Meeting Nefertiti

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Nefertiti Moderne

 

Extreme was the best word to describe her. It was a dulled extreme, verging on the borders of exotic. Nefertiti had materialized in the doorway to my bedroom, standing in profile, cloaked in the shadows.

Her eyes and complexion seemed to glow even more than the gold that seemed to adorn every part of her. Her skin was smooth, the color of brownish-red earth and every part of her was elongated and graceful. She was a tall woman, standing more majestic than my mere six feet, her head crowned in a coal-black, short-cut bob.

Extremely beautiful.

There was gold which fell in large hoops from her earlobes, a manacle on one arm. Studs on the right side of her nose and beneath her sweet bottom lip. Each long, thin finger was fitted with a ring and she even had one on the second toe of her left foot. A chain encircled her hips, rising in the middle, threaded through the ring in her navel. More than her nakedness, I noticed the small gilded circles which pierced each nipple of her small, rounded breasts.

Extreme.

Akenhaten, she asked, telepathically.

“No,” I answered in a vocalized whisper, unable to match her advanced level of communication.

Her eyebrows raised slightly, eyes glowing red, made-up in the symbol of Horus’ all-seeing. Where is he?

Her “voice” was like notes of music in my head. It was a language that was comprised of no words, yet I understood her clearly.

I stood cautiously, not wanting her to disappear. I approached slowly, taking her hand gently in mine. “I dont know,” I replied softly. “But you can stay with me, tonight. I’ll be your Akenhaten.”

For a while, she was silent, even in my mind. I dared not speak again, afraid the wrong words would cause her to disintergrate and fade from this world.

Then, without any words or musical notes, she spoke to me in a language that transcended dimensions: a smile. She took my other hand into hers, guiding them both to the rings in her dark nipples.

Extreme, I thought.

To that, she nodded, came close and kissed me.

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Halfway Down

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Brendan Fudge was as determined as he was creative. As he saw it, the reason for a botched suicide was piss poor planning. He’d succeeded in life with attention to detail and that would serve him well while mapping out his demise.

The trick to it was to have a backup to the primary plan. There was no reason to unnecessarily inflict pain—after all, he didn’t hate himself, only his life. Going out by making an incision in his gut, then nailing his intestines to ledge before jumping made for a rather painful and shocking end. He imagined his chitlins trailing behind (he snickered grimly at the thought of his entrails trailing him) like a bungee cord, only to rip loose when they’d pulled taut…

“Damn,” he said at the concept. Sometimes he could even scare himself. Perish the thought. He considered another means to exit stage left.

One of the keys to success as the CFO had been formulation, random audits, and close review, weighing out all options and possibilities before proceeding. Fucking facts and figures. It was time consuming and tended to get on most of his coworkers’ nerves, but it had always worked.

Well, not always. Violet’s decision to leave coincided badly with an investigation into misplaced funds—money he’d pilfered in tiny, seeming undetectable increments (a few thousand here, a few tens of thousands there), to keep her draped in furs and sparkling in jewels. She was neither impressed nor was the board of directors going to be lenient. The timing was all messed up and he could have dealt with either the investigation or her exodus, not both happening simultaneously. He found himself feigning heartbreak, groveling on his knees, begging her to stay. He’d even pushed out tears and wanted to make himself believe he actually loved her, though nothing could be further from the truth. He enjoyed the look of a trophy wife to some of those high-level events that required elbow rubbing with others who breathed rarified air. Besides her making great arm candy, especially with her newly-enlarged breasts, her facelift, and the great conversation piece the name of Violet Fudge made, he didn’t have much use for her. No matter the lavished gifts, she could always see though his jive ass like glass.

Which brought him back to his dilemma of how to end it all. Mr. Fudge wanted to simply disappear, which was easier said than done. All the worker bees would know is that he wouldn’t show up. Calls from that diamond-hogging heifer and her overinflated divorce attorney would go unanswered for a day or two before anyone suspected something. By that time, he’d be long gone, leaving the cares of this world behind.

He considered what he had at his disposal and his attention went to his boat—not the semi-extravagant yacht his wife had demanded, but the other one. It was little more than a fishing dingy, actually, but it had an outboard motor that could easily get him out past the shallows and beyond the reef to deep water. That’s where his salvation lay…as a secondary plan, anyway.

