Nowadays

Inundated by swirling squirrels (plural),
my world unfurled and I hurled
at the girl–named Shirl–
who told Earl, who told Pearl.

Word spreads fast around these parts nowadays.
Definitely a far cry from stacking turtles
and expecting some kind of a turtle volume discount.

The world doesn’t revolve
around my every concern
,
I must constantly remind myself;
it simply revolves around
the vast majority of my concerns,
which is not bad (as far as I’m concerned).

Regardless, I’ve shifted my priorities
toward more avian-oriented pursuits
in lieu of proper purpose fulfillment.
I once naïvely wondered if my
blundering about
could be prevented by taking a step too far
off the beaten path. They never manage
the nettles or brambles out there,
and the poison ivy situation
has gotten completely out of control.

At least I’m better prepared now.
Beginner’s luck let me
somehow sidestep preventable peril,
but then the paywall went up. And with it?
All intuitive botanical knowledge (once
freely accessible during the initial trial period)
just up and evaporated, leaving in its wake
a credit card authorization form
and the promise of easy unsubscription.

That was three years ago, and I
still haven’t managed to speak with a human
customer service rep. I’ve called in
every
other
business day
and built a rapport with a quirky AI bot
named Jimmy. He has a perfect memory
and seemingly always has time to talk,
even though the waiting list for a human
operator is still forty-seven months long.

To put it bluntly, this human
mass-extinction has really been ruffling
my feathers. All I want to do is yell
at a member of the species that made
this planet so unbearable to inhabit,
but of course that’s now practically impossible.

Well, I’d always like the opportunity to yell… but
I’d also appreciate crossing paths
with that elusive customer service rep
(a subset of human
that may very well have gone extinct by now).

“Free-99”

The uncanny orthodontist gave me braces, and I never even asked for any! What a swell fella. He even said I could get them tightened for free at one of his six participating franchises if I were ever out on the town and looking to feel alive for a minute. The billing department is starting to get annoyed with me because I refuse to pay for the braces. They told me they set up a payment plan on my behalf, but I never signed anything, shook anyone’s hand, or even offered a verbal agreement. I don’t know about you, but where I come from, we call that “free-99”.

That ‘Without Our Knowledge’ Bit

What the hell is even the point of human relationships
if all we ever do is demonstrate how unfit we are
to spend time with one another on a regular basis?
It’s madness, more than anything,
and chemical compounds that dictate our actions
without our knowledge. That ‘without our knowledge’ bit
really bugs me the most of anything,
since I attempt to figure out things for a living
(well, I wouldn’t call it a living, but
I somehow manage to get (most of) the bills paid
every month). My daily existence is predicated upon
the ability to tell truth from bullshit,
and it’s what has helped me negotiate
the wild waters of humanhood thus far.

So it disturbs me when a person comes along
and knocks me off the tracks, like a goddamn
penny that some toddler put there
because they thought it would be funny.
Not funny, kid. Perhaps experimentation with the species
is necessary, and some folks take circuitous routes
in order to accumulate the necessary data.
Or some people are just assholes.

I Don’t See Why

Who wants to go skiing today?

Too many risks of bodily injury, I’d say.

You’re a wuss, buddy. Do you ever want to do anything with your life, or are you just going to cower and whimper all the time?

I don’t see why I can’t have a balance of both.

This isn’t like breakfast, you can’t just add stuff together and assume they complete the circuit for you. That’s how children think.

I don’t see why I can’t live my life like a complete balanced breakfast.

Buddy, I think you’re starting to lose it here. What, do you intend to balance orange juice with coffee like some kind of sucker? Acid on acid does no good for nobody.

I don’t see why I can’t also have a glass of milk.

Society’s Fault

Hello, I’m Barnaman Bailey.
You may remember me
from such mishearings as:
“hey, aren’t you that ‘ ‘scuze me
while I kiss this guy’ guy?”
People always know
I have one of those type of names,
but I haven’t reached the level of notoriety yet
where people just know it for certain.
I blame society.
It’s society’s fault.

Perfectibillies

Sometimes you just need to keep rattling out random strings of words until you hit that one vein of gold ore that you wouldn’t mind blasting and smelting for the cost of three chicken sandwiches a day–though the price of those chicken sandwiches would be in direct opposition to the idea of one’s own self-worth, which tends to be inherently problematic.

On the one hand, I know that chicken sandwiches are really only worth about a few bucks a pop, but if I feel emotionally bankrupt, a double-digit dollar figure may be too hefty a price tag to tack onto my floundering ego (even if imposed as a thought exercise and nothing else).

Some folks prefer to invent misfortunes due to the dearth of such impediments in their naturally-occurring existence. The culmination of all human experience has led us to quarrel with our inner Perfectibillies (those naïve mind-dwellers with the sole objective to get the point across that we used to be a much more resilient bunch in the midst of chaos). We’ve lost our litheness, and it shows.

Very Reasonable

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At CI3®, We can’t stand idly by and let you fine people be suckered in by the global farce of disingenuous corporate lip service we’ve come to know (and even somewhat adore in our own sick way) lo these many years! “Only the most for our customers”–that’s our motto. The most of what? That has no relevance here.

Let’s face it. You’re all going to need to blow your hard-earned money somewhere, so we’ve prepared a world-class experience tailored to your every shopping need. Sound too good to be true? As of last night, you would have been correct. But as of 02:00 GMT today, our interactive holographic technicolor shopping center has just been brought online, and you can waste your cash from anywhere around the globe, 24 hours a day!

Never again will you be lacking an excuse to spend beyond your means! That’s the CI3® guarantee! We won’t even waste your time pretending that the proceeds of your purchases contribute to worthwhile causes, unless you deem stuffing our pockets while we pay no income tax to be worthwhile (we certainly do). Frequent shoppers can apply for our CI3® credit card (the Ci3CC®). There are no rewards or cash-back gimmicks, no bait and switch offers–just a very reasonable 32.99% APR (rate increases to 65.99% after first missed payment, and rises an even 30% with each subsequent late remittance).

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