I’m tired of that chemical perfume smell. I want to smell like lavender, vanilla, oranges, citrus, and creme de menthe.
Do you also want to smell like this? If so, please invent such wonderful smells and put them into aerosol form.
I’m tired of that chemical perfume smell. I want to smell like lavender, vanilla, oranges, citrus, and creme de menthe.
Do you also want to smell like this? If so, please invent such wonderful smells and put them into aerosol form.
“Disco Werewolf is a flash in the pan,” Boogiedown Barry said while sipping his fifth drink of the evening. “All these young up and comers to the disco scene. They’re all razzle and no dazzle, all trash and no sash, you know what I mean? They’re all about the kooky get ups first and the actual art of dancing comes in at a distant second, if that. You getting all this down?”
“Dancing…comes…in…second,” Claudette mumbled to herself as she jotted her interviewee’s words down in her notebook. “I got it, but you have to admit, Disco Werewolf can dance.”
Barry looked out at the dancefloor, where the furry funkmaster was matching the beat, note for note, with his big fuzzy feet. All kinds of sexy ladies pushed each other out of the way for a chance to shake their booties in the wolfman of the hour’s general vicinity.
“Bah,” Barry said. “I admit nothing.”
“Do you know who he is?” Claudette asked.
Barry raised an eyebrow. “Do I know who he is?”
“Yes,” Claudette said.
“Sure, I do,” Barry said.
Claudette looked at Barry with anticipation, pen at the ready.
“He’s the rat bastard who’s ruining my life,” Barry said. “Look at him. Hogging up the floor while the rest of us can’t get a foot in edgewise.”
The aspiring journalist frowned upon realizing that Barry didn’t know the secret to the question she was trying so desperately to answer.
Barry sipped, then belched, then sipped again. “What did you say your name again was, little filly?”
“Claudette Who?” Barry asked as he ogled the gyrating rump stuffed inside a short orange skirt just a few feet away.
Barry immediately snapped to attention, no longer interested in the aforementioned heiney. He looked the kid over. “Jenkins, huh?”
“Who are you with?” Barry asked.
“Freelance is what I should say to be honest,” Claudette replied. “With any luck, for the New York Courant.”
“Huh. You look a might underripe to be a reporter if you ask me. Then again, no one asks old Boogiedown Barry anything anymore. Oh, they used to. How they used to hang on my every word until that fat pile of…hey, don’t write this part. This part is off the record.”
“You hate Disco Werewolf,” Claudette said. “I got it.”
“I do,” Barry said as he watched the monster get freaky. “Then again, I’m starting to think I shouldn’t. I mean, does the lion hate the lamb? Does the hound hate the fox? Does the axe murderer in all those cheesy, bargain basement slasher flicks hate the horny teenagers he’s always chasing around? You see where I’m going with this?”
“Not at all,” Claudette replied.
“I know I’m good,” Barry said. “I know he stinks. I don’t have to prove nothing to nobody, you hear?”
“I hear,” Claudette said.
Barry swished the booze around in his mouth like it was mouthwash, then swallowed. “Now that, you can print.”
Thump. Thump. Thump. A pair of heavy feet cut through the crowd, trudging their way to the bar. Soon enough, Barry and Claudette found themselves in the company of a big ass werewolf, as well as his hangers on.
“You’re the best, DW!” one man shouted. “You’re far out!”
“Groovy, baby!” came another male voice. “Positively groovy!”
“Disco Werewolf, are you seeing anyone?” asked a female voice.
Barry was standing right beside Disco Werewolf now, but refused to acknowledge him. Disco Werewolf looked at the fella who used to be the club’s number one dancer and growled. “Grrr.”
“Huh?” Barry asked as he chewed on a toothpick and looked around the bar, anywhere but in the werewolf’s direction. “Somebody say something? I don’t know, because I don’t talk to nobodies.”
Disco Werewolf let the rude comment slide off and raised a finger. Ferdinand the bartender practically tripped over himself as he rushed over with an aluminum shaker in hand.
“I got your usual right here, DW, baby,” Ferdinand said as he opened the shaker and poured the contents into a glass. He popped a toothpick into an olive, inserted it into the drink and handed it over.
The werewolf sipped.
“How is it, sir?” Ferdinand asked. “Not too dry, I hope? You know what, Disco Werewolf, you just say the word and I’ll throw it out and make you another.”
Disco Werewolf guzzled the concoction down in a single gulp. Ferdinand waited in suspense for the verdict. The monster kicked his head back and howled in delight. “Ahhhh-wooo!”
Ferdinand smiled while the Looky Lous cheered. “Don’t you worry, Mr. Werewolf. I’ll keep those coming all night long. Free of charge. Totally gratis, on the house. Mr. Sugarshine told me straight up, his mouth to my ears, that I shouldn’t even dream of taking your money.”
Disco Werewolf nodded and patted the barkeep on the shoulder.
“Oh wowie, zowie!” Ferdinand said. “I’ll never wash this shoulder ever again!”
“Like you’ve ever taken a bath in your entire life, spazoid,” Barry said.
“Pipe down, has been!” Ferdinand replied. “And you’d better make good on your tab, Barry! It’s already $108.57 and counting! Mr. Sugarshine can’t be expected to subsidize deadbeat rummies forever!”
“Bah,” Barry said. “Mr. Sugarshine can subsidize both cheeks of my ass.”
Disco Werewolf was about to walk away when he felt a tug on his paw. He looked down to see Claudette. He locked eyes with her and for a brief moment, looked as though he were in a daze.
“Disco Werewolf?” Claudette said as she held up her notepad and pen. “Claudette Jenkins, hopefully for the New York Courant. Do you have a minute?”
They say that canines can’t smile because they have no lips, but on some level, the club’s resident dance hound looked happy. He patted the girl on the head, tussling her hair. Then, he took the pad and pen, scribbled something down, and handed it all back to Claudette before returning to the action.
Ferdinand leaned over the bar. “Hokie smokies! What’d he write?”
Claudette looked at the pad, then showed it to Ferdinand:
Stay in school.
“Wow,” Ferdinand said. “If I were you, I’d have that framed.”
Barry felt the need to interrupt. “Pbbht! If I were you, I’d have my head examined.”
“Stick a sock in it, lush!” Ferdinand said. “No one asked you!”
“Bah, your mother wears combat boots,” Barry replied.
I’ve been in a funk all year, 3.5 readers. I’m hoping for a day when I can really sit and concentrate, put in all my hours on crafting books.
In the meantime, I need stories that have that special ability to flow out of my brain, through my fingers and onto the keyboard.
I’ve been starting new books and getting stuck all year until recently, for some reason, the next story that has apparently chosen to use me as its vessel appears to be:
Dear 3.5 Readers,
I have decided this is all bullcrap and therefore I will quit my efforts at bloggery.
