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The Story Thread by Synthesis
Started on: 07-28-2011 01:16 PM
Replies: 9
Last post by: Synthesis on 08-03-2011 01:18 PM
Synthesis
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Report this Post07-28-2011 01:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
Howdy guys/gals.

This thread is meant to be filled with your general writing... Write a story about your childhood, humorous, sad, whatever. Write fiction if you want. Write something though, and let's entertain each other.

It all started with a sticky note. Not just ANY sticky note, but an official 3M brand Post-It Note, one and a half by two inches. And not just one single official 3M brand Post-It Note, but four-hundred and seventy-two of them.

It was my first day on the job, working in a support center on the helpdesk for a large corporation. I could look forward to two weeks of training, and the Post-It Notes weren’t helping me gain the confidence of my supervisors.

Backing the story up a little bit, we find me living in Northern MN in a tourist trap town, barely making ends meet. A friend by the name of Jeff, whom I had not spoken with in many years, happened to show up one day and we got to talking. It turns out Jeff was now living in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota working on the helpdesk, and making good money to boot.

I jokingly said that he should get me a job there, and within 30 seconds I had a business card in my hand with an email address to send my resume to.

One week later, I had an interview, and found out less than 30 minutes after the end of the interview that I had the job. Two weeks later, the car was loaded and I was on the road.

The day I started dawned bright and sunny. The weather was beautiful with a forecasted high in the mid-70s. It wasn’t Spring, but it felt like Spring Fever coursing through my veins. I was excited to start the new job with a good friend, and looked forward to the much heftier paychecks.

When I arrived, I went through the security check-in, got my new ID badge, and went down to the call center to begin.

Jeff had the day off, and I had already been assigned a seat in the “Bullpen”. The Bullpen, a larger than normal open space surrounded by Cubical walls and lined by a continuous desk/counter top was the ideal “group therapy” area. All of us in the same department would sit at stations around the perimeter of the Bullpen, and when things were slow, we could turn and shoot the bull, so to speak. It turns out, my seat was right next to Jeff’s.

Halfway through the training day, we took lunch. We could eat at our desks or go to the cafeteria.
I wasn’t overly hungry, so I sat down at my desk and started arranging it to suit my needs. This is when I discovered a new pack of pens and four stacks of Post-It Notes.

You could see the light bulb over my head kick on.

I turned in my chair and surveyed Jeff’s desk. It was a bit of a mess. About 7 dollars worth of change sitting on the desk, sort of spread out, a couple of the usual office supplies, pencils and the like…

What started as a small idea to use a Post-It Note to label the items on the desk blossomed into the start of the most lethal prank war to ever hit the corporate offices of Supervalu.

I spent my thirty minute lunch break labeling each and every item on Jeff’s desk. Each individual coin received a label identifying it, and then the coin was placed back where it had been.

Each and every pencil, pen, paper clip, coffee mug coaster and push pin received its own label.
The keyboard, letter by letter received a label, including each little light on the top right side. The mouse was not safe from this attack either. I removed the mouse ball, labeled the ball, put it back inside, and labeled the cover over the ball. The left, right and center mouse buttons received labels.

The monitor got no less than three labels, “Screen” , “Compaq Logo”, and “Power Button”.

I even labeled the office chair, each wheel on it, each and every lever, as well as “Left Arm Rest” and “Right Arm Rest”. Nothing at his desk was safe from my labeling rampage.

I then printed out a welcoming letter and taped it to his screen. The contents were to the gist of “If you have trouble finding things, call the helpdesk”.

My new boss walked into the Bullpen, looked at my masterpiece, looked at me and shook his head and walked out. I didn’t hear a word from him about it.

The first shots fired in an escalating battle that resulted in a companywide policy change.
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PFF
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Synthesis
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Report this Post07-28-2011 01:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post

Synthesis

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This volley in the Prank War takes place about 14 months into my job at Supervalu.

I had quickly risen to the challenge of my job, and was considered the “Go To” guy for anything related to the area I supported. Not bad for a contract employee. I loved my job, liked most of the people I worked with, and my boss had been promoted, and had put his own job on the line with HR to try and get me hired (a very long story. He is still there and promoted, I am not.).

I had a new supervisor by the name of Dale, Jeff was gone, and I now worked next to someone I considered my best friend after my move. His name would be Dave. I also worked with a couple of other people, Jason, Josh, and Paul. The five of us were pretty close as we all sat in the Bullpen and would shoot the bull with each other. We had a foam Nerf brand football that we’d occasionally throw at each other, whether or not they were paying attention.

If a new geek movie came out, we’d all go and see it together, celebrated birthdays together, and Super bowl at my place was always a given.

My place. Let’s talk about that for a moment. When I moved to the Cities for this job, I frantically searched for a place to live once I found out I had the job. I ended up finding a basement for rent, and literally moved the day before my new job started.

The basement was furnished, very nicely I might add. A fireplace, mini-bar with sink, etc, and I even had free reign of the pool table and pinball machines.

