Thursday, March 10, 2016

Story 125: No Need

“I’m tired of this,” the Boss said to his Friend as they sat at a table in the cafeteria.  Friend also happened to be one of Boss’s subordinates in the office (they had a very good friendship).
“Tired of what?”  Friend asked, fearing he was about to be told on the sly that yet another company merger was in the works.
“This!”  Boss gestured to his half-eaten sandwich.  “Having to stop every few hours to shove processed food into my mouth just to keep everything running.  Do you know how much of a disruption meals are to my day?”
“I’m sure starving people would disagree,” Friend said with his mouth full.
“On the contrary, I think they’d wholeheartedly agree with the freedom that comes from no longer needing to eat!  Think of how much money could be saved, how much time wasted in meal preparation that would be regained, how much less stress there would be in not wondering where your next meal is coming from, how much less crime there would be in not needing to steal to eat, how much less violence, how much less oppression of people over the control of the food supply, the list is endless!  I think world peace would be an attainable goal at that point.”
Friend mulled this over while chewing his salad.  “That makes some sense, I suppose, although the stronger argument would be for water.  It’s a nice hypothesis.”
“I’m going to test it.”
“Test what?”
“Not eating!  Ever again!”
“Oooh… kay… you do realize that you would be dead inside a month, right?”
“Says who?”
“Science?  The Laws of Nature?  God?  The Gods?  Pick one!”
Boss threw his napkin onto the table, stood, and gathered his tray.  “Well, I’m not just going to keep bowing to the whims of some outside force anymore.  It’s time someone took a stand and said ‘Enough is enough!’”  And he left.
Friend shook his head as he finished his lunch.  Looks like that promotion could happen any day now, after all.


“So, you haven’t asked me,” Boss said, leaning on Friend’s cubicle wall as he stood by the desk.
Friend had to pull himself away from the report Boss had just sent him an e-mail telling him to do.  “Asked you what?”
“How my experiment is going!”
“What experiment?”
“The one where I said I wasn’t going to eat anymore!”
“Oh, that?  I thought you were just doing a Lent thing.”
“No, I gave up running red lights for Lent.  For this, I actually completely stopped eating.”
“For what, two hours?”
“Thirty-three days.”
Friend would have spit out his coffee if he was drinking it.  “You are such a liar.”
“Honest to goodness, I have not eaten a single thing since we had lunch together a month ago.”
“You haven’t seen me eat anything since, right?”
“Yes, I haven’t seen you eat anything – that doesn’t mean you haven’t all the other times I don’t see you.”
“I haven’t been standing you up for lunch because of the upcoming merger where they might let you go – I’ve been standing you up for lunch because I no longer need the fuel.  My productivity has increased by 30% just from the lack of interruptions alone.”
“First of all, we need to discuss my possibly being let go, real soon.  Secondly, that’s half an hour a day where you’re not getting paid to work.”
“I’m management and salaried, not hourly like the rest of you expendables.”
“Oh.  Right.  So, have you saved lots of money with your new initiative?”
“You bet!  About $1,000 a month, now that I no longer have my caviar habit.”
“And you know what?  I also noticed that so much activity revolves around food, it’s sickening.  Every party I go to is focused on the meal, it’s like, what would a group of 30 people do for four hours if there wasn’t food to socialize around?  Boy, humanity’s come a long way in a short time – food in most places went from ‘essential to survival’ to ‘recreational activity’ just like that!”
“I see.”
“So, since I’ve saved so much time in doing away with meals, I’m now going to tackle the next obstacle.”
“What, breathing?”
“Ha ha, no: sleeping.”
“We lose practically a third of a day, every day, just recharging our batteries – you know how much more could get accomplished if we didn’t need to reboot constantly and for so long?  Plus, how less tired we’d all feel, and how much more productive?”
Friend looked around nervously.  “Please don’t let H.R. hear you!” he hissed.
“Don’t worry, I’ll test it out first and let you know the results,” Boss slapped Friend on the shoulder and went off whistling “Brahms’s Lullaby.”


Friend was suddenly awakened to his phone ringing on his bedside table.  He turned on the lamp, saw the time on his clock read 4:32 a.m., and picked up the phone in a panic.
“Hello?!  What happened?!”
“Nothing, it’s just me,” Boss said.  “Listen, I’ve been looking for an open store for hours and all I can find are sleazy gas stations – you mind if I come over and hang out?”
“It’s 4:00 in the morning.”
“Yeah, and?”
“And, I was sleeping.  Like most day shift people.”
“Oh right, I’ve been losing track of the time lately.  You won’t believe how much work I’ve been able to get done since I gave up sleep: don’t tell anyone, but I think I might be promoted to CEO soon, even though there’re about 20 people in line ahead of me!”
“Are you mad that I woke you up?”
“You should give sleep up like I did!  It’s so freeing – I can make my own schedule, close down bars, throw out my bed, chase away those teens prowling on my property at night, figure out how to keep you on the payroll for years after the higher-ups terminate you on Monday, even take a mini-vacation without any even knowing I’ve gone!  I’ve never felt more alive!”
Friend was trying to go back to sleep to delay thinking about his pending unemployment.  “Are you sure you’re not really undead?”
There was a brief pause on the line.  “You know, I did get into a tussle with some very pale dude a few months back and he got a bite in – you think he may have turned me into some kind of vampire?”
“More like a zombie; I wouldn’t worry about it.”
As Friend began to hang up, he heard Boss chime in with: “I suppose it’s for the best and the effects have been amazing, but before being drastically transformed I would’ve appreciated being asked first, you know?”


  1. Entertaining; I noticed you saved the reveal to the very end. That was a good move. Always keep them wondering.

  2. Entertaining; I noticed you saved the reveal to the very end. That was a good move. Always keep them wondering.