All those years ago when I started this fine blog, I did so because I thought I was a good writer. However, as it turns out, I was just expending existential gas and now I’m empty.
I have decided to watch the City Girls/Cardi B Twerk video for the rest of my life on a continuous loop. Yes, the one where they fill the yacht with twerking butts.
To fund this lifestyle, I have sold this blog to a South Korean media conglomerate. Does that mean this blog will change? Yes. A lot? Yes.
How will it be different? Well, before I used to opine quite a bit. But now, this blog will mostly be advertisements for squid candy. Mmm delicious squid candy.
Also, people in funny costumes dancing like Psy. While they sell squid candy.
By the way, when they bought this blog, they paid me in squid candy. Also, they bought all of you, paying me 3.5 boxes of squid candy per reader.
Enjoy the blog, 3.5. I’m off now to watch that twerk video for the rest of my life.
Smegma shrugged his shoulders. “Happens to the best of us. Just wash it off in the sink and I’m sure it will be…”
The bathroom door opened. The buxom blonde came rushing out and hid behind the studly spy. Smegma poked his head into the bathroom to find a three-foot long swordfish. It was flopping about the cramped room, smashing into this and that. On the whole, it appeared relatively harmless, save its long, razor sharp nose.
Smegma gasped. “Toilet swordfish! This must be the work of…”
Clap. Clap. Clap.
Slowly, the agent turned and watched as a man exited the cockpit. He wore khaki pants, a black polo shirt and had a long, bushy black beard. He carried a large, black duffel bag. He slapped his hands together as he approached.
“Congratulations, Mr. Smegma. You’re not as dimwitted as I thought.”
“Meanwhile, you’re dumber than ever if you thought you’d be able to take me out with a fish nose up the ass, Hakeem.”
Bonanza raised her hand. Smegma acknowledge her. “Yes?”
“I’m sorry,” Bonanza said. “It’s just so typical of males to assume that every woman in the room already knows what he knows. Would you explain?”
Smegma sighed. “If I do, will you accuse me of mansplaining?”
Bonanza looked up. She took a few seconds to think. “Not this time.”
The agent nodded. “This is the international terrorist Hakeem Abdul Qassab, a top lieutenant in the Fatwah Brigade. If their leader, Sheikh Omar al-Mutairi decides you’ve offended his disgusting, perverted version of the Islamic faith, he’ll send one of his errand boys to end your life.”
Smegma looked at the fish, still flopping around in the bathroom. “A pity for the Sheikh that good help is hard to find.”
Qassab smiled. “I admit that out of all the toilet animals Dr. Malfeasor offered, the toilet swordfish is truly the lamest. However, you get what you pay for. Perhaps if your country, the Great Satan that is the United States, would stop looting and raping our lands for five minutes, the Sheikh would be able to afford something truly badass, like a toilet stingray or a…”
“Enough small talk,” Smegma said. “The pilot?”
The terrorist set his bag down on a seat. “I forced him engage the autopilot just before I sent him to hell. Care to join him?”
“That’s a date I’ve been postponing for quite some time now.”
Qassab unzipped the duffel bag. “Oh, Mr. Smegma. I think you’ll be making that appointment this time.”
“Then I’ll be sure to say hello to your brothers,” Smegma said. “How many did I send there again?”
The terrorist waved his finger in Smegma’s direction. “They are not in hell! They are basking in the glory of heaven where 72 virgins will wait on them hand and foot and take care of their every need and desire for all eternity.”
Smegma scoffed at that notion. “Meh.”
“No,” Qassab said. “What?”
“I don’t want to rain on your parade.”
“Please,” Qassab said. “Rain away. I’m nothing if I can’t accept a little constructive criticism.”
“Well,” Smegma said. “It’s just that, they’re virgins for a reason you know.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean,” Smegma said. “If you’ve got fully grown, adult female women who died and ended up in heaven and they never once touched a penis, then they’re pretty lame.”
Bonanza inserted herself into the conversation. “Unless they chose to abstain from penis out of their own free will as strong, independent women.”
Qassab pointed at Bonanza, but directed his eyes to Smegma. “Will you shut that bitch up and tell her that men are talking?”
Smegma smirked. “You forget in the West, women have rights.”
The terrorist laughed. “Ha! The great, world renowned ladies’ man, Dirk Smegma, standing up for a woman. Now I’ve seen everything. You have become, how you say, beta cuck bitch boy, yes?”
“Something like that,” Smegma replied.
Qassab and Smegma locked eyes. The terrorist unzipped his bag and pulled out a sedated swordfish. It was devoid of any movement, perfectly still. He held it by the tail and pointed the sharp end at Smegma. “En garde!”
The spy kept his cool as he stared down the end of that incredibly pointy fish schnoz. On pure instinct, he reached into the bathroom and punched the floppy fish in the face, knocking it out cold. He then grabbed its tail and pointed the fish toward the terrorist. “Touche!”
Clang, clang, clang! Like a scene straight out of The Three Musketeers, Smegma and Qassab exchanged a dazzling array of thrusts and parries, each more powerful than the last. As they each struggled to be the last man standing, Attorney Bonanza couldn’t help but offer some commentary. “I can’t watch this. There’s way too much toxic masculinity here.”
Qassab struck at Smegma and missed, giving the agent the wiggle room he needed to kick the terrorist in the stomach, causing him to stumble backward.
“Oh, what a senseless display of violence!” Bonanza cried. “What could possibly be the root of all this?”
Qassab charged at Smegma, hoping to stick the spy in the gut with his swordfish. As he did so, he shouted, “Allahu Akbar!”
The grim spectacle made the luscious babe feel feint. She raised the back of her hand, held it against it forehead and looked upward towards the heavens, or at least, the ceiling of the plane’s interior. “Why is this happening?”
Smegma dodged the attack and locked his swordfish with Qassab’s. Clang, clang, clang! The battle was epic and there was no end in sight, for each man was, strangely enough, quite skilled in the art of swordfishplay.
“I will kill you in the name of the prophet, Smegma!” Qassab cried.
Clang, clang, clang!
“What on earth could be causing this sad display?” Bonanza asked herself.
Clang, clang, clang!
“Today is the day you die!” Qassab shouted. “For I, the great Hakeem Abdul Qassab, will destroy you in the name of Islam!”
Bonanza collapsed in a seat. “Oh, we may never know.”
The lady’s persistent questioning distracted Qassab. He looked towards the woman. “Filthy whore! Get the shit out of your ears! I’m telling you directly and very succinctly that I am about to murderer this son of a motherless cow in the name of Allah and Islam!”
“The motivation of this attack will forever be a mystery!” Bonanza shouted back.
Smegma took advantage of the confusion by punching Qassab in the face. “Don’t call her a whore! That’s slut shaming!”
