Sunday, November 25, 2007


Today is the day that Huntley is to be put down.

"Pork shares are up, Mr. Deerdorfe," he says. "It’s time to sell."

"It’s a weird market now, Mr. Huntley. Maybe we should sit on this one."

"I know the market! I taught you the market! I was in this business before you were in shortpants and I say it’s time to sell.!"

"Very well, sir. How many shares?"

"All of it! Sell it all! I want to make money, not lose the shirt off my back! Where is my shirt anyway?"

"This is a new kind of shirt, sir. We had them made for all of the CEOs. Ties in the back, loose-fitting, flowing, easy to take on and off . . ."

"Well, I don’t like it! I don’t like this! Way back when, a man wore a shirt that buttoned down the front with a stiff collar. Long, skinny ties with hula girls painted on them. Pressed suits. You need to get me my Rolls. Pull it around and cancel my three’o’clock. And get me my French cut suit.

"Yes, sir. All in a due time. I’ll make sure you look presentable."

Huntley is laid flat on the table. The straps are tightened.

"Deerdorfe! Deerdorfe, where are you? I’ve lost you. For God’s sake, nobody’s around when you need them!"

"I’m turning down the lights, Mr. Huntley. You like it dark, remember?"

"Time was, a man knew the lay of the land. All schedules, solid. A long day’s work, and at the end of that day, all accounts were in the black. You got a wife, Deerdorfe?"

Mr. Deerdorfe stops the procedure. He’s suddenly out of his own head and outside of his job.

"Yes. Um . . . Madalyne."

"I met her once, yes? A redhead?"

"That’s right. Now, bite down."

"Can’t talk with this thing in my mouth."

"We’ll just be silent for a while."

"Wait! I remember clouds. And this large tree in my backyard. I used to climb that thing every day, but you know. I never got to the top, no matter how old I got. I never reached those clouds."

"Yes, Mr. Huntley. It’s time to go. Bite down."

Huntley bites down. The needle goes in and Deerdorfe can hear his last words through the bit.

"Hula girls . . clouds . . . sell . . . . sell . . . . . sell . . . . . . sail."



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