Monday, January 23, 2006
Ink Inc. Part One
“Terry Sobaski, please step forward.”
Terry stepped up to the podium and looked up to the polished corporate review panel. All twelve sat motionless, faces stern, hands folded, dry, anal, and robotic. They reminded him of his parole board, only more uptight. These were people who didn’t cry when their pets died, for sure. They probably had the same expressions when they sat in church, or stood in line at the grocery store. Humorless fucks with immaculate homes. These people controlled Terry’s first big chance at easy money. Terry swallowed his resentment and tried to think positively.
A leathery crone with steel grey hair tied in a severe bun led the questioning. “Mr. Sobaski, please tell my why you would be an excellent spokesign, and why you should receive a ticket in the upcoming lottery drawing.”
“Um, yes, miss. I mean madam. I’m uh… I’m a good person, first of all. I’ve overcome lots of adversity. Why would I be a good spokesign? Well, I get around a lot. Right now I work in waste disposal. In a good neighborhood, in a good city. People tip me at Christmas and everything. So I’m seen a lot. I go to church each Sunday, so there’s that. Um… and I got a daughter! So I end up at the mall a lot, too. I guess what I’m sayin’ is that a lot of people would see me and the folks that did would like me. My sponsor would be happy to get me as their spokesign, absolutely.”
“Have you ever gotten a tattoo, Terry?”
“Yes, a couple, all of em tasteful. Did one myself, back when I was thinking of doin' tattoos for a living. I wasn't steady enough, though. Nope, I don't mind tattoos at all. Them I got didn’t hurt much neither, though I suppose that don’t matter. Spokesigns get put to sleep for their official logo tattoo anyways, right? Yeah, so I ain’t gotta problem with this idea, or I wouldn’t be standing before you right now!”
A pallid man with a receding hairline spoke next. Terry saw that his tie and collar were too tight. Neck fat hung over the lip of his suit all around his neck. It disturbed Terry.
“Oh, I’m sorry sir. Can you repeat the question please?”
“I suppose. According to your application, you spent time in prison for a felony. Certainly you can understand why that would be a concern for any potential sponsor you drew. Please explain your crime to the board.”
“Oh, that. Well, I was very young, see, and plain old dumb. I’ve learned and changed since that. What happened was... I... I stole a motorcycle. I was trying to impress a girl, and she was always going on about her boyfriend, and he rode a bike. So I figured I’d get a better one and she’d like me instead. It didn’t work, and the police caught me a couple days later. I never hurt anybody and I’d never do anything dumb like that ever again.”
After a few more questions Terry was dismissed.
“Excuse me, um, but can you tell me how my chances are?”
“Mr. Sobaski, we’re not allowed to comment on selections before they’re finalized. You’ll receive a telephone call by the end of the week informing you of your status. Thank you for your time this afternoon.”
Terry ambled back to his depressing apartment, hoping like hell he’d receive a ticket. The exclusive lottery was held to only 200 participants, and only 150 of those would actually get an advertisement tattooed on their foreheads. The lucky remaining 50 would simply walk away with their substantial cash awards. If Terry was lucky enough to get into the drawing, then hell, maybe he’d be lucky enough to get something good like Budweiser or Chevrolet. There was no shame in either of those, and he’d be set for life.
Terry decided he needed a good luck toast. He stopped off at the liquor store and bought a bottle of gin. 1:05 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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