Situated on 2.5 acres in one of the suburbs, I was literally 5 minutes from anything I might need or want. The land was wooded so wildlife was always around, and the back yard off the sliding door and patio for the basement was fenced with kennel fencing. Perfect for turning the dog loose when we went anywhere.

The landlady, an attractive woman in her mid-40s and quite intelligent if a bit absent-minded, lived upstairs. She ran her home business out of the house that her and her ex-husband built.

In my daily work schedule, I had a lot of time available for surfing the internet. One of my journeys brought me to the website of a product that is quite literally called “Liquid Ass”. I will leave it up to you to Google it.

Liquid Ass is a clear, colorless liquid in an eyedropper sized bottle. Very benign looking, you wouldn’t think this bottle could contain the necessary equipment to escalate the Prank War to full out chemical warfare. It isn’t benign, and the escalation was very quick.

The reviews on the site were fantastic, the audio files of radio interviews were even better. I had to have this stuff. I ordered a six pack.

A few days later, the discreet brown package arrived at the door. Eagerly, I cut the tape and opened the box. That was when I realized exactly how obsessed I was with the war. Even though all of the bottles were sealed, the box had a very unpleasant odor to it. It was faint, but very detectable.

I gingerly removed one bottle from the box, and carefully cracked the lid open. Ok, this isn’t so bad. You can smell it, but it really isn’t as bad as they saOH MY GOD THE SMELL IS HORRENDOUS! MY EYES ARE WATERING AND I AM RETCHING OVER THE GARBAGE CAN NEXT TO MY DESK AT HOME!

Imagine a four hundred pound man working out non-stop next to you at the gym for three hours.

Now, imagine taking his gym shorts after his workout and placing them over your head and inhaling deeply.

That is a VERY mild taste of what this stuff is like. Speaking of taste, you can taste it in the air, it is that bad. And all I did was crack the lid open. I had not even removed it yet.

As soon as the dry heaves were over, an evil grin crossed my face, and I ran upstairs with a bottle to show my landlady, Vicky.

“Vicky! I have something for you to try! Meet me outside in the front yard!”
By now, my black lab Squishy had caught a whiff of this enticing odor and was all over me to try and get his nose into it.

Vicky joined me in the front yard, and I asked her to take the bottle without reading the label, remove the lid, and take a sniff. Did I mention that Vicky is a bit on the gullible side?

While she was on all fours retching on the ground, my only thought was “Oh shi*. I think I am getting evicted.” Of course, I was laughing too hard to ask her if she was OK and to try and save my residential status.

After she could stand back up, she actually laughed at me and said it was her own fault for trusting me. I had already lived there over a year, she knew me pretty well.

I placed a couple of drops on the ground next to the mailbox post, and waited a sec for it to kick in.

I ended up having to drag Squishy off the drops, he was too intent on rolling in it.

This stuff was perfect for what I had in mind at work.

My work schedule consisted of me coming in on Saturdays, a 12 hour shift. I was not the only one in, the rest of the crew rotated weekends.
I should iterate here that my friend Josh is a bit… Stolid. He is more serious than the rest of us, but can toss in a quip that will have us rolling on the floor when he needs to.

It happened to be my weekend to work with him.

The call center was located on the ground floor level, about halfway down the building. There are two restrooms on the floor, one by the elevators on one end, and one at the gym on the other end.

During one of my breaks, I ran to the restroom did my business, and then carefully cracked a bottle open, placed two drops on the top of one of the urinals, and hastily made my exit. I then made my way down to the restroom at the gym and placed two drops on the back of the sink. I high tailed it out of there.

It takes about 5 minutes to kick in, but when it does, you cannot go into a room that has been tainted. It is foul beyond your imagination.
What I did not know, was that Josh was not feeling well that day. During one of his trips to the restroom, he came back and told me he had to go to the next floor up and use the restroom there because the smell was horrible in the ground levels.

There were also other call center techs working in other areas that you could hear griping about the smell.

I believe Josh finally caught on that it was me doing something to the restrooms by the time the Ground, First, Second and Third floors had been hit.

He never told a soul, but the dirty looks I got from him after that were priceless.

It wasn’t until the following day that the enormity of what I had done finally kicked in.

I arrived promptly at 6AM to find the men’s rooms on the first four floors closed by maintenance. A plumber was in tearing the line cleanouts open to flush the lines out, the doors were open to dissipate the smell and fans were going.

I waited at least two weeks before bringing the little bottle of devil juice back in…

My new supervisor Dale was in. Dale is the typical middle-management guy. Bad haircut, bristle brush moustache, and pinstripe shirts with bad khakis. He was also one of the best bosses I have ever had.

One day he came into the Bullpen, long since marked with warning signs to wear protective gear before entering, and I pulled the bottle out. I said “Dale! You need to check this out! Take this bottle, take a sniff, but don’t read the label”.. Dale, a very trusting person whom I have never given reason to NOT trust me, did so…

If I could describe his reaction, it would have to be in slow motion…
He placed the bottle firmly under his nose with the lid off, and took a very deep breath. Something I was not expecting him to do.

