I’ve been writing job stories lately. I finished revising a Burger King story. Now I’m working on a story based on my experiences as a cotton scout in Eastern, North Carolina for an agricultural consulting firm. Good times: yards with combat-themed gnomes, Don’t Tread on Me flags, the house at the end of a dirt road with a sign outside that read, “Armed & Dangerous,” dogs barreling out of nowhere to bare their teeth, walking through tall cotton (will shred your legs), hole-in-the-wall barbecue joints, and the best tan of my life. I can tell you about aphids, stink bugs, jimsonweed, and gun shots a little too close. I can tell you how to slice open a cotton boll in the summer, before it’s ready for harvest: puncture the boll at the bottom with your thumb and slide upward. The cotton inside is wet and slimy.