I raise a sippy cup filled with vodka to my lips, grimacing at the bitter, medicinal flavor that floods my mouth. I’ve been forced to attend the birthday party of my boss’s five-year old via passive-aggressive threat, one that promises me giant heaps of work which will eat into my weekends should I choose not to comply. Right now, me and two other coworkers (just like in Office Space; for god’s sake bring back Michael and Samir in their own movie) are quietly getting sloshed through the aid of booze-filled sippy cups (so as not to arouse suspicion), and fighting the urge to lay down in traffic. We’re in my boss’s impeccably gardened backyard, watching legions of adderall-powered kids wailing away at each other with whatever blunt, soft instrument they can find: Pillows, balloon animals, styrofoam noodles…but despite the harmless nature of these play-fight accouterments, the amount of adderall in these kids lends them superhuman strength, turning soft objects into tools of death. I see a 40 lb. girl wield a pillow with the power of Thor, sending it rocketing into a little boy’s jaw. The boy flies bodily off his feet, and when he lands on his back, I see that his jaw is dislocated, skewing grotesquely to the right. Instead of crying like a regular child, the kid simply stares up at the sky, his meth-derivative-powered eyes narrowed into bright, insane sparks. He giggles, fixes his jaw with a two-handed jerk—cr-CRACK—and exclaims, “FUN!” Then he gets up and rejoins the “play” fight.” “Jesus,” I whisper to my coworker Don. “What are they feeding kids nowadays?” In a disapproving voice he says: “Some kind of straight-up Walter White version of Adderall. Think it’s referred to as the ‘All-Fury.’ Crazy, huh?” I watch a boy brutally kick another girl’s legs out from underneath and then pillow-smash her face before she hits the ground. I wince in distaste. “Jesus,” I repeat. I take another sip of vodka, and suddenly one of those Drunk Ideas—obviously stupid but seemingly genius at the time—pops into my head. I lay down my vodka, grin at my coworkers and say: “Watch this.” I walk over to the speaker system they’ve got hooked up, and pick up the iPhone it’s connected to. I scroll through the music, find the song I want, and click on it. Suddenly, the background music changes from Miley Cyrus (a song from before she went nuckin’ futz) into one I feel is more representative of the Corporate Overlord/Slave dynamic, as well as the quiet desperation contained therein. Coolio’s nineties classic “Gangsta’s Paradise.” “AS I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I TAKE A LOOK AT MY LIFE, AND REALIZE THERE’S NOTHING LEFT…” Me and my coworkers are clutching our bellies, howling in laughter, while the attending parents’ faces are filled with horror and shock. I’m wiping tears from my eyes when suddenly I hear a shrill, WASP-y voice caw: “AT THEM, CHILDREN!” A second later, a horde of All-fury-enhanced kids are streaming toward us like those World War Z zombies, clawing their way over each other as if they were a herd of dirty sewer rats. “RUN!” I scream at my coworkers, but they’re frozen in fear, sippy cups still clutched to their chests. As I race by them, I see them enveloped by a horde of grime-embossed fingers, and in an instant, their skin is flayed off. Bright, red trails of organs and blood fly through the air. My buddies don’t even have time to scream; it’s as if they were attacked by a school of feral land-piranhas. My eyes go dinner-plate wide and I hop over the white picket fence, hauling ass into my car. I gun the engine and begin heading toward the highway, when I look in the rearview, catching a glimpse of my sweat-beaded forehead and….WHAT THE DARK KNIGHT??? I’m going close to 40 and the kids are CATCHING UP! Behind them I see soccer moms in full dominatrix gear, cracking whips over the heads of their husbands. These poor bastards are dressed in Gimp outfits and functioning as snarling sleigh dogs for their soccer mom overlords, who are being pulled by their hubbies on some kind of black-spiked, glistening contraption straight out of a death-metal torture dungeon. One of the boys gets close to my trunk, snarls, and leaps toward the car. I swerve the wheel and punch the gas. The little boy’s fingers scrabble against my rear fender but he fails to maintain a grip; he hits the ground and barrel-rolls away. But there’s gotta be at least three dozen of these monsters, so I am SCREWED unless…I throw my head back and roar “PALAMEDES PUBLISHING!” Magic flash. Suddenly the road is flooded with yuppie bait: unopened game consoles for the kids, and giant pallets of Container Store gift cards for the moms. For the dads there’s stacks of blu-rays for season 1-3 of the League (the good seasons before the show went to shite), as well as notarized documents from the government stating that these harried husbands are free to watch the League without the true pants-wearer—the alpha mom—being able to arbitrarily turn off the TV and force them to mow the lawn. Chaos erupts as my pursuers turn on each other like a horde of rabid cannibals, and I breathe a drawn-out sigh of relief as I watch them fade in my review. Sonofabitch…that was a close one.
Ever committed a party foul at a yuppie BBQ? Don’t do it—without the aid of a full-power Voltron, Science has determined that the chances of survival are 0.000178%. Palamedes publishing. Check out their revolutionary Responsive Books software here: Responsive Books. Check out their poetry here: Manhattan They are currently assisting me with the process of getting Echo Volumes 1 & 2 in paperback. For now, get Echo Vol. 1 on Kindle here: Vol. 1 on Kindle. Vol. 2 on Kindle here: Vol.2 on Kindle Vol. 3 on Kindle here: Vol. 3 on Kindle