He cleared his mind and set it to task. A couple hours later, he was in open water, the lights of the coastal condos and resort hotels shining in the dark like jewels. It was a gilded prison to which he’d gladly never return. He puttered out to his chosen location—a spot where the undertow would sweep his remains further out to sea to be food for the sharks and fish and whatever else lay beneath the surf.

Brendan patted his pocket, the cold, blue steel of the .357 sitting against his thigh like an old friend. It was a fact that revolvers, unlike semiautomatic pistols, did not jam, so that mitigated a possible mishap. The rounds were also jacketed in watertight casings, so the powder wouldn’t get wet. Fucking facts and figures. He wanted nothing that would stop him from blowing his brains out as the anchor took hold and pulled him to the bottom of the Atlantic. He’d hedged all bets. The worst thing was to be eaten alive by sharks, which, now that the area was at full nightfall, were in their feeding phase. It was suppertime and, after he’d sunk low enough and the trigger was pulled, the mental marinara would sound the dinner bell so they could enjoy what was left of him.

The night was one he would’ve enjoyed from the patio of his rather posh condo that overlooked the shore. He’d only moved there at the half-drunk whore’s behest, but it’d had its benefits. One of them was the ability to enjoy the warm, salty air coming off the water on a pleasant night. That said, he’d picked a great evening to get this done.

He’d left no suicide note, as there was nothing more to say. Of course, he’d changed his will, leaving all his material possessions to some inane charity he neither knew nor cared anything about. The investigation coming to its conclusion, he was looking at a stiff prison sentence of 1 to 5. Though it would likely be meted out in a minimum security facility for white collar types, the shame it would bring, coupled by the empty feeling he’d gotten when Violet announced that she was leaving, didn’t allow for a comeback. The situation was not going to change and he was opting out. Besides, worse than his fear of drowning or being devoured by the denizens of the deep was what would happen in prison showers. He’d get his butt busted for sure and wind up as some troglodyte’s bitch, being violated on a whim, and forced to sit down when he peed. Yeah, he’d seen the documentaries before.

“Okey dokey,” he said, his voice lost in the breeze. After securing the anchor to his feet with a knot that could not be easily untied—especially in the inky blackness of the ocean at night—he took a final gander at the stars. They, like the coastal condominiums, twinkled invitingly. If the rumor was right, he’d be amongst those very same stars in the next few minutes. He couldn’t afford to consider the possibility of eternal damnation (an impossibly horrific slice of hell in which hammerheads ripped off his arms and legs, leaving him defenseless while incarcerated savages took advantage of what was left), so he deleted it from his cognitive vocabulary.

The water was surprisingly, even refreshingly cool. He couldn’t think of a better exit and was neither scared nor hesitant. He tossed the anchor over the side and felt the tug around his legs when the chain reached its limit. Cool like the ocean water off of West Palm Beach is how he’d feel as he made his way to the afterlife. The shot to the roof of his mouth would be a snap. Before his mind could register that it’d been blown out the back of his skull, he’d be gone. Sinking into the depths would galvanize his demise and then the sea creatures would join in nature’s recycling effort.

“Here goes nothing,” Mr. Fudge said rather sarcastically. As he wiggled closer to the edge of the boat, it suddenly dipped low, took on water, and toppled. The timing couldn’t have been worse, since he’d just put the barrel of the gun into his mouth. Off balance, he reflexively jerked the trigger. The bullet tore through his left cheek, ripping off half his jaw, exploding in a burst of red chunks from the side of his face.

The agony was horrendous and, in his haste to staunch the sanguine profusion, he fumbled and dropped the gun, which sunk into the inky black water quicker than he did. There would be no second chance and his scream registered in a cloud of muted bubbles that rose quickly to the surface as he plummeted like a stone.

The muffled yell and thrashing about registered in the nerve receptors of a great white that was making its rounds, in search of a midsummer night’s meal two miles out. But that wasn’t what focused its attention, causing its black, soulless eyes to glimmer and its jagged, razor-sharp tooth-filled mouth to drool. (The concept of drooling sea predators was something that had eluded scientists. After all, how could saliva be noticed when there was water all around?) With a smile on its menacing mug, it canted its sleek, 20-foot frame and turned in the direction of the call to chow.

Several makos and bull sharks picked up on the same scent and signal, which came across like music to their antagonistic ears. So, a feeding frenzy in an orgy of guts it would be.

