Friday, August 09, 2019

Tank N Tummy #18

Harvey came into the store carrying a box. He saw Lauren standing at the counter. “Where are Idiot and Moron?” he asked.

“They’re in the office with Ned and New Guy,” Lauren answered.

“Good. You’re all here. Come with me. I have task for you.”

“We aren’t going to try to smuggle something over the border again are we?” Lauren asked.

“Hey. This country was built by immigrants,” Harvey said.

“I agree but I just don’t think they should be brought here in a windowless truck through a hundred degree desert,” Lauren said. “I still have nightmares.”

“Idiot should’ve drove faster,” Harvey and Lauren went into the office. “Idiot, Moron, New Guy, my entrepreneur brother-in-law is looking at kid’s games to import. He wants me to help him test one out and since you three are the closest to children that I know, you will do it.”

“What do we have to do?” Dominic asked.

“Play with this all day and let me know what you think,” Harvey handed Dominic a small burlap toy. It was heavy and the cheap burlap made Dominic’s hand itchy.

“What is it?” Aaron asked.

“Wacky Sack,” Dominic read. “From the makers of Joey Shank and Bag O’Glass.”

“You squeeze it and it starts counting down. After a while, it goes off and whoever is holding it is the loser. Well, more of a loser,” Harvey explained.

“So it’s like a hot potato,” Ryan said.

Dominic squeezed it and the Wacky Sack started ticking and making a strange “Guh” sound. “Why does it make the same noise as Ryan during sex?”

“Ha ha. Here. Toss it,” Ryan held out his hands. Dominic threw the Wacky Sack and Ryan caught it. Ryan immediately threw it to Aaron who threw it back. Ryan then threw it back to Dominic. The three of them kept passing it to each other until it began whooping and vibrating in Aaron’s hand. For some reason it made him laugh which made the other two laugh.

“Aaron’s out,” Dominic said. “Let’s go into the store so we have more room to throw.”

“You know you are still at work,” Ned said as the three of them left the office with the Wacky Sack.

“Ned. How are the raises coming?”

“End of the day. Promise.”

“It better be done,” Harvey wagged his finger and left the office.

“Raises?” Lauren asked.

“Harvey wants me to figure out who gets a raise but he has very specific considerations,” Ned pulled a piece of paper out of his desk drawer. “See? Everyone gets a raise except Alice because she will happily work no matter what. Everyone else is graded on how much Harvey likes them, their work performance, and sales they bring in.”

“Sales? He’s seriously using customer traffic to figure out our worth?”

“He believes there should be a steady stream of people in this store all day every day. If no one is coming in at three in the morning then you need to figure out what you are doing wrong,” Ned said.

“The way that some companies treat employees should be a crime,” Lauren said. Suddenly, the Wacky Sack flew into the office and landed on Ned’s desk, knocking over his coffee. It was still making its “Guh” sound. Ryan ran in, laughing like an idiot to retrieve the Wacky Sack. As he was leaving the office, the Wacky Sack began whooping and vibrating causing Ryan to laugh harder. Lauren looked at Ned. “Although sometimes I get it.”

Ned and Lauren were still in the office working on raises and they could still hear the “Guh!” of the Wacky Sack being thrown around the store. “Can you believe they got customers to play with them?” Ned asked.

“Really?” Lauren was astonished. “How do they stay employed here?”

“I think Harvey likes them,” Ned said.

“Likes them? He doesn’t even know their names. He always calls them ‘Idiot’, ‘Moron’, and ‘New Guy’. Aaron’s been here for a year. We were hired after him,” Lauren pointed out.

“I think those are terms of endearment,” Ned shrugged.

“But their employee files are under Idiot, Moron, and New Guy,” Lauren held up the files that were on the desk.

“I still think they are terms of endearment,” Ned commented.

“Speaking of terms of endearment, how are things with MaryJane?” Lauren asked.

Ned and MaryJane’s relationship had entered its second month which was almost two months longer than anyone expected. “It’s fine,” Ned bobbed his head. “I think the honeymoon period is over. She’s thumbing through her Tinder and Grindr again.”

“MaryJane has a Grindr?” Lauren asked. “I haven’t known MaryJane for long but she never struck me as the relationship type. Even Dominic and Ryan were baffled by your relationship.”

“Gee, thanks. That’s great to hear,” Ned said, sarcastically. “No, I get it. Everyone told me and even MaryJane warned me. I figure that I might as well just enjoy what’s happening and just play it out. I do like MaryJane so it’s not like I’m unhappy.”

“Well, that’s good. I…”

A loud crash occurred in the store. Ned and Lauren jumped up and ran out of the office. Shelves had been knocked over after a customer jumped to catch the Wacky Sack. Dominic and Ryan helped the man up. “Are you okay?” Dominic asked.

