THE PERILS OF LOUELLA:|
Millie Johnson, her co-worker and day-off instigator, settled in next to her and eagerly read the lunch menu. Oh look! A Yo Baby Burger! Ive just got to try that!
Louella read the ingredients: burger, slaw, thousand island dressing, swiss cheese, roll, chips. A thousand calories easy! She looked around for a rest room so she could throw it up if she ate it, but saw nothing. Ill just have some iced tea. I had a late breakfast, she lied.
You party-pooper! Well, Im going to have it! She placed her order. We have to celebrate that weve got our résumés out there with the Heritage Foundation!
She must weigh 175, Louella marveled, sipping her unsweetened tea, and she just goes ahead and eats! I could never do that!
You know, I think Im also going to have that dessert theyve got, too, said Millie, finishing the Yo Baby Burger. See that? Mud! Chocolate pudding, oreos, and cool whip! How about you?
Oh, I couldnt! But go ahead!
Isnt this fun? said Millie. You know, I think we should bag going to the BMA, even though its free today! I feel lucky! I think we should go to an auction preview in D.C. instead.
Sure! Why not? said Louella. Its lots more fun to look at things if you know you can buy them!
Within an hour they were browsing through elegant antiques and paintings. Theyd been greeted warmly by the auction gallery manager. Thats what this three-carat cubic zirconia engagement ring is all about, Millie had confided. They always treat you better if they think youre rich!
Louella strayed into a side room containing objects that werent as fancy. As she browsed, two workers were talking in the corner.
You know, it aint right! said the taller one. That new receptionist, shes gettin paid nearly as much as me, and Ive been here twelve years! The other man nodded resignedly. Yeah, and I bet shes got health insurance, too. It aint right! the other repeated. Aint none of us in the back room gettin treated right! But what cha gonna do? Where ya gonna go?
Louella felt a little sick. Its too much like what happened to Dad, she thought. She joined Millie in a room filled with china and crystal. As they surreptitiously flicked it with their fingernails to hear it ring, a short man with an obvious toupee burst out of an office and rushed up to a well-dressed couple. Look! he said, flourishing some cards. Pretty, huh?
Louella peeked and saw they were tickets to the Super Bowl, printed in color with a flashy hologram. The couple admired them as he added, Yeah, four of us from here are going! Its costing us two grand just for the hotel! But what are you going to do? We had the tickets, so we may as well go! You only live once, right?
Louella wanted to say, Do you think its right that the business can send you to the Super Bowl and youre not giving your workers health insurance? But she couldnt get the words out, and the moment passed.
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