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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Mick, the Cute Little Blob (story #92)

So, here it is, Thursday morning, and we’ve put off writing to the last minute just like we predicted.  We are so predictable.  With all the predicting and such.  If it helps at all, we got up before our alarm this morning just to write the story before going to work.  Does it help?  Does it?  Help what?  Heck, I don’t know.  It’s too early to make sense.  At least here on the west coast, it is.

Quick public service announcement:  The word “oughta” does not rhyme with the word “order.”  Sadly, the people who wrote the song that inspired this announcement will most likely never read this blog.  But you can learn from their grievous errors.  And, if you ever happen to met someone who worked on an album called “A Children’s Treasury of Batman Musical Stories” in the 70s, now you know what to tell them.  This is what I get when I put on a shuffle of the 24 days worth of music in my iTunes.

And now we present for your reading pleasure a story about a little blob.  Why?  Because I think a little blob sounds funny right now.

MICK, THE CUTE LITTLE BLOB

Art by Deron Decesare

Once there was a little purple blob named Mick Queen.  He was a cute little blob and he lived in a cute little fantasy world full of other cute little blobs.  But he was cuter.  Don’t ask me what made him cuter, I have no idea what makes a blob cute.  They all look the same to me.

So, one afternoon, Mick was out gooing to the store when he saw his neighbor, Russell Chuck, gooing home from work.

“Hey, Russell!” he called, even though he didn’t have a mouth.

“Oh, hi, Mick,” Russell responded.

“Hey, why the frown?” Mick asked, because blobs can apparently read each other’s expressions.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” Russell said.  Then he burst into tears, which looks really weird when a blob does it.  The blob just sort of shakes and leaks.  I mean, they don’t have eyes, so where do the tears come from?

“Hey, now, don’t cry,” Mick said.  “Whatever it is, it can’t be that bad.”

“It’s my wife, Shawnee,” Russell said.  Getting control of himself, he added slowly, “she . . . she told me this morning that she wants to leave.”

“She’s leaving you?” Mick asked, amazed.

“No, she doesn’t want to leave me,” clarified Russell, “she just wants to leave.  You know, like, leave town.  I don’t know how to tell her that blobs really don’t do well outside of Blob Town.  You remember what happened to Steve when he–“

“Don’t remind me,” Russell said, shuddering (it looked like a Jell-o dessert during an earthquake).

“So, what should I tell her?” Russell asked.

“Well, you could tell her this story isn’t very entertaining,” Mick suggested.

“What good would that do?” asked Russell.

“I don’t know,” Mick replied, “maybe she could come up with a more interesting problem than just wanting to leave town.  I mean, seriously, Russell, that’s pretty weak.  We need something  catastrophic, here, not something silly that no one can relate to.”

“Hey, don’t blame me, it wasn’t my idea,” Russell protested.

“Whatever,” Mick said.  “Look, if this doesn’t get more interesting soon, I’m just gonna head off to the store and the rest of this story can be about me buying peanut butter.  Do you want that?”

“I guess not,” said Russell.  “Okay, let me get Shawnee out here and we’ll see what we can do.”

So, Russell went inside and got his wife, Shawnee, and the three of them sat (laid?  jiggled?  not “stood,” certainly…) around in the middle of the street trying to come with an interesting and/or amusing problem for a bunch of cute little blobs to have.  Several suggestions were: troublesome evolution (blobs growing arms and such), Shawnee having an affair with another blob (and the ensuing problem of trying to figure out which one), hopping in a meteorite and going to Earth and eating a bunch of people, some kind of callback using the words “oughta” and “order,” and an allegory about the socio-economic ramifications of the industrial revolution using a layered series of metaphors to comment simultaneously on class divisions and the inherent risks of unchecked progress.

All of these ideas were rejected and they eventually all decided to just go to the store and get some peanut butter.  Problem was that, by the time they finished debating, it was very late at night and the store was already closed.  So they couldn’t get anything at all, much less the peanut butter they wanted.

Man, it was catastrophic.  I’m sure you can relate.

THE END

Don’t look at me like that.  Please.

