Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Holy Grail by Naomi Elana Zener

 Happy Chanukah!
Merry Christmas!
That time of year is now here.
Deep in wallets we stretch,
To buy kids gifts and good cheer.
My quest is for 1980s childhood toys,
That once delighted both girls and boys.
As an adult, no more have I mine,
My father threw them out, I whine.
To replace them today, a fortune they cost.
A goldmine of toy treasures has been long lost.
Scouring eBay high and low,
Through Etsy search pages I go.
In my pursuit for the simulacrum Holy Grail,
To pay prices asked, on my Visa I’ll self-impale.
I must begin with exorbitant Exhibit A.
An 80s nonpareil so costly, to my dismay.
A Cabbage Patch Doll, untouched, new in box.
To buy, I must sell my shirt, pants, both socks.
1985 was the ‘it’ year for that doll.
Upon seeing its price, my mouth surely did fall.
Way back in the day they were had for max fifty.
High price for our folks, but those kids were so nifty.
New versions made today are total shit.
So, to Ebay my search I did submit.
Pay no less than two hundred smackers large,
To creepy collectors who are in charge.
You can click “buy it now” for ease and avoid,
Bidding wars amped up on anabolic steroids.
Fear not, I tell myself, you must buck up
Perhaps My Little Pony’s the tea in kids’ cup.
First generation of the vintage variety,
Much cuter than ones in current society.
For thousands of dollars the plastic ponies will sell.
Diamonds are cheaper, I’m in seventh circle of Hell.
The high price on Rainbow Brite’s head gave me a fright.
To buy it, I can’t pay mortgage for a fortnight.
Recall the siren song of that minx Teddy Ruxpin,
Paying that kind of money for faux fur is a sin.
If I buy one more scented Strawberry Shortcake,
When Hubby sees Visa, ‘twill be my ass that bakes.
I can’t even think about adding a Glo Worm.
To do so means Husband will have to sell sperm.
Beyond my snack bracket are vintage Transformers.
I’d have to dance in bars for naked performers.
Forget Gem, her Holograms, She Ra, and He Man.
Bid on them, my family will live in trash cans.
Nonetheless, I got caught up in a spending spree.
Call me shopaholic, childhood anew ain’t free.
Prized toys arrive, mine now once again.
Hoping my kids will be in heaven.
But, alas ‘twas not to be the case,
Evidenced by the look seen on my face,
Opened, stared at, then promptly discarded.
With “I told you so,” I’m now being bombarded.
When toys are swapped out to play with iPad,
Technology today has made me sad.
“So what,” I say looking down at my haul.
I’m 8 once again, feeling proud and quite tall.
Bending down to play with my toys on one knee,
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah I wish to me.

© 2016. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Turnaround Tuesday by Naomi Elana Zener

“Ahhhh” Hillary yawned. With outstretched arms reaching for the sky, the taxing toll of the ardors of the 18-month presidential campaign had spread to every joint in her body. Threadbare, yet still maintaining her feisty resolve, Hillary willed her post-middle aged self out of bed. Moving slower than usual, worried her immune system was depressed, to steady her resolve, she began to chant: “when they go low, we go high! When they go low, we go high!” Dragging her feet along the route to her master ensuite, her thoughts were focused on the tasks of the day: Election Day 2016.

Voters headed out to the polls to determine the fate of the nation. Adrenaline pumping through her veins, Hillary found herself standing in front of the toilet, failing to realize that she remained upright as she began to relieve herself. Reaching against the wall to steady herself, her sluggish eyes stared down into the depths of the porcelain bowl, her gaze affixed on a foreign object in her hand. With the last bit of flow dripping into the water, Hillary realized that while one hand was supporting her balance against the wall, she wondered why she was holding penis in her hand.


Relinquishing the flaccid foreign object and simultaneously jumping back, Hillary fell to the floor aghast at the sight of the small appendage protruding from beneath her nightclothes.

“What is going on here?” Hillary grabbed hold of the vanity and stood up. “I must be dreaming. I’ll splash some water on my face and I’ll wake up.”

Reaching for the faucets to let the water run, she shook her head in dismay, wondering if the side effects from the antibiotics from her recent bout of pneumonia had caused delayed hallucinations. Looking up, Hillary was unprepared for the sight that befell her. Staring back at her from her reflection in the mirror was the face of Donald Trump.

“Donald, get the hell out of my bathroom!” she shouted. Except, the reflection in the mirror simply mouthed her words back to her. Hillary wasn’t having an outer body experience—she was having an in-Donald Trump’s body one. And, Scanning the room, the sleep from her eyes wiped away, Hillary saw that she wasn’t in her bathroom.  Instead she was in The Donald’s gilded one. “I must be having a breakdown. What the hell is going on here?”

Fully awake, Hillary trudged back to the bedroom, scampering around haphazardly. Realizing with each clunky step that the girth of her new, nearing obese physique was not as fast as her spry former feminine form, Hillary worried that there was no way she could pretend to walk even five steps in Donald’s shoes.

