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A Kafkaesque Journey Through A Bureaucratic Labyrinth To Request Two Days Off From Work

As a novelist in today’s bizarre publishing world, I have to work a day job. Also as a novelist, people are attracted to me. One person. So we’re getting married. It’s going to be really, really awesome.

abstract architecture art berlin

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So I decided to take the Friday before and the Monday after the wedding off work. Not difficult stuff.

Corporate America would argue otherwise.

So began a journey that led me on a journey to find a fabled sheet of paper that would allow me to use 16 hours of paid vacation. Luckily, I’m an hourly worker, so all this back and forth really didn’t bother me.

Me, to my Immediate Superior: “Hey yo, I need to request time off.”

Immediate Superior: “Then fill out a time off request form.”

Me: “Where might I get one, brah?”

I.S.: “In the office. But not the main office. The office before the main office.”

Down to the office before the main office I go. “Ay yo, I need a time off request form.”

Person whose authority is above me, but not sure if that authority is above my Immediate Superior’s or not: “I don’t have those here. You’re going to have to go to the main office.”

Me: “Aight.”

Over to the first office in the main office: “I’m trying to get this time off request.”

Bureaucrat 1: “Try the office next to this office.”

Me: “Aight.” Two steps over to the next office. “Time off request form, please.”

Bureaucrat 2: “Behind you, in the fourth cabinet from your left.”

Me: “Ok.” I locate the fourth cabinet from my left and open it. Paper clips, printer paper.

Bureaucrat 2: “The other half of the cabinet.”

I open the other half of the fourth cabinet from my left, and there are two time off request forms, one green, one blue. “Blue or green,” I call over my shoulder.

Bureaucrat 2: “Either one.”

I go blue, and bring it back to my Immediate Superior.

I.S.: “This is a make up time request, for if you call in sick. You need the green sheet.”

Back to the second office in the main office to grab a green sheet. “Green is for vacation hours, correct?”

Bureaucrat 2: “Yes.”

Me: “Do I just fill it out and give it to you, then?”

Bureaucrat 2: “Yes, fill it out. No, do not give it to me. Put it on your Immediate Superior’s desk, and then he will bring it to me for approval.”

Me: “I can just hand it to you right now. I’m in here. You’re in here.”

Bureaucrat 2: “Your Immediate Superior must grant pre-approval, I will process the approval, and then Bureaucrat 1 in the office to my left will inspect my approval, and, ultimately, decide if the request can be sent up the chain to corporate, where they will look over your accrued paid vacation hours and maybe grant you the time off.”

Me: “I’m getting married. If this doesn’t get approved and I get scheduled to work, I’m calling in sick.”

Bureaucrat 2: “Make up time requests for a call-in are the blue sheets.”

 

 

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Hard, Orange Scat For Sale

Donald Trump was in Minneapolis last Thursday. We’ve all seen the footage of him boarding AF1 with toilet paper stuck to his shoe, which means that his bowels were most likely active while here in Minnesota.

As a novelist who has never sold a novel, I saw a way to diversify my revenue stream.

So down into the sanitary infrastructure I went. I knew it wouldn’t be easy wading through the poo of a metropolis, but I need money, and there are worse jobs out there. Plus my writing desk is next to a litter box, so the sewer acted as a catalyst for my creative juices, which began flowing much like the feculent sludge all around me.

I knew I could very well come up with nothing, but I had to try. And I’m glad I did, because after only ten minutes in those tubes, I found what I was looking for:

Trump Nugget

It’s exactly what it looks like, folks. A Trump Nugget.

There is absolutely no question that this pile of feces came out of Donald Trump’s anus. Just look at it—the color, the texture—well you can’t feel it, but believe me, it’s as dry and scratchy as DT’s weathered hide.

So to everyone out there in the #MAGA crowd, this little guy is for sale. I’m seeing that Make America Great Again hats are going for 25 bucks on the official website, and those have never even been inside of Donald Trump.

One hundred dollars, OBO. I am also willing to trade for Trump Steaks, which is probably what this poop started out as.

As A Novelist, I See Art Everywhere

As a novelist, it is my job to take a variety of drugs—smack, clappy, scrim-sham, bluppies, etc.—get really, really up there, then ride out the comedown with dark liquor and a tube of glue. Then, and only then, do I even think about writing a novel. You see, reaching these extreme highs and lows allows me to achieve the realization that there is art in everything.

‘Hey look, a tree!’ You, as a normal, drooling dullard may exclaim at the sight of a tree. But you’d be wrong. That tree is actually art. And I know that.

‘Wow, that cloud looks like a hamster!’ Your underdeveloped sense of vision may tell you. I’m sorry, but that cloud actually looks like Hobby Lobby, because that is the true birthplace of art. And also because the universe wouldn’t waste time sending you, a person who hasn’t even written a novel, a giant rain-filled rodent. Give the earth art, and she’ll give it right on back.

