Archive for The Written Word

38. Explode a pen.

Finally, your first paycheck has arrived. You drool in anticipation as you rip open the envelope, thrilled beyond belief to be earning $6.50 an hour working as Chief Ball Pit Manager in the PlayPlace over at McDonald’s. It doesn’t provide a life of luxury, but the confused sobs you hear as you rescue children from a suffocating, muffled death really makes it all worth it.

You prance into the bank and grab one of those pens that are attached to the counter with a chain. Resisting the urge to swing it around your head like a lasso and take out everyone standing in line behind you, you calmly bring it to the back of your check and begin to sign your name. Unsurprisingly, however, this pen has been dried up since the Reagan administration. You’ll have to use your own.

You reach into your pocket and procure a writing utensil, gleaming with delight, almost as excited to be participating in fiscal responsibility as you are. You eagerly start to John Hancock that sucker, then stop for a second. Should you use cursive? Or calligraphy? Perhaps a dash of hieroglyphics? While pondering this conundrum, you reflexively put the ticking time bomb into your mouth, and it’s all over from there.

Ink everywhere. Your hand. Your clothes. Your face. Your mouth. Some of it has drifted up into your hair. Frenzied handprints begin to dot the bank counter, illustrating for posterity the journey of a person desperately searching for some form of paper towel or other wiping device. Your face and mouth now resemble that of a swamp monster, grunting and shrieking incomprehensibly, perhaps partaking in some sort of mating call. And your clothes are ruined forever, unless of course you choose to wear them for the purposes of impromptu Rorshach tests.

So if you want to suck at life, explode a pen. You may swallow more ink than recommended, but Poison Control assures you that there will be minimal permanent damage. Unless you value your brain cells, which, let’s face it, there weren’t too many of to begin with.


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