Saturday, May 31, 2014

Story 34: The Round Table

Every day, the four of them met for a few moments during their lunch half-hour.  Cigarette breaks were no longer approved and coffee breaks were relegated to a laugh in the face, so they had to sneak their time in this way.  They would assemble for five minutes, then separate to spend the precious remaining 25 as they chose.  One of the round tables in the cafeteria fit their needs nicely.
Worker 1: I almost got fired again today.
Workers 2 & 3: Aw….
Worker 1: I just got another warning instead.  I think my boss is afraid I’ll burn the shared drive if I’m let go.
Worker 3: Guess that’s a good thing to let her think.  I'll have to remember that.
Worker 1: (To Worker 4) Why are you so quiet?
Worker 4: I’m trying to will myself into having an aneurysm.
Worker 2: Don’t do that!  What if it doesn’t work right and you wind up a fully conscious immobile?
Worker 4:  I didn’t think of that.  Thank you – you've saved me and my health proxy a lot of trouble.
Worker 1: Are you still trying to kill yourself?
Worker 4: No, I’m still trying to achieve a state of oblivion: there’s a difference.
Worker 2: I don’t understand – why would you want to be in a state of oblivion?
Worker 4: Why not?  It’s not like my life has an impact on anything.  Good people drop like flies all around me, and I’m still here taking up space – why is that?
Worker 3: Maybe you’re supposed to do something with your life and make the world a better place.
Worker 4: Well, I’ve been here for decades and still haven’t done any of that, so why continue consuming dwindling resources is my theory.
Worker 1: Maybe the act of your willing oblivion is actually deflecting onto other people and that’s why they’re gone and you’re still here.
Worker 4: You make a good point.  My resolve remains, however.
Worker 2: I still don’t understand – you have good health, freedoms people literally die for, the use of all your faculties, and other blessings that people pray every day they would have and never receive, and you want just to toss all that away.  You are the biggest ingrate I have ever met in my entire life!
Worker 4: And yet another reason why my blessings should be distributed to people who’ll do some good with them.
Worker 1: (Looks at watch) This is the first time I’m glad our time’s up.  Same time tomorrow, then?
Workers 2-4: Sure, sure.
Worker 4: (As they scatter) Suppose I should hold off on the willing for a little while longer – I forgot my show’s series finale isn’t on for another two weeks.
Worker 2: Yes, that’s a worthy goal in life.  Would you do us all a favor and volunteer at a soup kitchen, please?
Worker 4: All right, but only if it'll make you happy.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Story 33: Neat Freak Thief

News Anchor: Good evening.  Tonight, we enter Week 5 in the nationwide hunt for the perpetrator in a string of home burglaries that have swept domiciles from coast to coast.  To recap, valuables such as electronics and jewelry have been stolen, and the homes broken into appear to have no similarities to each other in value, color, height, or weight.  The one unifying factor in all these crimes is this: other than the thefts, the houses have been left absolutely spotless.
(Clips of interviews)
Victim #3: I admit it: I hadn’t cleaned the ceilings in years.  After we were robbed, I looked up to Heaven to ask God, “Why?!”, and I saw that it was now a shade of white it hadn’t been since we’d moved in a decade ago.  All the silverware was gone, but I didn’t need to do any housekeeping for a week.
Victim #7: I was ashamed of anyone using our bathroom due to the mold problem; we’d even started going to the doctor about it when the tub turned a weird shade of black and green.  I’ve gotta say – having our T.V.s and stereo system stolen has been the best thing that ever happened to us, health-wise.
Victim #1: She’s a blessing in disguise.  It has to be a “she” – only a woman would think to dust the tops of the doors.
Victim #10: I don’t care about the jewels – they were insured for twice their value, so I think I’m actually the winner here.  Also, I no longer need to feel embarrassed about the carpet being three different shades of beige now that it's been thoroughly shampooed.  Thanks, Neat Freak Thief!
News Anchor: There you have it: Thanks, indeed, from a nation of grateful homeowners.  Doors and windows everywhere are now being left open in hopes that someday she’ll appear, like some thieving Santa Claus maid.  In breaking news, I have just discovered that all the cash in my wallet is gone and my desk is now lemony fresh.  On that note, America, good night, and stay clean.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Story 32: Story Addiction

It’s depressing when you realize that you’ll never have enough time to read all the books you want to read.  Never mind getting through the classics: it’s a Sisyphean struggle getting through that pile in your closet.  Just when you reached the bottom, it’s grown all over again.
Staying away from book sales doesn’t help – the darn library always keeps luring you in with its “free” loans and seemingly unlimited resources.  Is it your fault that the next installment of your current must-read series is sitting right there as you walk into the place, begging you to snatch it up?  How are you supposed to control yourself then?  It might as well have simultaneously placed itself in your handy bag and kicked you right back out the door.
And, of course, you can’t stay away from those book sales anyway.  You may never find that edition of Gone With the Wind anywhere else, and you’d always meant to read it one of these days.  Or years.
Getting an e-reader only makes this worse.  Sure, you won’t have the tower of power crashing on your head or leering at you from the corner, but now you have the never-ending queue of book-cover icons that face you every time you turn the thing on.  It’s equivalent to your never-ending movie and T.V. show queues: just one more, just one more….
I’m sure this can be classified as an actual addiction.  We'll always want another story, and when it’s done, we'll want another.  The question is, though, would anyone want to be cured?