Short Stories: Weird News From the Underbelly

Storm of Thor

Fourteen fucking inches of snow and it still hasn’t stopped. Road conditions considered hazardous at best 12 hours ago. Interstates shut down. Restaurants closed. My potential new beer tasting time currently hanging in lingo, as conclusions have yet to be made concerning safety and shoveling. Still, roughly six and one half hours ago, the decision was made to travel to work (not referring to myself, of course; I work at a private high school: they compete with banks for time spent actually being open).

This society intent on brainwashing individuals that work needs to be done and things need to be accomplished continues to reign supreme. Complete and total disregard for that bold mistress Mother Nature, and her innate desire to neuter us useless and beat us into her own dank oblivion. In order to stay in the houses that can’t be afforded, one must strive, deep into the menacing, bleak disgust of superstorm Thor, to arrive at one’s job, whereupon one must convince superiors, typically of the higher pay grade and normally of the lower intellect, that we are worthy and grateful of this stupendous Career (and I tremble vehemently at the very use of this misleading term, “career,” for various abhorrent and digressing purposes). Albeit nominally at a time and always only once per month until the end of our lives, the Career pays for our house. The Career pays for our car. The Career pays for our prescription pills to keep us sane, safe, and docile. This Career is deemed essential for survival; proving again that God is a great lover of irony, almost as much as mankind himself. Attempting to exist outside of this Career is frowned and spat upon, until one finds the Career in a new, unheard of path.

The call came in at 8 am. Frank was stuck at Sheetz. He had attempted to drive to the Career (he had work that “needed” to be done), and literally had not gotten one mile from his house. He couldn’t make the left turn uphill en route to the freeway. I shuddered to think if he had been able to make that turn when the next time I would’ve been able to talk to poor Frank. Anyway, I struggled out of bed and headed for the driveway. Some things can’t go unanswered. Plus, I get a secret hard-on out of running rescue missions in my 2001 Jeep Cherokee, badly beaten but four wheeling just fine. I endured the dicks with lifted plows on their lifted trucks and made it to Sheetz, met up with Frank, and got him home. Once there, poor old Frank whipped out his laptop and went to work, and I accepted food from his wife for the drive home.

It’s important to note that the work being done specifically for the Career is what kills the man. Whilst shoveling the driveway for the fourth time today, I was greeted by a snow blowing god and his mighty efficient Briggs & Stratton 32″ professional-duty two-stage snowblower. He got the big stuff and I got the rest. Afterwards, we shared the whiskey, and it doesn’t matter who bought said whiskey. In the modern world, hard work isn’t measured in sweat. Hard work isn’t rewarded with components of a larger, federally funded and insured credit system. Hell, hard, and potentially life-saving, work isn’t measured at all. Had the snowblowing god decided to support the system that feeds his bill collectors, I’d still be shoveling. There’s no doubt I’ll have to shovel again, but there’s also no doubt I’ll share whiskey with strangers again, and we’ll all share a laugh, together, at society’s strange, and most times menacing, undertakings. The Career believes it exists inside of a vacuum, but the people know that Life underlies it all.

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