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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Corporate America or The Great Polo Shirted Hunter on Safari

All persons alluded to are fictional representations based on actual persons. This story is a 98% original fever dream arising from my boredom. (2% goes to Dave B. for his suggestion, which is actually quoted in here, so hope you approve Dave.) None of this happened, I don't believe in corporate vultures, despite what the media tells us, and I'm perfectly sane. I didn't do it, I just wrote it.

Boredom. Fucking boredom. It hurts like the stings of a thousand needles, pointless pricks that exist just to torture your very existence. Days like these are never easy, and every day is like the other. Lunch is the only thing that's different.

Another resident of this cesspool of banality approaches me, "I have a new closeout for you."

Let's get one thing straight, I like the people here. They're nice and I coexist with them fine. It's just sometimes the work and the boredom are so engrained into my head that I see someone approach with something new and think, "Oh God, what the fuck's expected of me now."

I'll smile and reply, "No problem. I can have it done in no time."

Desperate times these be, and as such I'll actually pounce on any work I can when there's nothing interesting on the Internet. What kind of depraved environment breeds people that are eager to work, desperate to work, even...fucking happy to work? Jesus Christ, this isn't fucking Disney World! Everyone isn't walking around with pasted smiles and Mickey Mouse ears and singing It's A Small Goddamn World After Fucking All! This is a place of work, you sons-of-bitches! People are supposed to dread work.

Conspiracy firmly planted in mind, and work done, I turn to the old entertainment standby...DVDs. I was working on watching the entire series of Frasier, but that started to get boring around season 8 out of 11. I started watching Damages and Alias, but not only is it hard to keep up with densely ploted hourlongs while clicking through the Internet (and hiding the DVD window thanks to that deep seated paranoia I'll be found out and reprimanded) but I actually finished them! So I moved on. I started watching The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and let me tell you if it doesn't get better I'll have to stop watching it. Patton Oswalt was right, I don't care where my favorite archiologist came from, I just want him to whip some fucking snakes!

I try to keep the volume down when watching such programs, simply because I don't think my hallmate wants to hear gunfire, legalise, Ivy League snobbery, or if I'm watching Doctor Who, British people yelling. She's a good person, and I consider her a friend, but lately she seems as if she's thinking, "Why is he watching TV at work? Who the fuck does he think he is to do that? Also, did I hear gunfire in there? Is he going to snap one day and hurt us all?"

No, friend, I will not snap and hurt any one in this office. Humans are sacred...corporate vultures on the other hand are easy to imagine, and easier to hunt. What are corporate vultures you ask?! Mean, vicious birds out of my bored/sleep deprived imagination. Huge fuckers with giant wingspans and corporate logos on their chests, spouting their company's slogan of choice as propaganda to the masses. These bastards needed to go down, and go down they would, for I am the Great Polo Shirted Hunter - and it's about time I got up off my ass and clocked some steps on my pedometer. Steps of justice.
No guns or knives would be involved in this fight...just a stapler, a pack of post-its, my mouse, 4 toner cartridges, my lookout window as a lookout window, a ream of 11x17 paper, 5 Bic pens of various colors and sizes and a hole puncher. (Single, not the big metal 3 hole punch.) A Concrete-Jungle Safari Kit. If a Corporate Vulture is going down, it's going to be big and vicious, a bloodsport until the end. My directive given, I set out on the hunt.

Dressed with my polo shirt, khakis, black shoes, and a pith helmet; I set out to bag a corporate vulture, maybe even take down the whole damn nest if I had to. Which I did. Stapler in hand, I plucked a Bic of my bandelero, bit off the cap, and tossed it down the hall outside of my office. The smoke that'd issue forth would flush out that vulture in no time. In the meantime, I cracked open a toner cartridge and smeared some ink on my face. Why ink you ask? To protect me from Logo Poisoning.
Logo Poisoning is simple. The logo on the Corporate Vulture is the source of its power. It feeds off of the capitalistic greed and "fuck the consumer" mentality, and it outputs a poison coursing through its logo that infects whomever is bitten. This is how people "sell out to 'The Man'", their blood is so filled with the toxic logo poisoning that it changes them into a corporate shill. I was bound and determined not to sell out, and not to get logo poisoning, so just as an extra precaution, I added some White Out to my war paint palette. It was go time.
Just as I stepped out of my office into the think Bic smoke, the lunch delivery arrived. The Delivery Woman asked if I was the receipient of today's bounty. I told her, "No, but I can pay for it." Big mistake, for the Corporate Vulture is aroused at the scent, sight, even talk of money. Its plummage fanning in the wind, the Vulture came to try and mate with the Delivery Woman. Not on my watch, you bastard.

"Leave her alone!", I yelled as I fired staples into its cawing face, "Leave her the fuck alone, devil creature."

It attempted to peck at me, but I blocked it with a binder. After a couple more failed pecks, I stunned it and taped it up so it couldn't fly. I then proceeded to remove its logo, and wipe it off with paper towels. The Delivery Woman was stunned...she probably had never seen a creature like that before.

"...I'll come back for the change tomorrow.", she said as she slowly backed out the door, before tearing ass to the front door. I couldn't blame her, I'd be scared too if I was face to face with a sex fiend of a giant bird. I went into the kitchen and washed my hands of the logo blood when I realized I had gotten the logo poison all over my shirt.

"Shit!", I yelled, "Gotta get it off before it soaks through my skin."