At that moment, Smegma made a critical error by looking at Bonanza in the hopes of acquiring her approval. She nodded. “Thank you. It is. However, Agent Smegma, the optics of your current predicament are quite abysmal.”
Bam! Smegma’s face contorted as it accepted a shoe attached to a foot that was delivered by a roundhouse kick. Clang, clang, clang! Terrorist and spy traded swordfish blows again.
“The optics?!” Smegma asked.
Bonanza stood up in front of her seat. “Yes! The sight of you, a white, Anglo-Saxon male of European descent, a cultural Christian attacking a person of color…”
Qassab got the upper hand on his opponent by cornering Smegma against a wall. The terrorist gripped his hand around the spy’s face. Smegma’s eyes focused on the sharp swordfish nose that Qassab was bringing closer and closer. Despite it all, Smegma managed to defend himself from Attorney Bonanza’s protestations. “He started it!”
Smegma kneed Qassab in the groin, sending the terrorist to the floor in a spent heap.
“Did he?” Bonanza asked. “Or did America start it when…”
The agent lifted his leg and brought his foot down on Qassab’s chest. “Look, I’m not a racist.”
“Anyone who starts a sentence with, ‘I’m not a racist’ is most assuredly about to say something racist,” Bonanza said.
Qassab had been weakened by the attack on his testicles, but he managed to back Bonanza up. “She’s got you there.”
“All I’m trying to say is that Islam has a problem.”
In unison, Qassab and Bonanza let out the same reply. “Oh my God!”
“The nerve!” Bonanza added.
Qassab spit up a bit of blood. “I know, right?”
“Agent Smegma,” Bonanza said. “Are you oblivious to the fact that acts of terrorism are often committed against people of color by white Christians who believe their violence is justified by their religion?”
Smegma sighed. “I’m not saying there aren’t bad apples in every bunch.”
“Oh,” Bonanza said. “Here we go.”
Qassab coughed and winced from the pain he was in. “Spare us your platitudes, klansman!”
Smegma pointed downward at Qassab. “I’m just saying the number of apples in HIS bunch is higher than average.”
Bonanza and Qassab gave the same reply. “Oh my God!”
“I can’t believe you schtupped this guy,” Qassab said.
“You heard that?” Bonanza asked.
“I’m sorry,” Qassab answered. “There’s an intercom in the cockpit that lets you hear everything going on back here. I wasn’t trying to pry, I just shot the pilot in the head before I asked him how to turn it off. My bad.”
Bonanza shot Smegma a cold stare. “You really think this way, don’t you?”
“Dar….” Smegma stopped himself from using the word “darling,” but felt the title of attorney was too formal for the situation. “Cooter, please understand, the world isn’t black and white.”
“Oh,” Bonanza said. “Now you’re just going to casually throw around words like ‘black’ and ‘white’ without considering the underlying racial implications?”
“They’re just words!” Smegma shouted.
“Ugh!” Bonanza said. “Now it all makes sense.”
“What does?” Smegma asked.
“I’m starting to figure out why I’ll feel like you retroactively raped me in 2060,” Bonanza said.
Qassab choked and gasped. “What’s wrong with rape? A little rape never hurt anyone.”
Bonanza ignored that statement as she looked to Smegma. “You disgust me. You’re so blinded by your white privilege that you can’t see what a monster you’ve become.”
“I’m not saying that EVERY Muslim is a bad person,” Smegma said. “In fact, there are, last time I checked, 1.8 billion followers of the Islamic faith in the world, so if they wanted to, they could conquer the globe and impose their will on us all easily. The fact that they don’t tells us that the majority of devotees to the Islamic faith are fine, upstanding people who are just looking to live lives of peace and prosperity and have no desire to harm anyone.”
Qassab spit on the floor. “Pbbht! Wretched dogs! They have no right to call themselves true Muslims if they do not adhere to the Fatwah Brigade’s version of Islam, for it is the one and only true version! Oh, I would burn all 1.8 billion of them alive if I could!”
“See?” Smegma said. “It’s worth mentioning that peaceful Muslims are victimized the most by radical Islamists.”
“I’ve never liked the term ‘radical Islamist,’” Qassab said. “It sounds like I should be skateboarding down a half-pipe or something.”
“And you don’t think there are violent Christians out there?” Bonanza asked.
“I never said there weren’t,” Smegma said. “And I never said that Christians who perpetrate violence should get a free pass for their evil deeds. You’re confusing things quite needlessly.”
“Am I?” Bonanza asked. “So, if a Muslim commits an act of terror, he’s a terrorist, but if a white Christian male commits an act of terror, he’s crazy, right?”
“Sometimes, yes,” Smegma said. “Other times, no. It’s all very muddled up, but I’ll concede that sometimes there are people of the Islamic faith who will suffer from mental illness and commit an act of violence as a result of that illness and that shouldn’t be counted against the Islamic faith as a whole just as the acts of violence perpetrated by mentally ill white Christians shouldn’t be held against all white Christians.”
“Oh,” Bonanza said. “But acts of terror committed by sane Muslims should be held against all Muslims, but acts of terror committed by sane white Christians shouldn’t be held against all white Christians?”
Qassab laughed. “She’s got you there, white devil.”
“I think anyone who commits an act of terror should be held responsible for that act of terror,” Smegma said. “And broader arguments that it is the fault of everyone who shares the terrorists race or religion are ridiculous.”
“Finally,” Qassab said.
“Now we’re getting somewhere,” Bonanza added.
Smegma cleared his throat. “I just think…
“Oh boy,” Qassab said.
“And now you’re going to ruin it,” Bonanza added.
“…that statistically speaking, members of the Islamic faith, as a whole, could do a little more to purge the bad actors out of their communities, ostracize and cast out those who are preaching hate and twisting their faith for their own evil ends.”
All the color drained from Bonanza’s face. “I think I’m going to be sick.”
Qassab guffawed from his spot under the agent’s foot. “Smegma, you oblivious douche! Do you really think that some old Muslim granny sitting in her rocking chair is going to be able to nag me out of existence? Me, who runs around blowing up buses and trains and chops the heads off infidels and…”
Smegma threw up his hands. “This is going nowhere.”
“Tell me about it,” Bonanza replied.
“Can I try to make on last point?” Smegma asked.
“If you must,” Bonanza said.
“This ought to be good,” Qassab said.
“When it comes right down to it, there’s more to all of us that unites us than there is that divides us. Surely, all the people of the world can set aside their cultural, racial and religious biases and accept a universal standard of right and wrong, and good people from all races, colors and creeds should stand together, united against bad people of all races, colors, and creeds. Evil isn’t a particular race, or religion, or color. Evil is just evil, and wherever you are, whoever you are, it has an uncanny ability to weave its way into the hearts of men and women alike. This isn’t a racial war or a religious war. Right will always be right and wrong will always be wrong, race, sex, or religion be damned.”