“Donald? Are you up?” Melania called out from the vestibule entry to the master bedroom.

“Oh shit,” Hillary whispered. She heard the clacking sound of Melania’s Manolos on approach. She quickly locked the bedroom’s bathroom door.

Panicked, Hillary tried to gain her composure. Looking at her newly masculinized self in the mirror, she mentally ran through her daily affirmations. “You’ve got this,” she told herself. Hillary shook her head. How can I have this when I’m him? Looking back at her reflection, she felt a surge swell from deep inside—“YOU’VE. GOT. THIS!” she bellowed.

“Donald, what is going on in there?” Melania queried. Her question was met with silence. “Donald, answer me. Is something wrong?”

“Uh, everything is amazing!”

“Then why don’t you let me in? Are you nervous about today?”

“Why would I be nervous? Hillary looked at herself—rather himself—in the mirror. There was no way she wanted to win the presidency disguised by the Cheeto-hued paunchy mass that was Donald Trump’s physique. “Don’t be a moron, Melania. I’m a winner. Today is going to be huge, like tremendous.”

“Okay, Donald. Do you need me to grab you a different toupee for today?”

“I knew it!” Hillary gasped.

“Knew what?”

“Nothing. Everything. Listen, just go get dressed, and wear something classy. Like that Gucci “Pussy Bow” blouse.”  Melania stalked off, slamming the golden bedroom doors behind her. Clearly, her husband was still smarting from her sartorial choice for the second debate.

Hillary emerged from the bathroom and quickly locked the front doors to the bedroom, so her new wife could not gain re-entry. Lying on the bed, she found a freshly pressed Saville Row custom suit, accompanied by a crisp white button down shirt, and a red and white striped silk tie laying on the bed. Next to it laid a note from his campaign manager. This is what you’ll wear when you’re declared Mr. President, it read.  Before she could don the Don’s attire, a buzzing sound came from the night table. Donald’s mobile phone had an incoming text. Realizing it wasn’t her phone, she was happy that Donald had at least invested in a smartphone that displayed text messages even when locked.

Don’t panic. We know what’s happened to you. Act normal. Meet your Secret Service detail downstairs in 10 min. You’ll be taken to a secure location to fix this.

Hillary dismissed the zooty suggestion of Kellyanne Conway. Not one to miss an opportunity, she rummaged through Donald’s closet to find a different tie to wear. Rubbing the white silk between her thumb and forefinger, she thought to herself “white silk for white power—how fitting.”

“Sir, we’re on the move in 8,” a booming voice rang out from outside of the bedroom. Clearly, the Secret Service received the same text.

Hillary slipped into the power suit. She took one last look in the mirror to take stock of her appearance. She unlocked the bedroom door. Met by two Secret Servicemen, they each gave her an approving once over. “See you later!” Melania sang. She gave her husband a kiss on the cheek, not sensing that something made the day unlike any other in the Trump family manse in the sky. The masculine triumvirate left the penthouse. They rode down the empty service elevator in order to sneak out the back of the building. In the alley behind Trump Tower, a sleek black limousine met Hillary and Donald’s Secret Service detail.   One of the servicemen opened the door to the car. “Ma’am, after you.” He nodded knowingly to Hillary. Hillary knew that for once in her life, someone knew more than she did. She was ready to unlock the secret of the mysterious body swap.


In an apartment across town, Chelsea heard a loud thump. Inside of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s walk-in closet, a naked Donald Trump lay passed out on the floor.

“Mom, are you ok?”

Worried that her mother was succumbing to the pressure, and having fainted before, Chelsea jogged down the hall to her mother’s locked bedroom door. She banged forcefully on the door.

“Mom! Mom, open the door!”

Donald roused to the sound of his opponent’s daughter’s voice. Donald reached down to scratch his genitals—his morning routine—only to discover that he was grabbing a pussy, his own.

“WHO’S VAGINA IS THIS?” Donald shrieked.

“Mom, let me in. You’re scaring me.”

“Mom, who’s mom?” Donald asked himself, still firmly grabbing his own vagina.

“I’m getting help!”

With his free hand, he ran his fingers through a thick head of hair. Accustomed to a smooth rug-free cranium in the morning, he knew he wasn’t in Trump Tower anymore. He stood up and hustled to the bedroom, ignoring Chelsea’s pleas. Surrounded by a pattern mix of florals and chintz, Donald caught sight of his naked body in the full-length mirror in the corner of the room. In the mirror, he was confronted by a post-menopausal, naked, petite woman—Hillary Rodham Clinton—and, in her body, there the Donald stood.

Another loud set of hands pounded at the door.

“Ma’am, are you ok in there? Miss Clinton said you need our help.”

“I’m fine. Chelsea is wrong! Uh, I was doing my yoga.”

“Ok, ma’am. And, ma’am?”