In slow motion, the pupils dilated, the nostrils flared, and the mouth began to form a frown. His eyes widened as the head began its long journey backwards in a whip crack motion. The hand holding the bottle began its swing out to remove the offending bottle from the area and to quite possibly hit me.

The look he gave me after the fact said it all. It was that look a kid gives you when you tell them during their gift unwrapping on Christmas that Santa is not real. The look of utter betrayal in their eyes that says “I trusted you and you have hurt me beyond all reasonable means of repair.”

Jason, Josh, Paul, Dave and Myself were howling with laughter over this. Dale never let me forget about it either. Throughout the entire day and most of the next week, he’d keep coming in and looking at me and saying he could still smell it.

He ended up having to shave his moustache off in order to finally expunge the smell.

That was the last time I saw that bottle of Liquid Ass, as he confiscated it.

I had five more bottles at home.
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Marvin McInnis
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Report this Post07-28-2011 01:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Marvin McInnisClick Here to visit Marvin McInnis's HomePageSend a Private Message to Marvin McInnisDirect Link to This Post
Nonfiction, but here is my contribution: Motorcycle Trip, 1968.

[This message has been edited by Marvin McInnis (edited 07-28-2011).]

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Report this Post07-28-2011 01:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Marvin McInnis:

Nonfiction, but here is My Contribution.


I remember reading that, and have to state that it was one of the most entertaining reads I have had.
Neither one of my posts are fiction either.
Thank you for contributing.
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Report this Post07-28-2011 01:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Marvin McInnisClick Here to visit Marvin McInnis's HomePageSend a Private Message to Marvin McInnisDirect Link to This Post
I have an old friend who occasionally writes "mostly true," gearhead-oriented short stories that are pretty entertaining ... like the time he was driving his Corvette to Dallas on business and unexpectedly acquired a Denver Broncos cheerleader as his passenger.

If that meets your criteria, I'll see if I can get permission to post some of them here.

[This message has been edited by Marvin McInnis (edited 07-28-2011).]

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Report this Post07-28-2011 02:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Marvin McInnis:

I have an old friend who occasionally writes "mostly true," gearhead-oriented short stories that are pretty entertaining ... like the time he was driving his Corvette to Dallas on business and unexpectedly acquired a Denver Broncos cheerleader as his passenger.

If that meets your criteria, I'll see if I can get permission to post some of them here.



By all means! The Corvette story sounds like a blast.
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Report this Post07-28-2011 02:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TommyRockerClick Here to Email TommyRockerSend a Private Message to TommyRockerDirect Link to This Post
This is kind of a long one, but worth it. My brother recently married a Glaswegian and they moved back to Scotland to be near her family. He has been blogging some of his experiences and I thought I would post a kinda humorous one.

He blogs as Yankee Doodle Weegie:

What is priority number one for a newly married man living in a foreign country in his in-laws house? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the same as for a long-married man living in his own country in his own house. He needs a job. I’m happy to say that I am now gainfully employed, but I wasn’t in the beginning. The job hunt was afoot and the pressure was intense. There were a couple of false starts. One of them went beyond ridiculous. It started with a very promising phone call.

‘Good morning Mr. Kress. We have reviewed your application and we are interested in having you over for an interview. Can we see you at nine, tomorrow morning?’

The job was listed as a ‘marketing position in one of six Glasgow locations’. Pretty vague I’ll admit, but when you’re desperate for something, anything, it sounds good. I went to bed hopeful that night, my nice wool suit laid out and ready for morning. I got up early the next day. I was ready to blow minds. I even shaved against the grain. I was a man about to make his fortune. Off I went into the business district of Glasgow, coffee in hand and hope in heart.

I walked into an enormous sandstone building and through a very classy lobby. I checked the register for the address I was after. Not on the first floor. Not on the second. Not on the third fourth fifth or sixth. Was I in the right building? Was I going to be late? I scanned from bottom to top to bottom again, with a growing sense of panic. Then I saw it. The company name was hand written on a little slip of paper and stuck onto the register. Basement: Room 1. So with hopes of movin’ on up, I took the elevator down down down to where they keep the plumbing and the corpses.

‘Fill in the Blank Marketing Ltd’ was a handful of unpainted rooms with low ceilings and warped doors. Somebody’s old living room couches sat scattered in the lobby. Tattooed men in ill fitting suits arranged themselves with strategic gaps allowing a maximum of two people to a three seat couch. The bare foot secretary danced badly to a skipping CD, or was that techno? I signed in and sat in a gap. They gave me a test apparently created to filter out any pre-schoolers who might want the job. I was ushered in for an interview with a young Londoner born in middle Africa who had taken the company by storm. He asked me trick questions. I gave him trick answers. I asked him honest questions. He gave me trick answers. ‘Is this a sales job?’ It was not a sales job. It was a ‘marketing’ job, intended to ‘connect the customer with services he would benefit from’. There were all kinds of verbal gymnastics for about half an hour. I noted the red flags in my mind with consternation but resolved to give this thing a shot.