But Brendan was too preoccupied, cursing while feeling the burning of the salty water instinctively sucked up into his nose as he fought to breathe. He plunged deeper still, the pressure mounting as his splayed fingers clawed desperately to find the .357 that had probably landed on the reef. He’d never find it and his death would be one brought on by the pain in his lungs. Damned evolutionary theory ensured he couldn’t breathe liquid after being expelled his mother’s womb over 50 years before. Whether Darwin was wrong or right, a review of his current situation stated that drowning would be his demise.

Or so he thought.

That’s when he felt the bump of the blunt, hydrodynamic monster. Then another of the same sideswiped his left thigh, exposing the capillaries beneath his skin, drawing more blood into the water. That caused even more pain than his gaping, misshapen maw. He shouted a cloud of water, as that medium had claimed all the air from his lungs before he’d even made it halfway down. Gripped with terror, the formerly cool-headed executive shat himself, adding gravy to the tomato soup.

Crushing-sharp-jagged-serrated knives grabbed hold of his bloody leg and with a single application of thousands of foot pounds of pressure, Brendan had one less limb. Somehow, through the mind-numbing anguish, something deep in his mental process recalled an amusing anecdote about being busier than a…

Before he could imagine that kicking contest, he was out of the running—quite literally. A second bite caught him at the hip on his opposite side, ripping the other leg free and liberating his viscera. Part of that appendage, still charged with electricity and jerked out of time with the cloudy spurts issuing it from it. His bottom half—the part that hadn’t been greedily gobbled as an appetizer–succumbed to gravity as the anchor took it all the way to the bottom.

But he would never get to reach that depth. Though he could no longer register pain, he felt the pressure of the chomping and ripping as his worst fear had come to what was left of his life. The sharks—oh, how they celebrated, painting the reef red in their delight.

And Brendan Fudge, a man who’d been too smart for his own good, had only his hard head (and a bit of his neck, minus much of his mandible, of course) left. In its final, incredibly cognizant instant, his brain audited the experience of his disconnected dome floating peacefully toward the sandy corral below. There his noggin would hold a reunion with one chain-wrapped foot and that wily, if not elusive revolver.

The one that Violet had given him for his final birthday.

Fuckin’ figures.

Bought the Farm

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The Old Man bought the farm, both literally and figuratively. There were rumors and whisperings that the deal was struck with something other than money and that the possession of these ill-gotten gains was his downfall.

Riley remembered going out to the barn to find his favorite toy—some long-forgotten trinket that went to his race set. Always the early riser, a light fog rested on the wet grass which parted and stirred as he made his way from the house to that old drafty barn. He recalled not wearing shoes and that the most dangerous thing he could probably step on was a pile of poop left behind by King, his grandfather’s senile old mutt. But King had been merciful that morning and the path was clear, the dew from the grass cooling his feet as he made his way.

Something was wrong.

The door to the barn was ajar and from the inside, he heard an almost inaudible whimper. King was a hound from an ancient time, the last of Granddaddy’s hunting dogs. That mongrel was old before Riley was born and in the boy’s five years, he’d never heard King make a sound, outside the release of an occasional fart. That morning, though, he heard the dog pacing and whining inside.

Like a protestor, the wrinkled canine walked and turned back and forth, below something that swung almost like wind chimes, hanging from a rope connected to the overhead rafter. The creaking of wood was the instrumental accompaniment to King’s wounded vocals.

Beneath Granddaddy’s naked body was a pile of steaming crap, stinking up the place. Though it is said a person can’t smell in dreams, Riley swore he couldn’t escape that fetid stench in each consecutive nocturnal vision.

The grotesque sight of the undressed body and stretched neck used to jar him the first few times and he would will himself from the barn, away from King’s whining protests.

No matter his means of escape, be it by aerial or terrestrial flight, the barn sat in the clearing of his mind night after night. He was drawn to it, the soft fog around it muffling sound, but allowing details of faded red paint to be seen. The building would beckon him, the low-hanging clouds forming fingers that drew him in. It promised a toy he would never find.

Black men didn’t commit suicide, he’d been told. Whoever said that had lied.

One night, when he was twelve, the boy refused to run. He figured there was a reason the barn seeped its way into his haunted nocturnes. He had stopped being afraid and just regarded the corpse. The wood above creaked and the rope turned so that Granddaddy faced him, his visage contorted in a mask of surprise and pain. His eyes bulged, hemorrhaged and angry. Riley overlooked the distended belly and milky droplets that had run down the elder’s thigh.