“If you haven’t checked your phone, we have to leave in ten minutes.”

“Where are we going?”

“Check your phone.”

Donald scanned the room. Where would my phone be?

“Shit, it’s at my place. Now, where would that nasty woman keep her phone?”

Donald surveyed the room for Hillary’s purse, figuring that’s where she must keep it. Not finding what he was looking for, he turned his attention to getting dressed. If the message is that important, the Secret Service can tell me what I need to know.

Hanging in the closet on a hook where Hillary’s pressed presidential plum pantsuit flocked with gold buttons—fit for a queen—was waiting for her, Donald was relieved not to have to wear a dress. At least she’s got enough sense to wear trousers. Who wants a female presidential candidate in a dress?

Aware that he never put his own outfits together, he put on the suit and slipped his feet into the black patent low-heeled pumps that had been left out to complete the ensemble.  Unsure how to apply lipstick—only knowing how to take it off with unwelcome kisses—Donald forewent any maquillage and left the bedroom.

Waiting outside of the room, the Secret Servicemen’s mouths hung agape.

“What’s wrong?” Donald asked. “I mean, it’s great. I’m going to be President today, and I’m a winner.”

“Ma’am, you may want to fix your hair,” one Secret Serviceman whispered.

“What’s wrong with my hair?”

“You may want to brush it.”

Used to the wash and wear wigs waiting for him daily, Donald had forgotten that people with natural, marvelous manes had to brush their hair. Donald walked back to the bedroom and grabbed the brush off the dresser. Giving his crowning glory a few brushstrokes in each direction, Donald was satisfied that he looked good.

“And, maybe put on a dash of lipstick. Hillary always wears lipstick.”

“Ok.” Donald quickly realized that the Secret Servicemen knew he wasn’t who he physically appeared to be. “But, I don’t know how to put it on.”

“That’s ok, we’ll help you.” One of the Secret Servicemen walked over to the dresser and picked up a soft pink lipstick. Crouching down and leaning over, the Secret Serviceman tenderly applied the lipstick to Donald’s puckered lips.

“Disgusting. Like putting lipstick on a pig,” Donald muttered. The Secret Serviceman was affronted. He fully stood up, his six foot seven inch, two percent body fat muscular frame hovered over Donald. The other Secret Serviceman lurked behind him. 

“Listen, sir, we work for and respect Madam Clinton. While we are obliged to stand guard for you today, we won’t have you disparage her.”

Donald nodded. He knew he was outnumbered.

“Time to go.” Donald followed behind the Secret Servicemen out of the bedroom.

Relieved to see her mother was ok, albeit a bit disheveled—she made a mental note to have a hairdresser and makeup artist with her when she met up with her mother at campaign headquarters later—Chelsea eagerly waved goodbye. 

“See you later, Madam President!”

Donald snorted. When I’m back to my old self, I’m gonna make sure Ivanka ends that friendship. Without looking back, he let the apartment door slam shut in Chelsea’s face. 

Each of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s limousines pulled up in front of a non-descript Brooklyn warehouse. Each candidate emerged from their vehicles, allowed a few moments to come face-to-face with their formers selves. Each shook their head in dismay, bewildered as to how they each found themselves in the other’s body.

“Come this way,” one of the Secret Servicemen instructed. Clinton and Trump followed the instructions. They marched into the building with Secret Servicemen separating the two of them. Down a dimly lit narrow hallway, Clinton and Trump were led to two separate rooms on opposite sides of the corridor. In each room was a single club chair, a table with a breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast and pineapple awaiting them, and a washroom. Each room was wired with closed-circuit cameras for the Cabal to watch their captives and communicate with them, and for the candidates to hear what the other had to say.

“You want us to go in there?” Trump asked. The Secret Servicemen nodded. “No way!”

“For once I’m going to agree with Trump. Will someone please tell us what’s going on? Why am I him and he’s me?”

“All will be revealed in short order. Now, go into the rooms,” a modulated voice, emanating from a loudspeaker, ordered.

“No!” Hillary shouted. “I demand to know who’s behind this. Tell me now, or I won’t go in the room.”

“The Secret Service are stronger than you, don’t fight this,” Trump offered.

“Actually, she’s a lot stronger than she looks. We’ve been told she takes Krav Maga lessons,” a Secret Serviceman whispered in Trump’s ear.

“Do what they say, Hillary,” a familiar male voice instructed.

“Bibi? Is that you?” she asked.


“Who’s Bibi?” Donald asked.

“Benjamin Netanyahu, you fool. Maybe if you weren’t your own foreign policy advisor, you’d know who the world leaders are. I thought you loved Israel!” Hillary chortled. “Bibi, who else is with you? I demand to know!”

“I’m here with a group of concerned world leaders.”


“Vladimir Putin, François Hollande, Theresa May, Enrique Pēna Nieto, Matteo Renzi, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Pope Francis.”

