“Holy fucking surprise!” I shouted as I burst into Patrick’s office.
Patrick looked up from his copy of The Leaky Wiki special edition (It was the Washington Post, with ‘The Leaky Wiki’ written across it in marker pen.) He let out a long, ragged sigh. “What is that you’re wearing?” He said.
“Check it out!” I said. I pushed a button concealed in my ass crack and the disco ball jock strap began to rotate, sending twinkly lights about the office.
Patrick frowned. “It’s not my birthday.” He said. “And even if it was this would be the worst birthday surprise imaginable.”
“It’s my new uniform, Patrick old chum.” I said. “And I think you’ll find it’s perfect for my new position as correspondent.”
Patrick frowned deeper still, practically breaking his face in the effort. “How is a disco-ball jockstrap and nothing else an appropriate uniform for a war correspondent?”
I felt my heart sink. I should have known it was too good to be true. “War correspondent? I’m almost entirely sure you said ‘whore correspondent’.”
Patrick put a hand over his face and pushed against his forehead, driving his frown down to unprecedented extremes. “Why on earth would I ask you to be a whore correspondent? What even is a whore correspondent?”
“Well, why would you ask me to be a war correspondent?” I countered. “War correspondents are men and women of steely disposition and heroic purpose, handling often terrifying situations with gung-ho professionalism and grim determination. Where as I am a twat wearing a disco-ball over my cock.”
“That’s true.” Said Patrick. “But it’s also true that you’ve been sleeping in the kitchen for three weeks now, and frankly I don’t want to look at you anymore.”
“Ah, so you thought you’d send me of to die on some foreign shore, commenting on some horrific battle the likes of which I can barely comprehend, let alone articulate in an article?”
“In a word; yes. In two words; fuck yes.”
I leaned over Patrick’s desk, the disco ball clonking uncomfortably against his coffee cup. “I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Englishman, Patrick. The only thing we know about war is getting drunk and punching the French. Also, and this is important, I’m an absolute and total coward. I’m sure I mentioned that in my CV.”
“Yes you did. Unfortunately I misfiled your CV, along with my propensity for giving a fuck. Now get out of my office and don’t come back here until you’ve corresponded a war.”
I hit the streets. Literally. Thumping my fist onto the pavement while I sobbed hysterically. The only thing I knew about war is that it was highly entertaining when Hollywood did it, but not entertaining in the slightest when it happened in real life. I wondered how I would get to Lame-o-Slavia or Uncoolistan or where-ever the hell it was they were murdering children these days with only twenty dollars in my pocket. Slowly I got to my feet, an idea forming in my soggy, tear splattered head. Patrick wanted me to comment on a war- but he didn’t specify which war. And, more importantly, he didn’t say where.
Three hours later I adjusted my McDonald’s uniform. Becoming nightshift manager had been surprisingly easy, requiring me to spout colossal lies for only half an hour or so during the interview process. Now I was in the staff room, preparing for my shift and surveying my crew of employees. For the sake of privacy I will call them Tubby, Dead Eyes and Jail-bait.
“Listen up crew.” I said. “I may have only been your manager for seventy seconds, but I think we all know that there needs to be a change around here.”
The nightshift crew exchanged weary glances.
“Now. As you may know, McDonald's is one of the world’s largest employers, employing a veritable army of low-wage, unskilled and poorly educated peons. People like you. Especially you, Tubby..”
Tubby folded his arms across his belly, as though I would suddenly forget he was fat. I wouldn’t.
“But it doesn’t have to be like this. You don’t have to cry yourselves to sleep at night contemplating the massive spiral of failure that your life has become. We can rise up! With so many of us in the same situation, we can rise up and defeat the oppressive bourgeois bureaucrats that would see us while away our meaningless days in soul destroying wage slavery. And who better to lead us than...” I closed my eyes and span around with my finger out until I felt like stopping. “You, Dead Eyes. You shall lead us to revolution!”
Dead Eyes looked at his working class feet and mumbled something.
“What?” I said.
“I said my name is Pete, and I actually kind of like it here. It’s steady pay with flexible hours.”
I slapped Dead Eyes hard in his proletarian face. “Grow some testicles you pathetic animal- you’ve got a revolution to lead! And I? I will be by your side the whole time, documenting your rise to infamy. And by ‘by your side’ I mean from, like, really far away.”
I unzipped a sports bag and began handing out assault rifles. “Our time is now! Let the revolution begin!”
Jail-Bait let out a long sigh. “Not again.” She said.
“What?” I hadn’t expected articulation, only dumb obedience. Words were not part of my plan.
“Our last manager tried this.” She said, with her home-wrecking mouth. “He tried the whole ‘rise up against the one percent’ thing too.”
I shivered, suddenly feeling the cool fingers of dread cup my scrotum. “And? what happened?”
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?" Said Tubby, pointing to a door I had assumed was merely a utility closet.
“Yeah, go ahead.” Said Dead Eyes, his eyes becoming even more dead somehow. “Go and ask him.”
I approached the door, noticing my fingers had begun trembling, as though my animal body could sense a profound horror that my conscious mind was as yet unaware of. I gripped the metal handle and opened the door.
I cannot recount the unimaginable and nerve-rending terror that awaited me in that unassuming closet in that equally unassuming drive thru. When I try to recall it, my mind rebels and my body convulses. All that I can tell you, dear reader, is that the revolution is most definitely cancelled. And, also, don’t eat the chicken nuggets.