Bonanza and Qassab were silent for a time.
“Fucking pussy!” Qassab said.
“White nationalist!” Bonanza added.
Smegma gave up on the argument. He gripped his swordfish with both hands and raised it high in the air, ready to bring the sharp end down on his opponent’s head. “Enough talk! This ends now!”
Wham! Qassab’s boot connected with Smegma’s groin. The agent dropped his fish and fell to the floor, doubled over in pain.
“Mommy!” Smegma cried.
The terrorist jumped up to his feet and dusted himself off. He looked to the blonde. “Thank you, spoiled rotten, mouthy American bitch! Your insolent failure to defer to your man bought me the time I needed to rest and gather my strength so that I could smash Smegma’s gonads!”
“Ergh,” Smegma said as he writhed around on the floor. “Hoisted on…my own…petard!”
“Thank you, foolish woman,” Qassab said. “And as you meet your imminent death, know that one day, when the Fatwah Brigade rules over all it surveys, big mouthed broads such as yourself will be put in their place. You will scrub the floors, wash the dishes, do the laundry, clean the house, make the meals, give men all the sex they require, perform all requested maneuvers in the bedroom, and when you are not in use, you will be chained to a radiator or failing that, the largest immobile object available. Failure to comply with a man’s orders will result in your death, followed by immediate replacement with a younger, more obedient wife-slave.”
“Ugh,” Smegma said as he grabbed his balls. “You know, Hakeem, when you lay it all out like that, it doesn’t sound like such a bad deal.”
Qassab laughed. “I know, right?”
“I mean, it’d be a terrible deal for the women,” Smegma said. “Positively dreadful. For me, it would be great though.”
“Yeah, well,” Qassab said. “Only a dumbass fails to do what is best for him.”
“Makes me…” Smegma coughed. “Makes me think I’ve been fighting for the wrong team all along.”
“You have,” Qassab said. “Stories of how you use and loose women are abundant all over the globe, Mr. Smegma. You could have joined us and been rewarded with a wife-slave that you could have literally used as a foot stool, but alas, you bought into all that American red, white and blue propaganda.”
“Tell me about it,” Smegma said.
“Pity,” Qassab said.
“I know,” Smegma said. “Here I am, busting my ass, trying to protect Western women from the likes of you, and here one is, taking your side.”
Bonanza stomped her foot. “I’m not taking his side. I just don’t think everyone who looks like him should be blamed for what he does.”
“We always agreed on that point, Cooter,” Smegma said. “We just had different ways of saying it.”
Qassab checked his watch. “Well, Mr. Smegma and Miss Bonanza, I’d love to stay and continue this round robin circle jerk of political punditry, but I must bid you adieu, for I neglected to mention that five minutes ago, I began the timer for a bomb I left in the cockpit and that was, oh, roughly four minutes and thirty seconds ago.”
The terrorist located his duffel bag, reached inside, and pulled out a packed parachute. He strapped it to his back, then made his way to the exit door. He turned the latch and the door swung open, causing massive amounts of air to come rushing inside.
“Did I forget to mention I bogarted the one and only parachute?” Qassab asked. “Whoops! My bad! Goodbye!”
And with that, Qassab tumbled backward out of the plane. Smegma raised his hand. The blonde ran over, grabbed it, and helped the wounded man up.
“Truce?” Bonanza asked.
“Truce,” Smegma answered as he ran to the cockpit. There, he saw the slumped over body of the pilot, a bullet wound in his forehead. In the empty co-pilot’s seat, there was a pile of dynamite with an attached digital clock. It was counting down. “00:30…00:29…00…28…”
“Can we throw it out?” Bonanza asked.
Smegma noticed that the bomb was firmly strapped to the seat. “No.”
The agent grabbed the attorney’s hand and ran towards the open door, fighting against the rushing wind.
“What are you doing?!” Bonanza cried.
“I’m sorry but you’ll have to trust me!” Smegma said. “There’s no time to mansplain!”
When they reached the door, Smegma gathered Bonanza in a warm, passionate embrace.
“Do I have your consent?” Smegma asked.
“Of course,” the lady replied.
“Now and forever?”
“Now? Yes. Forever? I don’t know. I’ll let you and the rest of the world know on Lifebox later.”
“Good enough.” Smegma kissed Bonanza, then pushed her out of the plane. He grabbed one of the prostrate swordfish from the floor, then immediately followed the lady out the door.
“Arrrgghhhh!” the blonde shouted as she and Smegma tumbled toward the earth without parachutes. “I didn’t consent to this!”
Oh average night, the stars are brightly shining!
And the night is just normal because it isn’t holy because we will no longer be subjected to the patriarchy’s puritanically rigid belief system that forces the ignorant into modifying their behavior in accordance with the whims of a fictional man in the sky who simply isn’t there.
Fall on your knees!
But only if you want to take a rest.
But if you don’t, that’s ok.
In fact, don’t because then you’ll get grass stains on your jeans!
A night that is not divine!
No, it’s just another night as usual except is it just me or is this night hotter than usual? Damn it, when will you all learn that global warming is real, people?!
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed (because capitalism is the worst because the wealthiest 1 percent use the unwitting 99 percent as their pawns and socialism will totally work if we just give it one more try)…
The little Lord Jesus, laid down his, her, or possible xer’s head. Whatever. It’s way too early to box this child into a gender and Jesus will let us know what he, she, or xe is in time.
The stars in the sky, look down where he, she, or xe or any combination thereof because gender is fluid, lay.
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay, again, because when are we going to wake up and realize that capitalism is barbaric and only when government seizes control of all business interests will all children of indeterminate gender be allowed to sleep in the proper cribs they deserve.
#376 – Existing isn’t the same as living.
#378 – Grapes are small pieces of fruit.
#379 – Physically, we aren’t able to see what is behind us. Mentally, we are always looking at the past that’s unchangeable.
#380 – Birds of a feather flock together but kittens of a whisker don’t do much of anything interesting whatsoever. Sorry I mentioned it.
#381 – Every lacrosse team has at least one Chad.
#382 – I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m not sure I ever knew in the first place.
#383 – Stars are nature’s glitter.
#384 – One day I would like to learn judo.
#385 – I’d like to make a banjo with nothing but a cigar box, a broom handle, fifteen rubber bands and the assistance of a professional banjo maker.
#386 – I once was lost but now am found. I was in the last place I thought to look for myself.
#387 – Ducks love bread.
#388 – How fast is a light second?
#389 – The other day I was in the dairy aisle of my local grocery store. I picked up a product labeled, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.” I set the container down and moved on. Sorry, but if the manufacturer is unable to believe that the contents do not consist of butter then I don’t know why I’m supposed to.
#390 – I’m going to think of something ridiculously clever and insert it here later.
