The Pits

by Susan Packie

I used to be a pitter for Land of Plenty Dates, and I probably still would be if I hadn't been fired for incompetence. Not true, I was far too competent.

I took the job on a dare. I had just graduated from high school. All my girl friends were humming wedding marches. My parents were beginning to wonder when I would start to date. Then I saw the ad:

WANTED: m-f date specialist - pits

Since I have always been the pits, I applied immediately. The interviewer was afraid I was overeducated, but I quickly disabused him of this illusion. I asked if the process was painful for the dates.

My first week at the job was uneventful. A machine did most of the work. I just had to oversee the operation - regulate the flow, make sure the contraption didn't jam, help out the boxer, Maggie.

She must have answered the wrong ad, too. She looked strong enough to take on Muhammad Ali. As the dates plunged at her, she would make up little poems about them.

After the second week, I began to get a little - fruity. Maggie's ditties about dropping crates of dates down grates and spitting pits were driving me up a date tree.

Finally, when I was just about to walk into the main office and tell everyone where their dates would fit, I hit upon the ideal solution. A pitted date has a hole in it, right? An empty space. Why couldn't I roll up little pieces of paper and stuff them inside? They would be
like Chinese fortune cookies! I could write all sorts of messages and send them throughout the fifty states plus Japan - our market area.

My first message was very innocuous - "Hi. I'm your pitter. Do you want to pitter-patter with me?" I didn't get an acceptance, but I didn't get a rejection either. I sent out about a thousand more of these date surprises. Then I lay low.

Three weeks later, I started inserting my name and phone number. I thought of adding my measurements, but 31-2837 doesn't excite many people. Maggie had been replaced by Hubert. He polished each date before boxing it. I didn't see a bright future for him at Land of Plenty.

Six weeks went by and I still hadn't heard anything from my note receivers. In despair, I switched tactics, cramming "STUFF IT!" into the ugly little monsters. I was busily working away when I heard through the partially open office door "Aaaggghhh!!!! " What had happened? No one ever ate the dates. They all knew better.

"MISS DUDLEY!"

Poor Mr. Hardon had been so proud of his product. Wouldn't his mother like to try one? Just bite down and taste the sweet, crunchy pulp, and ... out came "STUFF IT!"

So I'm back in my bedroom reading help wanted ads. All my girl friends have been married and divorced since last June. Hubie is taking me out tonight. Mr. Hardon's mother also noticed the unusual shine on her date. So I couldn't have been all that incompetent if I ended up with what I was really after.