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Colonized Mike, Ch. 7: 'TICKLED PINK'


by Crabby McGrouchpants


            Colonized Mike peeled himself an orange.  He had a lot to think about. 
            These deals were trickier than most.  Since — 'till his dying day — he hoped people'd never find out what those in consulting were actually supposed to do — that'd be an awkward conversation! — he figured, at times like this, the euphemisms, the terminology, and the usual razzle-dazzle that one-on-one (even via Skype, with his patented Colonized Mike charm) interactions went a long way towards pushing into the “legitimized” zone were wearing thin.  O' course, that's why he had an army of copywriters on hand, so sad, they could have been brilliant novelists or journalists, but, at triple the salaries they'd get anywhere else (it's how Duke University boosted its ass in the post-Alger Hiss trial wake of the boosting of one of its Law School's alums — GO! GO! GO!), who's gonna complain?  Maybe that fuckhead who had to reach back in time for Upton Sinclair's Oil! to find a lefty-novel worth adapting . . . like they hadn't left those rabble-rousers behind . . . mutter-mutter . . .            
            Colonized Mike was getting distracted.            
            He was starting to eat an orange peel.            
            Spitting it out, he decided to blame the maid, since, on the floor as it was, it was a totem of unbearable chagrin — and sure, he was alone, now, but one must be proactive about these things, prepared for the future, why let yourself off the hook?, that's what lazykins do — the immensity of the ego-blow was tantamount to a pants-shitting in 6th grade with nowhere to go but have everyone laughing at you . . .            
            It was just sitting there, on the tiled floor, staring at him.           
            (Not minding its own business!)            
            The orange peel.            
            Colonized Mike skedaddled out of there (his own kitchen — now, as alien as an orphanage to him, and equally forbidding) and took an overly-anal, punctilious approach to making goddamn sure, mommy! (or Daddy, or God — though no-one was watching him!) that every, last, piece, of, the uneaten, remaining por—            
GRRachluuunGRUMBLE!            
            —went down the garbage disposal.            
            He tried not to look at the remaining orange peel, but — weak-willed and prone to reject no impulse, no matter how petty or fleeting, without acting on it — he stared at it, glared at it, rubber-necking at a traffic accident-style, before, finally, his cell phone in his pants pocket rang, and he was able to tear himself away.            
            He'd blame the maid.            
            And then fire her.            
            A gush of relief filled him. He was tickled pink.            
            He wiped his forehead, as though from heavy exertion — he really did actually do this, I swear! — and flipped open the cell phone and held it to his ear to take the call.           
            “Hello . . . ?”
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