Three Swimming Pools



Gwenie sat at her desk staring at her monitor. It was her first overnight shift at Morton Security and she didn’t want to fall asleep. She’d made the strongest coffee she could and also drank an energy drink. She had been thrilled to get the job. She’d always loved celebrity reality shows and now she had an unedited version. The homes she was watching were those of three celebrities a news anchor, an aging movie star and a reality star. The monitor showed the grounds of each home in five minute increments, if she, noticed anything suspicious she simply pressed a button which connected her to dispatch security and then she was to call 911.

For the first couple of hours she sat and watched empty swimming pools, vacant front doors and budding gardens. She could see a glimpse of the old movie stars kitchen reflected in the sliding glass door that led to the pool. She kept wishing he’d walk into the kitchen for a snack.

At about midnight she saw a woman take off all of her clothes and jump into the pool at the reality stars house. As the woman swam she tried to get a good look at her face. She had been given photographs to memorize of the residence of each house. The woman was kicking and splashing around so much that it was hard to get a good look at her. The camera’s switched to the old movie stars house. She saw someone coming out to the pool area. It was him! She wished she could call her brother, he loved Dom Patterson, He’d seen every gangster movie ever made. The screen flashed again to the anchorman’s empty yard, then the pool, then the front. Gwenie waited anxiously for the reality stars pool to make another appearance.

The pool came back and the woman was just getting out. Gwenie looked her in the face. She was astonished to see that it was her grad school math teacher.

“Mrs. Adams,” she whispered.

She started to push the button, she was almost certain that Mrs. Adam’s hadn’t been on the authorized list. She hesitated; she wondered what the end result of all this would be. She had a vision of herself testifying against her former teacher. It would probably be on the news.

Gwenie breathed a sigh of relief as the screen went back to Dom’s house. He was walking around the pool. At first she thought he was exercising, then she realized he was sleepwalking. He kept getting dangerously close to the edge, waving his arms and legs over the edge and then not falling in. The screen flashed to the front door then the garden.

The anchorman’s house came around again. A possum was swimming in the pool. It appeared to be floating around and having a great time. She thought she heard it giggling. She wanted to stay on it but the camera cut back to the reality stars home where Mrs. Adams, still naked was sitting, with her feet dangling in the pool smoking a joint. She was gazing at her surroundings with disbelief.

Gwenie pushed the security button. A voice came over the intercom.

“Dispatch, how may I help you, a man’s voice said.

“Yes, I wanted to report a possible intruder at the Nestley home.”

“What’s going on?”

“My high school math teacher, Mrs. Adams is sitting on the edge of the pool getting high, I’m pretty sure she’s not supposed to be there.”

“Oh , no no she’s actually a good friend of Meredith Nestley,” the voice said.

“She is?”

“Oh yeah, what was your name?”

“Gwen Staff.”

Suddenly the same voice came in a loud speaker over the pool area. “Hey, Mrs. Adams do you remember a student named Gwen Staff?”

“Oh, yeah, yeah I do. God, who could forget she was such a little dweeb, all the other kids used to make fun of her. She had this watermelon nose you would think she would be smart, but no. Why what did she do?”

“She’s watching you right now and she thought you were an intruder.”

“Oh my God that’s too funny, I mean, God get a life,” Mrs. Adams said.

Gwenie wanted the screen to change, but weirdly, it did not.

“There was this one time in the fourth grade when she peed her pants right on the bus, every called her Gwenpee for like a year after that.”

“She lives in LA now.”

“Oh, my God, you’re shitting me,” Mrs. Adams laughed. “She’s got balls or she had plastic surgery; one or the other.”

“I’m watching her right now,” said the voice and I doubt she had surgery.”

Gwen looked around for a button that would take her to another client’s house, but there wasn’t one.

“She wasn’t really good at anything in school. She didn’t suck at history, but that was about it. We used to take bets on where kids would end up, I thought she’d still be living at home.”

The voice and Mrs. Adams discussed Gwen for an hour or so longer. Mrs. Adams got up and went in the house. The screen went back to Dom’s house, he was floating dead in his pool. All was quiet at the anchorman’s house.