See you soon,

the SotWC

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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Science Fiction

 

The Story of Thomas the Big, Fat Liar (story #91)

Hey!  Remember a few weeks ago when I hadn’t written a story the week before and so I wrote two stories in one week?  Yes?  Well, then, welcome back to familiar territory.  I plan to write one story tonight (right now, in fact) and another by, ohhhh, let’s say sometime Thursday.  Hopefully Wednesday night, but there’s nothing like a comfort buffer to take the pressure off.  And by “take the pressure off,” I mean “give me more time to feel comfortable procrastinating and probably leave it to the last minute.”  That’s right, we’re all about honesty and transparency here at the club.  Which just happens to be what tonight’s story is about (I’ve just decided).  Transparency, that is.  It’s not about honesty.  Nope, tonight’s story is about a big, fat liar.

THE STORY OF THOMAS THE BIG, FAT LIAR

Once upon a time, there was a man named Thomas.  His parents had raised him to be a good, honest sort of man, trustworthy and morally upright.  He donated to charities and helped his friends move couches and stuff and was just generally pleasant to be around.  People would see Thomas walking down the street and say, “oh, look.  There’s Thomas.  What a swell guy.”  And it was true.  Thomas was a swell guy.

One night, as Thomas was driving home from work (where everybody loved him and he always did a good job, staying late when necessary but never long enough to make his family feel neglected), it began to rain.

“Fudge-sicles,” Thomas said, switching on the windshield wipers, “I hope this doesn’t impair my driving or anyone else’s.”  The rain continued to intensify as Thomas turned onto the treacherous mountain road that just happened to lie between his work and his home.  “Golly, it’s really coming down,” he said as he maneuvered around a sharp, blind turn in the road.  Fortunately, there were no cars coming the other direction and driving at unsafe speeds.  “Whew, what a relief,” said Thomas, “I’m glad no one’s out driving at unsafe speeds.  My genuine caring for people would make me very emotional if that were the case, and I might start driving irrationally.”

Well, he didn’t start driving irrationally, you might be interested to know.  But no one would know how well he was, in fact, driving, because at that very moment a giraffe that had escaped from the zoo over in the big city stepped right onto the roadway in front of Thomas’s car.

Art by Eric Jansen

“Yipes!” he cried, swerving to avoid the giraffe.  His car flew off the road, sailing almost silently through the rain until it found solid ground partway down the mountainside.  Striking the slippery rocks with bone-rattling force, the car bounced and turned, throwing up swirling cascades of mud as it traveled, end over end, to the bottom of the mountain, which just happened to be in another town where nobody knew poor Thomas.

A woman named Mildred Corningware saw the car land and called 911.  An ambulance was dispatched and Thomas was rushed to the hospital.  Unfortunately nobody noticed his wallet lying next to the wreckage where it had oh-so-inconveniently flown from his pocket upon final impact.  Thomas was in a strange hospital in a strange town with no identification!

He awoke four days later, immobile in a hospital bed with all sorts of tubes and monitors attached to him.  A nurse was, of course, right there and happened to be checking his IV when he awoke.  She saw his eyes open and immediately rushed from the room yelling, “doctor!  Doctor!”  Not like she could have spoken to him herself and reassured him everything would be okay or anything.  Nope, she bailed, primarily because movies and television have taught me that that’s realistic for a registered nurse to do in that situation.

So, in comes the doctor and immediately asks Thomas if he knows where he is.  Thomas shook his head.  “You’re in a hospital,” the doctor calmly informed him.

“Oh,” said Thomas, “well, gee, thanks, Sherlock.  I kind of figured that one.  I thought you might mean something less general like what hospital or what town or why I’m here.  That’s the stuff I don’t remember, you total dooftopode.”

The doctor turned to the nurse, who had re-entered the room with him and was looking uncomfortable and friendly all at once.  “Wow,” he said, “this guy’s a real jerk.”  The doctor then explained to Thomas that he had been in a car accident and brought to the hospital four days earlier on the night of the rainstorm and inexplicable giraffe escape.

“Giraffe?” said Thomas.  “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.”

“Not as dumb as an octopus with a pet wallaby,” said the doctor.

“What are you talking about?” Thomas asked.  “Now you’re just being ridiculous.  Why don’t you just tell me what you’re doing to help me?”

“What, don’t you see all these tubes and monitors?” the doctor said, clearly offended.  “We’re doing all sorts of medical stuff to you, man!  Now, let’s get down to basics.  You had no I.D. when you came in.  Can you tell me your name?”

