Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ink Inc. Part Four



Two weeks later Terry was up to his elbows in pig shit. Terry’s enthusiasm, generated by his lust for revenge, had an unplanned effect. His cheerful energy had actually landed him an interview, and subsequently, a shovel job. Terry had intended to be an annoying stalker wannabe who failed to gain employment. All he'd wanted was information. When they offered the bottom rung minimum wage shit job, Terry was too stunned to turn it down. Now, as the manure man, he didn’t even sound strange for asking a gazillion questions. The existing staff chalked up his inquisitiveness to his baffling thirst for zoological knowledge.

He’d been given a guided tour of the facilities, an access card, and two pairs of dark tan overalls. As a part time night shift cleaner, his life alternated in bad smells: decomposing garbage by day, animal shit by night, repeat in perpetuity. In three weeks time, Terry became a fixture at the zoo. Between his demeanor and his position he even earned a nickname: Scoop.

The pigs were energetic little bastards. Until Terry learned of way to calm them down, there'd be no way to carry out the big operation. That is, until he learned about dietary adjustments, a politically correct term used by the staff. It meant drugging animals via their diets to keep them nice and sedate. It kept the more violent species from declaring mutiny. Now he had a method to zap their peppy piggy power.

The zoo had transport vehicles, which solved yet another dilemma. The last problem was security and surveillance. The challenges melted away, one by one, as Terry formulated the scenario in his mind, refining it until no devious craftmanship could improve it any further.

Finally, on a warm May evening, Terry finished shoveling shit and made an extra visit to the pigs’ sleeping pen. He fed them laced treats, careful to make sure each pig got one each.

Off he went to the staff office, where he clocked out for the evening. Finally, he stopped in at security before he left. “Hey Earl, the pigpen camera is buzzing. Dunno what’s wrong with it.”

“I’ll let Leandra know tomorrow. She can call a repair tech. I can’t see anything on it. Looks like it got covered in mud or shit. No big surprise, knowing them little bacon factories. G’night, Scoop.”

“Night, Earl. See you later.”

He walked home, unaffected by the gnats and flies following him around like a frenetic aura. Everything was ready.

Time for an inventory. Tattoo gun? Check. Blue ink? Plenty. Stolen transport keys? In his pocket. Mallet? Present and accounted for. If any of the pigs got frisky, Terry could thump it one square and put it back under for a few. Finally, stencils. Lots and lots of carefully made stencils of corporate logos, one each for every one of the primary sponsors of the tattoo lottery. Last but not least, whiskey. Never know when that might come in handy.

Terry accessed the zoo and snuck to the pigpen without incident. The night crews that manned security or looked after animal emergencies were all finished with their rounds, and were by now gathered in a circle playing poker by the peacock lookout.

The oinkers were laid out sleeping. Some were so peaceful they looked dead. (Terry checked, all were breathing deeply.) Terry hoisted up a heavy little pork chop onto a hay pile outside of the pen. With scotch tape he attached a SUBWAY stencil to the pig’s torso and started inking the outline.

When the needle pierced hide, the pig twitched but didn’t wake. It seemed okay. Twenty minutes later, the pig was bleeding from the completed logo outline. Terry moved him to an empty pen to rest. He went back for another.

At four A.M Terry finished tattooing his final outline, this one the Ameriprise Financial logo, which looked like an asterisk. He had two dozen bleeding pigs, many of them beginning to bleat and stir, angry about the sore patches on their hides, ignorant of the hideous violation that had been branded with ink upon each of them.

Before they got too riled up, Terry needed to get them on a truck. After that? Well, then came the difficult part.
4:38 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm

18 Comments:

February 17, 2006 11:32 AM, Anonymous Ryan said...

Hey Steve,

Long time fan of your writing. I have been reading you since the old IRC boards. I've got a small propostion for you but I can't find your contact info anywhere. Shoot me an email and I'll give you more info.

Thanks, Ryan
ryan@dirtymargarita.com

 
February 17, 2006 11:34 AM, Blogger Mishka said...

Keep'em coming....I can't wait to see how it ends.

 
February 18, 2006 2:12 PM, Blogger Wino McHackenpuke said...

Guys propositioning you - I guess that's some sort of inevitable stage in any writer's career.

