The three men sat, legs dangling over the unfinished building’s ledge. It was lunchtime. Diaz opened his lunch to discover a burrito waiting for consumption. He lamented to his friends O’Shay and Jones, “Man, I hate burritos. Everyday I open up my lunch, and everyday there is a burrito. In fact, I hate burritos so much that if I find a burrito in this thing tomorrow, I’m jumping off.” Surprisingly, this little rant did not rattle O’Shay and Jones.
O’Shay opened his lunch next. Dejected, he cried, “Are you kiddin’ me? Corned beef and cabbage?! Again? I’m with you Diaz. If I find this in my lunch tomorrow, I’m jumping off.”
Smiling happily, Jones unwrapped his lunch. It was a bologna sandwich on white bread. “I can’t believe it. How many years have I been eating bologna on white bread? I’m with you fellas. Tomorrow, if this is in my lunch again, I’m jumping.”
The next day, the lunch buzzer sounded and the three men went to the edge of the building to eat. Always first to go, Diaz opened his lunch. A burrito. “Well guys. My word is my bond. I said I’d jump, so I’m jumping.” O’Shay and Jones didn’t talk much after that, instead they occupied themselves with their meals. Upon opening his lunch, O’Shay looked resignedly into Jones eyes and said, “Well Jones, I hope you have more luck than us. I’m staring at corned beef and cabbage, yet again. It’s time.” And off the ledge he went. On his own now, Jones went about opening his lunch as normal. “I guess I should have seen this coming,” he said. “Bologna on white bread. Diaz…O’Shay…wherever you are, it looks like you don’t have to wait long to see me again.” And off the ledge he went.
Their wives decided to combine the three funerals into one since the guys were nearly inseparable while alive. It was a nice service. Brief, but nice.
Now, the wives heard through the grapevine what other construction workers had overheard their husbands say. Diaz’s wife spoke up first. “If only he would have told me he didn’t want anymore burritos, I would’ve made him something else.” Next was O’Shay’s wife. “I know what you mean. He had never complained about his lunch before. If I would have known he was sick of corned beef and cabbage, I would’ve made him something else.” The two women looked inquisitively into Jones’ wife’s eyes. Did she have the same remorse? The same guilt? Barely able to find the space between sobs to squeeze out the words, she finally said, “He packed his own lunch!”