I tore my shirt off, and realized that this was the first time I'd taken my shirt off in this office. I wondered why it had taken a giant bird chasing me for me to have taken my shirt off in the office, because it truly felt...well, liberating. I retreated back to my office to map out strategy. Today's attack provided me with some insight into the Corporate Vulture. He had let me know that there was a nest in our office. He had let me know it was close. And he had let me know they were ready...for battle.
I salvaged a polo shirt with the company logo from the Christmas party last year, and kept it in my office in case of emergencies. When you've downed a giant bird that's trying to get acquainted with you in the biblical sense, and you get blood all over your shirt as a result...it's a safe bet that it's a pretty big emergency.

After changing my shirt, I fashioned a torch out of the ream of paper I had procured, and lit it up. I slowly stalked to the conference room doors, and with one smooth motion uncapped the last four pens on my bandelero, tossing them into the conference room and shutting the door. Their screams of pain filled my ears, and I sprayed them with some Windex in hopes that they'd just shrivel up and die. One of them survived, however...their King. The King of Corporate Vultures hovered proudly in front of me, two of his lackeys hovering behind me to make sure I didn't escape.

"So, puny human scum! Why have you not given yourself to the Kingdom of Greed?! Others greater than you have fallen...what makes you so special? What makes you...the chosen one?!"

I looked at him defiantly, and I whispered, "Because I said so." I dropped to the floor, lit the lackeys on fire, and stamped out my torch. The King Vulture was screaming about how I had killed his sons, but didn't get to finish his intimidating message of death...seeing as I was strangling him with my mouse cord, he really couldn't say much of anything. As he engaged in his death lurch, I was thrown violently to the table. I passed out almost immediately.

I woke up shirtless again, White Out and toner ink still clinging to me as my war paint, and lying on the conference room table. What actually surprised me was not that I was in this situation, I was destined to lose my fucking marbles from birth. What surprised me was it took me this long to end up shirtless (again) and passed out in the big conference room. The boss, my hallmate, and other co-workers were circled around me, looking at me as if I was a loon, instead of the savior I really was.

"Um...Mike, are you feeling ok?", my boss asked, confident he had to call the funny farm to pick up a package.

"The vultures", I whispered, "The vultures are circling".

My boss furrowed his brow with concern, "What vultures?"

"The corporate vultures."

"Corporate vultures?"

"Damnit man!", I sat up with as dire a look on my face as I could muster while grabbing him by the shirt collar, "The corporate vultures are here to enslave us all! I just took out their nest in the small conference room...more will be coming!"

A pause. A very awkward pause. A very "holy shit, I've lost my mind and my job probably isn't too far behind" pause.

The boss really thought I should get some rest. "Mike...I think you should take the rest of the day off. I think the stress is getting to you just a little bit."

"But I don't have vacation time!"

He really really thought I should get some rest. "Just put it down as a normal work day. I know you're good for it."

I got off the table, looked at everyone, and said,"Ok. Sorry about the fuss, folks! It's for your safety!"

I went to my office, packed my things, shut down my computer which had a makeshift will and testiment (just in case one of the fuckers bit me and I went down with logo poisoning), and went out to my car. I packed the carcass of the corporate vulture, logo and all, in my trunk. This bitch was getting mounted for all to see. It was a trying test of endurance...but it wasn't as bad as the time I exorcised a cadre of Corporate Demons from the office.

Ed. Note: After waking up from a big nap, I had come to realize that the bird wasn't real, the logo I removed was the placard from the wall, and the blood was really just water. Neverfear, the office is under repairs and I'll be back to work soon. As soon as they get rid of that annoying Office Badger.


Dave B. said...

That was hilarious, D-Rey. (See, I made "Darth Reyes" all hipster.)

Seriously though, that was great.

"The King Vulture was screaming about how I had killed his sons, but didn't get to finish his intimidating message of death...seeing as I was strangling him with my mouse cord, he really couldn't say much of anything."

I was wondering if you had a wireless mouse or not.

Interestingly, I'd always imagined the toner cartridges as a sort of smoke/flash grenade and the pens as weapons, but nice fucking twist on that!

I think I play Call of Duty too much.

Reading that kinda makes me wanna start my fictional writing. But who the fuck wants to read Star Wars fan fiction on a blog geared towards hating humans and whatnot?

Mr. Controversy said...

The question is who WOULDN'T want to read that. Here's a hint, only 1% of the internet. The Net is a haven for geeks like us, and Star Wars fan fiction is a big market if I'm not mistaken. Don't misunderestimate the market, my son. Besides, it's your blog...people can skip it if they like. (I, however, would read it if you wrote it, because just from your description it sounds like it'd be interesting. Are you taking a droid perspective, or another species?)

Dave B. said...

I'm thinking of swiping a few characters from the existing lexicon, mix in some of my own, and generate a whole new story. I've read just about every novel, and they've left plenty to tango with.

I noticed they've added a new kind of blog; I'm pondering writing it there. But I really think I need more readers before I branch out.

And woe is me to ask, but why do ya have comment mod on? Something I need to know aboot? :P

Mr. Controversy said...

I've had comment mod on for a while, and it's a memory thing really. Instead of scouring all the stories and seeing if there's any comments, the system can notify me, I can publish it, and I can go and reply to it. (That's where the scouring comes in.)

No fear though, as far as I can remember I've published pretty much every comment.

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