Now, the truth was that Thomas did not, in fact, remember his name.  He didn’t remember anything about his personal life at all.  But did he tell the doctor that and start down the rocky road to discovery, finding new truths about himself and his life along the rough, but wholly inspirational and satisfying, way?  Nope.  He lied his ass off.

“Yep,” he said.  “My name is Bill Jenkins and I have a very successful legal practice two towns over to the east.  You may be a doctor, chum, but I see more money in a month than you see all year. ‘Pure Profit’ Jenkins, that’s what they call me.  And my wife is hotter than yours, too.”

“You don’t even know what my wife looks like,” said the doctor.

“Doesn’t matter,” Thomas replied.  “That’s how hot mine is.  Suck on that, Poindexter.”

The nurse ran from the room crying as the doctor stood up and shook his head.  “I’ve had amnesia patients before,” he observed, “and they always reverted to their purest, most moral state upon waking.  But you…”

“Save your speeches and go get me a pack of cigarettes,” said Thomas, who had never smoked before in his life.  “And tell that nurse to get back in here.  She can check my vital signs anytime, if you know what I mean.”  The doctor shook his head again and left Thomas’s room, stopping only to admonish the nurse to stay out of there at all costs.

Thomas was there in the hospital making everyone miserable for over a week before his wife, Tess-Tess, found him.  She had been calling everywhere asking if anyone had seen Thomas, even asking for John Does.  Since Thomas had given a false name, he was almost impossible to find.  Ironically, it was his claim of having a legal practice two towns over that led his wife to him.  She was going to hire a private investigator when one of her friends, Billie Jean, suggested she should seek legal counsel first.  “I heard the greatest lawyer in the whole state is in the hospital over in Marzipan-town,” Billie Jean had told her.  “Watch out, though.  I hear he’s real mean.”

So, Tess-Tess drove over to the Marzipan-town Hospital for the Hurt and Stuff, and asked for the mean lawyer.  They knew just who she was talking about and ushered her straight up to the room.  When she arrived, the doctor and nurse were both there looking at Thomas’s chart because there would be way less dramatic tension if they weren’t.

“Thomas!” Tess-Tess cried upon entering the room.

“I’m afraid you’re mistaken,” the doctor said, furrowing his eyebrows.  “This is Bill Jenkins, the wealthiest, meanest lawyer in the whole state.”

“I’m afraid you’re mistaken,” Tess-Tess said.  “This is my husband, Thomas O’Toole, swellest guy in town.”

The doctor looked from Tess-Tess to Thomas and back again.  Thomas just sat slack-jawed on the bed, staring at Tess-Tess.  Finally, the doctor said, “but he told us his name was Bill Jenkins.”

“Well,” said Tess-Tess, “that was just a big, fat lie.”

“I’ve never seen this woman before in my life,” Thomas said finally.

“That, too, is a big, fat lie,” replied Tess-Tess.

“Nuh-uh,” said Thomas.

“Yeah-huh,” said Tess-Tess.

There was silence in the room for a protracted moment.  Finally, Thomas said, “well, this is embarrassing.”

The doctor looked Tess-Tess up and down and said, “you’re not hotter than my wife, either.”

“What?” she asked.

“Nothing,” he said, and quickly left the room.  The nurse remained behind, however, staring at the uncomfortable couple.  Finally, she spoke.

“Despite my earlier popular fiction-inspired behavior, registered nurses are actually quite capable,” she said.  “We work to promote health, prevent disease, and help patients cope with illness.  We’re generally friendly and not prone to panicking or relying on doctors to make us look good or perform elementary tasks like asking questions or reading a chart.  Also, contrary to what you obviously think, we don’t enjoy being hit on by our patients a dozen times a day.  And, just for the record, you’re not supposed to smoke in a hospital and it’s against the law to give legal advice if you’re not really a lawyer.”

With that, she turned and left.  Tess-Tess turned and looked at Thomas with wide, hurt eyes.  “You did all that?” she asked.

“Um…  No,” Thomas said, lying transparently.

With a heavy heart, Tess-Tess checked Thomas out of the hospital and took him home.  She tried to rehabilitate him, but something had changed irrevocably after that fateful accident and the ensuing coma.  And so, when people saw Thomas walking down the street, they no longer said, “oh, look.  There’s Thomas.  What a swell guy.”

They said, “oh, look.  There’s Bill Jenkins.”

