Truncated Tales

By Vincent Borgese

Ad Exec Can’t Remember If He Flossed This Morning

Greenwich, CT — In a rush to make an early morning presentation, Jim Meyers, an advertising executive with the firm BBD&G, can’t recall if he flossed. The Tostito account is my baby, he thought while running to catch his train to Manhattan, and I can’t afford to lose it over bad breath.

Fellow passengers on the Metro North commuter train to Grand Central Station seemed wary of the Connecticut man as he excused himself past passengers on the 6:40 a.m. express holding a cupped palm over his mouth. To make matters worse, he hadn’t cleaned — what his wife endearingly calls — his shit pocket in over a week. For years he’s struggled to cleanse this tiny flesh cavity at the rear of his throat known to harbor traces of repasts from as long ago as a month. Imagine not emptying your garbage pail for four weeks, he thought, then opening the lid — that’s my breath, except now it’s coming at you with a moistened flow of warm stink.

Fortunately for Jim, today’s presentation was for the new Garlic Ranch Tostitos, which he cleverly consumed with reckless abandon prior to entering the meeting with account reps from Pepsi. In an effort to show how much he loved their new product, he continued to consume the chips throughout his presentation, hoping to blame the putrescent odors emanating from his mouth on the hydrated garlic used in the Tostitos. His presumed love of the product, along with the headline, “It’s a Dip in a Chip,” bowled them over. So much so, he got first crack at their new flavor — soy ginger. Bad breath and all, Jim would go on to win a Clio for the print campaign and — as luck would have it — also win the Funyuns account for his firm.

Three Useless Things I Learned Last Week

One of the joys and perils of the internet is information overload. Along with all the important stuff — be it disasters, politics, business, etc. — comes a myriad of useless information. I’d like to highlight three items last week that mean absolutely nothing to me, and I hope they mean absolutely nothing to you, too:

  1. Coconut oil is no better nor worse for you than butter. Really? Who even uses coconut oil? I get all the coconut I need from Mounds bars and pina coladas, thank you. Remember, Julia Child loved butter and she lived to a ripe old age of 91. The trend in this case is not your friend — more like an annoying relative.
  2. The dad bod is preferred by most women. Listen, damn it, I got my dad bod by being, well, a dad. A lot of time and expense went into this paunch, and I don’t want some millennial gamer reaping the rewards we dads worked so hard to achieve. You think eating chips on a couch while watching the same damn Disney movie with your kid for the seventeenth time is easy? And let’s face it, if you have a dad bod at twenty-two, chances are you’ll look more like Michael Moore than Leonardo DiCaprio at fifty-two.
  3. If you die alone in a house with animals, your dog is the most likely candidate to eat you. The study found dogs left indoors with their dead owners will begin eating the face, even when other food is available. It starts with a little licking, proceeds with a nibble or two, and the next thing you know your nose is a human canape. Yet, dogs in the wild will go straight for the stomach for that nutritious organ meat. Man’s best friend my ass.

Manteca Man Still Troubled by That Thing on His Arm

Manteca, CA — A systems analyst from Manteca, California has let friends, relatives, and coworkers know he’s still concerned about that thing on his arm. Less than a week has passed since Wayne Feders noticed a small red blotch on the inside of his right forearm. He doesn’t remember banging it against anything, nor has any recollection of a spider or other small insect crawling up his arm. It could be anything, friends have remarked, leaving Wayne to scour the internet for medical advice.

“I’ve seen similar marks on Google Images,” Wayne said nervously, “and if it’s what I think it is, it ends badly. I mean, I’m hoping it’s nothing, but my mind tells me it’s either from a brown recluse spider, or a tick infected with lyme disease. I’m just waiting for symptoms to occur before I can get medical help.” When asked why he simply wouldn’t go to a doctor, he shot back, “Obamacare,” then mumbled something about copays and deductibles, and that he’d rather go to the ER and have someone else foot the bill like it used to be.

As luck would have it, his cousin Luke called out of the blue to ask him if he’d be going to their cousin Patricia’s wedding in Sacramento. Luke was a premed tech before dropping out of Las Positas Community College to pursue his passion for craft beer. “I like hoppy hops,” he shouted repeatedly during a family intervention some years later for his problem with alcohol. Clean and sober for nearly seven weeks, he was quick to give Wayne advice on the photo he’d just received via text of the blotch in question. “It could very well be a spider bite,” he surmised, “but I’m leaning toward the early stages of necrotizing fasciitis, or what’s known as flesh-eating disease.”

Needless to say, this got Wayne into a panic. He dropped the phone, started hyperventilating, and immediately dialed 911. However, in his panicked state, he had the phone upside down and actually called 611. A Verizon rep answered after recognizing the number he was calling from, and Wayne proceeded to tell her his symptoms. She told him she would suggest getting advice from a medical professional, and that he — according to her records — is allowed an upgrade on his current phone. After some small talk about upgrading to the iPhone 7 in the fall, he abruptly hung up prompting an immediate callback to take a two-minute survey on the performance of the Verizon experience he’d just had.

Out the front door, and about 30 seconds into the survey, he ran smack into his 11 year-old neighbor, Jake, knocking him to the pavement. Unscathed, Jake quickly got up as Wayne apologized profusely, showing him the red blotch and explaining how it will soon consume his arm from elbow to forefinger. Jake said the blotch looked familiar, and showed him a similar one on his left arm. “A flea bite,” he said matter of factly. “My mom said it’s been a bad year for it, and I probably got it from our dog, Misty.” Wayne stood with his mouth open as he recalled how his cat, Tinkles, hasn’t stopped scratching. Jake assured him it would go away in a few days and not to worry. Wayne felt like he’d been reborn, and promised to fix Jake’s bike the next time he got a flat. No friends, relatives, or coworkers called to check on Wayne’s status because, quite frankly, this wasn’t the first time.