One Day At Mickey’s Diner

(SCENE: BUD OLSON and TREVOR PUCKETT, two City of Saint Paul Public Works employees, are having breakfast at Mickey’s Diner on West Seventh Street).

WAITRESS: Here’s your coffee.  Pancakes’ll be up in a minute.  (Walks away).

PUCKETT:  So you get that car for your daughter yet?

OLSON: No.  I’ve been trying to find her one of them rice-burners, a Toyota or a Honda or a Mazda or somethin’.  Can’t find ’em.

PUCKETT: Why’s dat?

OLSON: Oh, cuz of dat “Cash for Clunkers” thing the Republicans foisted on us.

PUCKETT:  Sheesh.  That’s what Chunky, my mechanic – you remember Chunky?

OLSON: Nooo.

PUCKETT: He’s the guy who was at that cookout I threw a couple a years ago, who told that joke about the two nuns and the camel?

OLSON: (shakes head)

PUCKETT: Oh, I laughed.  Anyway – Chunky says that he can’t find used engines, because the Republicans made them pour acid into the engines after da government bought ’em.  If you wanna put a new engine in your winter beater, you gotta buy a new one.

OLSON: Oh, ya.  Anyhoo, used cars are expensive as hell.

(WAITRESS puts plates of pancakes and eggs on table).

(Both men plow into their pancakes).

PUCKETT: So what are you doing today?

OLSON: Me and the crew got teardowns all week.  Just a buncha 1930s houses that got foreclosed, that the banks that own ’em wouldn’t bring up to code.   So the city’s tearin’ em all out!

PUCKETT: Oh, ya.  My brother in law, Harvey – you remember Harvey?

OLSON: No.

PUCKETT: Harvey Torstenson?

OLSON: Nope.

PUCKETT: He’s about yay tall, has a blonde mustache?

OLSON: Not ringin’ a bell.

PUCKETT: Anyway, he’s a sheet-rocker, and when the city passed that law requiring old vacant homes to get brought up to code, he figured he was gonna make a mint, cuz they all gotta get brought up to code!

OLSON: How’s he doin’?

PUCKETT:  Nothin’.  He says it’s Bush’s fault.

OLSON: So how’s your daughter and her husband doing finding a place to live?

PUCKETT: Oh, same s**t, different day. They can’t find a place to rent in Saint Paul that they can afford.

OLSON: Still in your basement?

PUCKETT: Ya.  There’s just noplace to rent out there.  Or nothing they can afford, anyhow.

OLSON: Huh.  Have they tried going to the city?

PUCKETT: Good idea.

OLSON: (Gathers stuff from seat) Well, time to get going.  Another day another dollar.

PUCKETT:  Workin’ hard!

OLSON: Or hardly working!

PUCKETT: (Laughs)

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