"Oh these?" I said, searching for something to latch on to. "These are part of..." I began, smartly. "A..." I continued, after a long time had passed since I had said 'part of.' "Business!" I concluded, exhaling heavily. "A business of mine! That I own." "Oh? What sort of business?" she pressed, like she was Sherlock fucking Holmes all of a sudden. I nodded earnestly, as if I could answer that question simply and honestly, which I couldn't. Racking my brain for everything I knew about businesses, I finally blurted out "You know that show Flip that House? It's like that." Her face tensed. "You flip fake dog nuts?" she said, paraphrasing the occupation I had just claimed for myself. "Yesssssssssssssssss," I said, falling back on my word-stretching trick. I gulped. "Yeah, you know. The margins on balls? They're uh, just amazing." I waved my free hand around trying to come up with a gesture to indicate how amazing the margins on fake dog nuts were. After a few seconds I eventually settled on a vague cupping gesture. Amazingly, she nodded. "I'll bet. My boyfriend got them for his dog. That's how I recognized the brand name. Anyways, those things are like $150 each." Anne carried the conversation on her own for a little while, but I had no idea what she was saying. Clutching the box of balls slightly tighter to my chest, I ran some quick calculations. I had $150,000 worth of fake dog testicles in my hands. My mind reeled as I stood there in a daze. Eventually Anne walked away, perhaps annoyed that I hadn't said anything in several minutes. After a few seconds my mind caught traction, and I began to consider my predicament. It was a bit of a dilemma. The recession had hit ad revenue for all web-based business pretty hard, and thanks to that and an extremely liberal interpretation of certain contracts, Cracked had lately been paying all its writers in Fijian dollars. This had understandably impacted my pocketbook significantly, and suddenly the prospect of being a sham dog ball middleman sounded a lot more tempting. Curious, I broke the seal on the box and pried it open. One-thousand little rubbery blobs, the same shape as a kidney shaped bean. All sloshing around in the box. I picked one up and squeezed it. Squishy.
But how to sell them? My first thoughts went to eBay or craigslist. Definitely the easiest, but Internet sales were at least somewhat traceable by authorities. Surely someone would notice that $150,000 worth of balls was missing, and would check the Internet to see of anyone was trying to move the merchandise there. I'd be setting a trap for myself if I went that route. Going to jail for selling hot nuts wasn't a future I relished. What do cons do to guys who get caught selling fake dog balls? I missed that episode of Oz. Rape I guess - that seems to be how they handle most things. Hawking them in person could be safer, but who would buy fake dog testicles? Fetishists obviously, but did I want to meet these people? Or handle cash that they had handled? The only other option I could think of were crooked veterinarians, but where to find those? As I was standing there, mulling my options, I spotted fellow columnist Robert Brockway. I approached him, and asked, "Hey Brockway, you know any shady veterinarians?" "Yes, three." He flicked his eyes down at the box I was holding. "You trying to sell those Neuticles?" I tilted my head slightly in a non-committal gesture. "Maybe." He leaned in and peered at my dog ball collection. Reaching in he plucked one out of the box and examined it closely. Suddenly, he popped it in his mouth and began working it around with his jaw, while I stood, gaping. Chewing on it with a thoughtful look in his eye, he finally said "These are good." He looked me in the eye. "