REDNECK PERSPECTIVE: Westbank Wife Aspirations

By on September 6, 2016

How a Hog Island sweetie infiltrated the barista bagel shop scene.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – She stood in the dim light of my office doorway looking classy—Pearl Street bagel mug in hand, polar fleece jacket around her waist, running shorts and sandals. She walked to my desk, her hips swinging a friendly hello.

No, I was mistaken. She should have stayed in the doorway. The smell from her cup was not the organic Italian roast sipped by the hip; it was Yuban regular blend. Her jacket was not Patagonia, not even The North Face, or Mountain Hardware, but a cheap Walmart knockoff; her sandals were Kmart. It was sad, even pathetic, the way she tried to hide her roots. She might as well have worn a sign around her neck that read “Hog Island.”

What do you want doll?” I asked, my eyes casually following the tattoo that twisted and turned seductively, then dove into the cleavage of her breasts like an invitation to a magic show.

“I want a job at the bagel shop,” she said. “Not a baker, a barista. But they won’t hire me.”

“Sounds to me like you’re in need of a life coach, maybe an expert in causal activewear, along with a $1,000 dollar gift card to Skinny Skis apparel department,” I said.

“Everybody knows the bagel shop owes you a favor,” she said. “You handled Bad Bagel Bonanno when he tried to take a cut from their profit of Mountain Berry cream cheese.”

Like so many innocent girls, she dreamed of the romantic life of a bagel shop barista: the fame, the free coffee, the power to bestow caffeine to those with insatiable addictions, the sweaty nights with snowboarders. And best of all, the chance to meet a suitable man from the Pines or even John Dodge and, after an adventurous courtship that includes visits to his condo in the Caribbean and his family’s estate in France, a life of leisure complete with nannies, maid service and a landscaper.

“You’ve got to help me,” she pleaded. “I’ve been practicing. Just listen.” She cleared her throat and said, “I’ll have another glass of Bordeaux please.” She finished it off with a sophisticated laugh that hinted she’d be willing to stray if the proper opportunity presented itself.

Maybe she would make Westbank wife.

“Ok doll,” I said. “I’ll see what I can do.”

I called the bagel shop and made her case. “Come on Thornhill,” they complained, “she’s from Hog Island. She doesn’t know a café au lait from a caffè macchiato; she thinks a bagel is a doughnut without frosting!”

“I could turn Bad Bagel loose,” I told them. “He has connections with the American Federation of Toaster Makers. He could turn up political pressure and you’d be toasting bagels faster than you can say sun dried tomato olive with smoked salmon.”

She got the job and the bagel shop got a barista. And me? I took a double shot of whiskey from the last of my bottle, the cheap liquid burning fire down my throat like number five curry from Teton Thai plate. PJH

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