#391 – Broadband does not include broads and if it did, those broads would not join a band. Discuss.
#392 – Are mole people friendly? I’m talking about people with moles on their faces, not the people who live underground. We all know the latter are dicks.
#393 – I love my microwave. Frankly, whenever I think about how I own a device that can harness the power of the atom just to cook my frozen pizza, I get a little hard.
#394 – If Frankenstein has sex with a lady werewolf, would their baby be a Frankenwolf or a Wolfenstein? If it’s the last one, would they have to pay royalties to the people who made that video game?
#395 – I bought a dry erase board in the hopes that I would think of something clever to write on it. My first note on it? “Remember to return dry erase board.”
#396 – Right now, at this very moment, two horny penguins in Antarctica are getting their fuck on.
#397 – Why are people always offering poisoned people antidotes? People, it’s not that hard. Just don’t drink dotes in the first place.
#398 – Whatever happened to Mario Van Peebles?
#399 – Is it a violation to use sidewalk chalk on driveways?
#400 – I’d eat cake at every meal if I could.
EDITORIAL NOTE: I’ll just leave this here, for no particular reason.
And so, gentlemanly country lawyer Atticus Finch did call his client, Tom Robinson, into his law office. Tom Robinson, a black man, had been falsely accused of rape and since it was the Jim Crow south, no lawyer other than Atticus was willing to help the poor man.
“I swear I didn’t rape that woman, Atticus,” Tom said. “I swear, I didn’t. Do you think you’ll be able to save me at trial?”
“Well,” Atticus said as he sipped a mint julep. “I’m just a simple country lawyer who likes to sit on his rocking chair and enjoy a nice cool breeze on a summer’s evening, but I say, I do declare that whether we should save you is not the proper consideration but rather, the appropriate issue is should we save you?”
“Should we save me?” Tom asked. “But sir, I have been falsely accused!”
“Sir!” Atticus said. “Lower your voice! I shall not have such triggering hate speech in my office.”
“What?” Tom asked.
“You see, Tom,” Atticus said. “It doesn’t matter if you were falsely accused or not because all accusers have the right to be instantly and automatically believed. Why, if you don’t believe an accusation without further question or inquiry, then you are not just insulting the individual accuser in this case but anyone and everyone who has ever dared to stand up and accuse someone of anything.
“But Mr. Finch,” Tom said. “I’m not trying to tarnish the reputation of anyone who has ever made an accusation. I realize that for the world to keep turning that people need to be able to stand up and say when something bad happened. I’m just saying that in this case, when my accuser makes a false accusation, I need you to present my case and prove the truth. I didn’t do it, sir. I’m innocent and that fact must be presented to the jury.”
Atticus brushed a piece of lint off his clean, white suit. “Sir, I say, I do declare I’m sorry but I just can’t go on with this hateful discussion. All accusers are to be believed, sir and frankly, whether or not you are guilty or innocent is immaterial. If you do not skip this trial and skip straight to hanging yourself then your accuser’s feelings, as well as the feelings as anyone who has ever made an accusation against anyone since the beginning of all time will be hurt and we can’t have that, so please, go hang yourself now.”
Tom stood up. “Sir, if I may be so bold, if you’re not going to defend me against an accusation then why are you here?”
“Why, I do declare I’m just here to sip mint juleps and look good in this white suit,” Atticus said. “Good day, sir. Please go see the proprietor of our local mercantile and acquire a length of rope. I’ll see to it that your estate will handle the bill just as soon as you hang yourself promptly.”
Tom shook Atticus’ hand. “Very well, sir. You make a fine point. I don’t want accusers to feel bad and even if the accusation against me is false, my life must be over now because if it isn’t then people with true accusations will feel bad and true accusers just won’t be intelligent enough to be able to figure out that in this particular case, the accusation was false. I will go hang myself posthaste.”
“Glad to hear it,” Atticus said. “Enjoy your hanging, Tom.”
Tom left the room. Atticus’ young daughter, Scout, had been playing with a doll in a corner of the room the entire time.
“Daddy?” Scout said.
“Yes, dear?” Atticus replied.
“The world sure has gotten fucked up, ain’t it, Daddy?” Scout asked.
“It sure has, Scout,” Atticus said. “It sure has.”
Just giving it a trial run. Let me know what you think in the comments, 3.5.
February 27, 2019 – Moonbeam Coffee, Store #11,041 – Portland, Oregon
Heather Laramie’s wokeness wasn’t a hobby – it was a passion. Her frame was thin, the result of many a hunger strike in the name of whatever the latest social cause was trending on Lifebox. She owned multiple Che Guevara shirts, allowing her to wear the image of the Communist revolutionary daily. In her defense, her grasp on history was tenuous and she was unaware of Guevara’s bloodthirsty actions. She just viewed him as a man who wanted people to get free stuff, an economic system that in Heather’s eyes, was totally doable, seeing as how her parents gave her free stuff all the time, so surely the government had a money tree lurking about somewhere that could be shook until the leaves fell off into perpetuity.
Yes, Heather talked the talk. She regaled anyone who would listen of her love of Senator Murray Leibowitz, the upstart, self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” who gave former Homeland Security Secretary Emily Wannadingle a run for her money during the 2016 Democratic primaries.
More importantly to her, she walked the walk. She drove a Yarikazi Elf, which was literally the smallest car on the market, virtually one step above being a glorified golf cart. Sure, it was cramped, she was never able to invite a friend to come along for a ride, and motorists regularly slammed into it because they typically failed to see it and assumed the parking space it was in was available, but it got great gas mileage and was good for the environment, assuming that energy coming out of a wall socket was somehow produced in a cleaner manner than gas harvested from the bowels of the earth but…hey, you know what? That’s not the point. The point is, the car made her happy.
And many things made Heather happy. There was the “Resist” tattoo she got permanently etched on her right forearm the day Vinny Stugotz was sworn in as the forty-fifth president of the United States. There was her pink pussy hat, which she, in addition to Che’s grim visage, also wore daily. She even decorated it with a pin that read, “Keep your laws off my vagina.” Heather was, in fact, such a proponent of anti-vaginal legislation that she regularly posted on her blog about her support for a controversial law that would allow women to have an abortion up until the 24th trimester, known throughout the media as the “Whack ‘Em with a Baseball Bat Until Their Sixth Birthday Bill.” Murray Leibowitz was the bill’s chief sponsor, and once Emily Wannadingle’s people determined through a series of polls that the bill was popular, she vocalized her support for it to.
