Lately a crisis has been brewing at Twin Rocks Trading Post. The unrest started quite simply; like a soft summer rain. It has, however, grown into a typhoon of titanic proportions that is battering my emotional shores. The storm looms over my physical and psychological well being, and may fully undermine the fragile foundation on which my trading career is built.
While Vienna sausages may seem too insignificant to cause one’s downfall, it is in fact those wizened weenies that have me worried. Over the past several weeks I have noticed more and more empty cans of these pitiful piggies showing up around the store. First there was the one in the wastebasket of the men’s bathroom. Although I thought that a bit bizarre, I frankly did not accord it adequate attention. I have noticed stranger things in there. Next was the tin in Barry’s office. By that time I was becoming suspicious. The final straw came when he and Priscilla showed up with an entire pan of pigs-in-a-blanket made with those sawed off smokies, which Barry has begun referring to as “delicacies.” Smiling like they had just discovered the gold of El Dorado, they offered me a bite. Not wanting to spoil their fun, my better judgment failed me and I plucked one from the tray and popped it into my mouth. That was a monumental mistake.
The root of my angst lies deep within the history of Navajo trading and reservation posts. It is well documented that Kipper snacks, anchovies, sardines, oysters in mustard and Vienna sausages have been a staple of Indian traders since the inception of vacuum sealed containers. The historical record is replete with accounts of long winters spent at lonely outposts where the only things operators had to eat were those culinary catastrophes and boxes of saltine crackers. Indeed, Jana’s dad, one of the oldest surviving members of the Southwest trading fraternity, speaks affectionately of this stuff. Jana tells captivating stories of traveling the Navajo Nation with him and his “survival kit,” which was crammed with such things. She has many times mentioned how that kit “saved their lives” when they traversed desolate Native back roads and got themselves stuck in sand dunes or mired in mud holes.
As Kira and Grange grew to maturity, I began noticing Jana trying to convince our children to taste these gastronomic gut-busters. Although the kids may not have suspected it was a test, I knew full well she was plumbing the depths of their trader gene. And she knew full well the paternal side of their genetic code might reveal an inherent defect. After all, what future does one have in this industry if he or she does not harbor a fondness, indeed a craving, for such concoctions? Jana is clearly concerned she might be the last in her line of legacy traders.
So, therein lies the source of my insecurity; I dislike, actually detest, Kipper snacks, anchovies, sardines, oysters in mustard and Vienna sausages. With that in mind, I have begun to question what hope I have as an Indian trader. Wouldn’t I starve if left all winter with only saltines and cartons of those dining disasters? What if I, instead of Jana, was stuck in a reservation sand dune or snow bank with those nutritional ciphers as the only edible alternatives? I would be a goner! Surely this proves what Momma Rose has always maintained; that I was adopted and therefore have no inherent trading capabilities.
As a result of this realization, I will soon begin a strict regimen of trader therapy. I have also contacted a life coach and initiated a search for my soul profession, which is like seeking your soul mate, only different. Barry and Priscilla are as yet unaware of my anxiety, and I can only hope they do not arrive with another slug of those pigmy porkers any time soon. That would ensure my ultimate undoing.
With warm regards:
Steve, Barry, Priscilla and Danny; the team.