The High Road

An intricate series of hoofprints
on the stale lithograph
we’ve come to call home
has bled insignificantly–
but not unnoticeably.

Yes, that’s correct. Hoofprints
have bled just enough
for this observer to comment.

Now, I’m aware that there are countless crackpots
who espouse the virtues of anti-vaxxers and birthers,
and this would be right up their alley.
However, I choose to take the high road.

A wise individual once told me
that the low road is the slipperiest,
because the maintenance people need to mop
more often than on the high one

(they have the kind of smelly chemical
floor cleaner that doesn’t dry as quickly
(and they’re always out of wet floor signs)).

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!

Flesh and Blood

Mannequin rest is a sign of weakness
and cheap plastic.
My stock at the Sears downtown
believes that since they look human,
they should receive pay and benefits
like my flesh and blood employees.

I’m so tired of emphasizing
to these hollow Betties and Bernies
that they were designed, built and purchased
for the sole purpose of displaying garments.
I’m not the one to blame
for their poor quality of life.

Even if their plight was real
or at all justifiable,
how am I supposed to provide
services for company property?
I’m just a shift manager!

I’ve tided them over for now
by letting them form an in-store mannequin union
in the basement (Thursday and Saturday nights
from 7 to 9), but until they’re legitimate,
I’m not breathing a word of this to the higher-ups.

———-
Originally published as part of inaugural post (12/20/2010)
First titled “Swivel Rights”