Gwenie’s shift ended and she headed for home vowing to look for a new job when she got there.


OK, Stupid




Tracy sat looking at the OK Cupid Profile for a long moment. The picture was an extreme close up, but it was definitely Blake, her boyfriend. Remembering she was at work she looked over her cube wall to make sure her boss was not coming. She saw the tops of her coworker’s heads. They were quietly working at their desks as if the world had not just changed completely. She sat back down and looked at the profile again as her hands began to shake.

It said he was 32 (he was 36). It said he liked CNN and he always fell asleep during the news. It had a quote from Edgar Allen Poe, even though he’d never read anything by him. He looked a lot better in the picture he had posted; you couldn’t see his gut or his bald spot.

Tracy started working again in a daze. She was hurt and angry, but more than anything else she was shocked. She became angrier as she thought about all the lies he had told on his profile. He said he was really good at balancing life and work when in actuality he was on the verge of being fired. He said he was a social drinker and he drank almost every night. He said that he was working on a master’s degree in film production when he took one class the year before. He said that on a typical Friday night he was trying a new restaurant with friends when really he was passed out on the coach after downing a six pack and a frozen pizza.

She went back to the profile right before leaving for the day. She thought about writing something back, but decided that that wasn’t the best plan. She drove home He had listed six things he couldn’t live without. He said that that he first wanted to say that he was not a very materialistic person.

“bullshit!” she to herself.

He said he couldn’t live without The Subterranean Homesick Blues 45 that he had, his favorite plaid shirt, his harmonica, his copy of On the Road, his keys and his sanity.

“Bullshit” she screamed. ‘Except about the shirt. ‘He Never listened to that old record it hung on a wall, he got the harmonica from his mom at Christmas one year, he skimmed On the Road, he was always forgetting his keys and he certainly wasn’t sane.

“You’re the most materialistic person I ever met,” she screamed.

She got home and drank a large glass of vodka, than another than another. She thought about calling him. She picked up the phone several times and then put it back down. She began to cry. She realized that he was a fat, balding fake with no talent and nothing interesting to say. She’d known it for months now.

She wondered when he had stopped thinking she was worthy of being lied to.  Did he think he could stop because he thought she belonged to him or because he didn’t thing she was worth impressing anymore? She wondered if he was even home.  She hated cell phones, they made it too easy to lie. She drank more of the vodka, soon she was sweating a strong smelling sweat. She took a shower trying not to look at her rejected body.

She got on the computer and looked at the profile again. It said he had been on early that morning. He must have gotten on right after she left his place. She wondered if he was out with someone right now, or worse if he was staying in with them.

She dialed his number but did not hit send. She wanted to plan what she would say. She would tell him how full of utter garbage he was, she would point out every lie on the profile and tell him how she knew everything about him.

She looked at the phone and at the profile.

She knew EVERYTHING about him.

She put down the phone picked up her lap top and began to take an educated guess at his password.

The Complaint (part 24)



Ellen left the apartment very early the next morning, not wanting to run into Kyle. She didn’t even make coffee and she wondered if she was entitled to get a cup from a shop or if she would be expected to pay for it. She still didn’t understand the complicated economic system in Hell.

She walked into a coffee shop and observed the activities for a moment she saw no poker chips change hands. She went up to the counter and ordered a large cup of coffee. The Barista was a woman who had no mouth or nose and could only nod at her order.  She wrote something down on her chalk board.

“Would you like a shot of meth in your coffee?” the board said.

“Um, sure I guess so?” Ellen said assuming it must be legal. The Batista cried as she poured the meth in the coffee. Ellen noticed that the girl had no veins. ‘She must have been a drug addict.” Ellen thought.  As she smiled and took the cup; she couldn’t help that think it was a pretty good punishment.

She drank the coffee on the boat and looked out at the city streets. A head on a wheel rolled by and several pigs kicked it and began an impromptu game of soccer. All of a sudden, Ellen felt a strong urge to jump and join them. She stood up and then sat right back down again realizing she couldn’t just jump off a boat and join in a pig’s soccer game.

She saw a woman with a paper clip for a head and wondered what she was being punished for. She got up again and ran to the other side of the boat as everyone regarded her with puzzlement.

