The Writers Voice
"Hey, did I ever tell you about how I got laid off from my life?" Joey Humphries
asked his female partner Shirley. Shirley looked back at him attentively with
her soft brown eyes, but as usual, did not respond.
Here I am getting out of the bathroom after my morning shower, wearing nothing but my fuzzy green bathrobe, when there's this greasy looking guy standing in front of me dressed all in white and carrying a gold clipboard. 'Who the hell are you?' I ask him. So he answers me in this deep, booming voice, 'Hell has nothing to do with it--at least, not as this stage. The Boss wants to see you in his office.' And then I see this glowing white door suddenly appear in back of this creep, like right in the middle of my bedroom. The door's got this sign on it that says THE BOSS.
Now I'm just standing there like some kind of idiot, and I don't believe a single thing I'm seeing. Then this guy gets an angry look on his face and points to this door or portal or whatever the hell it was, and says 'NOW' in such a loud voice, I'll tell you, it made the walls shake. And then this door sort of opens up all by itself, and this bright light's coming out of it, and I feel myself walking towards it, but it's like not me doing it. It's like I'm being forced to walk through this door. And all I'm thinking now is how come I didn't take my sunglasses, cause that light was so bright I could hardly see.
"So I walk through the door and I guess I'm in some sort of room or something cause I can sort of see these white walls around me. In the middle of the room I thought I could see a big desk with a chair in front of it and somebody big sitting behind this desk, but I could only see his outline, cause the light was so bright. 'Come in, sit down,' this big guy said with a voice so booming that it made the first guy's voice seem like a whisper. And then, boom, I'm sitting on the chair facing this guy, but I still can't really see him.
"I'm really scared by now, and this guy starts talking. 'Joey,' he says, 'the
world is going through particularly hard economic times, and we've had to do a
painful reorganization. I'm sorry, but we're going to have to let you go.'
'It's nothing personal, I can assure you. You've been a very productive
individual. We've just had to let a certain number of people go, and
unfortunately, you'll have to be one of them,' he answers in what was intended
to be a sympathetic voice. Relatively speaking, of course.
"Then I feel my mind is finally starting to work again. 'Do I, like, go to
heaven now?' I ask, realizing afterwards how moronic that might have seemed.
'When's that?' I ask.
'I'm sorry, you can't return to it. In fact, you can't go back to being a human at all. Like I told you, we've had to cut back. There are no human transfer positions available now. But if you'd like, we can check whether we can assign you to a different position,' he explains slowly.
'Huh?' was the most intelligent response I could come up with under the
"Now these unhappy people, they come in all sizes and shapes, colors and ages.
And they're all bitching about why they were specifically chosen to be downsized
from the human race.
'No, it's race discrimination,' says this black guy.
'No, they went after the computer programmers,' says this guy with a squeaky
little voice. And about twenty-thirty other guys with squeaky little voices
agreed with him.
'A representative from Personnel wants to talk to you in room thirty-two
thousand, five hundred fifty-three.'
"Next thing I know I'm in room thirty-two thousand, five hundred fifty-three sitting in front of a good natured young lady who could be regarded as being exceptionally attractive except for her horns, tail, and cloven hoofs. And her hairy paws. And fangs. And bad breath. But after spending a week with all these bitchy people, it was a relief to finally see a person smile. Even if she wasn't exactly what you'd call a human person.
'I think we may have a position available for you, if you'll agree to take it,'
she says. Well, she sort of says. Actually it sounded more like a low growl. But
sexy, in its own sort of way.
'You don't have anything against animals, do you?' she asks, seductively wagging
her long, sleek tail. I thought I could hear her purring.
'Can I request to be a human again?' I ask her.
'Okay, what the hell? When do I start?' I ask.
"I barely have time to respond, 'yeah,' when--boom! Here I am with you and all
these other bunnies at this petting zoo. Hell, I don't even know where this zoo
"You know, I don't really mind being a rabbit after all," Joey continued. "You get used to the food pretty quickly. You don't have to do any work, and the social life--damn! I never got this much action when I was a human, that's for sure! And you never have to take care of the kids, or to give them all names, or even count how many you've fathered."
"But I still miss a couple of things," Joey mused. "I miss watching football
games. And I miss beer. Hell, I even miss root beer. And I miss not having
hands. Hands are fun. You can do a lot with a pair of hands. Yeah, being a
rabbit is OK, but it's just so damned boring!"
"Yeah," about twenty-thirty other squeaky little voices chimed in.
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