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..,and Pizza



I faintly recall being wheeled down a well-lit hallway passing labeled offices en route to the one that read ‘Vexicon’. One office passed on the way caught my eye tagged ‘MMI Trans-Trade Technology’ thinking that MMI was branching off into some sort of transsexual slave trade biz, bringing in new-halfs on H1B Visas to fill positions in the exciting and emerging market of electrolysis and anal-bleaching practices of the military-industrial cosmetic complex; to be used under the very secret Operation Cotton Tail program to track perceived perversions of covert perverts; creating a cottage industry of billionaire-backed on-line trade schools financed at the expense of public education’s Art and Music programs.

But what would Vexicon have to do with bleached and waxed assholes? Or more importantly what does Vexicon have to do with MMI; Master Mind Inc. formerly known as Missing Minds Intelligence. A parallel DHS black-ops organization originally contracted out to Blind Ambition Technologies (BAT) that destroyed itself through its own inventions; now passed secretly and securely into private hands with name changes on par with game changes.

“Oh we just share a basement.” Said Floyd who; in this light, looked like the host of The Best Worst Jobs, cable show; as he released me from the restraints motioning to a chair in front of a desk with a monitor he would sit behind and in front of a poster that read “Quit School and get a Job!” It then occurred to me that Floyd had answered a question not asked..,

“It’s not as strange as you might think.” Floyd said as he offered me a piece of Papa Papa pizza – jalapenos and cheese with black olives including their award-winning secret-sauce, just like I like it - I was powerless to resist.

He continues to read off his monitor;

“Or so I’m told. I personally don’t understand it but then I just keep on script so I don’t have to know. Isn’t that right?” he said to his long-legged assistant named Max with a PhD that would know; that I just now notice seated in the corner beside a small table supporting a top-shelf lap-top I’d already seen liquidating on a lower shelf Enjoy Better More back-to-school sale.

“In fact Google is working on a robot that can do my job and Max’s. But I’m the personality and close to retirement and management. Of course Max will be screwed by Vexicon but then..,”

As Floyd rattled on about the virtues of a monopolized free market I looked about the empty office. Floyd’s desk was one in five but the only one that appeared to be in use.

“Yeah after consecutive quarters of record-busting profits The Company found it necessary to downsize its labor force in an effort to bust the labor market nation-wide; little good to win a battle if you don’t profit from the war. Keep the useful hungry and starve-out the rest, is our CEO’s motto.” Floyd pronounced proudly.

“This office used to be customer service. But now it’s mine. Actually this whole floor used to be customer service. Anymore questions?., Call customer service.” Floyd says now laughing.

“Sorry inside joke. Like I said I’m the personality. But seriously anymore questions?”

At this point it’s understandable that I didn’t understand; lost between story and editorial not a clue as to what was going on; so yeah I had questions and started with this one;

“How the fuck.,” but with the wave of a hand was silenced by Floyd.

“I know what you’re going to ask. The bathroom’s just out the door and to the left and yes you are free to use it.”

But that’s not at all what I was about to ask. But then realized, now that he had mentioned it, I did need to use the bathroom and excused myself. 

I walk out the door and turned left wondering what would have happened if I had turned right – always wondering what would’ve happened if I’d turned right – probably wouldn’t find the bathroom. I continue to the left looking for the bathroom and/or signs of an easy exit only to find endless corridors spanning in all directions. Not even a sign of a sign to freedom; only signs of new expansion and threat of labyrinth madness. It appeared you could get lost for a long time down here  – lost only in your own mind though as the many motion-sensitive cameras discreetly mounted in ceiling corners informs on where you are; I may not know where I am, but others do – are you ever lost if you’re already found?

I also notice conduits carrying cables interconnecting the offices all leading to the largest office with the smallest sign just past Insane Capital – so it’s all fed into the Mass Surveillance Agency’s (MSA) office I think and would’ve made a mental note but sure I would forget and I really needed to pee.

I find the bathroom and while I take a piss am entertained by piped in messages about the expanding world of wireless communication and massive cloud storage capacity – excuse me while I kiss the sky.

When I get back and before I even sit down Floyd’s ready with a question of his own;

“I just have one question for you.., Cutting Ed who?”

“It’s just Cutting Ed.” I said as I took my seat which now begins to feel a bit warm.
Floyd looked over to Max who continued;

“We know Cutting Ed is just an alias – we know everything and what we don’t know we can extrapolate from algorithms incorporated into computer programs even alerting us of things we don’t know we don’t know. So we know everything; past, present, future. We know where you are; we know where you’ve been; we know what you think and what you’re going to think; now we need to know who you are. We know Cutting Ed is just a cover for Steve McNaught which is also an alias – an undocumented alias; but for what and why.

" So, once again, Cutting Ed who?”

“So you don’t know everything.”

“Oh but we do know, we just don’t know yet.”

“It’s just Cutting Ed.”

“Cutting Ed who? Or let me rephrase it; who’s Steve McNaught?”

Okay fine they want a name I’ll give them a name;

“Steve Hooje.”


“No, Hooje.”

“Who is Steve?”

“Hooje. Steve Hooje.”

”I don’t know.”

“That’s my uncle.”

I thank Turner Classics and Floyd looks disturbed and disoriented.

“But don’t you see; the ‘j’ is silent.”

Floyd looks again to Max.

Max frantically punching the locked-up lap-top surrenders and simply shrugs.
Floyd looks back at me, twitches, smiles - then demands,

“What’s your email address?”

“I don’t have one.”

“We need your email address!”

Floyd is losing it.

“Like I said, I don’t have one.”

“What do you mean you don’t have one!!”

Floyd looks like he’s about to have a seizure; tweekin’ like coming-off a Five Hour Energy bender; sneezes then smiles and says..,

“I know what you’re going to ask. The bathroom’s just out the door and to the left and yes you are free to use it.”

But that’s not at all what I was about to ask. But then realized, now that he had mentioned it, I did need a smoke and with all the NO SMOKING signs hanging about, I decide the bathroom would be the perfect place.