"I'm sorry. I love you, but Green Bay sucks."
Saturday morning and half the room was chomping at the bit for a ballgame, any ballgame. Two of the milkers were flipping through television channels, looking for some signs of life and annoying the two or three bleeders plugged up to machines who'd somehow gotten involved in watching "Dude, Where's My Car?"
"Put it on the TV guide channel."
The two stared up at the screen, while a young, black man with Raggedy Andy dreds continued to hassle a middle-aged milker about her favorite team.
"Nobody loves Green Bay," he said. "In your heart, you don't love Green Bay. When I get home, I'm going to pray that God gives them syphilis."
She eyed him caustically.
"That's a selfish prayer. God does not listen to selfish prayers."
He smiled his 100 watt smile and said he'd think of something else then. The two younger women continued to work their way through the list of channels, waiting for some mention of a football game somewhere or at least one either of them wanted to watch.
The elder milker looked down at the young man.
"I tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to work my voodoo on you. I'm going to sprinkle dust on my little doll at home."
He laughed, though carefully. He, like me, was tied up to a machine that was siphoning his blood. Abrupt movements can be dangerous.
"The next girl you're with will give you Chlamydia," she told him. "You better stock up on penicillin. If not the clap," she promised. "It will be something and it will be soon."
That last part was an easy guess. A kid like him, with the dreads and the smile, would tend to be popular. I'd bet he'd be doing sexy time with someone before the middle of the afternoon. He had one of the young milkers talking to him, just by feigning an interest in Nickelback.
The kid had some serious game. I was impressed and quite frankly, a little envious. Even in my prime, I could never have made something like that work --of course, I was never a charismatic black kid with dreadlocks. I'm still not and in middle age, I think I look a little more like Boris Karloff every year --and not in a good way.
"Aw come on now," he told her. "There's got to be something we can agree on. What do you think about the Saints?"
"The Saints are good."
Her smile was thin and didn't necessarily mean forgiveness for his offenses, but it was a start.
"That's my team," he proclaimed. "This is our year. I swear it."
Meanwhile, the other two milkers finally gave up. They never saw the schedule they were hoping for and everyone returned to watching the hilarious exploits of Ashton Kutcher and asshole guy from American Pie.
From where I was sitting, I couldn't quite see the subtitles and couldn't hear a damned thing. I was assured the film was a modern comedy classic, but I have my doubts.