“Et tu, Putin?” Trump whimpered.

“You guys are in a world of pain when I get out of here.” Hillary stormed into the room and slammed the door.

“We know,” the leaders chimed in unison.

Polling in the weeks and days leading up to the election demonstrated that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were neck-in-neck, standing mere points away from each other in their race for the White House. Things had gotten so bad that there was even a conspiracy theory floating in the ether that the Republicans were planning to take out Trump and Pence, should Trump win the presidency, so that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan would become President, restoring order and helping to rebuild the GOP.  The dirtiest, ugliest, and most un-presidential campaign in American history, a country fractured and a GOP having spontaneously combusted, the Cabal of white hat politicos backed by mysterious leaders, decided it was time to take matters into their own hands to save the fate of the American nation.  Clinton and Trump sat alone in their respective rooms. The Secret Service stood guard outside to make sure no one went in or out without the Cabal’s approval.

“You know, Tim Kaine is going to wonder why I’m not at campaign headquarters,” Hillary called out. “I bet the same will be true for Pence.”

“Both Tim Kaine and Mike Pence have been told that serious threats have been made to the security of each of you, and that you’ve both been taken to a secure location to wait out the vote. This message has been shared with all media outlets across the country and throughout the world,” the modulated voice advised.

“No one will believe you,” Trump cried out in his room.

Televisions in each room were suddenly revealed from behind retractable screens. CNN flickered on, with Anderson Cooper delivering the message to the world that was just delivered to Hillary and Donald.

“I demand to watch Bill O’Reilly!” Trump shouted.

“Sorry, the only feed we could get in this part of Brooklyn is CNN,” the modulated voice advised.

“Why are you doing this to us?” Hillary pleaded.

“Donald Trump can’t be president,” the voice advised.

“I know that! The world knows that. So, why have you done this to us?” Hillary cried.

“No matter what happens when the electoral college numbers are added up, we are committed to ensuring that you, Hillary, will be running the country even if we had to find a way to switch your body with Trump’s to make that happen.”

“Holy shit!” Trump shouted. “If she wins, I won’t accept the results.”

“We know. You made that threat already during the third debate. That’s why we’re here,” the voice advised. “Now, sit tight and watch your screens. We will provide you with food and each room has a bathroom. We are also texting with your families so they know you’re safe. You have nothing to worry about.”

“Nothing to worry about? Are you crazy!?!” Trump shouted.

The voice didn’t respond. 

Trump and Clinton dutifully sat through the day’s election coverage. CNN’s talking heads and pundits debated as the day wore on, jumping back and forth between pontificating on what threats had been made against the candidates and hypothesizing what the electoral college numbers would be. Hours felt like days to Trump and Clinton. Without phones, they remained disconnected from their families and teams.  They watched TV. They ate. They paced. They wrung their hands. They whined to no response from the modulated voice. One poll after another closed throughout the day. The electoral college numbers streamed in with John King’s voter map showing that Hillary in fact held a bold lead over Trump. Tired and overwrought, Trump threw tantrums in his room, while with adrenaline coursing through Clinton’s veins, she danced around the room as her lead grew stronger and stronger. The results didn’t give Hillary a landslide win by any means, but it was enough for the Cabal to let their prisoners go.

“While the election results won’t be official until tomorrow morning, we believe that it’s  time for you to go to your respective campaign headquarters. Trump, we have your concession speech waiting for you in your limousine. You’ll have time to practice it before you arrive.”

The doors to the rooms were unlocked. Hillary and Donald stepped out into the hallway and waited with the Secret Service detail.

“Like hell I will!” Trump screamed.

“Listen up, Trump. You do as we say, or you’ll be the one who’ll be going to jail,” Enrique Peña Nieto advised. “In Culiacan!”

“You try and I’ll get you Peña. And, my wall will be the least of your worries.”

“Enough!” a familiar female voice shouted.

A door at the end of the corridor swung open with mythical force. Like floating specters, three black-robed visitors emerged from the room. Charging towards Trump and Clinton, the recognizable faces of Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and the Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg came face-to-face with the candidates, with Ruth at the helm.

“Listen up, sonny. My mind isn’t shot, and my political statements about you are astute. The people have spoken—you’re fired!” Ruth stated evenly.

“Don’t mess with us,” Elena advised. “President Peña Nietos’s threat of a Mexican prison is the least of your worries if you don’t comply with our orders.”

“Oh yeah? Whatchya gonna do about it?” Trump asked. He was not wise to poke the bear.

“Accept defeat gracefully, or the next body swap you’ll have to endure is with Rosie O’Donnell. And, we know she’s happy to do what needs to be done to serve her country,” Sonia threatened.

Trump threw his hands up. He stumbled backwards. He now understood why Putin had betrayed him. “I’ll do anything. Just don’t put me in Rosie’s body!”

“Smart answer. Only one I’ve heard out of your mouth in this campaign,” Ruth stated. “Now, it’s time to go.”

