I have a problem that needs fixing.
So I enter the Jiffy Fixit Shoppe and wait because there is no one behind the counter. I wait some more. There is a little sign in front of me: “Customer satisfaction is our FIRST priority.” Very nice. There is a bell next to the sign: “Please ring for one of our CARING customer service agents to assist you.” Now I’m getting somewhere. An agent. Armed with the powers of deduction and a spyglass, an agent can surely get to the bottom of my problem. DING DING! No response. While I’m waiting I do a Fred Astaire air-dance with the invisible Ginger Rogers. Swoosh, dip, twirl, tap dance up one wall and down the other . . . "Heaven, I'm in heaven," I warble . . . DING FUCKING DING!
“LISTEN, YOU, LAY OFF THE DINGING!” I nearly jump out of my skin with startlement. I hear the voice, deeply male and hairy-sounding, but I don’t see it. It has bellowed at me from somewhere deep within the bowels of the ceiling, or perhaps from a concealed speaker. At least I’m hoping it’s a speaker and not a dead ancestor yelling at me from the Great Ancestral Wherever.
Mystery solved. The agent wasn’t in the bowels of the ceiling—his bowels were in the bathroom.
Suddenly he is standing in front of me, a little man who makes Tom Cruise and Kiefer Sutherland look absolutely almost tall. There is a notable disparity between voice and corpus, and Mr. Turdwhacker senses my bewilderment.
“Microphone. In the employee bathroom. Twelve hundred watt amplifier with surround sound. Gets ’em every time,” he explains with glee.
“Ah, quite effective for a ten-year-old psychopath.” I wonder if I should slap him now or wait until I’ve been customer serviced.
“You have a toaster,” he says. I was right. Mr. Turdwhacker has incredible powers of deduction, considering the fact that it is sitting on the counter right in front of him.
“Yes, yes I do have a toaster.”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“It doesn’t toast. I have to eat my frozen chocolate Pop-Tarts frozen, so I think it needs an adjustment or two.”
“Bummer. How long have you had it?”
“Oops, can’t help you there, Pops. Here, fill out this customer service satisfaction survey while I run to the bathroom. Glad I could be of service. And oh yeah, have a nice day."
Pops. Customer service satisfaction survey. Have a nice day. Before I can grab Turdwhacker by the throat and squeeze, he's disappeared again. Fast little man, and because I'm not prone to crimes of passion, I feel kind of sorry for him. I can buy a new shiny toaster for my Pop-Tarts, but he's in the back emptying the last of his brain into the . . .