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!

Two Different Languages

Gratuitous vomiting noises seem to have permeated this otherwise lovely air today. But you know what? I could care less! It’s a gorgeous day and I’m out here walkin’ Stormin’ Normal, the long-haired dachshund. Believe you me, Normal is nothing but. He’d much rather prefer to chase rats around in the sewers than cultivate an image of military impunity and historical nickname significance. He does know how to storm about the neighborhood, but when it comes to commanding hundreds of thousands of troops, you might as well send a beagle out there in his place.

The vomiting noises have yet to cease here, I don’t quite know what to do about this. On the one hand, someone could be violently ill, necessitating first-responders on the scene. On the other hand, even if I were to be at the right place at the right time, there’s no way I could do the same good work of an EMT, and all I could do is hold their hand (if it’s not covered in vomit) and try to comfort them while the professional health-perpetuators make their way over.

Normy doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. The way I figure, if we can hear gratuitous vomiting noises from here, Norm should be able to smell the ensuing vomit and tug on the leash like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t ask me how I know, but Normy’s a bit of a vomit connisseur. He really digs it, in other words. I’ve tried countless times to break him of his obsession, but it’s like we’re speaking two different languages.

So unless Norm’s lost his incredible sense of smell, I’m certain that this person making the vomiting sound-effects really has no problem whatsoever with their digestion. More than likely, they’re trying to make a scene in front of their friends for money. Well, that’s just my assumption, since the only times I’ve acted up like that in front of my friends, some quantity of money was involved. But then again, if we were to go by the old adage that pushes the “friends are forever” line, I never did have any friends in the first place.