The boat arrived at the office and Ellen got off. She couldn’t wait to get upstairs, a million ideas were racing through her head. She wanted to tell her coworkers about them. As soon as she got upstairs she was called into a meeting. A tall balding man in a nice suit was sitting at the head of the conference room table. Everyone from the punishment department was sitting around the table quietly chit chatting.

“Oh my God, am I late?” she said loudly. They all looked up.

“No, no. You’re right on time, said the man.

Ellen threw her purse on the table and sat down in her chair with an enormous thud.

“So, my name is Ward Pepper and I’m your new supervisor.”

“Hi”, Ellen said with a burp.

Everyone looked at her.

“Um, I thought we’d all go around the room and introduce ourselves. I’m Ward, I’m from Cleveland. I died in a skydiving accident when I was twenty two. I came down here attended HCC where I got my Certificate of Evil, right from there I got a job in the seventh circle as a safety regulator. From there I got a job as a recruiting manager….”

“You mean like for recruiters on earth? You managed the recruiting that goes on, on earth,” Ellen asked loudly.

“Yes,” that’s right”, he replied with discomfort. ”

“Did you ever meet anyone like REALLY, REALLY famous like an a lister, ” she asked fighting the urge to stand up.

“Well, I can’t really say. So anyway. I did that for four years and here I am, why don’t we go around the table and introduce ourselves.”

“I’m Frank Pearson”, a tall thin man said. I died at the hands of a serial killer when I was 23…”

“Oh My God, they kill men. I thought they only killed women,” Ellen sputtered.

“Sometimes they kill men, he said.” I just completed my tenth approved punishment and earned my own apartment. I love Punishment INC.”

An exotic woman in a red dress went next.

My names Pokey, I died when I was 22. I’m originally from Virginia when it was still the colonies when I lived there. I’ve been in punishment planning for a lot of years. I won the Rasputin Award for Creativity in Justice last year.”

Ward looked impressed Ellen rolled her eyes.

A young punker kid with a lot of piercings stood up.

“I’m Kevin, I died in a plane crash back in 83, this is my first week in punishment, I’ve been on the other side of things working in torturer for the last, basically thirty years force feeding rat droppings to salesmen. I’m excited to be here.  “I’m Ellen I died in a mall shouting at the age of 24, like two weeks ago. I just got my second approval. I just found out last night that you can win trips to heaven for exceptional punishments and it is my goal to go to heaven. I’m so really happy to meet you all, I’ve seen you around here but, like I didn’t know anyone’s name and now I do and that’s really awesome. I’m really excited form my next approval. Or even if it isn’t an approval that’s okay because I can learn from it and My first punishment was approved but it wasn’t, but I did learn from it and I just am so excited to EARN that trip to Heaven,” she said in one breath.

There were a few more introductions. Some basic rules were gone over and the meeting was adjourned.

Ellen started toward her desk.

“Hey, Ellen” Pokey said.” You shouldn’t say stuff like that. You have to be really careful.”

“Say stuff like what?”

“Like you want to go to heaven. ”

“Why not? I’m an enthusiastic and ambitious worker.”
“No, I mean if you say stuff like that they’re gonna think you don’t like Hell. You have to be careful what you say, trust me.”
















The Complaint (Part 13)


Ellen ran back downstairs and began typing out her punishment. She had decided that Barrett the Bully would have to spend the rest of eternity eating his own vomit. It was metaphorical in that everything he ever said in his life was a rejection of what was inside of him; it was economical in that they wouldn’t have to feed him or hire any torturers and it was environmentally sound in that this new resident would leave absolutely no carbon foot print whatsoever.

She printed it and proudly showed it to Rhonda.

“H’mm,” Rhonda said glancing at it. “Well, I guess it’s not so bad for a first try. We’ll hand it in and see how she flies,” she said in a bit of a condescending tone.

Ellen went back to her desk deflated. She wondered how many chances she got before she got fired. She wondered if she could get fired. She wondered if she got fired would she just be assigned to another job or would she get some sort of eternal punishment? If so, what would her punishment. It occurred to her that they might dislike her punishment so much that they would decide to make it her punishment.

