There came a startling knocking sound…
“That’s odd,” I grumbled to myself. “What the hell is that?” I looked around and it seemed to be coming from a mysterious object I had once named, at random, a “door.” Found upon the door was a piece of spherically-shaped metal which I brilliantly intuited could be used to pry the bloody thing open.
Gazing through the gaping portal I saw a most hideous thing standing on the go-away mat. “What the hell are you?” I gasped.
With an eerily familiar voice it replied, “I’m you from the future.”
My mind reeled. “How far in the future?”
“Tomorrow, to be exact.” God, it sure was ugly. It looked irritated and menacing, too. “Are you going to invite me in?”
Once inside it looked around the living room as if with the eyes of a child. “You’ll have to forgive me,” it said. “This sure brings back memories.”
By now I was feeling pretty damn irritated. My normal routine had been severely disrupted. “I’m feeling damn irritated,” I said. “You’re severely disrupting my normal routine.”
For a second it lost it’s composure. “Don’t you think I know that?!” it snapped ferociously. It took a deep breath and slowly exhaled then seemed to go limp in resignation. After an awkward silence, it finally continued. “I’m here to help you,” it said softly. “To help both of us.”
“Go on,” I barked.
“A few minutes from now,” it said ominously, “something is going to happen. Something completely out of the normal. Something disastrous. I’m here to stop it.”
Suddenly I noticed a gun in it’s hand. That’s odd, I thought lamely to myself. We don’t own a gun. What the hell had happened to me?
Bang. The gun went off. I fell to the floor while clutching my stomach in pain. He had shot our most prized possession. He had just shot our LCD 42″ flat screen TV.
“You son of a bitch! You die!” I screamed as I felt my life oozing away. “Why??”
“Poor little idiot,” he said, literally looking down on me. I couldn’t help but notice he was starting to twinkle, almost as if he was slowly dissolving away. He smiled.
He looked at his dissolving hand in wonderment. “It worked, it worked,” he said, forgetting the question that was currently pending on the floor. Then an expression of fear gripped his hideous face. “At least this time.”
His expression changed to one of resolve then went soft as if he had reached some sort of climactic decision. “What I’m about to say may end the space-time continuum as we know it, everywhere, everything, but fuck it. It might be our only chance.”
“Shut up!” he hissed. “We have very little time.” By now he was about fifty percent translucent, much like the time I had tried to Photoshop a profile image using a real picture of my own face.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said to himself, ignoring me completely. “I never watch broadcast TV. I never even turn it on. I hate the commercials. I avoid it like the plague. But I was supposed to be working. So, yeah, I guess that might be how it happened.”
He turned and looked me in the eye. “I turned on the TV,” he said. He was starting to scare me. “I did it on purpose. It was showing the CBS morning show. God help me, I don’t know why, but I watched.” I was stunned to see tears streaming down his face. “They called it ‘Note to Self.’ Oh God, why did I watch?”
He was almost gone now. He sparkled like a glinty trick of light and I had to lean and strain to hear what he had to say.
“Don’t do what I did. Don’t ever, EVER,” he hissed, “make the mistake of watching Note to Self. It’ll be the death of you.”
And with that, he was gone.
Dazed, I slowly got to my feet and swayed. Wow. What a trip. And what an idiot. How the hell was I going to watch anything with a bullet in my TV? And how the hell was I supposed to avoid doing real actual work?
More importantly, who was going to clean up that mess of ectoplasm where the bastard had been standing?
We were driving down a busy two-lane surface street in Portland, Oregon. We were in the left lane. A few blocks away we would need to make a right turn in order to reach our destination which was, ostensibly, the ultimate goal of the expedition.
You can probably see where this is going. Kudos to me. I have done my job as a writer. This is called foreshadowing.
Everyone in the right lane was somehow able to sense my need and aggressively squeezed together like sardines in a can. It was truly something to behold.
Dammit, I thought angrily to myself. I knew I should have changed lanes when that open spot presented itself 42 miles back. Who knew that would be my one and only opportunity? But that’s the way this shit works.
I could have done what everyone else does and slammed on my brakes while nudging to the right daring everyone to miss me but that’s not my way. I like to be different. I like the path not taken.
