My galpal bought everything—even her apples—through PayPal.
“I just love the sound of it,” she said. “Some ethereal Pal paying with my money…”
Like that was a favor? I said she was crazy to trust a virtual buddy
and told her that CNN just ran a story about this illegal
tender, that her Pay Pal was really a Pay Foe. Her eyes glinted like coins
in the belt she bought me from ABBA.com, a replica
of their Greatest Hits Gold, the back etched with lyrics from “Mama Mia.”
“Listen,” I said. “You have a problem. Anyone who joins
a club called ‘Rip Us Off’ with annual meetings in tourist traps and airport bars
needs help.” Her eyes glazed. “Ooo,” she squeaked. “I have to check
the status of my potluck entree, Old ElPaso’s Tex Mex
Upside-down Surprise. I hope the cornmeal crust’s not in arrears.”
I told my galpal she needed some fresh mall air, live pushy salespeople, on commission.
“Walk around, press the flesh, you know? Reality, remember?”
She reminded me that last time she left the house she got into a fender bender
with a UPS truck delivering her Amazon.com order. “Poetry or fiction?”
Her iBook blinked a message about unauthorized electronic transfers.
“Gotta go!” she said. “My Prescriptions.com account! My Prozac!”
Like it or not, she was part of a class action lawsuit with Germany, Greece, Finland, Denmark—
the whole damned EEU and part of Asia. PayPal had screwed up, and the bankers
were confiscating the grilled cheese with the Virgin’s face toasted in
when bidding on e-bay reached sixteen grand. “MORAL VALUES”
spelled out in pepperoni on a pizza: that seller was deluged
with offers after the election. “Red in Ohio” posted on
his Seller’s Profile: “What would Jesus pay for shipping and handling?”
“Christ!” I said when my galpal finally called me. “What the hell
are you doing auctioning off your styrofoam wedding bells?
Is your intellectual credit no longer in good standing?”
My galpal huffed—perhaps I’d forgotten about her university.com degree
in Consumer Studies. “You think you have a mandate?
You think you’re the patronizing Patron Saint of Patrons!” It was too late.
“Buh-bye—I’m off to blog,” I said. “At least that’s free.”
by Denise Duhamel and Amy Lemmon
“Class Action” is from a series Denise and I have been working on. The poem has these two constraints: our stanzas are written in abba rhyme, and there must be a mention of Abba, the singing group.