She returned to reading the news website. There was a story about next year’s elections for Satan. No less than seven demons were running for the office and it was a two party system. The Brimstone party was known for adhering to very strict satanic ideals.  From what Ellen could surmise, the Brimstonians believed in evil for evils sake whereas their counterparts the Treacle Party believed that money, being the root of all evil, was what society should be striving for.

There was a fat round demon who had worked on earth as a factory farmer and an oil tank owner. He was running on a platform of environmental destruction. He was a member the Brimstone party. His opponents included a tall, thin pink demon who had been a cult leader, a curvy lady demon who had run a pay to kill hunting farm and a strikingly bright orange demon who had been the host of many swinger’s parties.  All the Brimstonian candidates were ganging up on him as they felt he leaned to close to the treacle party. They said the swinger’s parties just provided a distraction from serious matters rather than being truly evil themselves.

The Treacle had an equally horrifying roster of candidates. The included a two headed red demon who had been a venture capitalist on earth, he was running on a platform of pure greed. There was a long polk-a-dot demon who had been a corporate attorney on earth. He’d gotten hundreds of corporations of the hook for doing horrible things. Still, he was the center of some controversy as there had never been a polk-a-dot Satan. Rounding out the group was the incumbent Satan, a square green creature who had been a Hollywood producer in the world. He had been involved in a scandal earlier that year when it came out that he had raised a good deal of money for starving orphans back in his old filmmaking days. Although he had repeatedly stated that the charities were just a cover and he had stolen most of the money, his approval ratings had dropped considerably.

After reading about them Ellen was very happy that she didn’t have the vote. She didn’t like any of the candidates and although she was apparently evil she didn’t really know that much about how it all worked.

Her stomach was in knots all the way home. She told Virgil about her experience at work and he attempted to comfort her.

“It’s very rare for anyone to get fired from any job, it’s basically government work. They’ll give you lots of tries. Worst case you would get reassigned. The only workers I’ve ever seen get fired are the subversives; people who don’t do as they’re told.”

“I just don’t want to be eating SpaghettiOs and living in the dorms forever.”

“I think you’ll be fine. Hey, Ellen, there’s an orgy on Friday at one of the clubs in the fourth circle, would you like to go with me?”

“Oh,, your sweet, but, I really don’t think I’m ready for that yet,” she said grateful that they had reached the dorms.”

“I understand,” VIrgil said trying not to sound hurt.

Ellen entered the dorms and made a bee line for the bathroom. She tried not to look in the soul mirror as she passed by. She went into the kitchen where she found Kyle enjoying a sandwich. She heated up her much loathed dinner and sat down to join him. She told him everything that happened including the part about Virgil inviting her to the orgy.

“I’ve been to those things they’re really boring”.


“Yeah, they have all these games but it takes forever to get them going. I prefer my experiences to be one on one,” he smiled at her.

“So Where’s Danni,” she asked feeling herself beginning to blush.

“”She moved into an apartment. I’m happy for her. She’s a bloody hard worker.”

“Yes, well that’s good for her than. How did your haunting go last night?

“Pretty well, I’m really close to signing this one girl, I just have to wine her and dine her a bit more. I’ll probably go back tomorrow night and seal the deal.”

It occurred to Ellen that she and Kyle would be the only ones in the dorm that night.


The Complaint (part 11)



Ellen watched TV for as long as she could stay awake. Aside from the news it was all reality television. She marveled at the variety of different plots they had thought up.

The first one was a show about the life of Ted Bundy in Hell. He managed to avoid his punishment of being in a device that would constantly shove a Samari sword up his ass, by agreeing to be on an endless dating show. The show entailed a stream of insane and hideous woman who had written to him in prison competing to be his bride. Bundy was forced to sleep with all of them including a four hundred transvestite covered in boils.

The next show was called Gia and Anna Nicole and it was about the life of the former bachelor star and the former stripper rooming together for the rest of eternity. They were cursed with IBS and most of the show took place in the bathroom, They weren’t allowed to wear any make-up or brush their hair and they were forced to read all the classics aloud, which was a problem, because neither of them seem to be able to read very well.

Another show featured Richard Nixon locked in an oval office where the pictures of angry Vietnamese people yelled at him, Ellen assumed the show was aimed at old people.

