An Hour Well Spent

by Bruce

Three days into his fortieth year Ted Jenkins knew that his life was going to change dramatically. He had decided to take command of his life for the first time in years, probably decades. On this, the 4th of August, Ted planned to quit his job as promotion manager for Throat magazine and set a new course, one with broader horizons. Ted planned to travel extensively, to understand different cultures, to eat exotic foods, and to meet unusual women.

But first Ted needed to deal with the girlfriend. He would leave her, of course, but he wasn't quite ready to part ways. There was one thing he needed to give her repeatedly before doing so. Heather was an attractive brunette with eyes of coal. Tall and lean, she was very good looking if not beautiful. But it wasn't her features so much as her attitude that made her so. She was always smiling and usually laughing and men took notice of her. Heather was an incorrigible flirt, but remained sexually faithful to Ted. In fact, she was so loyal it bordered on obedience. Ted thought that was cool.

He rolled over to her side of the bed and stroked her neck gently to awaken her. Before she cool utter a "good morning", Ted made the hand signal for sex. Heather obliged silently and got in the ready position. The couple went at it like this for a solid thirty minutes. Ted drank some water and came back for more. Heather began to grunt a bit more than usual, but she took it all just the same. But this time Ted lasted forty minutes. Heather knew she would be late for work, but she couldn't bring herself to ask for Ted's permission to end the session. It simply wasn't done. Ted drank more water and then climbed on back, this time really using his momentum. Heather was exasperated and exhausted. Ted was still hungry. This went on and on for the better part of the morning until he collapsed on top of her with his member in his hand. She groaned in relief; it was limp and flaccid. There would be no more sex this morning.

Around 11 o'clock when the couple was toweling off and dressing for work, an Asian midget in a leather vest climbed through a downstairs window, crept into the bedroom, and used a nine-pound axe to butcher them both. Then he returned downstairs, drank a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice and left the glass unwashed in the sink.

At precisely the same instant, Seth F. Thestersen was also drinking calcium-fortified orange juice from a drink-box while steering his Boston Whaler towards the frigid waters off the coast of Lungtown, Norway. Lungtown is a filthy pit of disease and malice, but the nearby town of Trondheim is a fun place. The unofficial opium den of Scandinavia, Trondheim is the happiest town above the Artic circle. People walk stupidly into buildings and each other constantly. There are no straight lines or right angles allowed in town. But they do enjoy drugs. And Seth F. Thestersen was a major player in the local heroin trade.

After swigging the last of his drain cleaner, Seth tied up his 16-foot boat to a pier made of beer cans. The flying hippos were deafening. And the torrent of dung they produced was a considerable hazard. A hulking olive shape sat upon the horizon, malevolently. "Oh no! Not the Hovoid Ovoid! Can't be. I must be seeing things", he spoke to no one but his apparitions. Seth knew, of course, that one must avoid the Hovoid Ovoid or it will become enraged and make soup of one's viscera.

Fueled by a deep paranoia, Seth sprinted to the Magic Shack, home of the Splendid Urchins Freak Show and Barbershop Quartet. Certainly, they would know how to deal with the Ovoid.

"Ahoy" said Seth (even though he regularly speaks Norwegian) to the Urchins.

"Give us the password or be poked with a hot fork" was the reply.

"Oh, sorry, I forgot. Ummm...splendid urchins roam the gherkin." The urchins led him to the Magic Shack. Inside, animals of all shapes and sizes harmonized in a version of "Take me out to the ballgame." A giant diamond of bright green fur sprawled the east floor. Several urchin players swayed stupidly and beer flowed on to their shoes. Jelly doughnuts were flung and the little girls ate Kate soup. A raft of yellow wire drifted thirteen and one-sixteenth of one inch off the floor and then dove into a bowling-ball-shaped jar of hot ape fat. The giant Yuyulu (pronounced You-YOU-Lou) loped sadly, leaking baritone peaches and velveteen chili powder from a nape of knives in the nick of time. Nearly everyone inside played games, huffed bleach, and eyed the sexy Lurpidia, knowing full well she would have none of it. The mushrooms sprouted ears and built wax homes for the lonely.

Seth explained why he had come to the shack. The urchins listened to the man while injecting seawater and strong coffee into their veins and plucking the music from their hairpieces. "So what do you it serious?"

"Yeah man, seriously groovy" an urchin replied. "So can you get us some safety pins and PineSol or what?"

A second urchin offered some words. Then a third. It was all so confusing.

Seven little men in wonderful hosiery danced moments before suffering massive breakdowns of their nervous system and shoes. They melted into a fiery puddle of hatred that ran downhill, then uphill, then disappeared before reappearing as one Good Humor orange Push-Up frozen treat clutch by a boy-man of enormous bulk, a scaly coat, and with a few too many joints to be human.

"I think what Drulian is saying, is he wants you to join the brotherhood, Seth" said Vat Dirthm the troop's dentist.

"Me? Join? Cool! What do I need to do?" Seth asked excitedly.

"It's simple, just surrender all of your wordly possessions and respect the brotherhood" said Vat.

"All my poisons?"

"No man, all your possessions. Like the cash in your wallet. And the Monopoly money in your shoe!"

"How'd you know about that?

"The Ovoid told us!!! Ha Ha ha!!" teased Blerke the Jerk, the prankster of the Urchins.

"Oh, and Seth, never again must you mention cheese."

"But I LOVE chee-"

"DON'T SAY THAT WORD!!!!" shouted Vat. "you WILL respect the brotherhood, no?"

"I promise to... ummm... respect the brotherhood." he said hesitantly.

"Good, then start by drinking this." Vat was holding a vial of clear blue liquid that resembled mouthwash but wasn't.

Seth poured the concoction over his chest and it drained back into the vial. Then he sucked it down. "Mmmmm, good cleaner."

Vat and Seth shook hands and entered a back room where the ceremony would take place. The two of them would be alone in a booth of cellophane and drink vials of cleaner until Seth became like Vat and, by trying to say his own name, would slur a new name for himself.

A few hours into the ceremony, an Asian midget in a leather vest climbed through a downstairs window, crept into the chamber, and used a nine-pound axe to butcher them both. Then he returned downstairs, drank a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice and left the glass unwashed in the sink.

At precisely that instant, a man in Connecticut working in the office of a multinational consumer goods manufacturer dreamt he was safe.

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