That was the day his grandfather spoke.

The Old Man’s tongue, was a pale pink slug that hung lazily from bloodless lips, lolled and shifted a bit. The corpse, which had been a man he once loved, croaked a single whisper of a word: “Bewarrrrrrrre!

Curiosity (Excerpt from Dead Assets)

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eBookCover_DeadAssets 

Curiosity left the cat drawn and quartered.  That wasn’t what Chet was thinking through his drunken haze as he wheeled his candy-painted muscle car into the lot on the other side of Ocean View Avenue.  He typically revved the engine before shutting it down, just so he could get the narcissistic satisfaction of eyes on him, green with envy.  It was a veiled threat and look down the nose, letting everyone else in his world know their proper place.  There was a pecking order to be maintained, damn it.

But this was not his world…yet. Norfolk may as well have been an entirely different planet, tucked away on the other side of the asteroid belt behind Mars.  Though not where the snobs of Virginia Beach lived, the city sat cozily next to that struggling, former tourist trap.  Nobody cared to venture the Oceanfront when the undead lumbered down the boardwalk in a loose parade… Norfolk was the center of the dung heap and, though he was from the other side of the tunnel, Chet sat atop the pile like King Shit.

He rocked a bit on his heel, his head feeling as if it was floating in a pressurized jar, levitating above his body, yet strangely still attached.  Everything his dark eyes surveyed was as if he was watching through a camera and couldn’t be touched.  Vodka had the weird effect of granting him temporary invincibility.  Though he’d promised Margeaux he’d stop drinking altogether, he’d only made the switch from gin, which seeped through his pores and could be smelled on his breath.  Shit, had she been putting out, he wouldn’t be imbibing or seeking out this hellish version of the No-Tell Motel. 

The night was cool, the dampness of winter not quite letting spring take hold yet, the chill in the breeze sobering him a bit.  He leaned against the door of his chariot, which he’d christened Babe Blue, on account of its color and the fact that, like Paul Bunyan, he was the biggest man in the forest of his mind.  The street was all but deserted, so he didn’t hesitate to unzip his fly and take to watering the gravel beneath his feet.  The hot piss steamed and came out completely clear, hitting the ground like funky raindrops.

His cell phone buzzed suddenly and his wife’s picture glowed on the screen.  It was nearing midnight and he hadn’t called after his shift.  She was used to his occasional late evening at JB’s but he was pretty good about calling to let her know.

No, to ask permission was more like it.  She didn’t want the courtesy of just knowing, Margeaux wanted him to ask if it was okay for him to stop by the watering hole for a couple of beers after work.  Then she would get the satisfaction of bitching and moaning about the meetings he used to attend that were supposed to curb his desire to drink altogether.

“My ass,” he said, spitting on the ground defiantly.

Chet was a grown man who didn’t need permission to hang out a bit late like some wayward teen.  He didn’t want to be nagged about missing dinner or hear her go on and on about what a good husband should be. 

Blah-blah-bla- fuckin’-blah—she could be such a killjoy at times! 

He’d call his bride on the way home, after he went to see a female doctor to relieve the chronic swelling in his nut sack.  Then he could think clearly and tell her what a good wife should be doing for her hardworking husband.  Of course, Margeaux wouldn’t want to hear that and there would be a difference of opinion.  The argument being inevitable, he pressed “Decline” on the screen, which sent her straight to voice mail.  That would get her spun up for sure.  He grinned coldly, tossed the phone on the passenger’s seat and put his dangling third leg back in its holster.

JB’s tavern was one that catered to blue collar types.  Being that it was just down the street from the shipyard, it was a particular favorite of the pipefitters, machinists, welders and grease monkeys—his kind of people.  Besides having a seemingly unending supply of beer and spirits, the bar was better than picking up the newspaper for the latest scoop.  That was where Chet first heard whisperings and rumors about a different type of bedroom sport being played.  It was what brought him through the tunnel: satisfaction of his curiosity.

Though the urban landscape took on the teetering pitch and roll of the sea, the inn loomed in Chet’s view with the stability of a far horizon.  Word was, inside the walls of that abandoned motel, he could buy a type of naughty thrill enjoyed by the rich, sick and twisted—and that was right up his alley.  The idea had been presented to him through a haze by that tall, skinny black dude who’d worked for him a while back…  He popped his fingers, thinking aloud, “What was his name again?”

