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1/23/10

Chapter Six

THE COMPANY MAN

By now the rain had ceased, the clouds had parted, and
the big hot yellow molten ball in the sky had begun again
to turn the soot and dirt in the streets to dust.

Jim envied the generations that came before him. Life
seemed simpler then. Have a problem? No problem!
Consult with your Bible and that was the end of it. Case
closed. Any questions so far?

Each man believed and therefore understood everything
related to how one should conduct themselves in a
christian oriented society. The parameters were narrow
but reassuring. Sure, there were a few apostates, the
nonobservants, but they were small in number, and
usually run out of town, tar and feathered, their tails
tucked between their legs. These aberrant types usually
sang a different tune in the trenches, but nevertheless
their overall effect was negligible, and therefore the
system worked, and everyone was happy, especially
the people living in the South. And Jim counted himself
a fellow Southerner, whether he liked that dubious
distinction or not.

But somewhere something went terribly wrong with this
2000 year old experiment. And now everyone must
reorient themselves to the new order but really no one
knows how and this is where we now find our protagonist:
alone, grappling in the dark, but treading lightly, afraid to
waken the barbarians loitering outside the palace gate;
laid out in their lairs; drunk on power and deception; in a
deep slumber. Jim didn't stand a chance and neither did
America.

{note to author: can you pare down on the use of adjectives already?}

The first customer of the day was a frumpish appearing
woman typical of the kind of customer the store attracted.
Bargain hunters. Women with too much money, too
much make-up, and too much body fat.

"Excuse me," she said.

"May I help you," replied Jim.

"Yes, I'm looking for a smart curio, do you have any?"

"Yes, we have several, please follow me."

What possible force could overtake the pillar of the Bible?
Not only supplant it but also reap revenge upon the very
foundation that supported it in the first place? Jim
pondered this and other philosophical questions searching
for answers.

"I like this one, how much?"

"Just today, it's $1200."

Jim's ideal on how American people should conduct their
lives was based on Jeffersonian, Eisenhowardian, and
Mosesbethan principles with a sprinkle of Chairman Mao
thrown in to keep everyone honest.

"Is this your best price?" she kind of demanded.

"You do realize it's already been reduced." Jim reminded
her. "I'd have to make a phone call. How much are you
proposing?"

Jim had by now been in many of their homes, seen where
they lived, seen the devastation, the wasteland, writ large,
the writing on the wall. And guess what, it wasn't a pretty
picture. While part of him envied their great material
wealth mostly he was repelled by it. Recoiled in Horror
actually: this can't be the end result of this republic called
America?' And Jim reasoned to himself that since we're
living in a post christian society should not the obvious
replacement take the stage, make a bow, and give a long
speech: "Please ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce
to you, for lack of a better description, the antichrist,
please put your hands together and let's give a big
welcome to Sir Charles Darwin...."

"Do you have a changing room?" she inquired.

"But Ma'am, we're a furniture store!"

She unzipped his trosers and he leaned against the
bathroom wall for support. Jim stared at the photo of
Reagan hanging on the wall and then closed his eyes
trying to concentrate. Jim felt this wasn't right but obliged
her anyway, given, as he reasoned to himself: "I am a
company man."