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Motherfuckerland, Installment 11

(Art by spoon+fork.) I used to love fishing.  I never got so deep into it that I would make my own flies or drift live bait in the water.  I was a sandworms-and-frozen-spearing kinda kid. It’s true what I told O’Keefe that I gave up on the filleting jobs on boats because they started making me nauseous.  But it was something else that stopped me from fishing altogether, and why the thought of baiting a hook made me feel sick for years. I really wasn’t thinking the day that it happened.  That’s my defense.  You can think fishing is fun because when you have a fish with a hook through its cheek, you don’t hear it scream.  Other animals are...

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Motherfuckerland, Installment 10

(Art by spoon+fork.) Work on Monday was going as OK as it could until this guy spazzed out on me when I told him we were out of tomatoes. “Son of a bitch, let me talk to your manager!”  He had on a pair of insect-eye sunglasses, the kind that only California assholes wear. “We’re out of tomatoes, sir,” Howard called out.  He was sitting on a milk crate and slumping against the freezer door, just out of view of the customer. “A burger’s not a burger without tomatoes!” the customer yelled, sticking his face in the opened order window and looking around for Howard. “McDonald’s doesn’t use tomatoes, and some people think they sell hamburgers,” Howard’s voice called out...

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Motherfuckerland, Installment 9

(Art by spoon+fork.) Before we got started, I offered Andrea Conti a joint. Despite the close brush at JJ’s, I couldn’t stop smoking pot.  It became even more exciting.  Pot stayed in your body 90 days, as long as a warranty if you wouldn’t buy the extra protection. “No way, get that shit away from me,” she said, as she continued to roll up her sleeve. “Would you mind if I smoked?” “No, it’s disgusting.  Don’t do it.” Andrea was getting fussy, but wasn’t any less enthusiastic in what she did, even when it took me longer sometimes. The rules were set pretty early on.  I couldn’t touch her and she wouldn’t take off any of her clothes.  All she...

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Motherfuckerland, Installment 7

(Art by spoon+fork.) For no practical reason I laid out five rock-hard frozen patties on the grill like the die face for “five.” The customer had wanted some of them medium and some well done, but I was going to cook them all the same and put pickles on the plates of the “well done” ones. Howard was slowly peeling off lettuce leaves and putting them on the open buns. “I could have gotten into Ridderman,” Howard said to his shirt collar.  “I could have transferred there after I was done with Sack.”  Ridderman was the four-year college next door in Monmouth County. It was private and was Whole Foods-expensive. “Why would you want to go to Ridderman?” I asked...

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