My Brief Time Undercover As Dan O'Brien (Among Others)


You jam your fisty hand onto the button marked "MS," and immediately hear mechanical whirring inside the body of the beast beneath you.

"This isn't a sex thing, right?" you ask, already mentally preparing for either answer. Instead, the emurangutan stops abruptly in front of a door. The door is totally nondescript, the dictionary definition of the word "door" made manifest. The door is boring as shit.

You sigh loudly, as if to say "hey, let's put a movie on, something." Your steed remains in place. The ethereal lights around you seem to focus on the doorway.

Ignoring them, you nudge the bird with your heels. Nothing happens.

"So what, I go in the door?"

The thing appears to no longer want to talk to you. Also, it now has the face of Ronald Reagan, so you decide to go ahead and scramble for the fucking door like a maniac. Finding that your legs work just fine under the dead-eyed gaze of the Gipper, you put hand to knob, make like a junior high handjob, and twist...

Back on the other side of the door, you find the tunnel of holy light and unearthly hybrid creature-monster have been replaced by a Staples employee lounge. A man you instinctively know as "Herbie" quietly eats egg salad in the corner. Realizing you have no lunch of your own and are insanely high, you decide to buy every single item in the vending machine with your foot.

SMASH! Glass rains onto the linoleum, along with a paltry assortment of packaged snacks. Herbie takes no notice, other than to pack his soiled napkin into a lunchbox and go back to stocking printer paper on the sales floor. Herbie is very professional, and his break has ended.

Squatting to inspect the snack packets, you see that they all bear strange markings.

To eat the snacks marked "CJ" go to page 5.

To eat the snacks marked "GS" go to page 3.

To eat the snacks marked "Funyuns" go to page 8.

To eat the snacks called "Chocolate Skittles" go to page 10.

To assume the life of a Staples salesman go to page 9.

To wake up from your drug trip, go to page 13.

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Michael Swaim

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