Early morning commute, sun just rising over tops of buildings to the east. Cars whiz by on Dearborn; I-5 booms overhead. Our hero scrambles up a grassy hill from street level and steps through a hole in the chain-link fence. The undeveloped lot is bounded by apartment buildings on one side and the highway on the other. Trash is strewn about: a dirty mattress, beer cans, someone’s torn underwear. He starts picking dandelions. These are big ones, unhindered by mowing or herbicides. He takes half-opened blossoms and pinches them at the base, twisting until the petals come free. The petals go into a plastic sack tied around a belt loop on his pants. Our hero sees two men approaching from the street. Uh-oh.
First Man (eyes red, wearing a trenchcoat and hightops): What you up to?
Urban Forager: Um…picking dandelions.
Second Man (ratty black down jacket, carrying a duffel bag): Dandy lions?
Urban Forager: That’s right. To eat.
First Man: Eat? That’s crazy talk.
Second Man: Sheeee.
First Man (burps and stumbles a little bit): Dandy lions, huh.
Urban Forager: They’re really good for you.
Second Man (shakes head sadly): Sheeeeee.
Urban Forager: Seriously.
First Man: Them yeller petals?
Urban Forager: Sure. I’ll bake something with them. Bread. Muffins. Maybe cookies.
First Man: Dandy lion cookies?
Urban Forager: Right. I could also make a dandy wine.
Both Men: Whoa!
First Man: Dandy lion wine, huh.
Urban Forager: That’s right.
Second Man (smiling toothless grin): Sheeeeeeee.
The two men pause to consider the possibilities, look at the dandelions all around them in a new light, then lurch off into the ‘bo jungle.