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March 24, 2003: V is for the View

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We see a lot of things during mollusk training, as previously noted. And while Stanislaus county doesn't offer nearly the colorful character of San Francisco, occasionally something comes up. For example, we're finding at least some amusement in the prevalence of sparkly nail polish (in all manner of interesting shades). The most interesting use of the sparkly polish was on one woman, who had what appeared to be something similar to a French manicure. Except instead of white polish at the tips, it was blue with sparkles.

I have determined that in the Stanislaus/Merced county areas, the gift of choice for one's receiving one's GED must be a do-it-yourself tattoo kit. This is because during the few weeks we Benthic Creatures people have been here, we have seen more crappy tattoos than perhaps at any other time in our lives (save only, perhaps, for my Benthic Creatures coworker who has attended car and motorcycle conventions). Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not adverse to a nice tattoo, and I've been known to stop strangers on the street if I see a bit of ink that looks intriguing. But these weren't intriguing. They were just really, really bad. A fairly regular trend seemed to be tattooing names across wrists or across the chest, with the words so blurred by age and poor skill that it wasn't easy to tell if the names were all the same. And remember how, back in high school, there was always that group of girls who would draw cutesy little things all over their hands, right there in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger? In Merced and Stanislaus counties, they rushed right out and got those designs tattooed on. Permanently! In smudgy green-black ink! Classy. Oh yes!

And speaking of visuals, I was seated at the back of the room today, taking a moment to rest while one of the training classes was running, when something caught my eye. As best I could to avoid being too obvious, I leaned forward and eyed the sight, and then immediately poked at one of my coworkers until he, too, agreed with what I was seeing. Because it was a man - a fairly tall and large man, sitting in his chair, wearing sweat pants. And these pants, during the sitting process, had somehow been yanked down enough so that it was painfully obvious that he was not wearing boxers. In fact it's safe to say that the man was not wearing tighty-whities, or any other form of underwear beneath those sweats, because we were being treated to an unfettered view of his backside in all its glory.

As if this wasn't enough, the class ended, and the mollusks all got into line to pick up their new shell polishing kits. As I was beginning to work on the next class's kits, I happened to glance over, and could not tear my eyes away. There he was, but this time he was standing at the table, bending way over so as to select his secret shell-polishing kit code. And there was his butt, complete with more crack in sight than any redneck plumber could ever hope to achieve.

I was lost. I could feel my face heating up with the effort not to burst out in laughter. I did a rapid series of eye flickers and mental telepathy to get the attention of my coworkers, and as each one turned, they, too, were trapped by the view. It was so amazing - not just the fact that it was there, but that not only had the man's pants not actually managed to fall down, but he didn't seem the slightest bit aware of what he was showing off to the world.

My only hope is that sometime soon, someone close to that poor man will take pity on him and fill him in on the necessity of wearing underwear underneath his sweatpants. Especially when he goes out in public. Boxers. Boxers are every man's friend. Consider this a public service announcement.

This has been an entry written in the spirit of AlphaBytes.

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