Yes, Heather was proud of her lifestyle and yearned for the day when the revolution would come, bathing the streets red with the blood of capitalist pigs, seizing any and all businesses and putting them under government control, and putting all labor at the new Communist government’s disposal. Like many young comrades, Heather always pictured herself as some kind of commissar, someone who would be paid handsomely to vocally support Communism and punish those who criticized it. Most millennial pinkos typically fantasized about becoming high-ranking officials in the apparatchik. None ever envisioned themselves as ditch digging peasants who would work for 12 hours a day, then spend the other 12 hours waiting in line for government issued toilet paper and moldy blocks of cheese.
Also, somehow in this fantasy vision of utopia, Schmuck Phones, Lifebox, superhero movies, boy wizard books, video games and continued access to Mom and Dad’s backyard pool and tricked out basement still existed, though no one ever offered an explanation as to how, in a world where a workforce would be whipped into submission and aspirations of wealth would be quashed under an iron boot, all these luxuries would continue to exist.
Back to the main point. Heather was woke – exceedingly, ridiculously, absurdly woke, and out of all her expressions of wokeness, there were none that the pink haired, bespectacled college student majoring in 17th century lesbian folklore was more proud of than her position as a barista at Moonbeam Coffee.
Yes, Moonbeam Coffee, the wokest provider of caffeine fixes on the planet! Come for the triple half caf, skinny foam, mocha whipped honeysuckle cold brew with trace hints of ginger and turmeric. Leave when you ask for a large coffee with sugar and cream and the staff looks at you funny. Come for the recycled cups featuring tips on how to save the environment like “Compost daily” and “Get rid of your lamps and sit in the dark.” Come for the giftshop, where you can buy a bumper sticker that reads, “Live Locally, Frolic Globally” or “My Other Car Doesn’t Exist Because I Don’t Hate Mother Nature So Much that I’d Own Two.”
Heather had loved her job for three years, ever since her un-woke, patriarchal father insisted that if she was going to waste his money on lesbian folklore classes, that she’d better at least get a job to pay for her personal expenses. At first, she despised the cis-male scum who raised her, decrying his name for failing to see the abundant job opportunities that were available to students of lesbian folklore that hailed from the 1600s, but she soon came to enjoy making octuple caf, tall foam marzipan swirls with rosemary shots. She loved it so much that she was sure she’d just keep working there after college, opting to forego the abundant job opportunities in her field of study, of which she remained unwaveringly sure that they did, in fact, exist.
Alas, on the day in question, Heather began to have grave concerns as to whether or not her job would remain enjoyable in the future. A line of smelly, unkempt, unhygienic homeless people of all ages, races, sexes and creeds waiting to use the one toilet in the store’s small bathroom extended out of the store and down the block. This had been happening daily for months, ever since a vagrant had sued Moonbeam Coffee and won three million dollars after being refused to use the bathroom at a San Francisco store. The court ruled that the company’s policy against allowing bathroom access to paying customers only was discriminatory against the poor, and Moonbeam Coffee could no longer make arbitrary rules that unfairly affected the economically challenged.
For Heather, the result was that she hadn’t been allowed to serve a brew since the Fall of 2018. She was now on bathroom clean-up detail, standing outside the perpetually stinky restroom with a plunger and a mop at the ready. As she looked up at a television monitor that was playing her favorite news channel, Heather began to question everything she had ever believed.
Lydia Estevez von Straffsbourg-Kightlinger-Tiparoo, the most popular reporter on the Woke News Network, had been recently named the host of The Lesbian Slam Poet News Hour, the only show in which militant feminists updated the public on the latest stories in rhyme.
On screen, Lydia wore her usual outfit, a black beret and matching turtleneck sweater, a look completed with a pair of thick glasses. She was surrounded by a diverse array of poets. In the background, one poet pounded a pair of bongos.
“Moonbeam Coffee,” Lydia said. “It’s been eight months since this vile, capitalist, profit motivated criminal organization perpetrated by the one percent dared to commit the unspeakable, unforgivable hate crime of telling a man that he could not use the bathroom unless he bought a locally sourced, farm to table, gluten free scone, half the proceeds of which would have gone to creating communes for transgender watercolor artists in impoverished nations. What do we think about this, ladies?”
Vocal pundit Maura Heffernan-Augustus-Peabody-Benjamin brushed a piece of lint off of her “Fuck Stugotz” t-shirt and looked directly at the camera. “I don’t care how long it’s been, Lydia. I admit that this is a tricky situation, given the fact that I do support locally sourced, farm to table, gluten free scones and the building of communes for transgendered watercolor artists in impoverished nations, but…”
Maura was interrupted by Jessica Melman-Walters-Duffy-Boombalay-Bensonhurst, a contributor with a shaved bald head and a t-shirt that depicted President Stugotz swinging from the end of a noose. “Can I just say that President Stugotz is not doing enough to help start communes for transgender watercolor artists in third world nations? This is the defining issue of our time and that pig, that pretender, that usurper of Emily Wannadingle’s birthright couldn’t be bothered to do a thing about this.”
“I agree,” Maura said. “And I can’t wait to hear the slam poem you wrote about that, sister, but first, I would like to read my poem about Moonbeam Coffee’s despicable reign of tyranny.”
“Go on, sister,” Lydia said. “Hit us with your truth.”
Maura sipped some water. She cleared her throat, then stood up and read from a piece of paper. “Beans of hate! Beans of hate! What is the fate of those who would stand by and sell the beans of hate? Unwoke baristas, chasing the mighty buck, but about those less fortunate, they could hardly give a…”
At that precise moment, poor Heather suffered a mental break. Her eyes welled with tears, and not just the ones that were inspired by the stench emanating from the bathroom. Heather had lived and breathed the teachings of the Woke News Network for as long as she could remember. She had long adored The Lesbian Slam Poet News Hour and had bought all of the books written by its contributors, from Free Stuff Works to Down with Penile Rule. She was even a fierce supporter of homeless rights, having spent many a weekend protesting against income inequality.
The door to the bathroom swung open, causing the air to become borderline unbreathable. Out from the squalid conditions emerged a hobo known around the community as “Dumpster Dave,” for his penchant for sleeping in large trash receptacles. He’d come close to being crushed in the trash compactors of three separate trucks, but he was still ticking. His tattered clothing reeked of bourbon and feces and as he looked at Heather, he wiped the snots that had formed in his mustache onto his coat sleeve.
“Damnation!” Dave said. “You got your work cut out for you today, Heather!”
Heather sighed. “Did you at least put your needle in the sharp container this time, Dave?”
Dave appeared aghast. “Un-woke bitch! Ain’t you been watchin’ the television-o-mo-bobber? I gots a to shit where I pleases and it’s a hate crime to ask me that!”
In her heart, Heather knew what she was about to say violated ever belief she’d ever held dear. Alas, her brain and heart had been in a running battle ever since Moonbeam Coffee had been forced to let any and all comers to use the bathroom, no questions asked, no purchase required. “So, you’re telling me I should have to risk contracting a deadly, incurable disease because you’re too lazy to put your needle in a safe container that my company provided to you for free!”
