by Walter Brasch
I was resting at home when Marshbaum called to ask if I wanted to go with him to look at the lettuce.
"The supermarket's got lettuce for less than two bucks a head," he said enthusiastically.
"What's so unusual about that?"
"Because it's going to be extinct in a few weeks."
"You're buying up lettuce and selling it on eBay as antiques?" I sarcastically asked.
"Don't be ridiculous! I'm buying the best heads, storing them, and selling them for four bucks in a couple of months."
"What makes you think anyone would pay four bucks a head when they can get them now for less than two bucks?"
"Weren't you listening, Ink Breath? I said, I'll be selling them in two months. I'm buying futures. You know, like pork belly futures."
"Your future looks like Chapter 11," I said.
"California and the Southwest are in the worst drought in decades. Wiped out much of the agricultural land. Drought's almost as good as winning the PowerBall. Prices have to rise."
"But California and the Southwest got heavy doses of rain a couple of weeks ago," I replied.
"I'm being patient with you since you are a city boy," said Marshbaum, "Drought left the land barren. Rain wasn't enough to solve the problem, and what there was of the rain destroyed what was left. Picking season is almost here, and there's not a lot to pick."
"Even if farmers have to raise their prices to four bucks a head to survive, they should be able to break even."