Tuesday, March 08, 2005

TV Dinners

So, after losing about forty seven thousand dollars on the Neiman’s project, our employer decided to close the facility in Dallas.

In the middle of the night. Literally.

Steve had one loyal employee who wanted to re-locate to Little Rock. Gerardo (pronounced hair-ar-doh) was a pleasant young Mexican emigrant who spoke English and had a desire to become an American citizen. They loaded the bob truck up in the wee hours of the morning and set out for Little Rock.

When they got to my shop about 7:30 that Friday morning, we were hard at it. I could tell by looking at Gerardo’s eyes that he was pretty well beat. Steve told me how he was following him in the car as Gerardo drove the bob truck along I-30 headed northeast. He said one minute he’d be in the right lane, the next in the left, and then in the median. Finally he signaled for him to pull into an exit for gas.

Steve bought a package of NoDoze, read the instructions that said something like one every two hours as needed and told Gerardo to eat about eight of them. Gerardo said that he wasn’t sleepy any more, but was a “bit sick to my stomach.”

I felt sorry for him and asked him if he wanted to go to my house and get some sleep. He seemed grateful, so I took him over to the hood, set him up in the spare bedroom with a sleeping bag and a pillow and went back to work.

No sound from him that night when I got home. Nothing all day or all night Saturday.

Finally, Sunday morning, he stirred and came out of the spare room about noon. I was just on my way out for urgent sunny Sunday business, but I asked him if he wanted a TV dinner. Being a bachelor, I always had a freezer full of those things. I showed him the picture on the El Patio Enchilada Dinner when he looked a little puzzled. He nodded yes, so I showed him how to set the stove to 425 degrees, take the dinner from the box and put it in. Watch the clock, thirty minutes and take it out.

When I returned, about six that evening, there were nine empty TV dinner trays in the trash can.

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