I like the pig inking idea. It reminded me of when I was in high school and a girl told me how at the Dairy/Ice Cream/Milkshake place where she worked, there was an incident. See, they had a petting zoo there, where you could feed goats, ducks, geese, etc.

One morning when staff arrived for work, they saw that someone had spray-painted "FAG!" on the side of one of the goats during the night. Ha ha.

Not long after he was outed, that goat committed suicide.

 
February 19, 2006 9:09 PM, Blogger Preston said...

Ugh.

This story of yours is disgusting! There's enough exploitation of animals going on as it is - why must you write about them being tattooed and drugged by corporate America?

-Preston

 
February 20, 2006 10:00 AM, Anonymous red said...

everyone's a critic. I think the name "Preston" is Latin for "Anal Retentive". That, and he looks like Napoleon Dinamite...Hey, Preston, it's a friggin STORY, get over yourself and take a trip down to the sheep farm to make yourself feel better.

 
February 20, 2006 11:32 PM, Blogger Preston said...

Very original, "Red." Jesus Christ, you're a funny guy! Napoleon Dinamite, huh? At least learn to spell DYNAMITE correctly!

And why the hell would I go to a sheep farm? I absolutely hate the fact that those sheep are caged up and tortured like they are. If I were to go to a sheep farm, it would be to set all of them free.

You're so closed-minded. You should read the communist manifesto and maybe learn something!! Ass.

 
February 21, 2006 1:09 AM, Blogger Nobody special said...

Preston needs to open HIS mind. Try wrapping your brain around this idea: Fiction = entertainment and guess what? No pigs where harmed in the making of this story. (I think..)

Steve keep it up. It seems as though doors are opening. :)

 
February 21, 2006 7:03 AM, Anonymous red said...

awww, Prestin, did i spell rong? i must bee a idiat. i wish i wuz az smart az yoo. that way i cood reed yoor commi manifesto. yoor rite, those poor sheep must reely hate being taked cared of. tooo bad thay can't rome free to live the life evree sheep dreems ov, cuz if thay did, yoo woodn't haff to brake into the cajes in order to haff yoor way with them.

 
February 21, 2006 7:25 AM, Anonymous red said...

okay, enough wasting time with that nonsense... Steve, your stories rock, keep up the good work! Can't wait to see how it ends.

 
February 21, 2006 11:30 AM, Anonymous sarcastrix said...

I was going to comment on the story, but I can't remember what I was going to say. Too busy laughing at the comment fighters all taking themselves so seriously.

 
February 21, 2006 4:15 PM, Blogger Bookfraud said...

how could one not like something that has our hero elbow-deep in pigshit? i'm loving it.

 
February 21, 2006 4:32 PM, Blogger Preston said...

You people don't know me at all. Read my blog and you'll understand who I am and what I stand for!

- Preston out.

 
February 22, 2006 10:14 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Wow, I leave for a couple days and in comes the cavalry, trumpets blasting, guns blazing. Good deal.

Preston, it's a story. You're so uptight about animal rights that a whimsical silly story like this gets you upset? Think about it. Absurd, right?

I hate to pile on you with the rest, but your comments have the effect of tattooing "I take myself way too seriously" on your forehead. Or maybe "idealism gone wrong."

All that said, please visit again!

 
February 22, 2006 10:30 AM, Blogger Anonysis said...

Preston out.

Ha ha ha

That Ryan Seacrest shit is original thinking too.

Whatever.

Good Story!

 
February 22, 2006 1:56 PM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Okay, I just read Preston's entire blog.

He's not real. Not a fucking chance. Nobody is that earnest and unaware. It's a caricature.

Right?

 
February 22, 2006 7:19 PM, Blogger Bookfraud said...

i don't know if preston is for real, but i've met preston-like dudes in my life -- earnest, sanctimonious nerds who get a little information in college and think they're the shit. karl marx. "preston out." peta freak. soon, he'll be listening to native american music, wearing homemade deodorant, and protesting at nascar races.

 
February 23, 2006 7:28 AM, Anonymous red said...

I'm glad i didn't waste my time reading his blog...i'm sorry i wasted space up there acting just as foolish as "P-OUT", it was a bad day, i read your story, and ran into a little bitch in your comments... it just happened, don't know what else to say. Looking forward to Part 5.

 
February 27, 2006 11:08 AM, Blogger Alecia said...

I continue to be frightened...

 

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