“Um, Madam Justice, aren’t you forgetting one thing?” Hillary asked.

“What’s that?”

“Ahem.” Hillary cleared her throat and waved her hands at Donald’s body.

“Yes, yes, of course,” Ruth said. Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan held hands and began to chant. The Cabal joined them over the loud speaker. The chant was not in English or any language either candidate recognized. The building shook. Hillary’s body, with Donald in it, shimmied, as Donald’s body paced the floor. Suddenly, each candidate’s body shook with fury and their respective heads flung backwards. Hillary and Donald were restored to their former selves. Hillary and Donald exchanged glances. Donald hung his head. His Secret Service detail marched toward the door with citizen Trump in tow. He left the building, got into his awaiting limousine to take him back to Trump Tower where he would go on to concede graciously and congratulate President Clinton on her win.

Flanked by her Secret Servicemen, Clinton nodded her head at Justice Ginsburg. Ginsburg reached for Clinton’s hand, and clasped them in her wizened ones.

“Madam President, go make America even greater.”

© 2016. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Temper Tantrum by Naomi Elana Zener

Much like Alexander, who had a terrible, horrible, no good, very fucking bad day, Timothy rolled out on the wrong side of the bed. At around 2:30a.m., he found himself in the company of not one, but two children in between himself and his wife, Janelle, in their marital California king bed, the younger one of whom decided to wet it. Brushing his teeth, his mouth full of toothpaste foam, he cursed out Janelle for rushing the youngster out of wearing nighttime pull up diapers, and himself for having been so cheap as to not invest in a waterproof mattress protector per the recommendation of the mattress salesman who strongly advised they buy one—why would I buy one? Timothy had asked the man. I don’t wet the bed!—to protect their five thousand dollar, organic silk-wool-cotton blend, hypoallergenic memory foam, pocket coil machination designed to give them blissful nights of uninterrupted sleep. Or, so the sales guy said. Clearly, the sales guy didn’t have kids. Parenthood robbed them of nights of uninterrupted sleep.

Halfway through brushing his teeth, which he’d noted had produced more froth than usual, he looked down at the tube of purported toothpaste to discover that he’d been using Janelle’s new hair mousse. It’s packaging bore a striking resemblance to his Colgate, an honest mistake anyone operating on four hours of sleep could make. Especially, one nursing a suspected concussion from being donkey kicked in the head thanks to his older child’s propensity for sleeping horizontally, with her feet strategically positioned on Timothy’s pillow within striking distance of his head. Fearing any disruption of her R.E.M. cycle, Janelle prohibited Timothy from moving their beloved daughter—he’d just have to develop a thicker skull, she’d said.

“Good morning,” Janelle chirped, when Timothy sauntered into the kitchen with a dour expression on his face. “Someone’s a grumpy cat this morning.”

“You’d be too if you slept in piss all night. Isn’t it amazing how the wet spot our sweet boy makes is never on your side of the bed?” Timothy retorted. He sat down at the breakfast table, where his well-rested children were too busy playing with their iPads to notice that their papa had joined them.  “And, I wouldn’t have been so tardy to the party if you didn’t leave your hair gel crap next to my toothpaste.”

“Isn’t it amazing how I managed to brush my teeth and use the toothpaste? You’re acting like our toddler. Grow up,” Janelle ordered.

“Good morning to you too,” Timothy muttered to himself, as if he was actually engaged in a three-way conversation with his children. “What’s for breakfast?”

The table was practically devoid of any food, with the exception of the half-empty cereal bowls in front of his kids, and one slice of bacon and a triangle of hardened, semi-burnt toast in the middle of the table.

“You came down too late, honey. Pick at what’s left or make yourself something. I’ve got to get the kids off to school and then I have a client meeting downtown,” Janelle advised, whipping around the kitchen like a twister, snapping up backpacks, her purse, books, keys, the children, and anything else her octopus-like arms could grab on her way out the door. “Love ya.”

The front door slammed shut. Timothy reached for the sad plate inhabited by the bacon and toast, too lazy and too tired to make any greater moves. The cold crunch of the bacon would leave him with indigestion. His upper left incisor came out the loser in its fight with the rock hard toast.  Fuck, now I’ve got to see the dentist, Timothy thought. 

Timothy threw on his galoshes and overcoat, and left the house fifteen minutes after Janelle’s departure. He would’ve never have noticed the giant puddle next to the driver side of his car, but for the fact that there was a giant hole in his left foot’s galosh in the shape of a heart. Clearly, his daughter got crafty with his footwear. Adding insult to moisture, which was creeping up his pant leg, his car’s driver-side seat warmer, not the front passenger one, decided to burn out on that frigid minus ten degree morning. The cold ride to work to a job he hated—he was merely a cog in the multi-million dollar machine of someone smarter than him—playing bean counter for the man with the golden beans, Timothy tried to cheer himself up listening to some newly downloaded songs on his iPod.

