David Emami needed some extra cash after spending over $1000 on a spoon collection featuring the faces of the entire cast of Dallas. He looked around for part-time work, as his substitute janitor position wasn’t bringing in the income to support his exuberant antique and collectable appetite. After looking through the newspaper, he was intrigued by a position to pick raspberries at a farm in Lake Oswego, Oregon, which claimed to pay by each completed box that was filled. The ad promised that most people could fill boxes in 10 minutes, and with each box raking in $4 each, he could bring home $24 an hour.
When David arrived early on a Saturday morning, he was the only one there over the age of 16. Everyone else was a kid that was simply looking for a way to make some extra money for the summer months. The farmer explained, “Just fill them boxes to the brim and bring ‘em over to me. Don’t be pickin’ green berries. Just pick the red ones.”
“Well duh,” whispered David.
David made his way to the field and felt the heat of the day slam him. David started picking a few berries, and after looking all around to make sure the coast was clear, he popped a few in his mouth. After working for about 20 minutes, he was certain his box was almost full, but when he looked down, his heart sank as he realized he had only barely covered the bottom of the box. At this rate, it would take him all day to finish a box.
The bushes were not very full of berries that year. David took several minutes to even find a few decent berries, and slowly but surely, he at last filled his box. It had only taken him 6 hours. David’s dreams of making some serious cash were squashed as he walked up to the old farmer waiting in his barn.
“Some ugly lookin’ berries in there,” said the farmer, as he picked out some misshapen berries and tossed them aside into the dirt. He then picked the box up and added, “Not quite full enough yet. Maybe another cup or two, then come on back.”
“I will not!” David wiped the sweat from his face and said, “You’ll pay me my hard earned $4 and I’ll be on my way! I won’t subject myself to this slave labor any longer!”
“I won’t pay ya till it’s full!”
David reached for the box and tossed it across the barn, making the berries splatter against a horse stall and tumble into the dirt and manure.
“Why the heck did you do that?!” asked the farmer in shock.
“Go pick them yourself, Farmer John!” David stomped out of the barn and made his way to his car. The berry picking life was NOT for him.
David Emami is Alone in Portland is a collection of stories that peer into the life of a middle-aged curmudgeon with a fondness for cats and antiques.
Playfully illustrated with Bitmoji characters, his story comes to life as each day brings a new adventure.
He was obsessive compulsive and mad about antiques. The apartment was covered, top to bottom, in decor that would be more aligned with that of an old woman that peaked in the 1960s. david-emami-takes-on-portland.html
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