“So,” I said to Benito, “you never told me what you were doing.”
I had just gotten to work, and Benito was sitting on a stool behind one of the trucks, affixing letters to the tailgate.
“What business is it of yours what I’m doing?” he asked, striking a match and lighting the cigar in his mouth.
“Can’t a guy ask a question?” I asked.
“I’m not paying you to be a journalist. I’m paying you to be a landscaper. No one ever cut a lawn by asking stupid questions!”
“How am I supposed to learn anything if I don’t ask questions?” I asked.
“If you’re so curious, I’ll learn you how to find somewhere else to work. Now go do something useful and fetch me some more letters! I don’t have enough.”
I squinted. “Are you spelling out the company web address on the back of the truck? Is that what you’re doing?”
“Yes! That’s what I’m doing! We’re a modern company now. We have website!”
I frowned. “But Benito, this truck’s a ’79 Ford.”
“So the tailgate doesn’t even open anymore. It’s tied on with bungie cord!”
He clenched his hand into a fist. “So? What point you make?”
“We can’t be a modern company when all our trucks predate the Internet! For Pete’s sake, most of them predate me!”
“I paid good money for the website,” Benito said, sticking on another letter. “It was top-of-the-line. Very expensive.”
“More expensive than a truck built in the current millennium?” I asked.
Benito pointed his cigar at me. “You’ve asked your last question, Mr. Journalist. Now go in the office and fetch me more letters. The ’86 Ford is next on my list.”
“Well,” I said, “in any event, I guess I’m glad to see that the company is modernizing. Sort of.”