I was shoveling shit off the sidewalk

and complaining about it…

“Stop your bitching!” The foreman screamed.

“Yeah, keep your head down, man” my buddy said. “We got a good thing going here.”

I looked down the asphalt street.

There had been a change in the weather.

One day, it had rained shit, and they needed somebody to clean it up.

It went on for blocks. Maybe, miles.

Somebody said that it was due to unusual bird migratory patterns—

that the Canadian Geese didn’t like our country much

And when I asked why, he said it was because we were free.

“That doesn’t make any sense. I’m the one cleaning this shit up.”

“You get to clean shit up. In some countries, nobody shits.”

“That’s impossible,” I said.

“They have streets of gold in Africa.”

I looked at him sideways. He was a black man.

He collected baseball cards of Ken Griffey Jr. and tried to trade them for my Mark McGuire.

“Listen,” he said. “It could be a lot worse…”

“For instance?

“We might have to shovel dead men off the sidewalk.”

“Would you complain, then?” I asked.

“Hell no—if you complain in that country, they kill you.”

“Where do they do that?” I asked.


“That makes sense. I’d like to visit those streets of gold in Africa, though.”

“We’re friends in this country, but you have to be a black man to get into heaven.”

“Isn’t that sexist and racist?”

“Maybe. Just be thankful you live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

“You’ve been to too many baseball games,” I said. “There’s nothing brave about shoveling shit off the sidewalk.”

2 thoughts on “Streets of Gold in Africa

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