There I was, buzzing around the planet in a UFO, I had been abducted by aliens, cool. It all came back to me in a rush of disjointed images. I'll detail my experiences in a future post, but the bottom line, for now, is that the only probing I experienced was an extended interview by an academic from the planet Tralfamidore. We ate warm, homemade, chewy chocolate brownies, swirled with peanut butter, and washed 'em down with ice cold whole milk.
Also, they loaned me a Chromebook, at my request, so I could work on the post you should be reading instead of the one you are. The problem with that idea was that I didn't realize that the empathy beam I'd been exposed to when I went through quarantine would result in my composing in Tralfamidorian without even realizing it.
So now I'm sitting here with a glass of flat Asti Spumante and trying to work with a Tralfamidorian to English translation app that I got for free from Cnet that needs a lot of work. I'm never gonna' get the translation done in time to hit my deadline so I'm posting the third chapter of my novel, it's all I've got on hand.
MEMco, our parent company, mandates a just in time inventory system.
Have an OK day.
Snort’s temp, whose name is Ernesto, was still stacking ‘em high and tight back in the trailer Snort had abandoned when he was paged to Fantasy Island. I wonder why he took off like his ass was on fire? he thought, and why didn’t he come back? He was working at the front end of the 45’ trailer that had been nearly empty when he was escorted to it by one of the shipping bosses and turned over to Snort. He had no idea that Snort had managed to injure himself while hustling to get to the shipping workstation. God this is boring. He had composed a bit of doggerel with a militaristic tone that described the job he was doing and captured the rhythm of the movements necessary to do it:
Artie returned to the conference room with solvent and a pile of shop rags and had set about freeing the victims of the Zenith Tar Pits, as the conference room would henceforth be called. “I’ll leave you in folks in Artie’s capable hands,” said King Jon as he carefully made his way out of the room, deliberately ignoring Rick and hoping Snort would go away. Arletta had already left, disappointed that the situation was resolving without further hilarity. Regarding her job as monotony made manifest she was always on the lookout for what she called monotony busters to help get her through the workday.
A dumpster is a smaller version of what most people think of as a dumpster, a metal box about six feet long, four feet wide and five feet tall with four wheels, one at each corner. The two wheels up front swivel so it can be steered. A flat is a metal and wood platform approximately 4’ x 10’ that also has four wheels. The front wheels also swivel for steering purposes, the other two wheels are located in the middle and are stationary. There are removable upright bars on both ends to stabilize whatever load you happen to place on the flat. The one in front is also used to pull the flat around by hand when that is what’s called for. When used as part of a trash train there is also either a scavenged, huge cardboard box or wooden crate that’s used as a plastic box. Pallets of incoming merchandise are frequently shrink wrapped and the warehouse generates so much plastic that a compactor designated for shrink wrap only is used to compact and generate bales of plastic.
Snort headed straight for King Jon’s office as soon as he escaped the Zenith tar pits and was in the process of declaring his fealty to the company and its rules as King Jon listened and tried to appear patient and attentive. He interrupted only to ask questions that weren’t actually questions. They were statements designed to get Snort to either get to the point or run out of gas, or both, and go away.
“So, if I understand you correctly Kenny, one of Martha’s magic cups have falsely accused you of recreational drug use and you’re a bit freaked out about it, right?”, he said with a half smile and his wise father tone when he saw the opportunity to finally bring the conversation to an end.
“Well yeah, I guess that's it,” Snort replied somewhat sheepishly, “it’s just that….”
“Thanks, Jon,” Fred replied, hanging up the phone. For some reason it had become a sort of fad for management types to both say thank you when ending a conversation, a conversational convention most gave no thought to but left Fred, not your usual management type (at least he fervently hoped so) puzzled as to the why and wherefore. I wonder what happened to you're welcome, he thought, I should google it. By the time he lifted the receiver on the phone the notion went in one brain cell and out the other, displaced by the memory of his abandoned snack. He hung up the phone returned to the counter to retrieve it only to discover it had vanished during his brief absence. Shit! He started looking around and saw Annie the cafeteria girl tossing it into one of cafeteria trash cans. He heaved a heavy sigh, walked back to the phone and picked up the receiver. He started to punch in the number for the shipping workstation, got an idea, and hung up without making the call. He headed for the office of the King.
“Layder Dude,” Fred replied in his best-stoned surfer voice, cutting Eddie off as he went through the front door to the employee parking lot. He paused at the end of the short sidewalk that was framed by the two “butt out” cans for smokers to deposit their nicotine delivery systems before entering the building. “Now, where I did park the Mystery Machine,” he said, looking to his left and right. “This way Kenny,” he said, going right, “At least I think so.”
Have an OK day.
©Mark Mehlmauer 2015
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