I was introduced to an enormously tall London man who looked like a vulture in tweed. On his heels were five Glasgow youths bearing sure signs of delinquency. Vulture man asked me to follow him and take notes. I followed him but took no notes. Not possible. His hips were up to my nipples and I was forced into an uneven trot. He talked endlessly in numbers and jargon about these vital ‘services’ the customers didn’t know they needed. Alas, it was our noble cross to bear. We had to bring these poor darkened souls the good news of more, faster, newer and NOW! So Vulture Man walked and I jogged and the delinquents did something in between. By some convoluted route we wound up in a subway station. There was no wait whatever. As soon as I realized we were underground we were aboard a train and moving. I interrupted Mr Vulture. ‘Where is this train going?’ He said Helensborough. He might as well have told me Helsinki. At least I know where Helsinki is. A guy in a funny hat came around asking for £6. I had £10 in my pocket. I got to my wallet slowly enough to offer Mr Vulture a chance at picking this up. After all, he was training me on an unpaid observation day. Vulture didn’t pick it up. I said a quick and tearful goodbye to 6 of my last £10 in the world, hoping I had just bought a round trip. If this was a one way I wouldn’t have the cash to get back, and what about lunch? I was supposed to be on a twelve hour training trip. From bad to worse folks. You’ll see.

The ride to Helensborough was about 45 minutes. That big stupid Vulture guy wanted me to use it for a number of ‘tasks designed to familiarize me with company policy and practice’. Task 1: List for the Vulture a few reasons a customer might not want his services. Libel laws prohibit me from publishing the precise nature of the services they were ‘marketing’, but let me say that it is something you use every day. It is something that sends you daily junk mail for upgrades and new packages. It is something always wanting you to pay for more, faster etc. And Mr Vulture loves to talk and talk about it. Task 1 was going to be easy. I began my list while the rest of these guys played a game called ‘cruise ship’. Here’s how it works. One guy is the ‘Captain’ of the ship. The rest of you are passengers. You’re going on a cruise. The Captain knows the ‘rule’ of this particular cruise. You ask the Captain whether you may bring certain items onto the ship. He answers in the affirmative or the negative and it is your task to judge by his answers what the unspoken rule of the ship may be. The first person to get it wins. The rule may be anything from ‘nothing pink on this cruise’ to ‘only items containing the letters of Hitler’s name on this cruise’. You get the idea.

So the game begins. The guy with no hair and a snake on his throat asks ‘Can I bring Ted?’ nope. ‘Can I bring Jerry?’ yep. ‘Can I bring a giraffe?’ nope. ‘Can I bring a horse?’ yep. On and on the questions go. The frustration becomes palpable in the group and the questions get louder and more frequent. There are five guys trying to win this thing for no other reason than they are consumed with the competitive spirit inherent in sales pukes the world over. I have just added my tenth item to my list of ‘why people will not want this product’. It has taken me literally five minutes to get ten items because these guys are killing my concentration. I can’t take this any longer. My blood is boiling with the stupidity of this group. Agitated and without the least hint of civility I shout

‘FIVE! The answer is FIVE! Jeez.’

There’s a big dumb vulture smiling at me now. The other guys look shocked and hurt. They all ask me what I mean.

‘The rule for the cruise is that you may only bring items whose names contain five letters. That’s why you can’t bring gloves, but you can bring a glove. The answer is FIVE!… and my list is done. Here, ten reasons somebody could conceivably tell you guys ‘no’.’

The vulture took my list and read it quickly in the flashing lights and grinding noise of the worst train ride ever. ‘Right, it’s a good list. Lots of reasons. But they don’t matter.’ They don’t matter? I thought it covered pretty comprehensively why people aren’t stupid enough to buy something useless from a gang of thugs. I asked in exhausted disappointment why they didn’t matter. He told me with a devious smile that the business model of his company worked on the law of averages. One in every twenty five people approached always say ‘yes’. Despite the uselessness of the product and the clear list of good reasons not to buy it, 4% always buy. Why this is the company does not know. It simply is. The monster went on to tell me that this business model works well because it negates any and all need to provide anyone with a decent service, as well as relieving any tension a sales puke may have. The approach is one of pure numbers and as such it was all conveniently impersonal and simple. Slog on though enough houses and you’d hit your quota, make your commissions. He went on;

‘So we are out on foot for three hours at a go. We need to cover 100 homes each in that time. From those 100 homes, four will buy. We do this in two blocks in the day so we each get eight sales in a shift. This is your pay.’