“The wheels on the bus, go round and round,” the stereo system sang. At a red light, he looked down at his musical device only to discover that it had synched the wrong playlist. Instead of his gangster rap, it downloaded an album called “Gangs of the Nap: nursery song to entertain your toddler.”

His day terrible, awful, fucking shitty day went from bad to worse. Someone had taken his reserved parking spot—an unknown license plate invaded his designated berth because its driver was too lazy to find a visitor spot in the back of the lot. Of course that person wanted to park as close to the front of the office building on such a frigid day—who could blame them? Timothy could. It was his fucking spot. Stomping down the hall towards his cubicle five feet away from his boss’ office—heaven forbid the accountant get an office of his own, or a little distance from the man in charge who demanded hourly updates on the company’s accounts receivables—one pant leg now soaked up to his knee, and Roly Poly ringing in his ears, Timothy was more than pouting. He was downright surly.

“Sally, can you please get me a coffee?” Timothy asked his assistant, who sat in a cubicle next to his.

“Coffee machine’s broken.”

“Well, can you run down to the cafeteria and buy me one? Here’s some cash.” He reached into his pocket, withdrew his wallet, and handed Sally a five-spot.

“I’m not your wife. Get it yourself.”

“You’re more like my wife than you think,” he spat back.

“Quit acting like a baby,” Sally retorted before she put her headphones back on her head to continue to play Candy Crush Saga on Facebook.

He was two for two on being accused of behaving like a tiny child. After a good mope, he trudged downstairs to the lobby Starbucks to get a coffee, hoping things would turn around. When he got there, Starbucks was closed due to an electrical fire in the cappuccino maker. It was only 9:30a.m. and his terrible, horrible, no good, very fucking bad day got even worse. He returned to his desk and spent the next few hours clearing out his email inbox and putting out fires, but got no actual real work accomplished. Notwithstanding the lack of caffeine infusion, and before he knew it, having missed lunch without noticing, it was almost one o’clock, and Tim had to hit the head. Expecting the lavatory to be empty given the hour and the office routine of everyone convening in the cafeteria for lunch, he was caught off guard when he ran into Jim, the office suck up, standing at his chosen urinal, whistling while he worked.

“Big fan of Snow White?” Tim chortled, unzipping his pants.

“Always puts a smile on my face,” Jim replied, returning to trilling his favourite tune.

Tim gave him a fake smile. He wanted to finish up quickly before Jim could engage him in any further conversation. Given that Jim was lost in his own world, still grooving to his chosen song at his urinal while he washed up at the sink, Tim surmised that clearly Jim, unlike himself, had enjoyed his morning cup of joe or three. “Crap,” Jim muttered noting that there were no more paper hand towels. Dripping droplets of water on his shoes, he turned to leave the restroom.

“Hey buddy,” Jim crowed before Tim could escape, “you need to learn how to pee.”

Tim whipped around on his heels. “Excuse me?”

“You got pee on your shoe, dude.” Tim looked down at the water sitting on the tip of his loafer.

“Funny. It’s water,” Tim spat back with a smirk.

“OH-kay,” Jim chortled. “All I’m saying is that my son knows how to shake it off better than you before storing his hose, and he’s two.”

Tim barged out of the restroom. He strode to his desk, furious at not having punched Jim in the gut—something for which most of the office staff would’ve labeled him a hero given how brown his nose was from sniffing their boss’ ass on an hourly basis—ready to scarf down his lunch with five minutes to spare before his 1:00p.m. meeting with his boss, Mr. Aston Hat, also known as Asshat amongst the staff.

“Tim,” Asshat bellowed. “Get in here.” Tim glanced at his watch. 12:56p.m. His gluten-free, quinoa and butternut squash sandwich would have to wait.  He gathered his files and marched into Asshat’s office.

“Close the door.” Tim complied. He remained standing, having learned a long time ago that he could only take a seat if in receipt of Asshat’s invitation to do so.

“Where’s my 11:00a.m. accounts receivable update?” Asshat demanded to know.

“Sir, as I explained in my email to you at 12:30p.m., nothing has changed since 9:00a.m. this morning. No further invoices have been paid, so I didn’t see the point of…” Tim trailed off.

“I don’t pay you to see the point. I pay you to follow instructions. And, my instructions are that you send me hourly accounts receivable updates every hour on the hour between the hours of nine to five. Got it? Even my three year old grandson can understand that.”

Tim stared at his shoes. A watermark had formed on his left loafer. Now, he was being told he was less competent than a three year old. He didn’t know what was worse: Jim’s two-year-old son knowing how to empty his junk in the urinal properly, or knowing that it only took the brainpower of a three-year-old to do his job.

“Yes sir,” Tim stammered. He didn’t move. He needed Asshat’s permission to leave.

