Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What Do I Win?

What Do I Win?

     Ron showed the lid to the cashier at Quickie Mart.
     “The contest!” He clicked the lid down on the counter and pushed it an inch or two towards the woman.
     The cashier picked it up, walked to the window, and stared at it for a long time. She put it back down in front of Ron. “It says 'all-expenses-paid worlds tour.'”
     That was right, Ron knew, typo and all.
     “But how do I get the world tour? Do I go to a website?”
     The clerk pointed at some tiny print on the bottle cap. “You call that number.” She gave the lid back and turned away.
     “Hello.” A pleasant contralto.
     “I, um, I'm calling about,”
     “The worlds tour! I'll set you up right now. When do you want to go?”
     “Well, I, er, any time,” Ron finished weakly.
     “Fantastic! Thank you so much for calling, and have a great trip.” She hung up.
     That was the most surreal conversation he'd ever had, even stoned out of his mind. He turned, and was overwhelmed with the sensation of jamais vu, the unexpected feeling of unfamiliarity amid the familiar. Had the apartment been this untidy when he left this morning? He stepped over a pile of clothes and looked out the window. Holy shit! The lake was gone. No, it was covered with floating condos. But when had the condos been put in? His stomach was starting to feel a little queasy.
Someone walked out of the bathroom. He was short, paunchy, middle-aged, and wearing a towel.
     “Hey...” Ron began.
     “Gaah!” The man dropped his towel.
     Ron stared, then stammered: “I thought forked penises went out with the snakes*.”
     “Funny, Zilbo. You're still trespassing. What you doing in my zōn?” Then he slapped his forehead.
     “Oh, right, 'the worlds tour.' Look, I don't need this today. Get out.” He nodded toward the door.
     Ron opened the door and stepped out.
     From the apartment behind him he heard the fat man with the Y-shaped penis say “Oh yeah, watch that first one.”

The end

Publ. July 17, 2007, The Daily Cabal

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