Ed Plunkett, 5/30/2016

Current Occupation: Library Cataloger
Former Occupation: Fallen Retail God
Contact Information: I was the guy behind the counter, the one no one noticed for weeks, decades even until I pissed someone off and they complained to management. That was me. I watched small business owners be irresponsible with their inventories then blame their employees for not being able to sell their questionable purchases. I got to see the customers' surgical scars, hear tales of rehab, see the cockroaches fly out of their returned DVD cases.They were too busy to notice my sleep deprivation when they screamed at their kids just after opening. I'm not there anymore, have not been for years, and they still complain about me to higher ups.

 

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Mr. B.

 

Mr. B. has trapped me by the photocopier

A man who smells like compost in August

wearing mismatched argyle socks

He's trying to tell me,

through his broken teeth and horrible breath

about how the WPA built bridges over Parsons Avenue

when he was a kid

 

I silent plead with the copier

to God, Allah, Vishnu, Alistair Crowley

to please, please hurry up and cooperate

Meanwhile, Mr. B, wearing zombie Payne Stewart golf pants

that would be very bright, if they were clean

is now asking me if people eat manatees

 

Perhaps?

Sea cow – the other white meat

Why not?

 

Now he has me thinking about the possibility

of flipper stew with hash browns

as the copier jams, again

I'm forced to bend down and see that he's wearing bowling shoes

Size ten

 

Did you ever go to West High?

He shouts at me

not because he's angry

but because he's deaf

Now he's talking to himself about a field trip

he took to see the GM plant in Detroit

in the fifties, or was it the forties

 

Not even pausing in his monologue

he starts ranting about his brother's $10,000 funeral

He probably has more money that I've made in my entire life

stashed in mason jars hidden beneath the cockroach stained floorboards

of his soon to be condemned home

 

I'm still pounding on the copier

continuing my prayer to the ceiling

When I get an answer

 

"Ed, you have a phone call on 7430"

 

My colleague bails me out with a fake phone call

 

I go back to the copier, Mr. B. has vanished

Later, I hear from another coworker that he was seen driving

ten miles an hour down Sullivant Avenue

High beams on

Windshield wipers going full speed

on that bright, sunny April afternoon

 

2 comments on “Ed Plunkett, 5/30/2016
  1. Charles Rammelkamp says:

    I know that guy. In fact, he was IN CHARGE of photocopier maintenance where I worked! So he was always there. Also an expert in Esperanza. also always calling the grocery store and complaining and demanding to “speak with your manager.”

  2. Ed P. says:

    Thanks. That Guy is everywhere. Don’t be That Guy.

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