THE END

See you soon,

the SotWC

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Such Great Heights (story #90)

Howdy ho, everyone.  Just beat last night, so opted out of writing a story.  But here I am, rarin’ to go.  Hope you are to.  Nothing to make the week brighter like a little rarin’.

So, as I was walking up the stairs to my room tonight, the door frame to my room seemed shorter than before.  It was an optical illusion, of course, but an optical illusion that put a story idea in my head.  So here goes.

SUCH GREAT HEIGHTS

When Steven awoke that morning, he just felt taller.  He couldn’t explain it.  He had done nothing, eaten nothing different, done no strange and new exercises, and he was years past his last growth spurt.  Still there was no denying it.  He felt taller.

He stood up and immediately felt the sleeves of his pajama shirt pull away from his wrists.  This can’t be, he thought.  A draft at is midriff seemed to whisper otherwise.  He went to put on his slippers and realized that his pajama pants were riding about an inch off of his ankles.

I am taller, he thought, and sat down on his bed.  Yesterday, I was myself, he thought, but today I am taller.

He dialed the number for work and told the voice on the other end of the line that he would not be coming in that day.  When asked what his reason was, he said, “I’m too tall.”  He then called his doctor.  “I need to see you,” he said.  “I’m too tall,” he said.

Entering the doctor’s office, he it his head on the door jamb.

“There’s no doubt about it,” said the doctor after a thorough examination.  “You’re tall.”

“Too tall,” Steven responded.

“And getting taller,” said the doctor.  “You’ve grown at least an inch since I started my examination.”

“But my pants still fit,” Steven said.  “But the legs are not long enough.  And my shirt still fits.  But the arms are not long enough.”

“Well,” said the doctor, “you are getting taller, not wider.  That means you’ll be getting thinner, not fatter.  Your pants may fit now, but soon they will be too big in the waist and to small in the legs.”

“They’re already too small in the legs,” said Steven.

“But soon, they will be both,” the doctor assured him.

“What’s wrong with me?” Steven asked.

“I’m afraid I don’t know,” said the doctor.

“I’d better leave before I get trapped inside,” Steven said.

Outside, Steven looked up at the sky.  It didn’t look any closer.  But it was getting closer all the time.  His bones were growing.  His skin was stretching.  He was getting taller, but not wider.  He looked at his car and decided to leave it parked where it was.  He would not fit anymore.  Not in a car made for an ordinary sized man.  He was too tall for his car.  He would not go home.  He was too tall for his house.  He would not call his girlfriend, Sara.  He was too tall for his girlfriend.  He didn’t know what to do.  He was too tall for his life.

How tall was he now?  Ten feet?  Eleven?  More?  He could not tell.  He decided not to think about it.  He decided he did not want to know.  The ground looked very far away as he walked along the street looking down, down, always down.  People he passed stopped and stared, disinterested in politeness or social convention.  Here was a giant.  A real live mythological creature walking the streets with ordinary men.

Steven did not feel mythological.  Steven did not feel special or interesting.  Those were good things.  Special.  Interesting.  Steven felt freakish.  Steven felt bad.  He did not want to be stared at.  He did not want to be seen at all.

A little girl looked up at him, from very far away, it seemed.  She was maybe five years old.  She was wearing a pink and white dress.  She had shining, curly pigtails.  Her eyes were wide and blue.

“Ooo,” she said, and nothing more.

Steven walked on, fully thirteen feet by now at least, lost in thoughts of his own freakishness.  But the girl did not move.  She stopped and watched him go, her wide blue eyes filled only with wonder.  “Did you like that man, Samantha?” her mother asked.

“Oh yes,” said Samantha, “very much.”

“He was very tall, wasn’t he?” said Samantha’s mother.

“Yes,” said Samantha.  “But not too tall.  He was just right.”

“Just right for what?” her mother asked.

“Just right for God to see him,” Samantha said, and then she grabbed her mother by the hand and tugged.  “Can we talk to him, Mommy?  Can you take me?”

“I don’t think he wants to be bothered, honey,” Samantha’s mother said.

“Please?” Samantha said simply.

Steven stopped at the sound behind him.  Small feet, running.  And a voice.

“Mister!”

He turned.  Samantha and her mother were there.  Samantha’s mother looking apologetic, but loving.

“Mister,” Samantha said again.

“Yes?” said Steven, sadly.  Being stared at was no fun, but he knew a little girl like this meant no harm.  He didn’t want to seem angry.  He didn’t want to scare her.  He was a giant, after all.

