to be found,
Thankful not to be lost forever in the yawning darkness they had found upon their ill-advised escape.
Purple Peruvian, fingerlings, sweet and Yukon Gold,
Russet, Idaho, new, Kennebec or La Rouge, it makes no difference;
They are all your lost brethren, and you- their savior.
Carefully you collect them, no corner goes unsearched, and after a gentle scrub
Back they go, returned safely, they rejoin their flock.
And with a sigh, you place your hands on your hips,
Knowing before the day is through, you will be beckoned once again.
For shoppers are clumsy, impatient and obtuse.
They hunt through the pile for the perfect specimen, all others must make way.
Should an ill-fated or poorly replaced tuber happen to obstruct their reach,
Down it will fall, its fate flouted, as it wobbles slowly out of sight…
Hidden and alone it finds itself in the bowels of its former home.
And then you will be called, broom in hand, to wrangle those lost souls,
And return them once again,
To their mounded home.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: On a brief trip to the Publix Supermarket today (we were on a mission to buy gelatin for the makings of some homemade zombie makeup… yeah, really) we were heading towards the produce when we happened upon an odd scene. There, in the onion, garlic, and potato aisle were two legs kicking about from under one of the potato display bins. Soon, as if by magic, potatoes of all sizes and shapes began to roll out from under the display, seemingly under their own power. Only then did I see the sweeping arm gripping a broom handle and the head and torso of the teenager who emerged in time to throw a whatareyoulookingatyeahthisismyjob kind of stare. I was too fascinated to care, and continued to stare unapologetically at what I immediately dubbed the potato wrangler. Seeing I was not going to move on, the kid gave an almost-audible sigh and went back to his wrangling. Best grocery store shopping trip ever. If only he had a lasso instead of a broom handle…
Love & Squirrels.