(#373)

We are the TOXIC Group:

Tastemakers
Obligating
Xylophones
Into
Conversation

Our meetings typically consist of 30 seconds of clever xylophone-related banter followed by 48 minutes of unbroken claptrappery (occasionally punctuated by a sneeze or self-important cough that reminds folks in the group of their own flimsy mortality). The list of covered topics is indeed long and tedious; an indeterminate amount of talking points is covered multiple–sometimes numerous–times, with very little ceremony.

The talking points typically meander around with little consequence, and our staffers have learned to endure them long enough to get to the meat of the meeting: attempting to reach a quorum on where to go for pizza afterwards. There’s been a glut of new “artisanal” pizza joints in the area, not to mention the existing restaurants who need gimmicks to keep up.

Gino’s Northeast: an old school pizzeria with a hint of sports bar (now with 25% more sass back)
Donnie’s Bunker: war hero’s spot with authentic Vietnam War memorabilia
Skip’s Dugout: retired baseball star’s spot with authentic ’60s and ’70s memorabilia
Gugliotti’s: Sicilian-themed ristorante
Chunkster’s: Most Toppings Around!®
Steggo’s Dino-mite Pizza: self-explanatory
Jeffrey’s Tamborine: adults-only gaming and entertainment-related eatery (wine allowed in the ball pit)

This particular installment of the TOXIC Group (#373) eventually ended with a near-unanimous selection of kofta kebab, since there’s only one local option for that cuisine and we were rapidly running out of time. For the record, a good portion of the group rallied for the adult play place, but Susie’s new around these parts, and we want her to stick around for a month or two before we test her patience with a drunken happy hour.

Impression

How many twelfths
do we need
to fit into a sixty-fourth’s
meatball hammer sharpener?
The answer may surprise you.
For you see, not too many
efficient affluent
fling mellifluous melodies,
seldom slaloming on slip ’n’ slides.

The humble technician
patiently asks: why
must I lose my trains of thought
on the bus, instead of losing
my buses of thought the train?

There’s really no dice
to be thrown about at this hour,
I checked. Monsieur Gary prefers
a more effervescent
state of tumult
for his emperor penguin’s
chagrined porcupine impression.

Edgar – 17:17GMT

Edgar stood, well enough aware that so many children have no resources to speak of, and playtime doesn’t mean much to them anyway. They have bigger thoughts on their minds, like ending global poverty or shooting the moon. If they’d been born with the opportunity (and indeed the duty) to waste resources, they would squirt ketchup at the problem, hoping that an intelligent solution would just present itself already–haven’t they been patient enough?!

Edgar knows that solutions aren’t a dime a dozen, contrary to the popular belief among his peer group. No good person, in Edgar’s mind, can stomach the ever-placating script that tells them to buy this or subscribe to that. “Isn’t it all just meaningless, anyway? It’s all contributing to the supposed need to consume foreign objects at the cost of individual liberties, here and abroad!”

This Edgar guy is on the right track, I think.
What?! There’s something in my eye! I thought you guys sealed this room off from foreign contaminants! I mean, I just assumed… what kind of rinky-dink operation is this, anyway?

Party Scene – 22:09GMT

Ah, the old party scene–jumbled oxymorons come standard, usually revealed as anecdotes directed at unwilling audience members while a belligerent man of means whips out his… billfold and graces us with his… financial stability–for at least a few minutes. Then he dashes off to some other event, leaving his words to be digested like a goblet of substandard table wine–red, just red–and a can of shitty baked beans.

The kitchen, meanwhile, takes some uncommon patience, the wages not justified for the bodily exertion if you want people to come back to your particular eatery. Business plows forward every day, unaware of the human element, the possibility of crashing and burning starkly inevitable.

Worker ants file into their high rises, readily subjugated for profit.

You guys wouldn’t know anything about the perpetuation of that particular paradigm, now would you? No, of course not.

I really wish I could use my arms.

Ounces of Pine 3

But forget all of that stuff you learned just now. What you want to do is decode your existence for the majority of what you are going to call the rest of your life. You won’t remember much of it in the next life, but you might pick up on it after years of intense self-guided study. Decoding takes profound effort and patience, in addition to a rare platinum ring found at only the most exclusive rummage sales.

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