“Mister, can you lift me up, please?” Samantha asked.

“Lift you up?” Steven said.

“I’m sorry,” Samantha’s mother said.

“Lift me up so God can see my dress?”  Samantha said.  “It’s my most prettiest dress, and God can’t see me all the way down here.”

“God can’t see you?” Steven asked.

“No,” said Samantha.  She looked at the ground for a moment, then looked back up and shrugged.  “I’m too short.”

“You’re too short,” Steven said.

“Yes,” said Samantha, “but you’re just right.”

Steven smiled.  And Steven lifted Samantha up.  And Samantha giggled and wriggled stretched her arms out towards the sky.  Steven held her up as high as he could, and that was awfully high.  The sun shone on Samantha’s pink and white dress and caught in the curls of her pigtails and sparkled in her big, blue eyes.

Perhaps they saw each other again after that day.  Perhaps they became and remained friends.  Perhaps, in the days that followed, Steven grew shorter and shorter until he was back to his normal height.  Perhaps the doctor could never figure out how or why Steven grew to such great heights that day.  Perhaps all of these things happened, but they are not what is important.  What is important is that, for that one brief moment on that one sunny day, Steven was not too tall and Samantha was not too short.  For that one moment, they were both just right, and they knew it.

They were special.  They were interesting.  And they were seen.

THE END

See you next week,

the SotWC

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The Quick and Dirty Story (story #89)

Gee whilikers, it feels like we just wrote a story two days ago.  So, some of our readers may be confused (or outraged, with pitchforks and whatnot) because we promised to publish a story on Wednesday and it is now Thursday in every time zone in America except the Pacific.  That, of course, is the crucial time zone, since it is where the club is headquartered.  So, we’re still good as far as we’re concerned.  Huzzah for us.

So, not that it really matters to anyone but us, but we’re gonna try and get this written in less than an hour in order to publish before midnight here on the west coast.  Which means quick and dirty.  Hope you don’t mind, world.

THE QUICK AND DIRTY STORY

Art by Josh Judd

The escape route was cut off.  Thompson looked back over his shoulder and lamented inwardly one more time his decision to bring Flynn along on this trip.  He was pretty much just slowing everything down.  Of course, it didn’t help that they were covered in ash and soot from climbing up Lady Farnsworth’s chimney.  “Chim chim cher-ee, indeed,” Thompson muttered to himself.  “Flynn!” he hissed a moment later.  “Don’t bother jumping over.  We can’t get out that way.”

Flynn stood on the edge of the opposite rooftop.  “What do you mean?” he asked in a whisper that may as well have been a shout.

“I mean the boat’s being guarded,” Thompson said back.  “I don’t know how they found out it was ours, but there’s two cops waiting by it.  We can’t use it to get out of the city anymore.  We gotta leave it.”

“But the Upendi was a gift from my father,” Flynn said sadly as Thompson jumped back across the gap between houses.

“I know it was,” Thompson said, “and if you didn’t have the boat, I never would have asked you to come with me on this trip.  You’re out of shape, Flynn.  And you’re slow.  I’m gonna need to move fast to get out of town, now, and I can’t have any dead weight.”

“What are you saying?” Flynn asked.

“I’m saying sayonara, sucker,” Thompson growled, turning away.

“What’s with the beauty and the beast routine?” Flynn asked.  “Ain’t I been a good partner?”

“Good partner?” Thompson said.  “Good partner?  You’re fat and slow and you couldn’t tell a priceless diamond from a blob of paste if your life depended on it!  I had to pull you up that chimney because you couldn’t climb the rope on your own.  You’re lucky Lady F. had an old job with enough room for a tub of guts like you in the first place!  We got nothing because you set off the alarm, and now the boat, which was the only thing you brought to the table, ain’t even any use to us!  At this rate, I’m holding you personally responsible if Jasmine runs away when we get back to town.”

“Why would she run away?” Flynn asked.

“What’s she got to stay for?” Thompson returned.  “No diamond, no credibility, and we’re never gonna get this soot out of our clothes.”

“But, when we left, she told you ‘you’ll be in my heart.’  That’s what she said to you.”

“Big deal,” Thompson said, turning to leave.  “What good is her heart if she doesn’t have a diamond to prove I can keep my word?”

“Did she know you were stealing the diamond you promised?” Flynn asked.

