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Pretzels and Papers

I stood at the table, where I stand every day and slapped the label on the paper, that’s one down three thousand to go.
I never thought about this job before I started working at the Newspaper. Never wondered who put the annoying inserts in, who put the labels on, who went insane trying to keep from throwing all the papers in the trash. I suppose I thought it came off the press with all that done.
Boy was I wrong.
I looked across the table at Ellie; she was taking a sip of her Cola. Some people are addicted to drugs, or alcohol, or even bad acting. Ellie is hooked on brown soda pop.
“How many is that Ellie?” Brady asked as he took a plate, a sheet of squared metal off the press.
I grinned as Ellie lied, saying two. I knew of at least three she had. Who knows how many she had before coming to work.
It was a common joke down in the basement where we worked.
The other guys laughed as the two bickered. It was a friendly banter and it lightened the mood.
Mo walked up to the counter behind me. I turned slightly to see him. He opened the jar of pretzels that the boss had brought down. He stuck one in his mouth like a cigarette.
“Cigar anyone?” He asked chuckling. I smiled and turned back to my work.
“It does kind of look like a cigar, a short one but still.” Brady walked over, now that they were done setting the press up for the next morning.
“Light it up! See if you can get it lit.” Dave said from across the room. I looked up at him, the laughter trying to spill out of me. I heard Ellie giggle too.
“Anyone got a lighter?” asked Mo making us chuckle some more.
I never thought he would actually do it. It was funny to think about however.
“Yeah I do.” Brady pulled one out of his pocket. To my surprise Mo took it.
“Wait!” cried Dave, we looked at him. “You have to bite the end off.”
“Right, just like the fancy folk do it.” He bit the end off and spit it on the floor.
Like that was sanitary.
He lit the pretzel. Smoke billowed out and Mo took a puff.
My eyes stared as he did all this. I was in shock that someone smart enough to run a press would do something that absurd.
The laughter burst from everyone as it sunk in what he had just done.
“Well its better than those cinnamon sticks we smoked Dave.” Mo declared.
The smell of cooking dough started to fill the air. As good as it smelled I still had a hard time believing I just saw a grown man light a pretzel and smoke it like a cigar.
He walked outside with the cigar pretzel still in his mouth.
Gosh I love my job.



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