I had been asking everyone what the wage was for this job besides commissions. They had all brushed me off, saying they’d explain it sometime during my observation period. I seized the chance then and there. ‘So this job is completely commission based then?’ Again, a shady answer. ‘Well, yes and no. There are bonuses for each sale above the eighth in a day.’ I replied ‘Ok but there is no base wage. No hourly pay which is earned for the work done in pursuit of sales, but in spite of not having made them. Correct?’ I waited… ‘We can go more into the pay structure after you’ve had your observation day. And it’s not sales. It’s ‘marketing.’ I had had about enough of the double talking London Vulture. I’m no genius but I’m also no Glasgow Ned with tattoos on my neck. I could read the writing on the wall. This was a racket in which turnover didn’t matter. Employee satisfaction didn’t matter. The product and the customer didn’t matter. It was all on the law of averages. That 4% kept them going and damn the poor morons who did the work this week. I was just another chump in a wool suit. The people who ride this train regularly were probably all staring at the sorry American with knowing pity.

In Helensborough we walked from the station to a corner about three blocks away. That filthy Vulture handed out maps with circles drawn on them, two guys to a team. He laid his bony fingers on napes of necks like some sick manipulative father figure and started to whip them into a frenzy. This guy would do Benny Hinn proud. ‘Alright guys, what are you gonna do with all that money you make today? You want a new tv? You want a new watch? What are you gonna do? How you gonna spend all that cash? Spend it on a hi-fi? A car? Spend it on your bird? There’s plenty out there boys!’ And the ‘boys’ all ate it up. Inside of thirty seconds they were all high fiving and grunting like a high school football team! They were naming off trinkets they intended to buy straight away, shamelessly and with an almost pentecostal vigor.

So here they were standing on a street corner among the good folks of Helensborough, suits and clipboards all around, shouting like maniacs. ‘NINTENDO DS YEAAHHH!! GET IT! GET IT! GET THAT MONEY! YEAAAHHHH!!’ I tried my best to look like I wasn’t with them. Jackasses.

The Vulture took me along with him. ‘Any questions before we get started?’ He asked. ‘Yeah. How are you supposed to talk to 100 home-owners in three hours?’ He smiled that big furtive smile and replied ‘You go fast, mate. Try to keep up’. Then he turned on his heel and did something I will never forget. He lifted those ludicrous knobby knees into a trot and sailed off into town looking like a health conscious Jehovah’s Witness. His trot was my jog, and it was all uphill. I had my clipboard in one hand and my coffee cup in the other. I was jogging in a wool suit uphill in a strange town on a warm day, trying to keep pace with this big bean pole of a London sales puke. Nerve of all nerve, he called over his shoulder that I needed to take notes while I jogged. He spat out more sales jargon, careful to replace ‘sales’ with ‘marketing’. As you might expect, I took no notes. For every block he covered in ease and comfort, I labored myself maybe 5/8 of a block. He was chipper and light. I was sweaty and sore. I needed a pee. At some point he looked back and saw me a block behind. He stopped and waited for me to drag my fat carcass up the sidewalk to him. The intolerable twit jogged in place meanwhile. ‘Got to keep the blood flowing, don’t you know’. I was seeing spots. I leaned into a post with my face buried in my arm. Best not to let the boss see you cry. I asked him where I could pee. The jogging had really impressed upon me a dire need to evacuate. I hated his answer. ‘Well, if one person in those hundred invites you into his home, you may ask to use his toilet. But you may not ask yourself into a home under any circumstances. Against company policy’. I thought on it a second. ‘Well, how long till we get to these houses? And how many usually ask you in?’ He gave me another wrong answer. ‘We’ll be at the houses in about five more minutes if we pick up the pace. And nobody ever invites us in. Do you want me to take your coffee cup? It might make the jog easier for you.’ I handed it to him without a word and we went on.

By the time we got to these houses I was ready to pee myself. Vulture Man didn’t want the customers to think we were crazy people who did crazy things like jogging around strange towns in wool suits, so we always took a minute before ringing the bell to smooth out our jackets and ties and catch our breath. After five houses, I couldn’t jog another step. I told the Turd in charge I was done. I wasn’t cut out for this work and I was going to walk back to the train station where I could pee. I told him I was on the next train home, and thanks but no thanks. He stopped me. ‘Well, I can see you’re no runner. But I think you would do well in our other branches. You are smart and obviously talented and we’d hate to lose you. Go catch your train and I’ll phone the office. They’ll move you into another branch working in stores or something. We will call you next week.’ That’s the first time I ever walked out on a job and got promoted for it. Whatever, I was past caring.

I found a little relief when I remembered that the train station was now all down hill. Easy walking. It took me about 15 minutes to get there. My bladder got touchier with every step and by the time I saw the station around the corner I was walking like my knees were tied together. I tried to play it cool. I was an American in a nice suit after all. I was taking three steps at a time, with a pause for prayer between. Man, those were sincere prayers! I sort of shimmied into the station and asked as cool as I could ‘Pardon me Ma’am, where is the bathroom?’ The lady’s face lit up with that glow of cheerful service you love to see. I was at the finish line, and I was going to make it! ‘Ooh, you’re American?!’ Ugh… ‘Yes Ma’am I am American. Where’s the bathroom?’ She was all smiles. ‘Whereabouts in America? I have family there!’. I was starting to dribble. ‘Chicago Ma’am, about that bathroom?’ Her face fell. ‘Oh yes, the bathroom. Well, you’ll need a key to use it.’ Now we were getting some place. Another dribble, bigger this time. ‘May I have the key then?’ Almost there! ‘I’m sorry son, only train conductors have the key. You’ll need to find one and ask him’. What kind of ridiculous policy would send the keys to the building away on the train? God save the Queen! I was off to find a conductor.

