To visit Martin's writing website, press here.



To visit Martin's songwriting website, press here.


November 23, 2012

Neal Socks It To 'Em


Neal’s sitting in the outer office waiting for his job interview. There were several other chumps in there, but Neal was confident in his abilities. Plus he thought he could charm the personnel director, since she had already eyeballed him when she opened the door to call in the first couple candidates. Yet something, as usual, was not quite right.

Somebody in the room had incredibly stinky socks on. Sheesh, Neal thought, wash your socks, dude. This isn’t a football locker-room, this is your big chance at a prized job. Get your act together. That stench got worse as all the folks sat there smirking and twisting their noses. Neal looked at the guy across from him, maybe it was him that smelled, and smiled. He smiled back.

Neal was sure he didn’t get it, or maybe it wasn’t him. Neal lifted his hand to his nose and made a surreptitious P.U. gesture. The guy snorked. Snorking is when you choke a laugh, spit and swallow all at once, mouth and nose backflush. The stench was really filling the little room by now. Christ, man, what kind of slob doesn’t wear clean socks!?

The others waited in silence, like they were about to get their prostates checked, except the one woman in the gold pant suit who, perhaps, had the expression of a pre-gyno exam. They all needed some kind of relief, so Neal made the P.U. gesture again, only clearer. Somebody should get the hint and go change their socks. This was ridiculous. The others tittered.

Finally, Neal was called by the hot woman who turned out to be an assistant or secretary. She took his application forms and looked at him like she was constipated. Then he went into the main office with the big walnut desk. The suit behind it had that vaseline in his white hair that smelled to Neal like his greasy grandfather. Maybe charming him wouldn’t work, but Neal had references. His old boss at In ‘n Out Burger wrote him a great letter. A power letter.

The phone rang just as Ol’ Whitey was about to ask Neal something to test his knowledge of the job he’d never done before. The usual ‘experience necessary’ thing. But the boss was on the phone jabbering, and Neal noticed that smell again, the stinking sock smell. Oh, it was strong. Man, somebody farted! It smelled like a pig farm in there. Must be the old timer.

Neal’s alarm hadn’t really functioned correctly that morning. That is, it went off at 7, but he pressed the snooze button about 7 times in a row before jumping up, shaving, dressing, wet washcloth the armpits, and rushing out to get the bus. He made it to the office right on time. Neal was good. He had organizational skills. He’d laid out his clothes before going to bed. Brand new thin black stockings.

He’d been up late because he had a city-league softball game the night before. He wore his lucky socks to that, the ones he didn’t wash all season. Now those really stunk bad. Actually after the game he went out for beers with some buddies and then at home played a few video games before knocking off. Okay, maybe three hours of video games. Then Neal went to bed and slept like a baby. He didn’t wear pajamas but slept in his underwear because women find that sexy, he’d heard somewhere. However, he did wear socks to bed because it got cold in there.

Last night when he went to sleep about 3 am, he, what?, he wore his softball socks probably. Yeah, guess so. And then this morning, in the rush to get out the door, he, what?, put on his new black socks. He turned his feet inwards and looked down. Yes, the black socks. Then Neal lifted his pant leg slowly so the boss wouldn’t catch him, until he could see the top of the black stocking. Then he coyly slid his finger inside the sheer black and pulled it down until he hit a lump. Dang. He had put the new socks over his sleeping socks, his lucky softball socks, never wash ‘em all season. The ones that had helped win the game last night.

Neal excused himself while the boss was still talking. He went to the outer office and said to the secretary that he’d forgotten that his little brother, Lester, was having a liver transplant that day. And he stomped into the waiting room. Everyone was laughing and stopped abruptly. Then they looked at him and all snorked in chorus. Neal pointed to the woman in the gold pant suit and made the closed nose gesture. That’ll teach her.

Happy trials, Martin

 
 Mutt: Guten Morgen, my friend, freund, that is.
Jeff: Where are you? Oh, down there.
Mutt: Hilarious, make fun of the altitude challenged.
Jeff: Sorry. Not really. Listen, can I tell you a story I read in the paper?
Mutt: I’ll make you pay.
Jeff: I know. Okay, at one time, economic conditions caused the closing of several small clothing mills in the English countryside. A man from West Germany bought the buildings and converted them into dog kennels for the convenience of German tourists who liked to have their pets with them while vacationing in England. One summer evening, a local resident called to his wife to come out of the house. "Just listen!" he urged. "The mills are alive with the hounds of Munich!"
Mutt: No way! I know that song. The words go "The ills will arrive, with the sound of mule sick."
Jeff: Yeah, anyway, top that.
Mutt: Easy. The Cleveland Symphony—to remain in the musical sphere—was performing Beethoven's Ninth. In the piece, there's a long passage - about 20 minutes - during which the bass violinists have nothing to do. Rather than sit around that whole time looking stupid, some bassists decided to sneak offstage and go to the tavern next door for a quick one. After slamming several beers in quick succession (as bass violinists are prone to do) one of them looked at his watch. Hey! We need to get back! No need to panic, said a fellow bassist. "I thought we might need some extra time, so I tied the last few pages of the conductor's score together with string. It'll take him a few minutes to get it untangled." A few moments later, they staggered back to the concert hall and took their places in the orchestra. About this time, a member of the audience noticed the conductor seemed a bit edgy and said as much to her companion. Well, of course, said her companion. "Don't you see? It's the bottom of the Ninth, the score is tied, and the bassists are loaded."
Jeff: Groan, groan and more groan.
Mutt: Just jealous.

 

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