Sunday, August 12, 2018

Tank N Tummy #6

The sun was just coming up over the horizon when there was a knock on the front door. Dominic stumbled out of bed and slowly made his way to the door. Whoever was on the other side kept knocking. “Yeah, keep banging. That’ll make me come faster,” Dominic muttered then opened the door.

“Dominic? Dominic Hall?” a man exclaimed.

“Maybe.”

“I’m Rex Luther, the new owner of the Tank N Tummy franchise,” the man introduced.

“Did you say Lex…?”

“No! I most certainly did not,” Rex interrupted. “I wanted to be the first to tell you good morning and to give you this fruit basket. Mr. Smith,” Rex directed a large man standing behind him to hand Dominic the basket.

“Uh, thank you…?”

“I’ll see you at work, Dominic. Although I don’t like to call it work,” Rex jogged off leaving Dominic standing in his doorway holding his fruit basket.

“What?”

“What kind of boss goes to all his employee’s houses to wish them a good morning and give them a fruit basket?” Dominic asked Ryan as they walked toward the gas station.

“An awesome boss,” Ryan said. “Look, I’m sure this Rex Luther is going to be just like every other boss in the world but any boss is better than Harvey.”

“A dust mop is better than Harvey.”

The two walked into the Tank N Tummy. “Ah, good. Just in time for our first team meeting,” Rex said.

“Team? I don’t like the sound of that word,” Dominic said. “We’re not a team. We’re coworkers.”

“You’re also a family,” Rex said.

“Nope. Don’t like that either.”

“I have an open door policy so if you have any questions, concerns, anything, just come on in. My office is your office. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to order some gas,” Rex got up and went into the back room that had been, surprisingly quick, turned into an office. “No, no, Mr. Smith. I want the same kind of gas that Hitler used,” he said as the door closed.

“Does something about Rex seem off?” Ryan asked.

“He seems like a good boss,” Aaron shrugged. “Oh, I should make sure my time off next month is still approved or if I have to re-put in for it.”

Aaron knocked on the door to Rex’s office. “Come in,” Rex said. Aaron opened the door and walked in. Rex was on the phone. “Just one minute, Aaron. Look, Madame Secretary, we had a deal and if you can’t hold your end of the bargain, then we’re going to have a completely different conversation.”

“Mr. Luther, the United States does not negotiate with terrorists,” the woman on the phone said.

“Well, you better start. Bye,” Rex hung up. “What’s up, Aaron?”

“I was wondering if my time off for next month is still approved.”

“We kept all approved time off and vacation time but if you want to make sure you’ll have to contact HR,” Rex said, turned to a massive computer console.

“Okay. Do have a name or number I could call?”

“I’m the boss, I never have to talk to HR. Part of the reason I became a boss. Mr. Smith,” Rex called.

“Yes, sir?” Mr. Smith was in a far corner with a man in an army uniform. Mr. Smith suddenly twisted the man’s arm, breaking his elbow, and then kicked him in the knee, breaking that as well.

“Can you give Aaron the number to HR?”

“Yes. From a work phone, just dial 1700 and you’ll get right there,” Mr. Smith took the man’s head and twisted it halfway around his neck, the cracks echoing in the corner.

“Thanks. Sorry to bother you,” Aaron waved and turned to leave.

“Not a problem, Aaron. Hey, what state do you hate more? Texas or Florida?”

“Florida,” Aaron immediately said.

“Thought so.”




“Dominic, I need an unbiased opinion,” Rex came out of the back room. On his way to the counter, he grabbed a road atlas out of the rack. “If I wanted to transport something in a large truck without drawing attention to it, which route would you pick?” he threw open the atlas to a road map of Washington, D.C. “The obvious route would be I-395 or I-66 but I’m almost thinking getting off the highways and using surface streets.”

“Yeah, I can see that but a giant truck that usually doesn’t go down side and residential streets would be pretty noticeable. I’m assuming you are thinking of using a semi so trust me, I notice the hell out of semis when they drive down my street.”

“I see your point,” Rex nodded.

“Look at this,” Dominic pointed at the map. “Take I-495 to Bethesda and take Maryland Route 355. That becomes Wisconsin Avenue which takes you right to Pennsylvania Avenue. People expect trucks on that road but it’s not an important trucking route.”

Rex smiled. “Yes. Yes. That’s a good idea. Dominic, when you wake up in the morning, your car will fresh and clean.”

“What?”




Dominic arrived to work the next morning. That morning’s newspaper was in a bundle next to the door. The headline read: “Luther Declares War--Florida Attacked”. Dominic cut the twine and flopped the papers onto the rack then took his place behind the counter.

“Dominic, glad you’re here,” Rex came out of the back room. “I’m afraid that I’m being ousted as CEO and owner of Tank N Tummy.”

“What? It’s only been a day.”

“I know but it’s just some trumped up bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo made up by the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

“Pfft. The government. Don’t get me started on them.”

“Tell the other employees for me, will you?”

“Yes, sir.”

The roof to the gas station opened, a man on a rope dropped into the store. A helicopter hovered overhead. “Sir, we have to get out of here right now. A Seal Team is on their way,” the man said.

Rex nodded. “Dominic,” he grabbed the rope. “It’s been a great 24 hours.” The rope was pulled up and the helicopter disappeared.




Epilogue…
“A semi-truck drove into a crowd of people on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House before exploding killing 37. A spokesperson for renowned domestic terrorist and businessman Rex Luther, who is only known as Mr. Smith, claimed credit for the attack on behalf of Luther. Luther was also involved in the series of missile attacks that leveled half of Florida earlier this week. More on this as it develops,” the newswoman finished and turned to her co-anchor. “Dan?”

“Thank you, Harris. Would you like some cat fur in your coffee? A local businessman is opening a coffee shop overrun with felines. Is that a purr-fect business model? We’ll talk to the owner after this.”

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