SAN FRANCISCO, CA – I have always lived my life by one simple principle: be prepared. That is why for the past seven years of my professional career, I have filled my briefcase with nothing but Smucker’s grape jelly. Every morning, I retrieve my briefcase from its place in the fridge and every night I replace it to make sure that the succulent gelatin stays nice and fresh. Every Sunday, I dump out the previous weeks supply of the slippery purple brew and replace it with a new batch. I can usually fit about 12 large jars in there. Unless it’s cold and then I can fit 12 1/2 jars. Cold days are good days.
I guess you would probably think that I would miss being able to use my briefcase to hold other things like papers, but I don’t. I enjoy being prepared much more. Plus I have a system for that. Whenever I get an important document, I fold it into a nice paper hat and place it on my head for safekeeping.
For seven years I have done this and for seven years they have laughed at me. “The purple jelly doesn’t match the lining of your brown McKlein V Series briefcase” they jeer. “Publix makes better jelly than Smucker’s” they taunt. “You couldn’t tell jam from jelly even if you had a list of ingredients” they snicker. And for seven years I have put up with it because I knew that one day it would pay off and well… Today was that day.
I was walking home from work, suitcase in hand, when I heard it: the cry of many gulls. I knew that cry from my summers working as a deckhand in Cape Elizabeth. The gulls were hungry. I had to act quickly.
I ran as fast as I could to the harbor and when I got there, they were all waiting for me. The boat captains that is. All of them, standing in a line while the gulls circled around them, pecking at the wood of their ships.
Nobody spoke a word for what seemed like an eternity. Then finally one of them said, “The gulls are hungry Jim. They need you to feed them your tender preserves.”
“These birds are starving Jim. They have had a long flight over the ocean and are looking for a tasty treat made from the jelly of moist raisins” said another.
“They have been waiting for you Jim. They need the sweet viscous goo of Smucker’s farms” cried out a third.
This is the moment I had been waiting seven long years for. I pulled out the key to my briefcase which I keep tied around my neck lest anyone try to steal it and popped open my briefcase, spilling its soft purple guts out onto the docks. The gulls were elated to have found the nourishment they craved and they ate generously of it. My heart filled with joy. I was prepared.
And now dear reader having imparted this great moral upon you, I must depart. For it is Sunday and I have many jellies to buy.