In this case that was a few blocks further on down the road. And that’s where this adventure really begins.
I believe that The Bible is incomplete. Each and every book should have ended with the sentence: “Well played, God. Welllll played.”
I speak from experience since I believe the point of my life has been to add a new chapter. Hint: It’ll be called The Book of Tom and it’ll be inserted right after Job. Howdy, neighbor!
Take today, for example. Seriously. Please take it.
Yesterday I had yakisoba noodles with chicken for lunch. I ate less than I wanted because I was saving it. For today.
I now read from the Book of Tom:
Tom’s Law #42
Look forward to something and you’ll get exactly what you deserve.
I was really looking forward to lunch today. I think we all know this isn’t going to turn out well. Let us prey.
As I walk through this world
Nothing can stop the Puke of Hurl
And you, the trap you unfurled
And you can so hurt me, oh yes
TWO DAYS EARLIER
I love leftovers. There I was at the fast food restaurant picking up dinner when I had my aha moment. I’ll get extra deep fried things on purpose so I’ll have enough for leftovers in the future.
It would be something, a small thing, that I was actually looking forward to.
Meanwhile, deep in the Pacific Ocean, somewhere over the Great Pacific garbage patch, ominous dark swirling clouds began to form.
It was almost lunch time. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was in a good mood. I was on the way to the kitchen to prep my lunch. The lunch I had been looking forward to for two whole days. There was a bounce in my step as I walked down the hall. I hummed a little song to myself. I paused in the living room and played a game of peek-a-boo with the cat.
In less than five minutes I would be dead.
Continue reading →
Obviously that motherfucker sells like hotcakes. Because, we needs it.
The company (heretofore known as the Company), however, has an “agreement” that, somehow, you (heretofore known as the Schmuck) accepted simply by buying their product. Clever how that shit works.
When the time is right, pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the Company fully asserts the “absolute right and power, in its sole discretion and without any liability to Schmuck whatsoever, to cease all beeping operations of the widget, without prior notice, in perpetuity throughout the universe, known and unknown.”
Why the fuck would anyone ever agree to terms like that? Ultimately, giving someone money is giving them the power to fuck you.
I wonder how agreements like these worked in colonial times?
“Hey, Washington, I find myself in need of another one of your colonial-era chairs whittled by hand from a block of solid cherry. This will complete my collection. Anon my family will finally be able to break bread and conduct fellowship, at the same time, around hearth, heart and dining room table.”
“Hey, Adams, you useless pustule of a puke. Don’t talk to me about it. Talk to my corporation.”
“By George, what the hell is a corporation?”
“Allow me to don ye olde corporation hat and assplain it you. It’s Step #1 in fucking you red, black and blue.”
“Now then, I direct you to focus your attention on this. I agree to sell you quantity one of Whittled Cherry 9000 and you give me 5,000 quid of two bits. Furthermore, be it known, that I alone will always decide who may sit – or not – on said chair, if ever.”
“Holy shit. That sounds like an awesome deal to me. I can’t give you my quid bits fast enough. Here, take my money! God, I love you so much, George. That’s another one I owe you. You accept tips, right? Here, try a pint of my latest brew!”
“Why the hell do we still measure things in English measurements, like pints? Gods ye fools! Ha ha ha ha ha!”
“Okay, whatever. Here’s your chair, puke face. Just never sit on it. Now fuck off, ye pukey puke.”
“If only Yelp! had been invented by now, I would herald the news of your beneficence to all the land, from sea to shining sea!”
Indeed. Think Adams sounds like a schmuck? I advise you to check your credit card agreements, especially the section pertaining to “binding arbitration.” You should love it because you agreed to it!
Ha ha ha, you pustule of a schmuck.
“Unicorn” is the codename I’ve given to one of the technical people who came on board after I quit. She’s been working on my stuff.
To: Tom B. Taker
CC: Former Boss
I just wanted to take a moment to give you some positive feedback on the scripts you created to manage vendor/product information.
Your extensive, clean documentation, stable code, and useful logging / script echos has made this transition run much more smoothly than I have experienced in other small businesses. Well done.
Note the date and time in the ship’s log. I’m speechless. I have nothing negative to add.