The news came on again and Ellen saw her mother crying while being interviewed.  She wondered why she hadn’t cried yet. She had after all died. No one had told her weather she would see her family again and yet she felt a strange sense of calm. She felt almost as though she had stepped out of a hot tub after a long soak –limp and in a bit of a daze.  Her futile crush on Kyle was the closet thin she had felt to emotions all day and even that didn’t evoke the kind of nervousness it would have when she was alive.

Feeling drowsy, she headed back to the bedroom. She groped her way through the dark and lay down on the far corner of the enormous bed. She could here Danni and Kyle whispering at the other end of the bed, then she felt an ominous tugging at the sheets. Somewhere in the middle of the night she fell asleep. They were all awakened by an alarm at 3:00 am and Kyle had to get dressed and go haunt an aspiring entertainment news blogger who wished to become the next Perez Hilton.

The alarm when off again at 7:00 AM. Ellen was happy to see a fresh set of clothes laid out on a chair for her. She showered ate her SpaghettiO’s and caught the boat to work.

“So, what did you think of the dorms,” Virgil asked as soon as she got in the boat.

“It was okay. I hope I don’t have to live there too long. I really didn’t like the soul mirror very much at all.”

“Well, you should get used to that, there’s one in every residence in Hell,” he told her. “Why what did you look like?”

“I don’t know, weird and old.”

“Having and old soul isn’t so bad.”

“I guess I didn’t look at it that way,” she smiled.

“What do you look like in that thing?”

“I think you’d be surprised.” He said.

They arrived at the office and Ellen arrived at her desk to find a fat green file folder on her desk, it was her first assignment.

The Complaint (part 10)

compShe finished her SpaghettiOs and excused herself to have a look around the dorm.
She went into the bathroom where she tested the water in the shower and as she suspected, it was ice cold. After using the facilities for the first time in the eight or so hours she’d been in Hell she looked in the mirror. She saw a short fat woman with deep crow’s feet and white hair and a rather reddish complexion.
She heard the door open and saw Danni walk in.
“Hey,” Danni said coldly.
“Hey,” Ellen said.
She turned back to the mirror and was astonished to see a morbidly obese acne ridden bald woman crossing in back of her.
“You’ve found the soul reflector, I see, ‘the woman in the mirror said as she passed. Ellen turned back around to see the stunning Danni in the same position as the woman in the mirror.
“It freaked me out at first as well, now I just don’t look in it.”
“What do I look like to you,” Ellen asked in a panic.
“About five foot five, straight brown hair,about 135 pounds slightly crocked teeth vaguely smallish chest; good skin though and nice blue eyes,” Danni said in a rather unimpressed tone.
“So I look the same as I did in life to other people?”
“Yes, that’s right. It’s just Satan’s way of reinforcing the idea that other people’s opinions are everything.”
“But, I mean, how you get ready in the morning?”
“Well, the way I look is part of my job so I have a special mirror to look in before I go to work. You’ll just have to find a buddy to tell you if you look okay.”
Ellen wondered who she would trust enough to do something like this. She wandered back out into the hallway and found an unoccupied TV room.
She turned on the TV and a small blond anchorwoman appeared on the screen.
“Good evening, I’m Jessica Savitch and this is News Unearthed on HNN.”
Five people are dead and seven were wounded in a mall shooting in Chicago, IL today, by a man who appears to have been a disgruntled ex-employee of The Bed and Bath store there”
Ellen gasped as the picture flashed on the screen. It was Morton Tepper, the manager who had been caught stealing from the cash register.
“Witnesses say Tepper ran though the mall screaming, ‘I am an agent of darkness. I am sent here by Satan!
Statin denies any affiliation with Tepper and says that he is disappointed in the paltry death toll.
The dead include Ellen Turnblue a 24 year-old Bed and Bath Store employee, Steven Potsman a 30 year old attorney, Rebecca Kienman a 22 year-old mall employee and Justine and Karen Pitswater two eighteen year old twins who were apparently playing hooky from school that day.
All of the victims were unremarkable in their accomplishments and each of them will come to reside in Hell.
Satan says that he hopes the victims’ families will come to enjoy the media attention they will receive as a result of their loved ones having such highly publicized deaths.
No punishment has yet been designed for Mr. Postman at this time. Mr. Tepper was taken into custody and a hearing is set for tomorrow morning.
Satan stated that he hopes the low death toll and the fact that the gun was not registered to the offender will not strengthen the argument for gun control and and will not encourage health insurance companies to cover mentally health care.”

