We were all in the truck, driving between jobs. My lunchbox was nestled at my feet, so I reached in a grabbed a Perrier.
Crew Leader Carl glared at me through the rearview mirror. “What in the world is that?”
I held up the can. “A lime-flavored Perrier.”
“Perrier?” he said, blowing a stream of cigarette smoke. “You actually drink that frilly stuff?”
“It’s good,” I said. “It’s carbonated. It’s lime. It’s delicious.”
Carl glowered. “It’s wuss water. Why can’t you drink regular water like a man?”
“I do drink regular water,” I said. “But this has an extra kick to it that’s deeply refreshing. It’s like drinking a soda, but without all the sugar and calories.”
“What are you, a woman?” Carl asked. “Who cares about sugar and calories?”
“I do! I want to stay physically fit.”
“You stay physically fit by working. Look at me! I drink a case of beer each night, and I’m in awesome shape.”
“You were retching in the shop bathroom this morning before work,” I pointed out.
“I wasn’t retching!” Carl said. “I was clearing my throat. I was hoarse when I woke up this morning.”
“Probably from all that retching,” I said.
In an instant, Carl reached behind the seat, wrenched the Perrier from my hands, and chucked it out the window.
I sat there for a moment, stunned. We continued to drive in silence.
It took me a moment to get my bearings. “What did you do that for?”
“Shut up, you whiny pipsqueak,” Carl said.
“You threw my drink out the window!” I said. “What gives? Are you moody because you’re hung over? Is that it?”
“So what if I am?” Carl asked. “What are you going to do about it?”
I stared at him with my mouth hanging open.
“That’s right — nothing!” He turned in his seat. “And that just proves my point. You’re a wuss!”
We drove in silence for a couple of moments.
“Yeah,” I said finally, shaking some sense into myself. “I can form no rebuttal to overcome your ironclad argument.”
“That’s because you’re a wuss,” Carl said.