Too high for his nut — beyond someone’s reach. “That clay-bank hog wants the same pay as a Senator; he’s getting too high for his nut,” according to a grammar-corrected version of the Oakland, Calif., Tribune on Jan. 12, 1885.
Logan stared at the guy sitting next to him at the bar. “You what?”
“I think,” the guy took a long pull from his sixth bottle of beer, “that everyone should get paid the same.” He belched. “I mean, I work hard. Why shouldn’t I get paid enough to buy me a yacht or a fancy vacation house?”
“Taylor, just because you work hard doesn’t mean that you should get paid the same as the CEO of Arizona Banking and Loans.” Logan took a drink from his beer stein.
“Just because you’re a computer programmer doesn’t mean you should get paid more’n me.” Taylor glared at his old high school buddy.
“You’re a laborer, Taylor. I told you in high school you should get on with an electrician or plumber, but no. Digging ditches and hauling cement around a work site paid good, you said. You didn’t want to be bothered with the certifications.”
Taylor flagged the bartender for another round. “That’s still true.” He slid a ten dollar bill across the bar when the drinks arrived.
“That’s why you don’t get paid like someone who took the time to get an education. You can’t have it both ways.”
Taylor turned on the stool to face his friend. “You callin’ me stupid?”
Logan sighed. “Of course not. But you didn’t want to do the extra work, so you don’t get paid as much as I do, let alone a CEO.” He could tell his friend was getting mad. It never did work out well when Taylor was drinking. “Look, why don’t I drive you home.”
“I just got this beer.” Taylor upended the bottle and drank half of it down. He slammed the bottle on the bar. Several customers and the bartender turned at the noise.
“Fine. Finish up then I’ll drive you home.”
“I can drive.”
“Not after six brews, buddy. Better safe than sorry.”
“You’re not smarter’n me,” Taylor slurred.
“Never said so.” Taylor pushed the still full mug of beer back and stood up. “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”
The bartender came over. “Everything okay over here?”
“Yeah,” Logan told him. “Me and my buddy are leaving.”
The bartender nodded. “Drive safe.”
Taylor drained his beer and slid off of the barstool. He wobbled when he stood. Logan took his friend’s arm and began to direct him to the door.
“Everybody should get paid the same,” he muttered as they walked by the bar.
“What a load of crap,” one of the customers snorted.
Taylor pulled away from Logan. “What’d you say?” His hands formed fists.
The customer turned around. “I said that was a load of crap. You’re too high for your nut.”
“What the hell does that mean?” Taylor shouted.
“Doesn’t matter.” Logan grabbed Taylor’s arm and shot the customer a sharp look. “We’re leaving.”
Taylor glared at the man but allowed himself to be led away. “What does he know, anyway.”
They reached the door and Logan pulled his friend outside into the darkness. “Not a thing, buddy, not a thing.”
After dropping his friend at his house, Logan drove home. He thought about what the stranger at the bar said. Too high for his nut, that’s a good one. I’ll have to remember that for the next time one of the other programmers makes a mess of the code.
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