My boss walks in and says to me, “I want you to write an article for Halloween this year. No giveaways, no gimmicks, just an article. You do remember what a fiasco last year was right?” I smile and nod as I always do when someone thinks I should remember all the things they find important. Well this couldn’t be too hard, writing about our lights is easy. They are bright, beautiful and cheerful, everyone loves them. I just had to somehow link them in peoples’ minds with the most dark and terrifying day of the year. Holy crap I’m being setup!
All I needed to do was concentrate, what do our LEDs have to do with Halloween? Haunted houses, no not really, costumes, no, candy…yes. Everyone loves candy and who turns it down when its free. We will give away candy with our lights, simple enough.
“What did I say!?” my boss asks, her temple vein looking like a garden hose. “Ahh , which time…I ahh” I know that was not very articulate but that vein was starting to get oddly shiny and was going purple. I wished at that point that I had worn a different shirt, maybe the green one. Fifteen minutes later I was finishing my second drink. It turns out I had pitched this same idea last year. We gave away candy with the lights and people ate the candy AND some people ate part of the lights AND we got sued AND I had to testify in court. Being sued is scary but what is more scary is memory loss at my age. I told my boss I remembered the part about having to wear a tie and put on underwear. My ability to suppress is what allows me to sleep so well at night.
You know what I find scary? Whenever I see kids walking by with their pants down past their butts and their boxers hanging out. This makes me afraid for the future of America. Of course when I see anyone over the age of forty wearing skin tight bike shorts I don’t think to highly of present day America either. The thought of that vein “popped” into my mind, I didn’t think the boss would want me to equate underwear and the decline of American society with our LED lights.
Well what scares people? Heights, public speaking- that’s a good one, spiders, having babies, changing their diapers(I just got the chills), teaching them to drive a stick shift, paying for their communications degree! I had to stop and freshen my drink.
Maybe the key to this was to think like a writer, no, an author. I would just channel the dead spirit of Stephen King.” How to start… “It was a stormy night, and dark.” No that didn’t flow. How about “It was a dark and stormy night.” No, I had heard that somewhere else before. Plagiarism is a scary thought, well really, getting sued for plagiarism is a scary thought. Like all moral dilemmas such as the debate between “borrowing” a few ideas from another writer and losing your job, a man must weigh the chance of getting caught with the benefit that the act will bring you. The bible is full of wisdom such as that. Nuns are scary. Even the singing types in the movies give me the heebie jeebies.
“What is this?” Her whole face was the same purple color as the vein. “Ahh,” was all I could manage before she repeated herself but this time far quieter. “What is this?” I am sure the mouse has this same feeling when staring into the eyes of a python. My mouth had come open at my last utterance but I forgot to close it and now a tiny stream of drool trickled down my chin.
“This isn’t ruminations in fear, this is rambling! How difficult is it to just tell people that our lights are pretty to decorate with? That we have nice orange lights for Halloween!” Her head seemed to be swelling along with that vein. “That their house would look eerie using the purple or green?” I felt the drool but was powerless to wipe it away. She held me mesmerized like only a vampire or a stripper could.
Looming over me she said “The DEAD line is at 5pm, you have that long to write the Halloween article, I don’t care who you are related to!” Well at least she solved my moral dilemma.