Like Wildfire

Figurine damage indication is just one of the important areas [here at Gareth Laboratories] where I’ve made myself indispensable. I’ve trained 54 associates–and counting–to specialize in the sixteen elements that directly contribute to the continuation of our great institution. I’ve created a simple mnemonic device for them: HOME SMELLS FUNNY P. I’m not very good with anagrams, so that last P is just kind of sticking out there to the side. But that doesn’t matter very much to me, because it serves as a reminder of the absurd penguin amendment to the corporate charter that Lance’s nephew added as a joke (but then ironically caught on like wildfire when I unknowingly passed out invitations to the zoo’s new special penguin house later that afternoon). Coincidences sure are a bitch.

Anyhow

The gratitude of my temporary inmates seems only to ring truer with each passing circumstance. I suppose I may have acquired a skill or two over the years where it pertains to the custodial caretaking that so many in this throwaway culture would prefer to ignore.

It’s not Stockholm Syndrome that these folks have come down with, since I’m not the one responsible for my subjects’ captivity, but it is definitely a similar phenomenon (a guy sure could get used to all the attention, anyhow). My wards do actually receive that kind of no-strings care that the medical insurance industry forgot about as soon as private concerns got their hooks into it (even though their advertising tries to sell a different story).

Perhaps because of this comfort, every single one of our emerging beer-krausening technologies has been behind schedule under my watch. Maybe it was a mistake to combine a halfway house with a chemistry lab. Our three chemists-in-captivity are functioning alcoholics who just use this particular project to get tanked on the job all day–with my tacit blessing, I suppose. Last Thursday, Ernie–the least-tactful of the three–decided to not look both ways before crossing the street on his lunch break (I do give them at least a little time in each week to get out and smell the flowers). Long story short, Ernie got hit by a shipment of cabbages (with a truck attached), survived, and is now suing the city for not putting a stop sign in a 40 MPH zone. As soon as he got back from the hospital, you’d better believe I gave him quite the lecture on roadside awareness!

Scones and Stones

No-good trubish remedy sentinels
just continue to badger me
as I TRY
to make my way to Sand Hose “A”
(what a jerkwater berg anyway, am I right?).

An impartial influence
on the growth region
of my intercontinental mental health
has got me reeling for an alternative
to cheesy misheard lyrics.
There is, however, none to be found.

It would appear, my dear mentor once told me
(over scones and stones, I wasn’t fond
of the stones but I tolerated the scones)
that black and white considerations
have torn this here nation limb from limb,
while the attemptive peacemakers
intervene at inconvenient intervals,
knocking rhetoric around
like any of it makes a difference.

I’ve batted at this idea
for far longer than I’d care to admit,
so I’m just gonna shut my mouth
before the weight of my convictions
puts a pox on my house. Or
was that a box on my mouse?
I wasn’t paying attention.