The hobo got flustered. “Buh..fah…gah…hate criminal! Damnation, you one of them Stugotz voters, ain’t you? Where’s your MAFFA hat, bitch?”
“Oh come on,” Heather said. “Like I would be caught dead in a ‘Make America Funky Fresh Again,’ hat.”
“Where’s your manager?” Dave asked. “I want to speak to your manager.”
Heather sighed. At the counter, Heather’s manager, Janice Schaeffer, was busily preparing a septuple caf frappucino with extra goat leche and a sprig of oak root. Heather’s stomach turned at the idea that she was about to disappoint her boss. Although Janice was twenty years old, Heather felt a special kinship to her employer. Between the faded hammer and sickle tattoo on the upper half of her left bosom and the green hair, Heather had a hunch that she was going to be a lot like Janice when she reached middle age.
The boss noticed the commotion and came over. “What seems to be the problem here?”
As the fracas ensued, a skinny woman with a protruding baby bump entered the bathroom and closed the door.
“This no-good, dirty rotten, conservative bitch just implied that I should exercise personality responsibility for myself!” Dave shouted.
Janice gasped. “Heather! How could you?”
A low moan emanated from inside the bathroom.
“All I did was suggest that if Dave is going to use our bathroom to shoot heroin…”
“I gots to shoot heroin, bitch!” Dave said. “It’s not my fault that I got an addiction due to the fact that I ain’t been able to find a job in seventeen years.”
Heather cocked her head to the side. “You haven’t found one single job in seventeen years?”
Dave threw his hands in the hair. “Bitch! I been holdin’ out for a CEO position!”
Janice shuddered. “I…I can’t even right now. First, Dave, I know the unjust capitalist system has been cruel to you, but you can’t just call women the b word…”
“Thank you,” Heather said.
The boss finished her thought. “…unless she’s using unjustifiable hate speech and then it’s ok.”
Dave stuck his tongue out at Heather. “How do ya like me now, bitch?!”
Heather’s lower lip quivered. “But…buh buh…but…Janice!”
“We all attended the sensitivity training, Heather,” Janice said. “Remember when the stockholders were livid when every Moonbeam Coffee store in the nation shut down for three weeks so employees could be flogged while being taught how to become sufficiently woke. You’re displaying a very insufficient level of wokeness right now.”
Bloodcurdling screams poured out of the bathroom. “Gah..ahhh…oh God….ohh….argh….ARGH!”
The baristas ignored it. They had grown accustomed to such noises.
“Janice,” Heather said. “You know I think the world of you. You taught me everything I know and even invited me to my first protest but I’ll have you know that I’m very woke. I’m so woke I write anti-Stugotz screed on my Lifebox daily. I’m so woke I donated to Murray Leibowitz. I’m so woke I own one and only one cloth tampon that I wash in the sink daily. I am woke.”
“You’re not acting like it,” Janice said. “Apologize to this man.”
“Yeah,” the toothless loser said. “Apologize to me right now, bitch.”
Heather looked at Janice’s disapproving face, then at Dave’s grinning, scabby face. “I will not.”
All activities in the store ceased. The plucky young baristas, the hipsters on laptops writing their screenplays, even the homeless folk in line waiting to use the crapper, all grew silent as they took in the spectacle.
Soon, the silence was cut by the screams of the woman inside the bathroom. “Ugh…get out of me you little fucker! Goddamn you, Johnny! Why did I let you do this to me?! Goddamn you to hell!”
Heather pointed at the long line of poor folk. “Janice, this is ridiculous.”
“I beg your pardon?” Janice asked.
Heather gulped and mustered up her inner strength. “Only paying customers should be allowed to use a business’ bathroom. There, I said it, and I’m glad I said.”
Everyone gasped. “Take that back!” Janice said.
Heather raised her voice. “I won’t! Look, it’s simple. Businesses need to make money in order to provide goods and services and whenever an employee is taken away from providing those goods and services, that translates into the company making less money, which means there’s less money for employees to get raises, and less tax dollars going into the system to promote much needed social welfare programs!”
The woman in the bathroom cried out in pain. “Barrrrrgh! I want this to be over so bad!”
Janice pointed to a glass box attached to the wall. It contained a medieval cat-o-nine-tails behind a glass plate. Underneath it was a brass plaque with the words, “Break in Case of Insufficient Wokeness” printed on it.
“Don’t make me break that glass, Heather,” Janice said.
“Janice,” Heather said. “I love you, but listen to reason. Things were so much better when only paying customers were allowed to use the bathroom. People who actually like our store and want to see it succeed because they enjoy our products would treat the bathroom with special care, being sure to not make too much of a mess because they knew if they did so regularly, they’d be too embarrassed to come to their favorite hangout anymore. And if they did make a mess, then at least they contributed to the store’s bottom line, so that the company could afford to hire a designated janitor and baristas like me wouldn’t have to be taken off the counter, away from all the delicious designer coffees and forced to clean up shit and piss and hypodermic needles and…”
The door to the bathroom swung open. The young woman, looking like a pale zombie, walked out. Her body was drenched in blood and she carried a baby wrapped in toilet baby. The infant cried loudly.
“Excuse me,” the woman said as she pushed her way past the baristas. “I have to go find a dumpster.”
“Don’t you put dare put that thing in my house,” Dave said.
“Hey,” Heather said as the woman walked away. “You know, there’s a police station that’s just down the street. There’s a law that you can drop off a baby, no questions asked.”
“Get your laws off my body,” the woman said as she pushed the front door of the store open, leaving a bloody palm print on the glass.
Janice pointed at Heather’s “Keep Your Laws Off My Vagina” pin. “You don’t deserve to wear that. What happened to your support of the ‘Whack ‘Em in the Head Until Their Sixth Birthday’ law?”
“I’ve been rethinking that,” Heather said.
Janice gasped. “I think you need to leave, Heather.”
Heather ignored her boss. She stepped onto an empty, chair, then stepped onto a table, breaking up a hipster writing session. “I’ve been rethinking a lot of things lately.”
“Whatever you’re thinking, young lady, your thoughts aren’t welcome here,” Janice said.
“I used to love this job,” Heather said. “Back when it was fun. Back when I could make coffee and talk about all the free stuff that people should be given for free but now…now I realize, nothing good in life is free.”
A dirt bearded, man-bun sporting drifter wearing a sleeveless shirt to show off his prolific arm tattoos entered the bathroom. “Holy shit!” he cried. “It looks like somebody had a baby in here! Oh well, fuck it, beats shitting at the shelter.”
