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 by David Todd McCarty | Monday, July 11, 2016

Whistling Gopher: A mark who departs with a whistle of disbelief after he hears the price of your ride or show or product.

I was a showman on the Midway. People said I had sawdust in my blood. An honest to God ass man, yessiree. That’s an A&S Man in the trades. Stands for ‘Age and Scale.’

I could guess the month you were born within two months, or your age within two years. I never cared for guessing people’s weight. Especially with the ladies. No way to win that game, especially if you win.

Started as a backyard boy. This and that. Run errands. Cart boxes. Basically doing whatever they told me to do. Entry level shit.

They never would let me be a talker and I never really had the goods to be a strong agent on the skill games. I kept to the simple games like screw pool, poster joints and wheel of fortune type games.

First real job was in a bendover store, one of those games where you had to bend over a couple of hundred times a night to fetch the balls. Not much skill to that being an agent at a bendover store. But the game pretty much takes care of itself. The guy wins a stuffed animal. No problem. He paid more than it cost for the toy, just to play. But most guys don’t win. Or if they do, they paid for that toy so many times over you don’t care.

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by David Todd McCarty | Monday, July 11, 2016

The American grocery store, or supermarket as they are sometimes called, is a thing of freakish wonder to begin with. The sheer volume of goods, most of it not real food, is astounding and frightening. The latest trend are the gourmet grocery stores like Fresh Fields and Trader Joe’s. They have aisles of packaged goods marked organic or vegan with a new list of ingredients you’ve never heard of. National soda brands are gone, but there are plenty of fruit juices that will rot your teeth just the same, and are made by the national brands. It’s all a facade.

Lots of women wearing lululemon yoga pants pushing their tiny carts, with bags of seaweed flavored snack crisps and fizzy fruit juice. It’s all just chips and soda dear.

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by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, July 5, 2016

He sits in a booth in Uncle Bill’s Pancake House. The corner one near the window. He gets there early before the crowds and gets the same thing every time. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just that it’s the same and that there aren’t many people. He doesn’t like the people. He doesn’t even really like Uncle Bill’s. It’s overpriced flour and water, he thinks. Still, he doesn’t have the will to make them himself, and the waitresses are cute. Mostly.

He flirts with them sometimes, when he’s feeling full of piss and vinegar as his wife used to say . Mostly, he just orders quietly and minds his own business. Drinks his coffee. Says thank you when they refill his cup.

It’s hot, even for July. Oppressively hot. It was good to get out of the apartment above the sunglass store. There were already a lot of people at the restaurant. Not like it would be later, when they’d line up outside, but for 7am on a Tuesday, it was still pretty crowded. He would have had to wait if he hadn’t been the first one there. If his booth wasn’t available, he’d turn around and walk away. The girls were pretty good about waiting for him. If he didn’t show up by 7:30, then they’d sit anyone there. But when he came first thing, they’d hold it for him.

He reads the paper. He’s not sure why. It’s all bullshit. Cops killing blacks. Blacks killing cops. Heroin overdose. Drug busts. Drunk driver. Hillary is a liar. Trump is a liar.

They’re all liars he thinks. Everyone lies. Everyone is full of shit.

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