How can I explain the maddening and absolute NEED I felt at that moment? It was a blind desperation. It was totally without reason. I was losing it fast. I bolted toward the trains to find a conductor. Dribble dribble, my knee was wet. Every train was locked and powered down! I ran full on now. No shame, no dignity, no playing it cool. I ran around corners looking for something, anything! A potted plant maybe? Nope. My coffee cup? AH! THE VULTURE STILL HAS IT! Nothing. People were everywhere! All useful doors were locked. Dribble dribble. I was now wearing one wet sock. Why was this place so crowded?! You’d think it was a freaking train station! To a casual observer I probably looked like I’d seen a brutal murder or something. Eyes wide and unseeing, every muscle strained, sweat pouring from neck and head… oh, and peepee all down the front of me. Not a shred of cool left. By now the whole 18 inches from crotch to ankle was darkening ominously, but I hadn’t given up yet. I ran as fast as I could between two trains for about 25 feet. People everywhere! ARGH. I ran back again. More people. I ran back the other way once more, only about 15 feet. Wait, already went there, turn around. Back about 10 feet. Maybe those people have moved? Turn on my heel and back again. So now I’m running from point A to point B, then back to A, then halfway back to B and A and B again. It’s obvious that I have totally lost my mind. All at once I came to a cusp, a point of decision. I was going to have to pee in public, like a drunk, and risk a fine, possible incarceration, a lot of embarrassment to myself and probable outrage to the innocent parents and children milling about this place. It was terrible and wonderful all at once. This was the cost of relief and I had no choice but to pay it. God forgive me for what I am about to do.

Fifteen feet in front of me, a clear section of wall maybe ten feet across. No corners but a good chunk of wall. If I could make it without notice I could face the wall, pee fast, and be out of there before anyone said a word.

Now there is a logical order of event in the simple act of peeing. You walk up to the place you’ve chosen, you check for privacy, you open the bay door, you extend the necessary hardware into position, and you open the valves to release the flow. This is a logical progression but of course, my mind wasn’t logical at this point. It was primal. I messed up the whole progression. Fifteen feet from the spot I had chosen, I unzipped, then I savagely pulled out my equipment, I relaxed the muscles, and finally I ran toward the spot I had picked out. All backwards and ridiculous I know. So I ran fifteen feet with my junk flopping and swinging for all to see, a steadily growing stream of urine in a spotted trail behind me. When I got to the wall I almost ran into it head-first. I stood there in ecstasy for the better part of a minute in an expanding golden pool. Then and only then did I check for privacy. There was none (of course). With as much dignity as a guy can muster in these situations, I put Mini-Me away and strolled casually toward the now opened trains, shaking off the soles of my shoes as I went.

I sat down for the ride home. It was me and two little old ladies who had gone sausage shopping in Helensborough (very European thing to do I’m sure). They sat there with these big sausages in their hands and I couldn’t help but feel mocked. I wished they’d put those things away. Sitting directly next to me was a guy I had almost mowed down in my frenzy. ‘Didn’t make it huh?’ I placed my jacket on my tell-tale lap. ‘Nope. Didn’t make it.’ He smiled. ‘Happens to all of us eventually. No worries’. And you know, I felt a lot better.

When I did finally get home that day, Pam listened with sympathy and tried her best not to laugh too early. She washed the pee out of my pants and underwear. She made me something to eat and a coffee. She told me not to work for those jokers. She calmed and soothed me and said she was very proud of me. And then she made me tell the story six times that week to anyone who would listen. I love that woman. So all’s well that ends well I suppose. I got my exercise, I got my pee, and I took my best shot. But now I’m afraid to go to Helensborough. I’d stand out in a line-up for sure. Is it my dreamy eyes? Is it my rugged, confident smile? Is it my awesome beard? Nope. I’m circumcised.
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Synthesis
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Report this Post08-03-2011 12:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
No Fly Zone

About six months into my job at the Supervalu Helpdesk, I found myself without a whole lot to do.

I was already at the top of my game, was considered the go to guy for the support I did, and had written several documents in-use corporation wide.
Looking for something to do, the thought crossed my mind that I had not folded a paper airplane in a while.

In my younger days in school, I was a regular Naval Air Base with numerous paper aircraft ready to launch in the event of a scramble alert, or an incoming spitball.

I had long range bombers, stealth fighters, kamikaze jets and “bricks”.

The long range bombers were a design I had come up with to allow the paper plane to fly smoothly and level all the way across a class room, and to do so at a high rate of speed with minimal effort on the thrower’s part.

