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Since before lunch break I'd been yearning for the Barker Lounge. Actually I don't think they make the good old Naughahyde barkers any more. But my easy chair, made by Golgameth Incorporated, model g-129, commonly known as the Torpor Chair, was on a par with those old classic barker lounge chairs from the days of yore.

The day had been brutal. I work on the trading floor for frozen swine ear futures. Talk about stress. First of all, it's futures you are dealing with, so nothing is concrete. Second of all, you got to get the trades posted and mail a hard copy quick, 'cause the prices can change and a guy says he put in an order at 10:17 and 36 seconds EST (With them financial clock structures that have wooden gears, green winches and so forth) and the trade was made at 10:29 he's pissed and doesn't think he should have to pay commission. And besides, the damn things are melting. But there's only so much a guy can do. We sweat, curse, swill coffee, urinate in the waste can (well it is a waste can after all…) to save time, I'm not kidding. If it makes fifty grand difference on falling futures for the frozen ears of freshly dead highly distinguished swine, I'm gonna leak in the can. Money talks, and it tinkles too.

So anyway it's stressful as hell but if I live long enough I can retire pretty early. But what life do I have in the meantime? By the time I get home all I want is torpor in the chair. No evening news. I am not able to rally enough energy to give a shit about the affairs of the world beyond the frozen hog hearing futures and snatches of conversations heard when buying hodd dawgs at the stand outside the imposing granite-faced edifice wherein I ply my trade (the vender must tinkle in a can too, he's out there all day….must eat a lot of cheese too). And standing there I see the headlines above the fold on the front page of the Throg's Neck Herald. "Movie star Candy Kiss-all dies after cosmetic surgery to remove a pimple from her ass. She had snuck and ate a Twinkie before the operation and choked to death on her own sputum." How the fuck do I care? When I got time to care I'll care. Till then let the world do what it has always done. Rotate.

I god off the slugway car and the armed guards of Homeland Futility were there, making me feel safer against extremist suicide bombing shit-heads but also making me nervous; armed guards in the subway. Standing there. For hours. Their feet hurt, they gotta take a leak. But to cheer them and provide an example of unabashed public tinkling, the eager toothy canines of the bomb sniffing squad brandish their noses.

Anyways, like I was sane, I gawd awf the subway and lo and b-hord I realized I forgot to stop at the office hacks superstore for an ink cartilage. I coulda' kicked myself. Man, I coulda thrown a beatin' on me. I had to torpa-tize an hour or two but then rally with chewable instant coffee weevil faces (with Chawklit coating, in all natural flavors including, but not limited to, raw fish, crawfish, the odd wood lice and stinkbug, frog liver and even the delicious eel brain juices flavorings). Yeah, pig out on some junk food, watch some mindless TV. Maybe watch the Ali vs. Quarry fight in slow motion a couple more times. But if I did that I was bound to break open a few beers and cigars. Every day I had to face the possibility that I may never be able to watch the fights again if I want to remain nicotine free. And in fact I was afraid to drink beer, cause the taste of those hops hitting the back of my throat is like a Pavlovian imperative to immediately smoke tobacco, preferably a fat cigar. So I was sort of hiding from the reality of my plight. I had to get in shape or I would never last till retirement. Guys in the frozen futures market drop like flies from stress and poor diet. So I was facing a choice- an early death with no retirement to reward me for all my hard work 'cause I'd be dead, or change my habits, that is, cast aside my vices. This would call for deployment parallel beyond the demarcation which shows where we are in the de-militarized zone, which is shrinking. Shrinking due to my fight against nicotine cravings and simple alcohol impulses. So much for the Ink Cartilage. I'd set my clog to floor dirty and also have the other wind up LOUD clock down on the floor ten feet from the bed so I HAD to get out of bed, then I'd walk the ten blocks to the all night office supply superstore and get the cartilage. Then in the early wee hours, with coffee but NO damn cigarettes (Maybe I should get some of that nicotine gum, or a can of rub, ach!) I'd crank out the presentation and make the pamphlets on my trusty printer. Hell yeah. Early to bed.

But then there's the thing I forgot. It was election time. Only 57 weeks to midterm elections. No time to spare, the chambers of promise had let slip the dogs of wax, and they were everywhere. Instead of offering you a novelty item like fake dog puke with "Your Logo Here" printed on it and saying, "I know I can count on your vote come next year…" they were out there with miniature TV sets. Miniature TVs with excellent picture quality, run on batteries. And the TVs had the lowest of the low negative ads. We'll never know which candidate started the negative ads, like a boxer with his back to the ref head butting coming out of a clinch, we can't see, we don’t have the proper angle, all we know is it's gotten so foul that no one who is not a leather-ized mutant wolverine can stand the onslaught against their character in the opponent's ads. This was a tight race for county Smithwaxer, and when I got off the train they attacked me, shoving televisions in my face showing the horrible results of substandard wax in the forging of casted metal stuff. Jamming these damn TVs in my face. Following me, chasing me down! I pulled my leather bath roab from my attaché case and donned it! "Be gone!" I said, "You have no power here!" This stopped them for just a moment, and I used that moment to take flight, flapping the leather wings of the bathrobe and ascending into the night sky.

I wasn't wearing a seat belt and I wanted a cigar real bad. Life in the big city, as they say. Would I ever reach the solace of my Torpor Chair? Would television-brandishing politicos be swarming my neighborhood, trying to get out the metal dog vote? Too soon to tell. I just enjoyed the flying for a while. There's a big fine for bathrobe aviation over the boroughs, but I really couldn’t a gave a goats turd at that point. If I could hold out and not have a cigar after this day I was doing good. I decided to take up a new hobby. Instead of watching the fights on TV, I'd learn to build idiophones from the bones of skorpotheticus enthralopolos, the breed of human creature that is assumed to have lived on the dog star till the maid came to clean the room, and then fled to earth here, where their technology was no good, (Their coffee makers were built for a diff atmospheric pressure, see?) and which geo-digo-brushicus modernifuss unearth. Old bones, the sounds of 'em! And see, you make bone zylaphones. Set up the frame and the felts and then it’s just a matter of bones. And these idiophones will sell for hundreds of pig ears in parts of the Midwest, where a growing number of musicians are experimenting with "real" sounds and not sampled and digitally processed sounds.

Maybe I'd go that route. It would take my mind off cigars.


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