The Billboard Leasin’ Company

22

We was a small billboard leasin’ company. However, if yeh was privileged enough to attend a high school, yeh could call us an advertisin’ firm, atleast thats what I’m taught to say to people. All we did was take a hundred dollars in exchange fir a billboard. I shouldnt be tellin’ yeh this, but our most regular customers were the hoes. God knows where they get the money from but if this continues, I gotta seriously think of switchin’ professions. Not that I should be callin’ it a profession, coz’ I’m barely qualified for walkin’ goats down the meadow that runs nearby. I should be thankin’ Billie Joe for gettin’ me this half decent job of gluin’ the paper on the billboard. But he doesn’t believe in givin’ thanks. Even on thanksgivin’ he prefers to stay indoors, on the reception of the shop. He does however, listen to American Idiot every thanksgivin’. I guess thats why hes named Billie Joe. People used ta’ think he was destined for leasing billboards and I cant not forgive them as he was also named such. But Only a few know better , that our Billie Joe went ta’ Mississippi State County College, the first Joe from the Joe village ta’ do so. Back then, his name was called Billboy Thoreau Joe, but it hurts the back of my tongue to call him that so I’m just gonna stick with Billie Joe. Now, our Billie Joe was at the top of his form. He was the undisputed champion in Chess, not that I know what that means, but still. He was great in math too, and I unfortunately know what math is. I was never great with the math. Even at the shop, it was Billie Joe who would do all the calculations. I was just the workman. I guess if I had worked with the math in primary,I could have been Billie Joe. But I chose to do weed. Back then it was different, just a few hours of an unfathomable pleasure and sleep. Later, I let it make me faint. Every time, I would wake up in the hospital. But that day, I fell into a coma, atleast thats what Billie Joe told me. I remember wakin’, up to lots of cryin’ faces, one of them was Billie Joe. After that, I was sent to a camp for people like me. They called us drug addicts and I seriously dont know what that means. They made us scrape the shit out of horse stables with wooden spoons for hours and hours. All the time, I never knew why I was being told to scrape, but now I am wiser and I guess I am one of the lucky ones to have cowe out alive of that camp with my life in place. I also giess that I am one of the few who know the futility of rehab centres, again a word Billie Joe uses for the camp. But comin’ back, why was Billie Joe running a shop that leased billboards at 100 dollars a day? Now, after I came out of the camp, Billie Joe was one of the few volunteers who was willing to take me in his single room apart-ment, but my movin’ into his house strangely caused the people of the great  village of Joe to boycott him. He found no buyers of his products and ultimately had to move into the billboard shop. Now you would wonder why he sacrificed his livelihood in trying to house me. Haven’t you wondered that I haven’t revealed my name yet? My name is Willie Joe and I am the elder brother of Billie Joe.

By Yash Sheth

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