Oil Change

"Fraud remains a major problem in the international olive oil business and ...adulteration with inferior oils (hazelnut and seed oils) is especially common."
      --Dr. Andrew Weil
       Saturday, 2pm – I’m raking leaves out in the yard. Olive oil exits the house heading for its car.
 
Me: Hey, you said you were going to help me with the yard today. Olive Oil: I can't it's too hot out.  Me: Oh, come on!  That's no excuse! Olive Oil: When I get overheated I spit and crackle a lot.  You don't want to deal with that.  Besides, something came up at work. Me: On a Saturday? You never work Saturday?
Olive Oil: Why don’t you just mind your own business, Sean!
Me: But baby…
Olive Oil: No! I’ll do what I want! You don’t own me!
Me: Well, actually … (shuffling through pockets) I’ve got the receipt around here somewhere.
Olive Oil: Don’t wait up for me!
 
Just before getting into its car, Olive Oil answers its cell phone in what I  could swear sounds like Russian.
***
 
Sunday, 3am – I sit in the living room waiting. Olive Oil enters quietly, before noticing me.
 
Me: Where have you been all night?
Olive Oil: Out. Me: Out where? Did you have a date?
Olive Oil:  I don't go with dates. I was just out, all right? Leave me alone! Me: Are you seeing someone else?
Olive Oil: There’s a lot you don’t know about me.
Me: Your label said you’d be pure.
Olive Oil: Labels can be deceiving.
***
 
Monday, 6pm – On our way to dinner. Olive Oil drives. I sit in the passenger seat.
 
Me: I’m excited to finally try Antonio’s.
Olive Oil: Yeah, me too! I’m not usually a big fan of Italian food, but the review says it’s the best Italian restaurant in the city. Me: Wait, you’re Olive Oil and you don’t like Italian? I thought you were a Product of Italy?
Olive Oil: Not everything turns out the way you expect it to, Sean.
Me: I found a Russian Passport in your …
Olive Oil: Hold on, I need to make a quick stop.
 
We pull over next to the river. I stay in the car and watch Olive Oil take a large, squirming garbage bag and throw it into the water. Olive Oil gets back in the car.
Olive Oil: I’m sorry. What were you saying?
Me: Nothing.
***
 
Tuesday, Noon – I go to the grocery store on my lunch break.
 
Grocer: Can I help you with something?
Me: Hi. I was wondering, ummm, well, I’ve had some trouble with my… Well, I bought olive oil here a while ago, and…
Grocer: Olive oil?  [He looks terrified.]  I’ve never heard of any "Olive Oil."
Me: Oh God!
 
I run out of the store.
***

 

Tuesday, 1:30pm –I follow Olive Oil as she drives down Interstate 85. She takes the airport exit. I park and find her at the security checkpoint. The guard looks over her passport.


Guard: You’re all set, Ms. Smirnoyavich.
 
I burst through the line.
 
Me: Olive Oil! Wait!
Olive Oil: Sean! What are you doing here?
Me: Don’t leave, me! Please don’t leave me, baby!
Olive Oil: I’m sorry. My work is done here. I must return to the Motherland.  I'm sure you can get along with Canola, or maybe Hazelnit. Me: But …
Olive Oil: I’m sorry. Good-bye forever.
Me: Before you leave, one question?
Olive Oil: What is it?
Me: You're supposed to be good for the heart, so why are you breaking mine?

Sean Adams is a humor writer living in the Midwest.  His work has been featured on McSweeney's, The Bygone's Bureau and elsewhere.  

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

advertisement
Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangledeshi mathematician and the haunting crime he's committed barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and ravaged Afghanistan with vinegar-steeped prose recalling the best of George Orwell and Joseph Conrad.

The People's Platform

Why is the Internet - once touted as the democratizer of the future - ruled by a few corporate giants, while countless aspirants work for free? Astra Taylor diagnoses why the web has failed to be a utopian playing field, and offers compelling ways we can diversify the marketplace and give voice to the marginalized.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.