‘It transcends space, expresses the notion that there are no limits, no control; yes, chaos rules here—and it is beautiful,’ you cluck as you observe Autumn Rhythm. But as the novelist, I see…..a close up of ass hair? Maybe there’s some genitalia hidden in there somewhere. No, no. Just a bunch of ass hair clogging up a drain.

autumn-rhythm

Autumn Rhythm by Jackson Pollock

The Novelist Encounters An Abundance Of Veins

September 18, 2018 3 comments

As a novelist, one of the more annoying things I’ve encountered lately is when a veiny, curly-haired lunk walks right up to me and says “How are WE doing?” And I’m thinking, hey man, I want nothing to do with your vascularity and loafers with no socks. I’m a novelist, pal, a lone wolf, not some guy who eats a ten ounce pile of barley and six hard-boiled eggs in a sitting. “WE aren’t doing anything, yo,”  I say to this throbby, pumpy dude. And right to his face. No fear at all.

Actually I just write about it here. Because that is what novelists do. We write. And cower in the presence of wide-veined men.

Official Rebranding Post

Well, we officially hit rock bottom with that last post. A Vikings recap that didn’t even tell the score of the game? On a Wednesday? After not blogging for like five months? Time to flip this thing over and tickle it (that’s a new phrase being rolled out as part of our rebranding).

I am a novelist now. That’s the reality. In the next few days or six months, I’ll slowly unzip and reveal the new format of this blog, which is going to be an insufferable plugging tool in which I mention something about my novel IN EVERY SINGLE POST. But hey, I am a novelist now. This is what we do, as far as I can tell from observing other novelists. Also, I’m shut in a room with the litter box, and I’m a little baked from the cat piss fumes. Whew! I want to open a window, but the AC is on and I’m not looking to cool off the whole neighborhood. I was talking about something. Monday I’ll be back for rebrand. Cat piss. I wrote a novel. Read it. It hasn’t been published.

My nostrils hurt.

Rebrand. It comes soon.

Life Objective: Land A Spot On The Writing Staff Of Dr. Oz

Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the Dr. Oz writing room. No—to be a person on a chair in that writing room.

To make the cut on the Dr. Oz show, you’ve got to know a thing. The thing being, of course, redundancy. When you send the esteemed Dr. Mehmet Oz out into that standing-room-only-lioness-den-and-also-television-studio packed to the brim with bored, middle-aged women, he better be stuffed up to his beady little eyes with tips on how to lose weight.

If not, upon you will the harem of Oz feast.

So, if anyone from the Dr. Oz camp happens to be reading this, I went ahead and drafted a spec script:

Dr. Oz, returning from commercial: “Welcome back ladies, yes, I am a real doctor.” He pauses here to allow swooning. “Now, let’s get right to it: who wants to lose weight?”

Audience: “MEEEEEEEE!!!!! MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!”

Oz: “Okay then. I’ve got a secret to share, something no other doctor will ever tell you. Quick survey: how many of you eat a cheeseburger and French fries every day? Show of hands.”

Everyone raises their hand.

Oz: “Did any of you know that a diet like that is actually bad for you?”

Everyone looks around in disbelief.

Oz: “It’s true, it’s true. What if I told you that, instead of eating a cheeseburger and fries every day, you will lose weight if you eat broccoli and rice instead?”

The audience collectively bows down to The Oz: “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!”

Dr. Oz: “And here’s a bonus tip—it’s also healthier to drink water instead of soda!”

Everyone is now spasming and speaking in tongues.

Dr. Oz: “And one more thing before we go: if you exercise instead of sitting on your couch, your metabolism will speed up!”

Something like scales fall from upon every eye in the audience. A massive rebirth has taken place. They all go forth into the world, ready to turn their lives around. However, in the time between the end of the show and the next morning, all of these brutal truths are washed away by one last binge, followed by the intoxicating coma that comes after eating a box of Cosmic Brownies….

Tomorrow, Dr. Oz replaces cheeseburger with hot dog. Broccoli becomes spinach. Water is now decaffeinated green tea. No one notices.

The unstoppable Oz cash cow continues to feast upon itself.

ouroboros_white

Ouroboros.

 

 

 

The People of Trader Joe’s

Browse through People of Walmart for a bit. Pretty scary stuff.

The universe needs balance, though. Enter the yuppies of Trader Joe’s, a force countering the grizzled mass that comprises Walmart’s patronage, not in looks, but in sheer pomposity.

Last Friday, I witnessed a 40-something male, clad in snug, halfway-down-the-quad navy blue short pants and a tight pastel plaid shirt, shaming an elderly woman that may have been his mother, lover—or through some sort of strange sci-fi twist, daughter—for suggesting that they buy frozen corn.

Picture that: unfettered fury, arising from the mere mention of produce stored below thirty two degrees Fahrenheit.

The situation played out like this:

Mother, daughter, or lover: “They have some corn in the freezer.”

Man, through gritted teeth, with a vein protruding from his forehead, talking very slowly: “What did……..I tell you……..about frozen…………………… products.”

Then he stood, glaring at her in silence, as a look of genuine terror overtook the woman’s face.

I feel like I should have intervened, but I got the vibe that this would have earned me a room temperature organic daikon radish stuffed into one of my many unfrozen orifices, courtesy of short pants.

 

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