The Complaint (Part 6)



The Maitre’ d led them to a table near the window where they sat, munching on breadsticks and drinking water. The restaurant slowly revolved and Rhonda pointed out all the various sections of Hades to Ellen.

“Right over there are your famous leaders, Pol Pot is there he labors all day at growing potatoes that he only gets one bite of when they grow. He’s only weighs like 90 pounds; he’s got scurvy and liver disease too.

Hitler is right there. He constantly has to make clothing out of his own skin.”

Ellen looked down to see a boney man tearing skin off his leg with a large knife and screaming.

“That’s exactly the kind of punishment Satan likes most by the way. You’ll get further faster if you think outside the box a bit.”

“Have you met Satan?” Ellen asked.

“Oh, no that would be like meeting the president. In fact there’s an election every four years, only the demons get to vote.”

Their meals came without their having ordered anything. Rhonda was presented with a Caesar salad while and Ellen got SpaghettiOs.

“Um, we didn’t order yet,” Ellen said.

The waiter walked away without a word.

“It’s not a mistake, it’s what you get,” Rhonda said. “You get SpagettiOs until you get your first approved punishment. The quality of your meals improves from there.”

The same thing goes for housing. You will live in a dorm with six other interns. You’ll all sleep in the same bunk until you have three approved punishments.”

They moved into the next section of Hell which was devoted to heirs and celebrities.

Ellen looked down to see a group of people wrapped in bubble wrap who were trying to climb an endlessly long shoelace, one of them was wearing George Bush.

“Just be glad you get to eat better than the Hollywood producers, “ said Rhonda pointing to a group of men in sunglasses. “ When they first got here, they were force feed a diet of stale popcorn and  gas station nachos;  now all they get to eat is their own vomit.”

“Oh my God; is that Whitney Houston over there? “ Ellen asked pointing down at the singer who appeared to be locked in a vice.

“ Oh yeah that was mine, actually. She’s watching The Bodyguard: she’s always watching The Bodyguard,” Rhonda said a bit sadistically.


The restaurant turned another inch or so to reveal an ugly naked woman in a glass box she was surrounded by mirrors. Ellen knew without having to ask that the woman had been a gossip.




The Complaint (part 5)

“OK, Ellen said.
Virgil will take you to your desk
Virgil and Ellen got into Ellen’s private motor boat and traveled a few miles down the river. Ellen marveled at the amazing array of plastic palm trees and mechanical animals that lined the shore. Enormous bags of garbage floated down the river, some people rode on the bags.
“We love plastic around here, makes the earth die faster.”” Virgil said. “Those people you see floating on the bags were coach potatoes. “See that island of trash over there? “That’s all from movie sets; do you like movies?”
“They’re okay, Ellen said sensing that another question was coming and wanting to avoid it.
They docked in front of a building marked operations.
Virgil gave her a brief tour as they walked towards her desk.
“This first section over here is acquisitions. That guy in the grey is Bill is in charge of bribery, the one in blue is Sam he’s in purchasing.”
“That lady he’s with looks just like Sarah Palin. “ Ellen commented.
“That is Sarah Palin A.K.A Mussolini the demon of a thousand faces as we call her; she’s like seven hundred years old “ Virgil said.
“Over here is marketing, they do product placement, spray on tans, if you ever saw Sex and the City that was their special project. They do a lot of blogging these days.
Here’s the kitchen, coffee, vending machine and oh we have a book sharing station.
Ellen was disappointed to see the coffee was Folgers, the only candy in the machine was white chocolate and the only book was Fifty Shades of Grey.
Virgil lead her to the Planning and Danger department and showed her to a small cubicle. She sat down and waited to be told what to do. She was sitting wondering what her funeral was like when a loud voice interrupted her.
“Hey, you must be the new planner, I’m Rhonda!”
Ellen, looked up to see a plump woman of around thirty with enormous hair and bright red lipstick standing over her.
“I’m Ellen”.
“Are you hungry, I was just about to go to lunch?”
The two women took headed upstairs to a restaurant on the roof of the building called the Observatory.”
Ellen was amazed at what she saw when she entered the dining room. The room comprised entirely of glass and every window had a different view of Hell.