The stealth fighters required a bit more force, but would glide to a gentle landing within 6 inches of where you aimed, with a little bit of practice. The Kamikaze jets were notorious for flying perfectly straight as an arrow before rolling over and then nosing toward the intended target at a high rate of speed while the bricks were just point to point message senders with incredible accuracy.

I ran to the printer and grabbed a thin stack of paper, about 6 sheets thick.

Modifying my bomber design to allow a slower rate of flight, I began folding. Several minutes later, the experimental aircraft was born. A gentle flick of the wrist at a downward angle, and the plane left the hand smoothly.

Immediately it swung upwards about 15 degrees above level and began climbing, and then leveled out. It began its long straight glide across the Bullpen and came in for a smooth landing immediately next to Josh at the far end.

He picked it up, examined it, and then while still talking on the phone with a client, threw it back towards me with some force. Again, the plane lifted, but much more aggressively and grazed the ceiling before finally leveling out and hitting the wall some two feet above my head.

SUCCESS! The first two way flight of the Distractor was a complete success!
I began folding more immediately upon receiving orders from the crew (my co-workers).

Now, the helpdesk was in a large room shaped like a reverse capital L. Approximately 50 feet long by 20 feet wide on the long side of the L, and close to 40 feet long by 20 on the short side, the environment was made for a paper airplane.

When I faced away from my workstation, I was at the tip of the lower section of the L, and could look the entire length of the 40 foot section into the corner of the L if I stood up and looked over the cube walls.

I grabbed one of the planes of the new fleet and sent it on a scouting mission up into the corner of the room. It glided gently over the cube wall and flew quite level until a down draft cause it to veer off course.

Fortunately it landed within the friendly borders of a fellow co-worker up in the corner and caught him by surprise. He picked it up, looked around and caught me in my best “Kilroy was here” impression as I sort of hid behind the cube wall.

He smiled, examined the plane, and then flipped it overhand down towards the long end of the L.

I was able to see his face and the plane as the plane glided from view around the corner. You could clearly see the awe on his face as he turned and looked at me, and then immediately sat down to send me a message. “IT HIT THE WALL DOWN THERE!”

I had clearly picked up a new round of military spenders looking to increase their battle squadrons.

Within a week, the place was a hazard if you were over 6 feet tall, as you would never know when the next attack would happen. The planes came from all directions, from various members of the support team.

One person though had established a no fly zone around his cubicle, and any time a plane would violate the air space, he’d do his best to shoot it down. If he could grab it with his hand, it’d get crumpled and tossed in the garbage.

His aiming and accuracy steadily got better as we’d intentionally challenge the airspace to test minor variations in the aircraft design.

One day, the entire aerospace industry came to a crashing halt, all because of one fearless yet foolish pilot, and an experimental design loosely based on a cross with the long range bomber and the Kamikaze design.

A gentle flip of the wrist, and the plane did the now perfected climb and glide.. Only, it did so more efficiently than expected. Instead of landing on Josh’s desk, it sailed up and over the cube wall, past the No Fly Zone, and just as I thought it would clear the top of the supervisor’s cube, the pilot decided that now was the time to initiate the Kamikaze run. It immediately rolled over and began it’s downward plunge… Right into the soup bowl of the boss.

No words were said, the airplanes went into a locked drawer as quickly as possible, and a sense of meekness came over the denizens of the Bullpen.

A week later an email was received with the now updated Corporate Policy for all employees that clearly had “Paper Planes” marked in the “Prohibited” section.

It didn’t say anything about foam Nerf foot balls.
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Report this Post08-03-2011 12:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tbone42Send a Private Message to tbone42Direct Link to This Post
My college life was different from what many my age experienced. Most people I went to high school with went away to college, unfortunately, I could not. To pay for books and classes, I also had to work several jobs, including midnights at a grocery store just to stay in school.

The school day drive started at 730am, one half hour after I got off work. I would drive to my best friend Adam's house after work, and we would carpool up to school together. We were both going to IUN, which is Indiana University Northwest.. located smack dab in the middle of Gary, IN. (Also known as "The Demilitirized Zone", as it was one of the few relatively safe areas in that town.) Every morning, on our way, we would stop at Dunkins to sugar and coffee-up.. I always needed it, since I was only halfway through my day.

My friend always attracted the ladies, and one that worked the morning window at Dunkin Donuts had a huge crush on Adam. After a few weeks into the semester, we would pay for coffee but she would always sneak us a bag of donuts for free. I personally liked the honey-glazed chocolate cake rings, Adam ate cruellers. So every morning, with our coffee, came a few donuts in a bag for free. Now I will admit that Dukins was losing some of their overhead because of this providence, but as a young college student, you usually dont question where your next meal was coming from.

Sure enough, with a wink and a wagging tail, Adam's "girlfriend" was there at the window to give us our coffee. She hurriedly did so, maybe a boss was watching, not sure. Anyhow, the bag of donuts that came out the window was HUGE. There were like 10 donuts in there. We thanked her and began our commute.

