One of Those Days | By: Kenneth G Kruschka | | Category: Short Story - Comedy Bookmark and Share

One of Those Days

      One of Those Days


 It was one of those days that everyone experiences at some point in life, where nothing seems to go as expected; slowly progressing downward from how the day started. Perry was having just such a day, which has been recorded here.


 Perry had almost gotten through another work-week and wasn't going to miss a chance at getting a date with his new, blonde, female co-worker (whom all the guys were drooling after), before making any other plans with his T.G.I.F. night. Perry walked up to her and asked "Do you like those hamburgers at Joe's?"--he could only think up the old "Eat at Joe's" expression, so tried to incorporate it in a clever way; bombing in the process. The blonde woman coughed (exaggeratedly) at his question, as if he'd rudely interrupted her in the middle of an important conversation (she was alone and filing her nails, counting down the last 5 minutes of the day, before getting off work), and harshly replied "I don't eat there!" before turning her head away from Perry altogether. Perry had tried talking about food, hoping to make her hungry, but it was a classic case of "everything on the left shoulda been on the right:" They were way incompatible.  Perry left work feeling dejected and decided to go home, before making plans on how to spend his evening.

 On the drive home from work, Perry got stuck in grid-lock traffic; wasting a lot of time, attempting to slowly front his way through it. Finally, once arriving home, he made a command decision to take a shower before chancing to go out on the town for the evening. While showering, an angry wasp flew into the shower stall, leaving Perry half clean, naked, wet, and jumping out of the bathtub--his shower was over. The ordeal left Perry feeling very unclean, and not wanting to be around people, in public, that way. He started toiling with different ideas about how to spend the night at home, instead of going out.

 Perry threw on some cloths, going with a sweats, t-shirt, and sneakers look (dressing for comfort vs. style), before heading downstairs from the shower fiasco. Then, he let his dog out to go potty, as was the normal routine. When the dog started coming back in from "doing the deed,” it bolted (ran like hell) back into the apartment, almost knocking Perry down in the process. Perry had barely shut the door, noticing through the door's window that a grey colored, adult, lynx was walking--one might even say it was hunting--along side of the building. This, for certain, deterred him from wanting to go out anywhere that night. As if the coyotes in the area, which were big as good sized dogs, weren't bad enough, now there was a lynx to be alert for.

 Starting to get hungry, Perry headed over to his refrigerator's freezer, finding about $25.00 worth of different flavors of ice cream; which he owed to the maintenance guy for fixing a roof leak recently. Since that individual wasn't present, and he wasn't about to wrestle with the animal outside his door--let alone in the dark--he declared "Ice cream for dinner and watching TV is how I'll spend this glorious evening!" He was relieved that a plan was finally set, being his options were getting kinda thin.

 The dog watched eagerly as Perry dished himself up a giant bowl of ice cream, which was heaped beyond the bowl's top, consisting of many different scoops (enough to be considered a meal, not just a snack) from the array of flavors he'd had on hand. The dog started drooling, opening his eyes wide, and focused all it's attention on finding an opportunity to sneak  a taste of ice cream; waiting, knowing better than to get caught doing it.  Perry, setting his dish of ice cream on a coffee table and walking across the living-room, going to retrieve the TV’s remote from his entertainment center, was when the dog saw its perfect time. The dog (unnoticed) was able to devour an entire scoop worth of cherry flavored ice cream; making it disappear in a Guinness-records-breaking 2-seconds flat.

 Perry returned with the TV remote, picked up his dish of ice cream, and kicked back onto the sofa couch behind the coffee table, thinking out loud "Humm . . . this dish is lighter than I remember." Turning on the TV, not thinking much about it again, Perry started eating, but noticed how oddly the top ice cream seemed to be melted already. Not exactly sure what time it was, he deduced it must be after 10 P.M., because the weekly updates were on all the free TV channels: --" . . . Santa's sleigh has something on its way!” -- "The transgender of Wembley . . .” - -"A military bus was turned into Italian restaurant, but immigrants . . . “ --" . . . how a (*explicative*) propane torch should work is . . ." No! No! No! Perry cried. After skipping through all the channels, it became painfully apparent that nothing good was on, so he chose to watch cable television instead. Perry knew there were some infomercials on during the night, so he made it a point to scout them out; figuring that, worst case, he'd fall asleep watching one and wind up dreaming about it. Suddenly, he recalled a book he'd read, a long, long, time ago, where an old (500 years in age) phoenix bird was always giving advice to a boy, David, like: "We shall sleep during the day and continue your education at night!" and "Knowledge is power!"