“Don’t be stupid,” Thompson said, moving to the opposite edge of the roof.  “She doesn’t know what I do for a living.”

“Well, maybe you should just tell her,” Flynn suggested.

“What are you doing?” Thompson said, disbelieving.  “The Upendi is compromised, we’ve got no other plan of escape and we’re likely to have an angry group of villagers singing the mob song for our heads with pitchforks and torches any minute, and you wanna go Freud on me?  See you later, fat man.”

And there, under the stars, Thompson leaped back to Lady Farnsworth’s rooftop.  Flynn watched him go in the bright starlight and then turned back to the drop he had intended to leap over when Thompson had stopped him.  “I may be fat,” he said as a sly smile crept over his face, “but I’m not stupid.  I’ve got a dream just like anyone else.  And that dream doesn’t involve leaving my boat behind, Thompson.”  With that, Flynn reached into his pocket and touched the thing he had pocketed while Thompson had been trying so diligently to retrieve the paste replica that Lady Farnsworth kept on display.  Any son of man with eyes in his head could have seen the difference, but Flynn had never given Thompson the chance.  The false back to the display had been so easy to remove and replace before Thompson had even made it into the room.  And did he mind looking stupid when Thompson discovered the jewel Flynn had “found” was nothing but paste?  He did not.  Not with the heavy diamond necklace resting safely in his pocket.

“For the price of two cheap police costumes,” he mused.  Looking back over his shoulder at Thompson’s distant silhouette retreating across the lavish British rooftops, Flynn smiled.  “I may be slow and dirty,” he whispered, “and you may be the quick one.  But at least I’m rich.”

And, with that, he went to join his costumed friends at dock where his boat, the Upendi, waited to take him home.

THE END

Hmm.  Perhaps not my best work, but I am excited to see what kind of art Josh Judd can come up with for it.  And I’m kind of proud of how I met the challenge I set for myself to include the title of every song or score piece that came on the shuffle while I wrote into the story.  Can you pick them out?  Definitely threw some odd turns of phrase and story quirks in there.  Also proud of the fact that it is now 11:59.  Bam.

See you next week,

the SotWC

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The Story of Shockey, the Rebellious Dwarf (story #88)

Well, here it is Monday, and we haven’t written a story for last week, yet.  Okay, so here’s what we’re gonna do.  We’ll publish a new story today and call that last week’s story.  Then we’ll publish another story on Wednesday and call that this week’s story.  Thereby skipping Tuesday entirely.  We are totally mixing it up here at the club.

I just asked my co-workers for three things to use in a story, and they came up with “dwarves,” “tornadoes,” and “a marshmallow gun.”

Cool.  Here we go.

THE STORY OF SHOCKEY, THE REBELLIOUS DWARF

It was already seventeen minutes after ten, and work had started at nine.  Diplok looked at his watch as the applicant left the building.  A minute later, he looked again.  And again.  This was getting out of hand.  He would have to have a talk with Shockey when, IF, he came in.

At ten forty-seven, the front door opened and in walked Shockey, wearing sunglasses, a dirty thermal underwear shirt and baggy pants.  Hardly office dress code.  Diplok shook his head.

“Shockey,” he said in a commanding tone of voice.  “I’d like to see you in my office.”

“I’ll just bet you would,” said Shockey under his breath.  He smiled at Romilda, Diplok’s secretary, and strolled lazily into the office.  “What’s shakin’, bacon?” Shockey said.

“I would prefer it if you address me as ‘boss’ or ‘sir,’” Diplok said, sitting down and making a steeple on his desk with his fingers.

“I’m aware of that,” Shockey said as he took a seat himself.

Diplok grunted.  “Shockey,” he said after losing the brief staring contest that had begun when they took their seats, “we need to talk about your work ethic.”

“Aw, come on, Dippy,” Shockey replied, picking up a bright red apple that was sitting on Diplok’s desk.  “Let’s call a spade a spade, here.  WE don’t need to talk about my work ethic.  YOU need to talk about my work ethic.  I don’t have a problem with my work ethic.”

“You don’t have any work ethic!” Diplok roared.

“And I don’t have a problem with that.”

“Give me back my apple.”

“Why should I?” Shockey taunted.

“It was a gift.  Just give it back.”

Shockey smiled.  “Whatever you say, Dippy,” he said, returning the apple to its place.

