Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A noble aspiration

The luckiest people in the world are toll booth operators. I would make an excellent toll booth operator.

That'll be three seventy-five, ma'am.

I would button my uniform all the way to the top and wear a size that fit properly, but not so properly that the material didn't strain a tiny bit over my ample bosom, tantalizing the randy men that passed through my toll booth lane.

Actually, sir, Brandt's Glenn is the third exit on up, about 65 miles. 

People would feel a certain way after our toll booth interaction. The burden of the toll would somehow be lessened. People would see my Thermos of homemade coffee and wax nostalgic, thinking of fathers, heavy work shoes and brown-bag lunches. They might even note my name patch and say, "Thanks, Erin," as I smiled and dropped a quarter onto their open palm.

Have a safe trip.

Thusly the scale tips, good pilgrims; and somewhere a fist unclenches. Lips close to stifle an unkind word. Eyes squeeze tears of joy. The sun doth rise in the East and set in the West.

The other cheek turns.


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28 comments:

John Venlet said...

Nice.

skbart said...

Beyond silly!!!!

Anonymous said...

Is that second pic out there in southern Portage county by RT 14?

Erin O'Brien said...

Anon, that pic comes direct from the unorganized and inscrutable collection of your humble hostess's digital photos.

Not sure which fine byway this came from, but it probably wasn't in Ohio. I think I took it en route from Oxford, MS to good ol' CLE back in 2007.

Anonymous said...

It looks like the interchange near one of the fireworks places down there, which is why I asked...

MR

alphadog said...

It looks like the backside of the Nat'l Corvette Museum in Bowling Green KY to me.
I pass that four times monthly when I'm working out of Memphis or Birmingham.
Good old I-65. More fatals on that road in KY than anyplace else I've been.

DogsDontPurr said...

This post is pure poetry.

And, though I had never thought about it before, that really might be the perfect job!

Erin O'Brien said...

Thanks DDP and John.

MR, I think alph's got it.

A Corvette museum .... who knew?

Nin Andrews said...

Brilliant and funny--as always. Thanks Erin!!

twinklysparkles said...

This post is like the lovely, unnamed bird who sang to me last night in the woods. Though your post is funnier than that bird's song, it is just as pretty.

I want to get you a job as a toll-booth operator. Everything is automated nowadays. Are those little booths air conditioned?

Anonymous said...

Alph will know this one:

"Know what the best thing to come out of Alabama is?"

"Good old I-65"

BTW O'Brien. Did you have your papers in order when you went to Oxford?

"You're papers please."

"Uh, I ain't got no papers man."

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

More info and pix on the Oxford trip here.

Erin O'Brien said...

... and holla Twins and Nin!

Anonymous said...

Great piece on the Oxford trip. One of my beat memories from this here blog is you turning me on to Brown who was a friend of one of my favorites Barry Hannah. Both gone now. RIP. Terry Southern, though not a southener(but also dead) has a short story collection called Red Dirt Marijuana that contains a piece called "Twirling at Ole Miss." Worth a look. May be available online. Southern may be best remembered for screen writing the scene from "Easy Rider" in which Nicholson, Hopper and Fonda are sitting around the fire before being beat up.

RJ

Anonymous said...

Anybody can be a toll-booth operator. I refer you to the documentary film "Blazing Saddles".

MR

philbilly said...

"Mongo like candy."

philbilly said...

"We've gotta protect our phony baloney jobs!"


For having the alacrity to create Blazing Saddles and The Producers, I believe Mel Brooks should be decreed President for Life.

philbilly said...

"Somebody's gotta go back and get a shitload of dimes!"

Anonymous said...

For having the alacrity to nominate Brooks for Prez I nominate philbilly for Vice.

BTW...I've been listening to lots of old music and clips from old movies on the web lately. I don't know if it was the drugs or what but the arts in America today are just shit compared to what was being produced in the 60's and 70's, IMHO.

RJ

P.S. "Excuse me while I whip this out."

Anonymous said...

And for bonus points ..."How much for the women, how much for the little girl...I want to buy the children."

LMAO.

Too old to learn HTML.

RJ

philbilly said...

I left out "Young Frankenstein".

In Chicago, way back when, on the Dan Ryan I think, there were automatic toll booths every couple miles or so. It was an endless-loop drag race between gates. I had a BMW 2000CS with sidedraft carbs, and a ZF 4-speed, could steer with my knees, dump the 40 cents, double-clutch first and be out fast. Also got good at changing clutches. Now I caress my clutches like they were a tight-fitting uniform straining against an ample bosom.

Anonymous said...

@philbilly...
Love your clutch comment. Seems to me that is sort of an auto mechanics ode to mortality.

RJ

philbilly said...

@ RJ, It's at least an ode to arthritis.

Erin O'Brien said...

oof!

Anonymous said...

When Scott Walker became a national figure with his union-killing bill,I had a strange feeling of familiarity: the insipid grin, the lazy eye, the near-constant tilt of his head. Then it ocurred to me-he's a modern-day incarnation of William J. LePetomaine.

MR

DogsDontPurr said...

I just ran across this interesting blog by a trucker chic.

http://truckingtumbleweed.blogspot.com/

(This appeals to me greatly because of the amount of time I have spent on the road...not just in L.A., but I've also done a lot of long haul delivery driving...and I LOVE road trips!)

ANYWAY, apparently that building, the Corvette museum, is supposedly shaped after a 1953 Corvette tail light. Who knew?!

http://www.douglas-budget.com/opinion/columns/article_5fa25dc6-aff6-11e1-a244-001a4bcf887a.html

Anonymous said...

As opposed to the Corvair Museum, which is shaped like the hole in the floor of my Mom's first car, a '65 Corvair with the T-stick on the dash...

MR

Uniforms said...

Great post indeed.