“Yeah, I’m good. That was awesome,” the man exclaimed. “Sorry about your aisle.”

“No problem,” Ryan waved it off. The Wacky Sack then went off and everyone playing--Dominic, Ryan, and Aaron, and four customers--laughed hysterically. “Alright, next game.”

“Wait. You can’t play that in here anymore. It’s distracting and now it’s causing things to break,” Ned said. “You can’t play with the Wacky Sack in the store anymore.”

“Okay. That seems fair. Let’s go up on the roof,” Dominic suggested.

Everyone agreed ecstatically.

“Really?” Ned raised his arms in defeat.

Dominic, Ryan, Aaron, and about six customers, now, were on the roof of the Tank N Tummy. Everyone took a position on the roof. “Okay, keep the Wacky Sack away from the sides of the roof, nothing fancy that will cause someone to fall over the edge, if you’re out stay by the air conditioning unit,” Dominic threw out some rules. He squeezed the Wacky Sack and it started to “Guh!” “Let’s go,” he said and tossed the Wacky Sack to one of the customers.

The Wacky Sack was passed around the roof from person to person. They were all yelling and shouting at each other as they tried to distract each other and get the Wacky Sack to another person before it went off. When it did, one of the customers was holding it. He passed the Wacky Sack to Aaron and went to the A/C unit. The game started back up again.

This time Aaron lost and joined the customer at the A/C unit. Another customer got out and joined them. Another game started up. “Hey, what the hell is going on?” someone called from the ladder.

“We’re playing with a Wacky Sack,” Ryan called from the game.

“It’s like a hot potato,” Aaron filled in.

“Well, can someone come down here? I wanna get some cigarettes,” the guy yelled.

“Lauren’s down there,” Dominic said.

“I don’t know who that is. All I know is that I want some cigarettes and no one is at the register.”

“Give us a minute and we’ll be down,” Dominic said.

“Screw that. Come down now and pick up your stupid game later.”

“Give us a minute,” Dominic demanded and caught the Wacky Sack. Before he could throw it, it went off.

“You suck.”

“It’s not a talent game, it’s a game of chance. It all depends on luck,” Dominic said.

“You weren’t fast enough. You suck,” the man pointed angrily.

“Come up here and say that. We’ll see who sucks,” Dominic said.

“You’re on!” the man climbed up the rest of the ladder and got on the roof.

“One-on-one. Whoever is holding the Wacky Sack when it goes off is the loser,” Dominic explained.

“We all know how to play,” the man angrily responded.

Dominic squeezed the Wacky Sack and tossed it to the man. They passed it back and forth, throwing it high, low, fast, slow, just off center. After a while, the man caught the Wacky Sack and then threw it as hard as he could into the backyard of a house in the neighborhood behind the gas station.

“Aw, crap. That’s old man McGuirk’s yard,” Aaron said.

“We’re not getting that Wacky Sack back,” Ryan sighed.

Harvey walked into the store. “Idiot. Moron,” he looked around and saw Aaron at the back freezers. “New Guy. How did you like Wacky Sack?”

“We all really enjoyed it. Sadly, we lost it. Someone threw it in a fit of rage and we couldn’t get it back.”

“No problem. My brother-in-law isn’t going to import the Wacky Sacks. Apparently the burlap causes third degree burns if held too long and many of the Wacky Sacks have tick eggs inside them.”

“Third degree burns? So it’s literally like a hot potato?” Aaron laughed.

Harvey laughed as well. “Ha, ha! You’re funny,” Harvey walked past Dominic, Ryan, and Aaron and went into the office where Ned and Lauren were still working. “You have the raises all figured out?”

“Yeah. We just got done.”

“Excellent,” Harvey glanced over the list. “You didn’t put yourself on here. You don’t want raise. Way to sacrifice,” Harvey turned and left.

“No, I want a...Oh, farts. Oh, well. Thanks for helping me today.”

“No problem, Ned. I should go help the guys with what my actual job is.”

“Yeah, I have a couple other things to do and then I’m going to head out. Thanks again.”

“You’re welcome,” Lauren went out into the store and went behind the counter. “What the…? That shelf is still knocked over?”

“Yeah. We saved it for you,” Ryan said.

“Me? You guys knocked it over,” Lauren argued.

“Technically it was knocked over by a customer and we clean up the mess customers make,” Aaron said.

“And since you’ve been, well, not doing your job all day today, we thought this could be the one thing that you do today,” said Dominic.

“Yeah, I gave you three too big of raises,” Lauren muttered to herself.