“Fine, go.” Asshat waved him off. Tim turned and opened the door. “By the way, Tim, you have some crumbs on your tie.” They were uneaten, errant quinoa beads, languishing on Tim’s tie, after having fallen out of the uneaten sandwich that remained on Tim’s desk. Not that Asshat would know his quinoa from his breadcrumbs. “And, your socks don’t match.”

“I’m colour blind, sir,” Tim muttered looking down at mismatched pair of navy and black socks—which looked the same to him—his back to Asshat, before walking out the door. Upon returning to his desk, Tim was greeted by his angrily buzzing cellphone, alerting to him to a demanding text from his wife. She informed him she’d be working late, so he’d have to pick up the kids from school and make dinner. Fed up, Tim decided to put himself on a much-needed time out.

Sorry babe. Just can’t do it. Boss has me working late and you know how much of an asshat Asshat really is. Order a pizza and a babysitter. TTUL.

Tim turned off his phone. If Janelle couldn’t reach him, he couldn’t be told what to do. He spent the rest of the afternoon complying with Asshat’s demands, ignoring his wife’s, and watching the clock creep slowly by in the same manner that Death does in taking its time toying with a dying man writhing in pain, begging to be put out of his misery. The clock laughed at him much in the way he imagined Death would too one day. Without sparing a second, while the little hand rested on the five, once the big hand hit the number twelve, Tim sprang from his chair, bolted out of the office, and hoofed it to the nearest bar. He proceeded to sit there getting drunk as a skunk for the next six hours, ordering one beer and shot of tequila after another. Finally, at 10:55p.m., a beleaguered Tim wrestled himself off his barstool. He hailed a cab and snored all the way home. The cab’s abrupt stop in front of his house—or rather his prison—jolted Tim awake. He threw a mishmash of bills at the driver and toppled out of the cab. He dragged himself up the front walkway, through the front door, up the stairs, and fell like a pile of dirty laundry tossed out of the basket onto his bed.

“Where the fuck were you?” Janelle seethed. She’d sat in bed waiting for Tim to come home, texting him furiously every ten minutes. Her ire rose with the pounding of each letter. “I had to beg my boss to leave early today to get the kids. When I got to their school, I was told there’s a lice outbreak and I spent the evening elbows deep in a nit hunt. Fuck your idea of pizza. No one wanted to eat after having nasty bugs scrubbed out of their heads, mine included. I had to wash all of the linens and change the sheets on all of the beds ALL BY MYSELF.”

Tim didn’t catch more than every fourth word coming out of Janelle’s mouth. Janelle yanked the duvet to cover herself, causing Tim to roll off the bed, but not quite waking him.

“All this time, you were off getting soused, and I was stuck here being an adult. You’re such a fucking toddler!”

Of everything, he caught the word toddler.

“OH-kay. If you wanna toddler, you got it,” Tim slurred.

“What I want is for you to go wash your hair with the lice shampoo.”

“Aye-aye, captain!” Tim saluted, lying in a semi-prone position, in his semi-conscious state. He looked at the distance to the bathroom from his bearings on the floor. Too far, he thought. He made an executive decision to fall asleep there, just as his own toddler had done before. Finally, his terrible, horrible, no good, very fucking bad day was over.

The following morning, Tim finally woke at 8:15a.m. to find a Post-It note affixed to his forehead. It read:

Use the lice shampoo, toddler!—Janelle.

“Showtime,” Tim whispered. A naughty grin spread from ear-to-ear. Tim tossed the lice shampoo in the waste bin. After showering, Tim skipped brushing his teeth. He thought it to be a waste of time given that he had yet to eat his morning meal.  He threw on a disheveled tracksuit lying on the floor and haphazardly grabbed some socks out of his laundry basket. He sailed down the bannister and landed with a great, big thud on the hardwood floor.

“Fuck that hurt,” Tim cried out to no one in particular.

“Language,” Janelle shouted.

“Language,” his kids echoed.

Tim made his way into the kitchen, where he found no breakfast waiting for him. Everyone, but his own toddler whose bowl of cereal had become a fishing for Cheerios toy, had finished eating, and they were ready to leave for the day. So, Tim swiped the bowl and spoon away from his kid. Crunching away loudly on the already soggy rings of honey and nuts, Tim did his best to ignore his child’s cries of “Mine! Mine!”

“Tim, give your son his food back,” Janelle ordered.

Tim clutched his bowl into the crook of his arm, pressing it firmly against his chest. “Mine!” he bellowed.

“Are you kidding me?”  Janelle stood there, her feet shoulders width apart, her hands haunched on her hips.

Tim shook his head.  “Mine!”

“Who knew I married a toddler?” Janelle, finally clueing into Tim’s attire, gave him a once over. “What the fuck are you wearing?”

“Language,” Tim and his children chimed in unison.

Tim topped off his jogging suit, which was now sporting a milk stain over the spot where his heart would be, with a mismatched pair of socks: one circus-bright colorful polka dotted sock, and one white & black striped sock.

