There were these 2 guys who had been pulling tobacco for five hours. A net of yellow weeds covered the patch but came off like Velcro. The pulled weeds accumulated on a pile of red tarps and soon resembled fries on ketchup. Larry, the first guy, hadn’t eaten since the day before. He kept swallowing the juice created by his skoal bandits due to the presence of a bear in his co-worker’s truck, as it kept startling him. His co-worker, Yancy, caught the gentleben when he was a cub and took care of him ever since. No bear is sacred to the best meats and Larry sensed that his skoal smell and skoal spit was akin to oozing gravy to that bear in the truck who was also named Larry.
Larry, the man, wanted to get drive-thru for lunch and Yancy wanted sit-down, “like Denny’s. I’m craving a club house.”
Larry, the bear, couldn’t relay what he wanted, but it seemed obvious to Larry, the man, what he wanted.
They chose sit-down.
Larry, the bear, wasn’t hungry because he’d eaten a baby and was pretending to be pregnant, eating a jar of pickles just to show off.
In the restaurant, Larry, the man, pulled out a cassette tape of 1984, the one he’d borrowed from Yancy a year ago and gave it to Yancy, signaling he was about to disengage their colleagueship.
“What’s this for?”
“I know its mine. Why are you giving it to me now?”
“Because its yours.”
“I said I know its mine. Why are you giving it to me now?”
“Because its yours.”
Meanwhile, the bear wanted to make a Möbius strip out of paper with this continued parley written on both sides but couldn’t find tape or paper and moreover couldn’t paw together such a task. This quieted his exuberance over such a clever idea to the point of frustration. In the end he just growled to get this repetitive argument to cease.
Every morning, Yancy would sift through Larry the Bear’s poop as part of his daily care to make sure the bear was in good health. It almost seemed demeaning, making Yancy less of a bear owner and more of nursing home nurse, although, I know of no nursing home nurses that do this task, only the mysterious lab work technicians who go through the plastic jar after plastic jar, looking for something wrong with its creator.
Yancy found no remnants of said baby but found broken glass from the pickle jar that scarred Larry the Bear’s innards, creating blood in the stool.
“There ain’t no baby. And you tried to fool me by cutting yourself up on the inside. What the hell is wrong with you Larry?”
“Huh?” said Larry the man.
“Not you, Larry. Larry. The Bear.”
The bear started swaying his head back and forth like a circus elephant. He saw a baby goat and thought about swallowing it whole but couldn’t even muster the gumption to do it. Instead, he knocked over a display of tuna cans.
It was after lunch. In most workplaces, this particular lunch would be considered a drama lunch with much murmuring, cupped hands over mouths relaying what was thought to have happened while eating soup at the respective desks. This would never occur in a tobacco patch. Yancy and Larry, the man, went back to work pulling weeds and pulling adolescent tobacco from the patch, the latter to be replanted in the field for adulthood.
Larry the Bear sat in the bed of the truck replaying lunchtime in his head and how better he could have handled himself and how he shouldn’t have played up such bravado of eating a baby when he didn’t and how he shouldn’t have eaten broken glass which is surely going to mean a trip to the veterinarian who will surely put him under the gas for safety and that means he will have to endure a catheter. Damn, he thought to himself.
Yancy had some vanilla crèmes in his glove box and offered some to Larry, the man. Larry the Bear couldn’t have any due to his scarred innards. Larry, the man, was still dipping skoal bandits and it made the cookies taste like mint vanilla. He forgot that he still had the pouch between his lip and gum and swallowed the cookie with the tobacco product, making him swoon a bit. He lost his balance and recovered himself on Larry the Bear’s paw. Larry the Bear liked being needed and also liked face meat but felt like eating salmon so he jumped out of the truck and ran as fast as he could until he got to Bear River. That took three days. There were no salmon going upstream so he settled for perch and some rotten apples. A bear’s regret is temporary so he went into hibernation and woke up not remembering who Yancy and Larry were. Happy.