 "That's it!" Perry cheered, deciding to learn whatever he could from any infomercials he'd end up watching. Perry brought his notepad paper and a pencil up from under the coffee table; opting to take notes, should some infomercial actually cause him to. Almost as if the TV had waited for Perry to be looking, an Arabian guy holding a white bird came on the screen, not saying anything till Perry looked at him! The guy was claiming that: "Simply by joining in a 5 or 6 year contract commitment, you can improve your credit score," to which the bird started parroting "credit score, credit score." Perry grabbed his pencil and paper, jotting in big letters: DECLINE!  The next sales-pitch on was starting soon as he put the paper aside. It had a group of paramedics (actor portrayals) who weren't speaking loud enough to hear, so Perry turned the volume up to maximum level, which, of course, is when the sound of their ambulance siren blared loud & clear through the TV speakers--silence is truly golden after all. Perry never did figure out what they were attempting to sell, and wondered if his ears might be bleeding. Disgusted with his TV experience thus far, Perry looked out his front window, which faced the neighbor across the streets bathroom window. He noticed that the lady over there was topless and in full-view, but once catching a glimpse of her, she turned down her lights for the night. "Ain't that the luck" Perry said, shaking his head, and checking the time; realizing it was almost midnight. He decided that he, too, would turn off his room lights; believing that the TV experience could, somehow, be enhanced by watching in the dark, and explained to his dog--like he had some ancient, secret, Chinese answer--"This works for the movie theaters, even if they're playing a bad film."

 Returning to his couch seat, after turning off the room lights, Perry really nestled himself into his seat. He'd hoped the after midnight programming might be a more promising watch.  The first load of malarkey was already playing, which involved a device similar to a washing machine, but washed clothing while it was hung in one's closet. "What an idea!" Perry shouted, while at the same time gasping at the thought. Quickly making a note on his sheet of paper, he wrote "Can't wait till they install floating bathtubs." Then, the next gimmick started on the TV channel (one right into the next). Perry realized there were NO commercial breaks in between, what were, in-and-of-themselves, truly, just commercials themselves, and said: "Why, those dogs!" which, oddly, turned out to be exactly what they were selling in the infomercial. There were 4 dogs, all of which were flying miniature stunt planes, and each bearing the markings of a different country across the wings. The dogs all had different names too. Perry watched as the pilot dog, named Spaghetti, was (supposedly) trying to find America, but was unaware it was already there. The entire 1/64th scale miniatures set, made of die-cast metal, was being sold as "limited time keepsake souvenirs," and running a 1-800 number across the screen bottom, while a Garth Brooks song played--which had nothing to do with the dogs or planes. Perry scolded the TV: "I'll bet my coat! It's only a matter of time before the 'keepsake souvenirs' wind-up donated, by the dozens, at Goodwill stores."

 Perry exclaimed "OH, this is terrible!" and violently shut off the TV, in a manner reminiscent of slamming a telephone to hang-up on telemarketers. He'd made up his mind, opting instead to listen to some radio. As he walked across the room to turn the radio on, he reaffirmed himself in the belief of: "If you can't do something on your own, it isn't worth doing." Flipping on the stereo, which was on FM, an old audio recording was on, of a gentleman speaking as fireside music softly played. The man was stressing the importance of "Saying what you want, when you want!" to which Perry agreed and remarked "What truer motivational words could be spoken!"

 Deciding to switch the radio to AM--which is almost a lost art--Perry started the process of fine-tuning in to 1087, which was the sport's station. The radio, being an older unit, required tuning between frequency indicator markings in a "just so" way. The process was such: First turning the dial just a little to the left of area of the station; then, back a little to the right of frequency indicator line; then, back to the left a smidge--or the station would come in with lots of static, which is very annoying to listen to (sometimes, even cross-receiving 2 frequencies at the same time; which is the absolute pits of a way to listen to any sports game). Perry asked himself, exclaiming his frustrations into the general air: "Is everybody's radio this finicky?!"  Then, like magic, the sportscaster came through clearly, saying "At the convention hall, those professional cake-testers set a new world's record tasting cakes," then continued on with an attempt at a joke "Would've been nice if they'd had some ice cream too. Get it . . . cake and ice cream!" The sportscaster was no comedian, although Perry was glad to hear that his dinner was the missing-link in someone's day's event. The person speaking changed to a female, talking about the new draft-pick rookie, who'd just had their first major-league moment. She said: "New Brewers player puts on jersey, believing it said number 05, but doesn't see it said number 50 till wearing it out on the field." Perry whimpered "OH, for Christ's sakes" then blindly (unaware of his loudness) proclaimed "They're not winning this season!"

 In an act of random despair, Perry, not looking,  flung the radio's dial to wherever . . . an act that would've left William S. Burroughs stunned; providing an answer to the question of "How random is random?"  Suddenly, a lady's voice was coming through the stereo speakers, talking about flat, decorative, wall-hangings. She was selling Christmas tree shaped hangings, both in black and white, as well as some that lit up without the use of electricity. A man who'd invested in her products chimed in, saying "They're made from rolling and gluing 2 types of fabric together . . . and it isn't even flammable."   Perry considered buying one of the fine decorations, which is when he knew for sure it was bedtime and turned off the radio.

 As Perry started heading to his bedroom, he noticed his coat hanging on the staircase banister. Pausing for a moment, he decided to stop and check its pockets (hoping there might be some money in them) as a last ditch effort for any fun that night. All that he found in the pockets--which he'd thoroughly checked, as if it was his purpose in life--was 1 lousy cough-drop, so he attempted to guess it's expiration date; finding it to be 3 or 4 years past (the label was worn down from rubbing in the pocket, making the number unreadable) the freshness date. "That's it!" Perry growled, not caring about it and deciding to eat the thing anyway. After all his efforts, he was now intent to dream about inventing and selling floating bathtubs, and declining to pitch his idea to anyone.

   The End


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