Absolutely True Story:

So this guy walks into a pet store, right?

And he strodes on over to the clerk, straining to squeeze a classic, chiseled grin out of his sour, salt and pepper flecked peeled lemon of a mouth.

The clerk is beautiful. She's got electrical tape black hair that she dyes once a week and beer bottle green eyes that she replaces once a day. Her brows are elegant, anorexic, calligraphic capital Cs. She's beautiful. Shut up.

So he says to her while she's standing with her tapered, black polyester clad back to him, her back that looks for all the world like a bike handle (her back that looked for all the world like one of them rounded competition bike handles, man!), he says to her while she's oblivious to him -- tapping the glass on a tank full of sickly pale clownfish who 'd dive out if they knew they could, he says:
"Do you have any crickets? I want to teach my son about mortality."
Assertive and confident, his face is a lurching penis. LUUURRRRCHING. Humping the air.

And she quits her tapping, executing a hasty crescendo before turning, grinding her pointer finger into the glass pane like a spent cigarette to an ashtray. She presses harder and brushes out wide, arching milky cottonball trails with the pad of her finger, an artist. She created stress fractures invisible to the naked eye, she pressed so hard.

So she turns around and SHE SAYS, pleasantly as she can through clenched, fragmenting teeth, "I'm sorry sir, none of our animals die."

The man becomes livid, enRaged. His eyeballs rocket out of his skull, head toward her at the speed of light, stop short as his optical nerves lose slack. They're trembbblinggg in place with tremmmmendddous potential energy, straining forward in mid-air like tethered junkyard pit bulls.

Thwarted, the drizzled, sweaty orbs feel impotent and increasingly worthless. They discuss their feelings with one another:

LEFT EYE SAYS: Right! We're held. It's damaging to the pride, Right!

RIGHT EYE SAYS: Left! Left, oh you know this has irrevocably damaged our standing in the global community, LEFT! We'll never be thought of as hair-triggered stone cold killers again, no matter how much effort we put into demonstrating otherwise! LEFT! LEFT! Oh god, I think we might as well just do what we've always wanted damn the judgment, we're judged to saturation,we can't be judged anymore.

LEFT EYE SAYS: Right! Oh man I think that's right, I think that's you're right, Right!

RIGHT EYE SAYS: Right, left. You know what we have to do; let's motherfucking do it. Left.


Now Now Now, resigned to allowing themselves to let it all hang out, they're beginning to waltz with one another, two astronauts spacewalking tanked, darting and thrusting and DIVING in three hundred and sixty cubic degrees of full motion.

Next thing the corners of his mouth pull back to his earlobes, placing his sixteen rows of teeth filed to a nail point on menacing display. His cratered maroon tongue, about the size and shape of a long bratwurst sausage, extends from his piranha maw and moves in sync with his screaming; it acts as a graphical equalization monitor on his screaming-- highs at the tip, lows at the base.

"What the FUCK do you mean none of your animals die? What the FUCK kind of pet store is this!? What the FUCK!?"

The hunch in his back bursts into a million shards, sounding off like your overgrown big-toenail clawing grout, amplified times a thousand million. The shards melt into a buttermilk-thick bone paste that coagulates and hardens such that nine inches are added to his height.

The clerk looks at him without expression, every muscle on her face is catatonic, overdosed on botox. She starts backing toward her desk and that growlering erect penis of a man matches her every step.

"The kind of pet store that only deals in immortal pets." she says. She reaches her desk, a waist-high enclave shaped like a staple, and gingerly lays her hands on a shotgun nestled inside one of it's open-faced particleboard cubbie holes, expectant.

"Oh," the man deflates, all of him retracts. THE HUNCH HE GOT FROM PLAYING HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RISES AGAIN! His eyeballs disentangle and return to their sockets, and his tongue ravels up, and his lips move to conceal his oral cavity's vicious bits. Each withdrawal sounds off with it's own shrill, ratcheted 'ZIP'. And the 'ZIP's are concurrent, and harmonic; they're translucent, overlayed jittery duckling rows of searing-tortured, searing-hot blue notes. I'm talking-- motherfucking -- the kind of wailing that'll snap your vocal chords like boltcutters snap glass wire.

"I apologize," he shuffles his way to the store's yawning doorway, slunched over, collapsing inward.

"It's ok, I run into it all the time, in the course of my dealings," she's still got her hands on the employee's shotgun, and her eyes are all of a sudden hewed, stock-still stone; focused with unwavering intent on the yellowing, black wire and ooze entangled bald blotch capping the rear precipice of his skull.

"Yeah, well, you should get a sign, there'd be less confusion that way," he says. A little bit of residual bile as he steps out the door.

She keeps herself riveted to the shotgun and her place on the floor for about five minutes, on guard for his return. When she feels comfortable he's not coming back, she reaches into her breast pocket, and pulls out the flaking husk of a cricket.

She nuzzles it, cooing adoration, "You'll never die, will you Mr. Cackles? Will you?" Drool dewdrops accumulate at the corners of her mouth and slither to her chin, but she's too involved to notice. A stray undyed hair, mouse-brown with gray primer, falls to the white surface of the counter, standing out like a naked black man in snow, and it's more beautiful than anything she could paint on. Shut up.

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