The Reality Show in Tad’s Head (The End)


The show began with a montage of Caroline’s past relationships and crushes; including what she thought was a particularly telling infatuation she had with Matthew Perry who she always thought Tad resembled. Camera man got a few shots of women in the audience nodding their heads in sympathy.
They cut to her narrating their meeting at the party. She said she’d never seen eyes so blue. Tad came on and began narrating as well. He said she seemed sweet and shy.
“How did you do that”, she whispered to director.
“We just pulled an image of him from you memory bands and extracted various sound bites and visual clips. After he has his dream where he sees the show his memory of what he was thinking and feeling at the time will be forever changed”.
Caroline had the strong urge to kiss director.
The audience roared with laughter at Caroline’s comments about the first time they had sex. They laughed harder when Tad said he got the impression she was not very experienced and he had taught her a thing or two.
Camera man took a few shots off men in the audience looking angry when he betrayed her in front of her father. He got a shot or two of Dora laughing at him attempting to shave the hair off his back and clipping his toenails right in front of Caroline.
The show ended with Caroline crying over their break up at work a month after it happened. Director yelled cut and the panel members turned their seats around and faced the audience. There was an empty seat right next to Caroline. They took a volunteer from the audience to read Tad’s lines off a teleprompter. Director assured Caroline that they would CG in an image of Tad over the audience member.
“Do I get a SAG Voucher for this”? The audience member inquired.
“Of course, old sport”, director said planning to make a fake voucher on his computer.

Director handed Dan rather the microphone and Mr. Rather took quite naturally to his hosting duties.

“Were back”, he said, “and we have a panel of Tad experts here on our panel please welcome Tad’s dream girl, Dora” The audience screamed and wolf whistled.
Tad’s bedwetting psychiatrist Dr. Applewood!” the audience clapped and laughed.
“Crystal, Tad’s “next” girlfriend who dumped him, The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Professor Dansworth and The Brothers of Alpha Gamma Gamma”, there were polite applause.
“Miss Caroline”, the audience went wild.
“And of course, Tad, the audience was dead silent.
The panel members took turns berating Tad.
Dora said she was disgusted with Tad’s terrible behavior. She said she was seriously thinking of becoming a lesbian after seeing his back hair and asked one off the cheerleaders if she’d like to go out for coffee.
Crystal and Caroline laughed over Tad’s sexual shortcomings and discussed whether or not is insecurity came from the fact that is penis was so small. They argued about whether or not his mother had been the one to ruin his ability to learn and rely on himself or if he actually suffered from some sort of mental deficiency.
The cheerleaders laughed and whispered amongst themselves.
Dr. Applewood said Tad’s childhood drawings indicated a burgeoning psychosis.
“I wasn’t too worried about it; he wouldn’t have been smart enough to get away with it.”
The audience roared with laughter and applause.
When it came Tad’s turn to defend himself, the atmosphere grew chilly and serious.
“I loved Caroline, I did. But, after a while it seemed like we were just fighting all the time.”
“Oh, come on Tad, weren’t you picking fights with her so she would leave you and you wouldn’t have to admit you were cheating on her “, an audience member asked.
‘”Caroline just seemed lazy. I wanted to be with someone who works as hard as I do .”
“What, you’re unemployed!” Caroline said. The audience roared with laughter.
The show ended with Dr. Applewood stating that Tad was exactly the same as the pathetic Eight-year-old who couldn’t stop wetting the bed, Caroline saying she was happy to be rid of him. The cheerleaders doing a step routine in Caroline’s honor.
Editor and director quickly put the finishing touches on the show. As Tad closed his eyes to go to sleep, the crew slipped the tiny computer with the DVD inside right behind Tad’s eyes so he would be sure to see it in his R.E.M sleep.
Caroline and the crew exited through Tad’s left ear. They ran out of his bedroom and into the street where they returned to their normal sizes. The panelist returned to their respective places in Tad’s memory.
The audience members stayed in Tad’s head and waited to be paid. They waited and waited. A few of them began to worry because they were told the M& M’s were only good for one days. None of the audience members complained about how long it was taking because they didn’t want to be blacklisted by the company that hired them.
Tad’s dreamt the show that night. He wolk up with a start. It sounded like a gun had gone off. He didn’t know it, but the audience had exploded in is brain.

