Walking Boss Cooper scythed me at the loading dock. She’d set up a blind and waited until the large “agricultural investment order” I’d charged to the company arrived and forced me out of my secret sanctum. Renfield had warned me that “the WBC” was prowling the campus for two suckers to present Orientation to the “fresh fishes” that day, as well as a butt to fill an opening at the Neverending Crisis. Although it was most definitely a day for streaming Hulu in a utility closet, necessity led me to venture onto the open tundra.
It’s a quarter past two when I get the news that someone has died from consuming too much Fizz Fresh. In a sense, I knew this day would come. Fizz Fresh is the latest and greatest carbonated beverage on the market (with a taste somewhere between Coke and Fanta, if you can even stomach that) and our newest client. Considering its 250-calorie count and the 80 milligrams of caffeine per can, I figured some people out there would become addicted enough for there to be long-term health consequences. I didn’t figure that someone would try to see what happens if you drink fifty cans in one day. But here we are. One dead thirty-two-year-old later.
You mix ten pounds of pretzels with two pounds of cheesy goldfish, dumping everything into an enormous plastic bin and then stirring with your hands. Salt leaches the moisture from your skin, and, later tonight, tourists will sit at the bar, pick out the fish, complain that there are too many pretzels.
No one wants the pretzels.
A Few Rings of Hell’s Bell Ago
The little god of unfounded happiness at an unlikely place seemed to be smiling on me. I was up 500,000 bit-pesos at the online Uruguayan poker site, and someone had finally restocked the Snax Machine in the lobby with chili-cheese Fritos. Yes, the good guys were winning, and no one was supervising my activities. I fondly recall whistling “Dance Ten; Looks Three” from A Chorus Line, prior to carb-loading for that long elevator ride back to my office, deep in the bowels of the Smiling Face of Darkness.
The good professor eyed my dessert. He’d been quiet up to then, waiting for his order. He and his lady friend were delighted when their cold tomato soup arrived. Then he pointed to my wife’s plum and apple crumple and expressed interest. I noticed how he eyed my wife’s tits, too.