***

Steed’s lanky frame sat bolt upright with recognition.  “Aww, SHIT!” he shouted suddenly, breaking the silence and stirring me from my review of the night’s figures.

“What,” I asked, irritated.  I knew it couldn’t have been the city’s finest—we’d already paid them for the month.  Funny how that never would’ve happened before the world went to hell in a hand basket…

“You’re not gonna believe this, mang,” he said, pointing.

Quiet as kept, there wasn’t much that surprised me anymore.  Depravity was a standard feature with our clients and, as long as they didn’t damage the merchandise, I didn’t judge.  They shelled out cash and business boomed.

“What,” I repeated, determined not to pause my counting of wrinkled bank notes.

Steed unglued himself from the chair and towered over the bank of monitors, giggling like a little kid.  Each screen displayed a different view from half a block up in all directions as well as inside the individual suites.  Though my partner had approached me about filming the antics and distributing them through a black market porn outfit, I’d vetoed the idea.  Chuck agreed with me too and, with us having two-thirds of the vote, the more degenerate citizens of Hampton Roads maintained a modicum of privacy.

“Didn’t think he’d come,” Steed exclaimed, rubbing his goateed chin with delight.

I exhaled, closing the distance to see what had gotten my partner so wound up.  The stack of bills fell from my hand when I realized who had made a guest appearance.  I was vehement in my decision to never to keep any of the camera footage but we should’ve recorded that moment.  It was when the fly’s inquisitiveness got the better of him and he went to inspect the sticky droplets glimmering from the spider’s web.

Steed was all but jumping up and down with excitement, pointing and pumping his fist.  His voice sounded muffled through my own static exuberance.  I heard him say something about running into Chet at JB’s a couple weeks before and that, over a drink, had casually extended an invitation to our former supervisor.  Assured him that the first go-round would be on the house.

I radioed Chuck and told him to report to the office.  Occasionally, the so-called “unbreakable” condoms we’d bought were defective.  I’d had Doc inspect them via X-ray to ensure quality control and had put the duds off to the side.  When our blond, boyish-faced junior partner came into the room, I handed him three condoms from that stash, told him Chet had a free hour and sent him on his way.

Steed’s burst of adrenaline waned and he fell back into the chair, still high off something that resembled post-orgasmic bliss.  He’d petered out just as my exhilaration was growing, the anticipation running through my veins and quickening my breathing.  I stared at the black-and-white image of our old boss being led past the crowd through the figurative velvet rope to meet his fate.  There were some people who wanted more bang for their buck in a masculine sense.  Without Chet being told what he was in for, he was going to be a trailblazer in that arena. 

And to that, I couldn’t help but smile.

 

The Burden of Contractual Fulfillment

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Making a living as a death dealer—an oxymoronic, yet concrete notion if ever there was one—definitely lacked the glamorous appeal of some tuxedo-wearing secret agent a la Hollywood. If prostitution was the world’s oldest profession, then assassination was its snickering kid brother.

He felt a mix of queasiness and excitement, staring through bluish-gray wisps of smoke at the thing he held in his hands. It mirrored a sexual encounter, the foreplay being his gentle caress of the envelope, delicately undressing and opening it to reveal the contents inside. Like a potential lover, the blank manila held gravitational pull in his corner of the universe: details concerning the dispatch of some unlucky soul.

The deal, which as put in motion by the neat stack of bills that slid across the table—a 25% down payment for services rendered—called for something messy. The contractor was always right and, once he broke the seal, the job was as good as done. The benefactor wanted to make a statement against a business rival. The villain-for-hire could care less what the reason was, as long as the price was right.

There were two basic methods of carrying out the deed. The first would be to make the hit from a distance, which was like walking into a candy store, seeing all those colorful, flavorful confections and trying to find one to purchase. There were cyanide-coated sniper rounds that could rip through the best so-called bullet proofing, laying waste to the flesh and bone beneath; there were strategically-placed explosives that could level an apartment building or rip an armored vehicle to shreds. Hell, he could even go Old School contra style and resort to lobbing grenades. However, that wasn’t quite the message the contractor wanted to send. That meant the second basic method: up close and personal. A handgun was simple to silence, conceal and dispose of quickly, but that wasn’t enough. Using bare hands was an option he would give more thought, but even the ghastly sight of a broken neck might fail to deliver the horrific gravity of the contractor’s threat. Maybe a garrote would do…

No, the job called for special work to be done with his favorite tool of the trade: the knife. Like one of those old TV commercials, he could slice and dice a man to death, then make julienne fries. It was settled and his bloody symphony would be conducted with a masterful stroke.

