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A box! A box! A box of…

Puttered about on April 15, 2012.

“How paternostically filibusterous!” I proclaimed as I held the item in my hands, in awe of its wonderment, its effluculence, and its natty pirouest. I turned it over, giggling giddily and clapping my hands at the noise it made as the brightly-colored oviform balls rearranged themselves beneath the sleek, translucent case. It was a thing of wonder and beauty, all right. The little balls tumbled again and again. Gravity always won. I continued: “How grimbumptuously ubblaflumptuous! Oh, this is just what I’ve been looking for all week! It’s perfect! How perfect! How… fornicatiously, grumnutterously… silithicinely goonflay—!”

“Sir, are you going to purchase it or not?” the cashier stuck her hand out. I recoiled; memories flashed through my knippish brain pan reminding me of another recent experience that I had had with a sandal-wearing, blonde cashier trying to take my money for a product or service. That clerk had turned into a hideous, rapacious tentacle-beast when I hadn’t coughed up the dough fast enough. Would the same happen here? I craned my neck and tried to peer over the register without the cashier noticing. Was she wearing sandals? Were her toes sporting toe ring after toe ring? Was she deliciously barefoot? Or had she encased herself in a protective pair of big ugly galoshes to keep prying eyes off of her delicate, young feet?

She was wearing sandals, a pair of blue flip-flops—just like the she-beast had worn. I eyed her fingers—they were adorned with nearly as many rings as the she-beast had carried. My heart tried to crawl up my throat and out my Eustachian tube. My eyes started from my head and kept going until they stretched my optic nerve taut and it snapped. My mouth gaped like a fish without a bicycle. I stopped breathing; lithe porcupines slithered down my veins, piercing my erythrocytes with their quills. Leukocytes moved in to clean up the mess, grumbling about their thankless job as they pushed their brooms and swept their mops across my tunica intima.

Off in the distance, a dog queefed. Suddenly I was glad I wasn’t breathing.

“Um…” I began emitting sounds, trying to buy time with as much speech disfluency as I could pack into one pregnant pause. The pincer monkeys lurched into action inside my tiny, pea-sized brain, banging and clattering away at possible courses of action. Fight? Flight? Bite? “Er, I mean… y’know, that is to say… well, you see…” The monkeys made up their mind. Flee! Flee!

I dropped the pack of orange-flavored Tic Tacs and ran away with a hearty shriek of terror. I didn’t look back. As I fled through the expansive Spend-O-Mart parking lot in frantic search for my car (now where did the li’l bugger park herself this time…?), a mighty roar rose up from behind me and rent the air like an angry murder of pigeons in search of a new belfry to nest in and fill with pigeon shit. I fell flat on my nose, turned, and looked back at last: The entire Spend-O-Mart—all eighty floors of it—was ablaze. Flames shot out of every window; thick, greasy smoke rose from a gaping hole six storeys high and hundreds of feet wide, tolling the destruction of millions upon millions of cheap, extruded-plastic products, faux-polyester clothing, and food made of 100% unnatural ingredients. Somewhere in the conflagration, cans and cans of potted meat were roasting right in their pots.

If my eyes hadn’t already abandoned me for the day, I was sure they would have started from my head once again. I knew that I hadn’t been responsible for the blast (this time), and unless I was dreadfully mistaken, a clerk transforming into a giant, tentacled she-beast couldn’t do that sort of damage to a structure, either. That left only one possibility, and I was loathe to even consider it: Samuel Dreckers had tried to assassinate me once again. However, Fate must have been smiling on me this day—rather than smirking sadistically and triumphantly as She so often does—for I had escaped moments before his bomb had detonated. I thanked my lucky stars (and the unlucky ones) and started gathering myself up from the pavement.

Burned-out husks of cheap Spend-O-Mart merchandise began raining from the sky. Their low, low prices were outdone only by their high, high flammability. Loud popping noises began to barrage my eary drums; cans of spam and potted meat were beginning to cook off like ammunition in a burning tank. I stood up, dusted myself off, put out the fire in my pants that had been started by a falling brick of faux ham, and slunk back to row 27-145 where my faithful old Trabant was waiting.

“Now where am I going to get a box of Tic Tacs?”


“I want Tic Tacs!” I roared mightily, punching my steering wheel, as I sat at a particularly long traffic light. It had been 26.2 minutes, but I was still hankerin’ for some fluorescent orange candies. I rolled my window down and turned to the captive audience in the silver sedan to my left. “Did you hear me? I… want… a box… of… Tic Tacs! I thumped my steering wheel again at each word boundary.

I was met with only a helpless shrug, but that didn’t faze me. I continued: “I want Tic Tacs! Where am I going to get some Tic Tacs!? Where…! am…! I…! going…! to…” I began frothing at the mouth now between each word, crossing my eyeballs, spinning my eye turrets, and blinking my eyebulbs on and off. I spelled out profanities in Morse code with my eyebrows, and after another few frothily expectorant syllables, I resorted to hurling profanities verbally, too. The light turned green and the Big Ugly sped off with a look of relief on his face bordering on the orgasmic. I stomped on the gas pedal, and in under a minute my faithful little Trabant was puttering along after him at a whole 65 kilometers per hour. Unfortunately, the man in the silver sedan didn’t seem to want to play, and I soon lost him amidst a sea of other cars, trucks, goats, and alpacas. I slammed on the brakes right there in the middle of the street—Shoehorner Street to be needlessly and irrelevantly precise. After seventeen minutes of anguished shrieking and coming-to-grips with the reality of my situation, I put the car into И, turned around, and puttered home. I tried to cheer myself up by looking on the bright side of things: It could have gone worse. My Trabant could have broken down seven times on the three-mile drive home.

But one problem remained unresolved.

“Where am I going to get a box of Tic Tacs!?”