Well, We both ate 2 and drank our coffee, and that was it. Too full to eat anymore donuts. But there in the bag were 3 cruellers, and 3 chocolate honey glazed. What a waste.. we were gonna throw them away when we got to school anyhow.

After coming off the highway and stopped at the one light before you got to the school parking lot, we were stopped for a minute. Looking over, I see an OBVIOUSLY homeless man walking up the overpass of 80/94 on Broadway. I ask Adam "Do you think we should see if he's hungry and wants these donuts?" He agreed it sounded like a good idea, turn our fortune over to someone who needed it far more than we.

So I roll down the window and signal for him to come near. The "homeless man" raises an eyebrow, but comes closer to the car and says "Yeah?"

I hold up the bag of dunkins and say "Hey man, we have these extra donuts here that we were given, and well.. are you hungry? Do you want them?"

I expected him to just say yes grab the donuts and keep going. Instead, his brow furrowed some and he asks "What kind you got????!!!"

I was a little taken back, but I tell him: "Well, we got chocolate honey glazed.. and.."

Then he interrupts me to say "**** that **** ! You got creamfilled?!"

And I could not help but giggle a little as I told him "Ummm.. no..."

Then his face got all mean and he yelled "Then get the **** out of here!" And he took another step toward the car... Adam guns the engine.. thankfully the light had just turned green, and we sped off. While rolling up my window, I hear the man scream from behind "Stay your asses out of Gary!"

I cant even SEE a dunkins now without hearing in my head "**** that **** ! You got cream filled???!!!"

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Report this Post08-03-2011 01:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
VERY amateur fiction. My first attempt actually...


He recalled the almond shape of her emerald green eyes with a vivid clarity that would haunt him for the rest of his life.

As these thoughts enveloped his mind, a brief, sharp pain in his left wrist caused him to gasp. An involuntary twitch of the muscles in the arm as the body’s instincts screamed at them to pull the arm away. The restraints prevented him from doing so.

The bright light overhead was near blinding, causing his head to hurt. The anti-septic smell in the room and the cold unyielding steel table beneath him only served to remind him of where he was, and what was about to happen. He could barely see the people shuffling into the room on the other side of the glass wall.

He closed his eyes and went back to that cool autumn day when she had walked through the door. He could tell by her motions as she tossed her keys in the dish on the table that she had had a bad day. She had been crying, the mascara running down her cheeks.

He moved toward her and without a word, enveloped her in his arms. She placed her head against his chest and just sobbed for a few moments as he held her.

She pulled back, looked up at him and smiled, her bright green eyes glistening through the tears.

The rest of the memory was lost as the nurse checked the chest and leg straps.

He couldn’t remember how the argument started that day or even what it was about; only that it had lasted for what seemed like an eternity. She had packed her suit case and set it at the top of the stairs as he begged her not to leave. She said “I need time to think”, and grabbed for the suit case as she walked toward the steps.

The memory played back in slow motion, his mind cruelly forcing him to watch. As she picked up the suit case, the weight threw her balance off. He recalled the look of her, almost suspended in mid-air over the top step, the way she seemed to defy gravity for just a moment. He recalled the panic as he realized what was happening and reached for her, his fingers closing on air.

The sound she made as she landed on her left shoulder and rolled, and the muffled crack noise, almost as if a branch had broken.

A tear spilled down his cheek as he remembered.

The court case had been a fiasco. The headlines had all read “Local man brutally murders his wife.”, and plastered his photo all over the front page.

A neighbor, who had been eavesdropping, swore under oath that she had seen him push her down the stairs during the argument. She had seen everything through the window.

He blamed himself already for her death, and the guilty conviction just served to prove him right in his heart.

Suddenly, he noticed the silence around him. He opened his eyes, and found the warden looking at him.
“Do you have any last words?”
“Yes. I loved her.”
The warden nodded briefly, and then signaled to the orderly to continue.

The orderly turned to the panel at his back, gave one final look toward the table in the middle, and then pressed the first button.

The man on the table gasped as the first icy fingers clawed their way up his left arm, numbing it as they went. Soon, his entire body was numb, and lethargy came over him. A moment later, another feeling, this time as fire crept into his veins. His heart began to pound, and he broke out in a cold sweat. The lights seemed brighter, and his body began shaking.

He could hear voices murmuring as if from a distance, several asking if this was supposed to happen this way.

The numbness was now fading, and the pain was becoming unbearable.
His body was on fire and he groaned as the third and final chemical was injected through the IV. His breathing, already labored, suddenly turned shallow. His heart stuttered as the chemicals combined. The light began fading from view as his heart stopped. He was looking down a tunnel when the nurse looked into his face.

She pulled her mask down as she glared at him. “She was my sister, ******* .”
The light faded from view.


He opened his eyes, and looked into the most beautiful emerald green eyes he had ever seen.
She said “I love you, and I’m sorry.”
He said to her, as he reached for her hand “I love you too.”
They walked into eternity together.

[This message has been edited by Synthesis (edited 08-03-2011).]

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