Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Clerk

                                                           The Clerk
      Ethel and Henry were sitting in their cramped living room watching television. Their long suffering son, Benny,  who was afflicted with a rare malady called sanity, sat at his desk in the corner trying in vain to strengthen the invisible walls that surrounded him.
    "I'm telling you Ethel that I'm going to make it big this time. Marketing is the future and a clever guy like me belongs in the future."
    "So why when I wake up in the morning do I find your big toe stuck in my ear? This would indicate you are living in the present."
    "I told you it was a nightmare caused by too much MSG in Aunt Sue's Chicken! I have to be responsible for so much in this household which means it's easy to lose track of where my toe ends up in the morning! What do you have to say about that?"
    "It's Uncle Tso's Chicken, Henry."
Benny looked over and smiled and then went back to his homework.
   Henry opened his mouth, but no words came out immediately. "I'm sorry Ethel. Next time we get Chinese I"ll make sure I trim my toenails."
   Ethel softened. "That's considerate of you. Although, love means never having to trim your toenails."
   "That's a great saying! I've been thinking about marketing some greeting cards and this good be the first one. Who knew my wife is a poet?"
"Settle down big boy and tell me about the Real Meal Hamburger chain marketing plan."
"This is our big break! I have a big budget and an advance which means we can pay the mortgage on time this month."
"It's not going to get us into legal trouble like the State Trooper Kit you sold online?"
 "Yea, I'm sorry about that, but what a great idea. I sold 123 kits before that 'cease and desist' order put an end to the gravy train.You would think I was selling drugs instead of ketchup packets along with some simple instructions."
"Henry, you were helping people get out of speeding tickets by selling a box of five ketchup packets with instructions that, if you get pulled over by a trooper, then you only had to open a ketchup packet and squeeze it into your left ear and say, with red goo dripping down the side of your face,'I'm sorry officer I have a terrible headache and I'm trying to get to the nearest hospital.' It worked like a charm. I got testimonials from customers who got a high speed escort to the emergency room."
"I have to admit it was a brilliant idea done in by coincidence." replied Ethel.
"Very true, Ethel, who knew such a simple word would be my downfall. The same trooper stopped two different speeders in the same week both with terrible headaches and red goo dripping down their faces. For a brief moment, I could taste success and it tasted like ketchup."
 Ethel gently corrected him. "Not 'like' ketchup, Henry. It was ketchup."
Henry had the puzzled look of someone with an excruciating headache and just when he could find some word, a bright point of light appeared in the center of the living room.