“Nice sartorial choice.” You could cut the sarcasm in the air with a knife.

“I don’t know what that word means, but I will assume you meant to be nice,” Tim retorted.  “I need a ride to work.”

“Where’s your car?”

“At the office. I did the responsible thing last night and took a cab home.”

“Don’t drink and drive,” his daughter sang from the hallway where she was putting on her boots.

“Sorry bub, no can do. I’ve already got a car full of toddlers and no extra car seat for you to ride in. Maybe you can borrow your daughter’s tricycle,” Janelle replied, ushering the kids out the door. “Don’t forget to wear a helmet!”

Recognizing his Goliath size, as compared to his daughter’s trike, would break the bike’s manifold, he walked to the bus stop. Tim loathed the bus—it was an incubus of plague, especially during the winter. However, today the bus was relatively empty. Also, he was kept entertained by the most recently uploaded playlist on Janelle’s iPod. He swiped it from her purse when she wasn’t looking. Tim chortled. Janelle’s morning jolt never came from java, but rather her music gave her the momentum she needed to brave the day. Now who’s gonna have a bad day, Tim muttered.

Walking into the office, Tim spied the same car in his spot. Not one to let that slide, Tim decided to kill two birds with one stone. Having forgotten to go pee like a good toddler before leaving the house, he relieved himself on the trespasser’s tires.  

“What the fuck man?” the driver of the car shouted. Tim didn’t seem to mind that he had an audience for his one-man show. Or, that the audience was Jim.

“Be grateful I didn’t have to make a number two,” Tim replied, as he made sure to show Jim that he knew how to shake off any excess droplets. “Next time don’t park in my spot, asshole!” With no one to call Tim out for his use of colourful language, he strolled into the building. Now who’s gonna have a bad day, Tim chortled.

Passing by the coffee machine, he noted that it was still broken. Noting that Sally, in her typical fashion, hadn’t bothered to anticipate her boss’ caffeine needs based on yesterday’s discussion, but managed to get herself a piping hot, fresh cup of coffee—a latte no less based on the aroma wafting into Tim’s nostrils—from Starbucks, Tim swiped the cup from her desk and left her a note.

The coffee fairy came and gave your latte away to someone more deserving. Get the coffee machine fixed—it’s your damn job. And, if you get yourself a drink, get one for your boss!

Tim sat down at his desk. He was pleased with himself. So far, he was having a great day, while each of Janelle, Jim, and soon-to-be Sally, would not be. The last target to be crossed off his list was Asshat. The way to pierce Asshat’s heart was with a silver bullet known as non-delivery of the hourly accounts receivable statements. While Asshat still hadn’t arrived, and Tim enjoying the freedom that toddlerhood provided, he took great pleasure in showering anyone who crossed his path with the gift of his infantile behaviour. Insouciant to his victims labeling him a toddler—mission accomplished—Tim spent the morning playing Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds on Facebook. He didn’t even notice when Asshat arrived.

“Tim!” Asshat bellowed. Tim noted the time. It was 11:35a.m. Only two and a half hours after Asshat’s minions had come to work.  If he can take his sweet time getting in, I can take mine, Tim stated to no one in particular. Tim took his time getting up. Making sure to stretch his stiff limbs due to the poor posture he’d assumed while playing videogames, Tim bent over, simultaneously expelling a silent, but deadly scent right into Asshat’s face. Having emerged from his office when Tim didn’t immediately appear, Asshat recoiled almost instantaneously when confronted with Tim’s ass in his face.

“What is that smell?” Asshat choked out, barely able to breathe.

“Must be the beans and cheese from the tacos I ate last night. Sorry boss. I’m lactose intolerant,” Tim offered.

“I’m not interested in your guttural problems. I want my accounts receivable statements from yesterday and this morning. Where are they?”

Tim sat back in his seat and propped his legs up on his desk. Asshat was on his turf now.

“Sir, with all due respect, I understand that you want an update on your cash flow, but these little temper tantrums of yours when you don’t get an hourly report showing you the exact same information as was there an hour before, and the hour before that, and so on, are getting tired. Now, I can have you up to your eyeballs in dead trees if that’s what you really want, but given that this is a company that prides itself on reducing its carbon footprint—we’re a fucking recycling plant after all—it makes more sense for me to email you hourly and tell you there’s been no change, rather than complying with your inefficient redundant mandate,” Tim advised.

Asshat’s complexion was ashen. All of the staff on the executive management floor had dropped what they were doing to witness the tête-a-tête between the two men. Tim had knocked him out with a one-two punch.

“Um, well, I, er, see your point, Tim, and I’ll take it under advisement,” Asshat replied. Asshat retreated to his office. Tim spun around in his chair to return to his unfinished game of a new game he was trying out before being rudely interrupted by his boss. Something called Jelly Splash.

“Checkmate,” Tim sang. “Now, who’s having the terrible, horrible, no good, very fucking bad day now, bitches?”

© 2016. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.