Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Thankless Job

The announcement emphasized the job would be thankless, that whoever took it on would suffer boils and pimples sweating out the details, but that no one would even send a "Get Well" card or even a note to his or her grieving spouse after the toxic elbow grease explosion. Nonetheless, a line rode around the block in the shape of people. The applicants set up tents with poles of interest, ranging from high ones that contained castles to low ones that protected only slugs from the rain. During their interviews, guys puffed up their chests, which suddenly glowed red with heat, and women shook their hair, which spun the air into gold. After a few minutes of their performances, the interviewees would be shuffled out of the room, placed in rockets, and launched into a nearby galaxy. A telescope showed their crashes into empty moons. The interviewers always sighed, then. They wished the perfect person would walk in the room, except their magic lamp wasn't working; the last genie who'd inhabited it had gone on strike. They had to run him over with a tank.

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