they came to the city five years ago looking for the best oatmeal cookies on earth. they left with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a lesson in how to survive in an old man’s dungeon

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been, well, too many days to count since my last confession. I accuse myself of the following- listen Father, I have a lifetime of regret to atone for; would you mind if I just talk for a minute? Thank you. I knew from the time I was young that something was wrong in my soul. Fear of hurting my dear mother kept me in line while I was growing up, but something happened once I became a man and found myself surrounded by temptation. I first compromised myself when my co-workers in another department gave me donuts in exchange for information to help them come up with funnier nicknames for co-workers in my department. As I advanced within the company, I became addicted to power, chasing the twin false idols of wealth and pride, selling off my soul a piece at a time to achieve these futile goals. I crushed my enemies, holding hostage the only existing recording of Don’t it Feel Super Nice, the 1983 album which comprises the entire discography of my division manager’s smooth jazz band, until he found room in the fiscal year 2009 budget for a massage chair. I discarded people once they ceased to benefit me, often employing derision and ridicule to assert my power over them. On one such occasion, I publicly berated, as is my custom immediately before I fire someone, my elderly secretary for ordering me a sandwich with a simply unacceptable amount of mayonnaise on it. As a crowd gathered, I grew more detailed and elaborate in my impression, even going so far as to borrow one of her scarves and draw a keypad on a banana with a Sharpie to mock her aged voice answering the phone. Justice was served me that day as I, drunk on their adoration, ate the banana to wild applause in that classic prim, Gertrude style as she ran crying from the room. My subordinates’ peals of laughter became shrieks of terror as I fell to the ground, a victim of the acetone from the marker, which had been absorbed into the banana through its peel. Though the doctors said it was likely a hallucination from the poisoning, I was visited by an angel and resolved to turn my life around. The results, well, you see them before you: a humbled but happier man wearing a $40 suit and passing out pamphlets for his new religion. Well, I’d better let you get back to work, the line behind me is getting pretty long. Apparently your “Beef and Cheddar Melt” is very popular. Oh, and thanks for letting me ordain you earlier. Where’s your bathroom?


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October 2012
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