“A researcher from Bullitt Marketing sat in the comfy armchair in Match in Mind’s.waiting room. The woman sat across from him looking quite satisfied with herself.
“I don’t get it” he said. “There were cookies in the candies. Like cookie flavored M&M?”
“No, not that kind of cookie. Like in a computer, sort of. When the object carrying the cookie destructs the cookie is left in the subjects head and Blasé voilà, our client has a brand ambassador, saboteur and assassin all rolled into one.”
“Brilliant.” The researcher said. We would love to invest”.
The woman and the researcher walked into her office and closed the door.

The Reality Show in Tad’s Head (part. 7)

dan r
Caroline and the crew worked swiftly to gather footage from Tad’s memory Caroline sifted through memories of the Christmas party where Tad got roaring drunk. She selected the memory of his calling her fat in front of her father.
She rolled the dolly to that fateful day in mid-September when he was supposed to come pick her up to go on the boat ride and he never did. She got angrier and angrier as she watched him chatting with a woman on Facebook who lived in a neighboring city. He asked her out for coffee. Caroline cringed when the beautiful blonde showed up at Starbuck’s. She cried at his memory of the phone call that she made to him a week later where he told her that he thought they should “give things some time”. She realized she wasn’t surprised at all to learn the blonde had been in the room with him when he had taken the call. She closed her eyes when he carried the blonde into the bedroom saying “I’m free at last”. She rode the dolly far into the future in the hopes of finding a break up.
“Love”, she heard Director say.
“We’ve got to hurry we only have a day left”.
The crew sat on an eardrum eating some very tasty sandwiches Cameraman had procured from Tad’s memory off a family trip to Paris.
Director told editor where to make the cuts.

He left them to work while he went about the business of procuring audience members for the show. He headed far back into the narrow reaches of Tad’s memory to find the people whose opinion would be of the most importance.
He walked for what seemed like miles I until he came upon a memory of chubby hands fling out in front of Tad’s eyes. He seemed to be moving towards a rather chubby set of ankles that were attached to an equally chubby woman. All of a sudden, Tad’s line of vision got higher and higher. The woman gasped and screamed, “oh my God.”
Director realized this was Tad’s memory of his first steps. At first he thought Tad was walking toward his mother, but he quickly realize that he was walking toward the television set where Dan Rather was doing the news. He stared at the anchorman with great love and fascination.
‘He admires Dan Rather’, Director thought.
This presented a unique problem. Tad’s childhood memory of Dan Rather was a completely one sided one. Mr. Rather was simply an image on screen. It would be very hard to cut him, and edit him into an angry audience member, especially in the limited time that they had. Still though, Tad was so enthralled by him that he felt the show wouldn’t be complete without him.
Although he wasn’t sure if it was allowed director stepped onto the memory band and into the memory. Tad’s mother screamed and fainted. Tad began to cry. Director shook his head, walked over to the television set and knocked on it.
Mr. Rather.?”
“Yes”, said Dan Rather annoyed at having his broadcast interrupted.”
“ I was wondering if you could come out here for a minute” , director said in an apologetic tone.
“What for”?
“Well sir, I’m here on behalf of CBS. They want you to take a look at a new show”.
“Oh well. I’ll be done in a few minutes can it wait?”
Director heard Tad’s mother coming to behind him.
“No, sir we have to go right now.”
“Oh very well, but this is very irregular” Rather said stepping out of the television.
Director grabbed his hand and led him back to the pat that was just outside of the band. Tad’s mother fainted again.
“Where are we”, Dan Rather asked.
“We’re in the head of a writer, very advanced stuff”, Director said thinking fast.