How’s the view from where you are? Of course, like most, you’d prefer to live on the sunny uplands and maybe even the lofty peaks where the world is spread out before you as you gaze down.

How is the view thing going?

If asking me, thank you- I don’t live on the peaks, nor is my view lofty. I’m living on a bumpy crevasse where tectonic plates collide.

Home is a college town of bright intellectuals who read poetry and deal with lofty, even cosmic ideas. My day begins there, but then I commute to my fast-food hamburger restaurants. It is a short drive but culturally far away.

The burger business is about speed, trying to get service times down to a few seconds. Quick service calls for more dexterity than cosmic ideas.

 Do I envy, whine, or apologize for life in burgerville?


My industry is enormous, legitimate, and employs many hard-working high school dropouts. I’m not one of them, but I still feel proud of this less-educated crew.

In the faculty club back home, I hear the high-minded disapproving of “meals in cars” or “filling up rather than dining.”

We live in a diverse population where some are okay with a quick pick-up at the drive-thru or eating in the car. Mom in her Plymouth van trying to get an entire Little League baseball team to the game on time and fed; she never complains. Or disabled people in a car on a rainy day feel okay with fast food. Those customers aren’t reading poetry.

This is my life, living in an intellectual town but working in the buns and burgers community. Both have value, though they don’t interact. The burger guys and the PhDs are two dissimilar tectonic plates grinding past each other with little integration.

 But that’s the poetry of a diversified life? It’s Shakespearean:

 James Baldwin’s book The Cross of Redemption writes of Shakespeare, “The greatest poet in the English language found his poetry where poetry is found: in the lives of the people.”

Don’t we all sit on fractured, grinding plates? The view is not always lofty but nevertheless, a good place to  hunt for creative lava spewing up. Its also a good place to see why those polarized guys on the other plate are pissed off at you.

Categories: Humor

4 replies

  1. Bravo on all counts. Plus the benefit of lots of used cooking oil for a Biodiesel Car.

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