The killer grinned while sharpening the blade, allowing beads of mercury to run down the steel and create a poisonous silver puddle on the table’s surface. There would be no coming back for his target; no chance of a second act or encore performance. He prided himself on his attention to detail and kill count.

The last unopened parcel from the larger envelope contained photos of the object of his financed affections. Careful not to nick himself with the blade, he inserted the point carefully between the fold and slit it open with a smirk. However, what his eyes rested upon was a near-mirror image…

Father?” he coughed, hesitating for the first time in his illustrious career. He’d dispatched people of all ages, nationalities, affiliations and sexes without as much as batting an eye. However, this was a target he couldn’t have imagined in a thousand years.

But the contract had been accepted. No matter how sick it made him feel or how foreign the stinging of tears was to his smoke-filled eyes, he had a job to do. Between soft, nearly inaudible sobs, reluctance and a running nose, he realized just how difficult it was going to be to carry out this assignment.

The Electric Spanking Machine

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Electric Spanking MachineDisciplining children can be quite a chore. I recently spoke to a friend of mine, who has a pair of teenaged boys. They are working overtime to turn their mother’s hair stark white with worry. Exasperated one day, she mentioned to me, “I wish I had a machine to keep them in line, because I get tired of chasing them around.”

Anyone who has reared teenagers of any gender can probably feel her pain. I know my own kids give me more than a fair share of headaches. Using my imagination, I have come up with a device that will relieve the nuisance of running around after those little bastards: The Electric Spanking Machine.

Great inventions begin with well-conceived ideas. I envision my machine to consist of a cartoonish contraption with five fake arms on a vertically-mounted wheel. In its simplest form, the culprit would be placed over a stool and the Electric Spanking Machine would go to work. With a mere push of the button, the wheel would begin to turn. The speed could be varied to deliver a few swats on the butt or, at full-speed, spin at a fever pitch to beat that wayward rascal into a coma. Of course, with everyone being so environmentally conscious nowadays, the buyer can utilize the “Go Green” option, which allows the wheel to be operated by manual hand crank.

What would such a gadget be without the ability to upgrade? With the latest advances in nanotechnology, my engineers would shrink the original model to something that can easily be carried around in Mom’s purse (miniaturized nuclear recharging station not included). Also available would be the ability for the machine to automatically activate at certain times of day or whenever the children perform specific actions. Have you got a teenager who likes to talk back? Completely customized to respond to a disrespectful tone or phrase, the Electric Spanking Machine would go into action, smacking your child’s lips clean off his ungrateful mug! There have even been reports of children who have been knocked into the middle of the next week!

There are already talks of major cities leasing these machines for use in playgrounds, schoolyards and shopping malls. I can neither confirm nor deny that General Motors is considering availing the option of the Electric Spanking Machine to its fleet of automobiles, rivaling orders for the OnStar navigation system.

Players and hustlers, seeing the advantage of such an invention, would lobby to have the device modified with a horizontal wheel assembly for keeping their hoes in check. Katt Williams and Bishop Don “Magic” Juan would rechristen this limited, customized, Pimp Slap Edition, complete with a pink shag or faux-leopard exterior. No longer would Sweet Daddy have to worry about getting carpal tunnel syndrome from putting his pimp hand down so many times in a single day (after all, as the saying goes, “Pimpin’ ain’t easy, but it’s a full-time gig”)! Adding the self-activated choke-out option, jive-ass tricks would suddenly fork over every plugged nickel of Sweet Daddy’s money with the enthusiasm of a church congregation in full swing at offering time!

Within a few short weeks, the Electric Spanking Machine Corporation would be publicly traded, allowing the average Joe B. Citizen to own a piece of the dream. Stocks are guaranteed to split and fly through the roof, making shareholders not only wealthy, but free of back-talking teenaged ingrates. The device makes an excellent Mothers Day gift! Be the first on your block to own one! Act now and receive one upgrade at no extra charge! Now, who wants to be first? Operators are standing by.

© Don Miskel