Heather became lost in her tirade. “When I started working here, it was a happier time, a simpler time, an easier time, a better time. I could make coffee all day and sell it at an absurdly marked up price but posers didn’t care as long as they could post selfies of themselves holding a trendy cup. I was able to watch WNN on the monitor for free and at most, on any given day, I rarely had to spend more than five minutes cleaning the bathroom and I just want to return to that simpler time…”
“Hey,” came the voice of the drifter from inside the bathroom. “Someone should really scrub all the blood off the walls. It’s unsanitary.”
Heather continued. “…now all I want to do is return to that better time, that wonderful time, that…”
Janice punched the glass and, without a care for the blood dripping from her knuckles, seized the cat-o-nine-tails. “Don’t you say it.”
“…a funkier time…a fresher time…”
Janice’s nostrils flared. “If you say it, you’re….”
Heather ripped off her pink pussy hat and tossed it to the ground. She pulled off her Che Guevara shirt to reveal a star-spangled, red-white-and blue Vinny Stugotz campaign shirt, emblazoned with the forty-fifth president’s catchphrase, “Make America Funky Fresh Again!”
“MAFFA!” Heather shouted at the top of her lungs. “MAFFA, motherfuckers! MAFFA forever!”
All the hipsters, baristas, and homeless folk averted their eyes, as if Heather’s new shirt contained the retina burning light rumored to pour out of the ark of the covenant itself.
“I never wanted this!” Heather shouted. “You all made me this way! This is been brewing in my gut for months and finally, I have to let it out! If you want stuff, you should buy it! If you can’t afford to buy it, you should get a job! If you can’t find a job, you should seek the skills needed for one! If your physically or mentally impaired, then you should seek out government services instead of just lying around on the street all day but at any rate, if you want a better life, then that better life comes from you, not from the government.”
Janice broke out into tears. “I’m going to need to rent all the therapy puppies to get over this. How could you, Heather?! How could you?!”
Heather looked at her mentor and felt internal anguish. She hopped off the table and attempted to hug the older woman, only to be pushed away. “Get away from me, monster! You support that criminal! That animal! That beast who wants to lock all minorities in concentration camps!”
The young lady sighed. “Janice, he’s been president for two years and he hasn’t locked up any minorities in concentration camps.”
The boss wiped a tear from her cheek. “He will. They’re coming. Any day now. Camps for gay people. Camps for women. Camps for brown people. The blog-o-sphere told me so.”
The drifter inside the bathroom broke the tension. “You’d you people would stock up on more toilet paper. Is free toilet paper too much to ask?”
Heather walked over to the counter, grabbed the remote control, then returned to Janice. She put her arm around her boss, then pointed the remote at the TV.
“No,” Janice said. “Please don’t.”
“They’re not that bad,” Heather said. “You’ll see.”
Heather turned off WNN and turned on Network News One, the only network dedicated to bring the latest in conservative news and also, titties. Big titties attached to jaw droppingly beautiful female reporters. At the moment, those lovely ladies were taking a powder so that conservative blowhard Jim Clayton, a white-haired old fogie with a buzz cut, could bark at the camera.
“Welcome back to Jim Clayton’s America. Today on the show, are feminazi activists trying to chop the pee-pees off your three-year-old sons and turn them into little girls? The answer is a most resounding yes, but first, taxes. Fuck taxes. Fuck ‘em right in the butt. I hate taxes and I don’t care who knows it. If you want my money, eat a dick. Come at me and take my money out of my cold, dead hand if you want it so bad but until then, get a job. What the fake news media won’t tell you is that thanks to the booming Stugotz economy, companies are flush with cash and they’re churning out jobs out the wazoo, so get a job hippies and stop trying to raise taxes so you can give all my hard-earned money to shiftless flat-backers, no good, degenerate lay-abouts, and dirty rotten deadbeats.”
Heather took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “Preach, my brother, preach!”
All hope fell out of Janice’s eyes. “You’re fired, Heather.”
“I know,” Heather said with a smile. “And that’s ok. I’ll find another job because I’m switching my major to venture capitalism.”
“Please go away,” Janice said.
“And I’m going to get married,” Heather said. “To a man.”
“Stop,” Janice said.
“I don’t know what he’ll be,” Heather said. “Maybe a police officer or a fracking rig operator…”
“No more,” Janice said. “Please, no more.”
“We’ll have three children,” Heather said. “And I’ll take a few years off of work to raise them because seeing their adorable little faces will be the greatest pleasure of my life.”
Janice pointed at the door. “Get out! Your words cut through the depths of my soul like a flaming hot knife through butter!”
“I’ll take care of myself,” Heather said. “And I’ll urge my friends and family to take personal responsibility. And if I ever do fall on hard times, the support system I’ve created by starting a family will be there for me, so I won’t have to depend on the incompetent, bureaucratic machinations of big government…”
The baristas stared at the TV. Jim Clayton was working himself into a foamy lather.
“Look, I’m not saying that women’s reproductive rights should be regulated by the government, I’m just saying that their vaginas should be packed full of cement, only to be chipped away when they enter the bonds of holy matrimony. That’s right. We’re going to build walls inside women’s vaginas and we’re going to make them pay for it.”
Janice dabbed her moist eyes with a handkerchief. “That’s disgusting.”
“Actually,” Heather said. “It makes sense when you think about…”
A scream came out of the bathroom. It was louder than usual.
“What the?! Argh! What’s…what’s happening to me?!”
Janice knocked on the door. “Hello! Sir, assuming that’s your preferred pronoun, and forgive me if it isn’t, are you OK in there?”
“Damn it,” Heather said. “Another crackhead overdosing because the liberal-political-media industrial complex convinced this guy that he should live on the dole, avoiding any and all personal responsibility, never finding any direction that would make him a better person and…”
The drifter’s cries grew deafening. “SOMEBODY HELP ME! HELP ME, PLEASE….ARRGGHHH!”
“You’ve been helped enough, sir,” Heather said. “Lazy sponges like you are the reason why Stugotz won!”
Janice grabbed the knob. “I think he actually needs help.”
“Oh,” Heather said. “Right.”
The boss opened the door. She and Heather looked inside to find that the drifter had been burnt to a crisp. His body had the texture of a charred, blackened marshmallow, gooey yet crusty. His mouth was agape, his teeth the only part left that hadn’t been fried.
Heather’s immediate response? “Why the hell is there a black guy in here?”
All the screenwriting hipsters snapped their heads toward Heather in disgust. “No, wait,” Heather said. “That came around wrong. I love black people. All my best friends are black. I marched for black rights all the time. I’m just saying, this guy was white but now he was somehow turned black and…”
“Stop digging the hole, fascist,” Janice said as she surveyed the room. The walls were already covered with the blood and feces of over a hundred non-paying bathroom users, but the smoking husk of a man was a sight that no barista had ever seen before.
“Clean this up, Heather,” Janice said.
“Uh…hello?” Heather asked. “You just fired me.”
“Oh, right,” Janice said. “Damn it.”