A man named Garvey sedated me once, though the whole outcome could have been avoided. We’d begun feuding the week prior, a trivial dispute over the price of corn muffin mix. Stupid, right? Well, this Garvey feller sure didn’t think so. And it just so happened that his friendly neighborhood drug dealer unloaded a ton of vicodin on him that week, so he was bound to sedate me whether or not we disagreed on anything. I may live to regret having anything to do with that man, but life is a rich tapestry that deserves its fair share of intrigue.
His sister, Nancy, had her own agenda when it came to handling the G-Man. Having lived with him a majority of her life, she’d developed an ingenious coping mechanism for dealing with his ridiculous foibles. Any time he began ranting about the military industrial complex, the go-to strategy would be to bring up the time he’d run into Steve Harvey while jogging on the riverfront–near the Wrigley Building. That would immediately stop his conspiratorial theorizing and send him spiraling through all five stages of the celebrity run-in phenomenon. Turns out Garvey is this joker’s last name. First name: Steve.
Originally, Nancy had only been prepared to shift her brother’s mania away from excessive government spending, but she eventually developed a secondary strategy out of necessity. After letting Steve go on about the Garvey/Harvey thing for a couple minutes, she’s gotten quite skilled at channeling his enthusiasm into a creative jag. Now–since Garvey prefers to make ink drawings, Nancy has set up a corner in her apartment designed solely for her brother to zen out after he gets a little too worked up about the 10-second exchange that he and Steve Harvey’d had. The passion lends itself to the page as he jots up a storm. He doesn’t want to burden himself with any extra material possessions, so he leaves all his creations at Nancy’s place. Nancy has turned a tidy profit from his efforts, since Steve-o gets worked up quite often. It’s reached the point where Nancy could take a year-long hiatus from waitressing and not feel pinched for a minute of it.
So yeah, I let Garvey sedate me. Big whoop. I was hoping he’d feel bad about it and draw me a nice picture that could finance a backpacking trip through the Black Forest.
Chernicia and her loyal band of
roving youth choir administrators
saw no choice
other than to take up stopgap freelance work.
Due to a general malaise
and rapidly-growing apprehension
toward patronizing or participating in
the performing arts (the anti-exceptionalist
herd mentality showed absolutely no signs of
dissipation as professionals of all stripes
traversed the barren corporate landscape
(a hell to be wished upon no soul)), all hope
seemed lost on the fearful.
Interest in the once-alluring
middle and high school competitive circuit
had been waning steadily for a generation or so,
to the point where even the most stalwart
paper-shuffling masochists out there
had to admit they were licked.
In this devastating climate, Chernicia figured
that some places out there
still need to enlist the services
of highly-competent youth choir administrators.
They took an oath in front of the children,
for Christ’s sake!
They vowed, on bended knee,
to make themselves
available for freelance filing (and HR concerns)
at the drop of a hat, whenever duty may come calling.
So just like that, they picked up and left–
no matter what their guts happened to be
telling them (the group’s average duodenum
could paint you the idyllic picture
where they’d carved out a sort of haven
in this life of more uncertainty than trust).
Many tearful (and gut-wrenching) goodbyes
after they developed the steely resolve
to give up their past selves
(for the children, dammit),
the brave and intrepid band set out
on their first assignment: Gurnee, Illinois.
They never did look back.
And to this very day,
rental cars and hotel rooms
still serve as their only refuge
from the vast desert of abandoned office complexes.
Where do I even begin? Well, we stopped dropping the snakes down the hole and letting them just smack their bellies on the ground because this here sarcastic douchebag decided to get sensitive one day and say “geez, we sure do like hurting snakes!” We all looked at him like he had three or four heads, the favorite number of heads to picture an alien having when you’re gawking at this here guy who all of a sudden gives a damn about snake welfare.
They’re just damn snakes, they’re cold blooded. They’ve lived unchanged for millions of years now and they don’t give a damn about being slammed on the slab if it means we can sleep in peace. That’s right, sentient snakes who have been telepathically communicating with me for a good… seven years now. Wow.
So anyway, go on ahead with your little protest, we ain’t changing these rules for nothing or nobody.
—-TWO WEEKS LATER—-
BREAKING NEWS: SNAKES FEEL PAIN
Scientists Everywhere Urge Citizens:
“Discontinue Dropping Snakes on Slabs”
Jesus, what are the odds? We’ll probably never find out just how this study was started or funded, or how it coincided so perfectly with that sensitive douchebag making his impassioned plea down at the firehouse, but Sweet Lady Science has spoken, and we must heed her words.
What in the hell? I don’t know where all these Belgians came from. I know somebody dared somebody else at some point, but it’s possible we’ll never know for sure. Am I perturbed by that? I suppose, perhaps a little. But I won’t grow as a person if I spend all my time wondering whether or not a bunch of infernal Belgians belong in this picture. They have a right, like any other ethnic group, to be included in this narrative, and even serve a prominent role! But they won’t. See, this piece doesn’t incorporate a single Belgian. No people, chocolate, beer, or even waffles from that place.
So you can understand my mortification surrounding the inclusion of these here Belgians. I’m so ruffled that I haven’t even bothered to count them. Did they get here on a tour bus? I just saw them milling around on the corner with no real idea of where they are or how they got there. Is this some sort of elaborate prank? I’d go up and talk to one, but then I’d open up the floodgates for every Belgian in the tri-city area! This is tragic. I wonder if they speak English. All Europeans do, don’t they? Is that racist? Culturist? Maybe they’re not even Belgian, hell.
Where does the ceiling start?
How long has it been now?
I really wish I could use my arms.