Some fiction for your Wednesday

As long as I couldn't sleep, I might as well use that time to finish a little piece of fiction that's been troubling me. I didn't know how the hell to end this.
It came to me about 3 a.m.
Why was I up? I tore a muscle in my arm. Playing softball. Wicked bruise, from my wrist to well past my elbow. And it makes it hard to find a place to tuck my hurt wing and get any sleep.

Anyway, I finally finished this piece. Hope you like it.

The fountain cups of discontent
Frosties are the worst. Especially if they’ve been left to melt some, so you get warm froth – and a freezing center.
And it’s a bitch to get out of natural fibers. A pea coat. Jogging suit. Hell, even the ubiquitous T-shirt and jeans, for chrissakes.
I’ve taken to wearing Gore-Tex rain gear these days. Hood up, too. Better to be safe than sorry, I say.
Especially when you get pelted with fountain drinks.
On a somewhat regular basis.
Funny, it’s never a can or a bottle.
Fountain drinks. Always the fountain drink. Waxed-paper cup, or maybe one of those flimsy plastic cups from the nearest mega fast-food palace. Lids, straws, ice and a mixture of high-fructose corn syrup, flavor enhancers, citric acid – a lot of times caramel coloring – and simple carbonated water.
The mixture of high-fructose corn syrup to carbonation is called the brix, look it up. Or Degrees brix. The measurement, the mass ratio, of dissolved sucrose to water in a liquid state. It’s measured in the lab with a saccharimeter.
In the real world, it’s measured by the width of your ass, as you waddle from the convenience store with one of those flimsy, wax-covered cups.
Soft drinks. As opposed to hard drinks. A soft drink - or soda, pop or fizzy drink, as it is referred to in England - is differentiated from a hard drink because it has no alcohol in it.
Just lots and lots of high-fructose syrup. A corn derivative. The Coca-Cola Company and Pepsi both made the switch to HFCS, as it is known in the biz, in 1984.
It’s good to know your enemy.
Since fountain drinks are my sudden rain showers. And in my world, it rains several times a week. The high has been 17. The low, three. The average is 12.
I once was pelted with 27 fountain drinks - and one Frosty - at a high school basketball game. They had to send the janitor - with his yellow bucket and yellow cones with the little red stick-figure man slipping embossed on them - to clean up the mess.
“Boy, what the fuck are you thinking?” he said as I stood and watched. And got hit with the Frosty. The tannish-brown, bubbly glob just ran off the red Gore-Tex coat like a slug moves across concrete.
Clear is good. Clear comes out in the wash. Your Sierra Mists, your 7Ups – the Un-Cola, you know. Colas, if left longer than 30 minutes will leave a major stain, and will begin to eat through the copper studs in your jeans. Trust me, I know.
Root beer is unexpected, old-school. It is sticky.
So are those new “flavored” teas.
“I’ll order the tea,” you think, being all healthy and shit. When you might as well swallow a bag of sugar.
Milkshakes and frozen, carbonated drinks have their own category. Their own set of problems.
Milk solids rot and stink in natural fibers. Something to do with the lactic acid or something. Don’t get to a milkshake soon, and you’ll stink. I had to toss a nice London Fog overcoat because of a Jack in the Box Andes® Crème de Menthe shake once.
Hence, the Gore-Tex. The nice stuff, too. Mountain Hardwear, $500 worth of protection.
Frozen novelty drinks, your Tastee-Freeze, Slurpee, the venerable Icee, aren’t so bad. Unless any of the frozen drink finds a crease. A bit of Slurpee Fanta Orange Cream is cold and wickedly gross as it travels down your back.
Trust me, I know. I’m an expert on fountain drinks large and small.
Yeah, I bring it on myself.
Because around my neck, protected as it is by the Gore-Tex, is a sign, printed neatly front and back.
And it says,
“Fuck You”

4 comments:

Hilda said...

Awesome! The perfect ending, finally!

Jason said...

Alright... that was damn funny. I'm still chuckling out loud five minutes after I finished it. Very cool.

TheRobRogers said...

Brilliant. It reads smooth and fast and just pulls you through. And the end is absolutely perfect.

Queen Of The Valkyries said...

That's fucking great.