“And don’t call me ‘Dippy,’” Diplok said through clenched teeth.  “You may call me ‘boss,’ or ‘sir.’”

“Sure I will,” Shockey responded with an unconvincing smile.

“Don’t force me into a corner, here,” Diplok said in attempt to sound mean.  “I don’t want to have to fire you.”

“Sure you do,” Shockey said.  “But you can’t and you know it.  Your threats are about as scary as a marshmallow gun.”  Before Diplok could respond, Shockey went on.  “Look, man,” he said, “you may think you’re hot snot because your great-grandfather started this mining company, but don’t forget that my great-grandfather was there, too.”

“Your great-grandfather was totally DOPEY!” Diplok shouted.

“Don’t let’s resort to name-calling,” Shockey said with an impish grin on his face.  He never tired of playing games with Diplok.

“I didn’t mean it that way and you know it,” Diplok said.

“It’s not the facts that bother me,” Shockey responded, “it’s your tone of voice.”

“Look, my tone of voice has nothing to do with it,” Diplok said.  “I know your great-grandfather was there at the beginning.  All our great-grandfathers were there at the beginning.  It’s not my fault that it was mine who became CEO of this mining company.”

“Maybe it’s not your fault,” Shockey retorted, “but you never let an opportunity pass to remind us.”

“Because you all treat me like I’m some sort of jerk!” Diplok wailed.  “I know my great-grandfather was Grumpy, but it doesn’t mean I’m just like him!  You could be nicer to me if you wanted.  I try!  I really do!”

“You try?” Shockey mocked.  “Really?  How hard were you trying to be nice or fair when you made Romilda your secretary just because her great-grandfather was Bashful?  Maybe he didn’t have the guts to get ahead in this business, but you never gave her a chance!”

“She likes her job!” Diplok shouted.

“Hey, Romilda!” Shockey called.  “Do you like your job?”

“Nope!” Romilda called back from just outside the door, where she was listening intently.

“Does anybody here like their job?” Shockey said to twist the point.

“Not that I’m aware of!” Romilda shouted back.

“See?” Shockey said.  “You’re just spittin’ into a tornado, here, Dippy.”

“Well, we can’t all be Happy,” Diplok replied.

“Why not?” Shockey asked.  “We could have lived forever off the residuals to their story!  But, NO.  Our fathers and grandfathers went and sold all their story rights in perpetuity to the White chick, and we get nothing.”

“We get this mining company,” Diplok protested.

“No, YOU got this mining company.  The rest of us just got a legacy to live down.  You say you’re not Grumpy like your great-grandfather?  Well, Bifftakes isn’t Sleepy, either, but he still gets relegated to the mailroom because you think he’ll lie down on the job.  Turbo never even went to medical school, but you put him in the company pharmacy anyway; don’t try to tell me that’s not because of his great-grandfather.  And, Heather…  Okay, well, she does sneeze a lot, but those allergies are hereditary.  At any rate, the point is that we all carry baggage from our predecessors.  If you don’t wanna be treated like that, stop treating us like that.  If you won’t, we won’t.  Simple as that.”

Diplock looked down at his desk for a few moments.  When he looked up, his eyes were angry.  “Perhaps you’re right,” he said, clearly trying to control his voice.  “I’ll try to be less like my great-grandfather.  If you try to be less like yours.”

“Hey,” said Shockey, “at least I can talk.  I mean, I’m not dumb like he was.”  As he turned to leave, he looked down at the apple on Diplok’s desk.  “Hey,”  he said, “I didn’t have breakfast this morning.  Can I have your apple?”

“No way,” said Diplok icily.  “It was a gift from the applicant I interviewed this morning.”

Shockey suddenly eyed the apple suspiciously.  “Who was it?” he asked.

“She said she has a family history with us,” Diplok responded.  “I think she’s descended from the White girl’s half-sister or something, I never learned the stupid story.  You think I should hire her?”

“Was she nice?” Shockey asked.

“No,” Diplok said.  “She was kind of a witch.  But the apple looks good, doesn’t it?”

Shockey smiled and tipped a wink at Romilda as he left the office.  “Yes, sir boss,” he called back to Diplok.

THE END

See you next Wednesday,

The SotWC

(okay, we’ll actually see you “this” Wednesday,

not “next” Wednesday, but it’s a quote

for those of you in the know)

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Uncategorized