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ID Number: 1074
From: strait_flush5 <>
Subject: Much more realistic
Date: Thursday, July 17 2003 - 16:47:15

Not many of Lisa's fans know this, but part of the reason why Lisa
decided to leave ballet and pose for Playboy is because at the time,
she was working in a truly dead-end job. A job that bored her to
tears. For a while, to supplement her meager income as a dancer, she
worked as one of the road construction people who hold
the "Stop"/"Slow" signs to direct traffic. This is her story.

Lisa stood about a few hundred yards upstream from the construction.
The crew was resurfacing and restriping a one-mile stretch of road, a
job that required a crew of 287 and was costing the state of
California about 2.7 million dollars. She was holding
her "Stop"/"Slow" sign, currently in the "Slow" position, watching
the cars go by.

"Lisa... switch" came a voice through her earpiece. Lisa dutifully
turned the sign around to read "Stop" and all the cars in front of
her slowed to a stop. It was important to keep her sign synchronized
with the sign at the other end of the construction zone, that
position currently being manned by an old guy named Zeke. The car
directly in front of her was a small import, with a fat girl and a
midget inside. She looked through the window, to see the two of them
chatting amiably, seemingly happy with their day.

"Lisa... switch" came the instructions through her earpiece again.
Lisa turned the sign around to read "Slow" and all the cars began
crawling past her.

If there was one thing about this job, Lisa thought, it surely gave
her time to think. Sometimes, however, the things she would think,
she had to admit, were pretty bizarre. Like the time she imagined
flying away in a hot air balloon made out of chocolate. Yesterday,
Lisa caught herself daydreaming about becoming a mermaid and swimming
away in the endless blue ocean. She missed one of her "switch" cues
because of that little distraction.

"Lisa... switch" came the voice into her ear again. Lisa turned the
sign around to read "Stop." The first car in line was a giant
Hummer. It sat so far off the ground, the passenger window was as
high as her eye level, and Lisa could barely see inside due to the
heavily tinted windows. But, she could tell that the metal beast was
being driven by a single gentleman, evidentally well groomed and
dressed. He was listening to his stereo at high volume, but only the
muted tones of the bass line escaped the Hummer's cabin. The driver
had his hand raised to his mouth, as if holding a microphone, and
Lisa could tell that he was enthusiastically lip-synching to the
music. Suddenly, Lisa recognized the music:

"Mr. Sandman.... give me a dream.... make him the sweetest,
that I've ever seen...."

"Lisa... switch." The Hummer drove off, with what Lisa thought must
be a closet homosexual having a wonderful day at the wheel.

Lisa wasn't having a wonderful day, though. The heat of the sun bore
down on her from above, and the pavement under her feet stored all
the energy from the sun, and seemed to be cooking her from below.
The heat, combined with the exhaust fumes and the smell of tar and
asphalt, were making her slightly dizzy. She was bored to death.

"Lisa... switch."

"I've got to think of something to keep me from going insane" she
thought. The car in front of her was a red, sporty import. At the
wheel was a fat, bald man. He just sat there, still as a statue,
staring straight ahead. Lisa thought maybe she saw a tear in his
eye. She wondered what was causing this man to feel so melancholy.
Maybe he was as bored with life as she was. Maybe construction-
related traffic was a huge downer for this man. Lisa giggled to
herself. Maybe he just heard on the radio that Star Trek just got
cancelled, and now he doesn't know what to do with himself.

Lisa could relate to that feeling. She felt the same way
when "Family Ties" was pulled off the air.

"Oh, Alex Keaton, you adorable little Republican... how I miss you!!"
she cried within herself.

"Lisa... switch."

As the fat, bald man drove off, Lisa watched the cars go by. A
silver and gray cadillac with an old lady at the wheel, and shopping
bags in the back seat. A convertible Volkswagen filled with six
gleeful and giggling teenage girls. A Chevy pickup truck with a
Collie in the back, just happy to have the wind in it's face. A
police car, with a box of donuts on the passenger seat. A Ford
pickup truck with a sticker on the back window of a kid urinating on
the word "Chevy" and flipping everyone the bird.

Lisa rolled her eyes.

"Lisa... break time." It was Hulbert, her road crew
supervisor. "It's 11:00, so you can take your three-hour lunch
break - just be back here by 4:00, or this entire project will be

"Thank you Mr. Braithwaite, but don't you mean 2:00?" Lisa said,
taking off her orange hardhat and letting her hair fall free.

"2:00, 4:00... whatever. It's the state's money, so what's the
difference." Hulbert asked, slightly perturbed at the young girl's

Lisa walked back to her car, and opened her "Family Ties" lunchbox.
Sitting in her car, listening to the radio, and eating her bologna
sandwich, she dreamed of a life of glamour and fame.

"What I really want to do is open a petting zoo - a famous petting
zoo, where children from all around the world will come to the only
petting zoo that allows the children to feed the anaconda."

Lisa finished her bologna sandwich, and looked at the clock on her
car radio - still only 11:45. She started up the car and drove away -
filled with life and enthusiasm that would last for another 2 hours
and 15 minutes. She was searching for her future, a destiny as yet
unseen - just over the horizon, but she knew it was there. She
didn't know what life yet held in store for her, but she knew it
wouldn't be as a human sign post.

And that is how Lisa decided to build a giant tower out of used soda
cans - a gleaming, shimmering monument in the desert. It is a source
of hope for all ditch diggers and road crew laborers, that yes,
someday, a petting zoo can be in your future, too.

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