For years, Billy had chafed under the blatant misdirection of Federal Reserve Notes. “Here’s some green paper. Before you were born it was backed by gold but now there’s no gold in the vault and inflation chews your ass while you run on the hamster wheel. We’re neither a bank nor the government and there’s nothing you can do about it. Kings claim divine right, dictators win by war, politicians sleaze their way through elections, but we offer nothing. Not a damn thing! Suck it up; you abrasive little shit, you’re gonna’ scratch and claw and work and grovel to get what we offer… which is just a green slip of paper. Bend over and trust us like the peon you are!” Billy hated it. He’d experimented with various alternatives; bitcoin, silver bullion, cell phone minutes, ammunition, canned goods, pot, Krugerrands, handshakes, barter, and hope, but nothing worked. Now he’d finally seen the one true path of the K-cup. He was delivered from oppression. Peace settled upon him. Everything was going to be all right.
Doogie wandered in and joined him. This was unusual. He didn’t expect Doogie to expose himself to the cameras that were surely watching. Since he’d met the squirrels, Doogie had become increasingly withdrawn and paranoid. Considering that Billy was a full-fledged isolationist loner that lived and breathed in freedom like a fish breathes water, the fact that he thought Doogie seemed “off” was really saying something. But Billy was feeling magnanimous and started to share his newfound epiphany.
“Check it out!” Billy waved toward the pile of K-cups in front of the register. “They’re easily recognizable, unitized, durable, and denominated. I’ve found the friggin’ alternative to Federal Reserve Notes!”
Achmed craned his neck to hear. He was curious why the lunatic wanted so much coffee.
“What’s wrong with Federal Reserve Notes?” Doogie shrugged.
“But! For the love of…” Billy stammered.
“The greenback is backed by the full faith of the Federal Government.”
Billy, with lightening like reflexes, flung a cup full of steaming hot coffee at Doogie. It hit him full in the face in a painful torrent! Doogie sputtered and waved his arms about.
Steadying his emotions into a complex combination of pain at the coffee and fear that he’d disobey the squirrels (and thus be deprived of Abba), he pivoted to the mission. “I can haul all this stuff to the car. Hand me your keys so I can open the trunk.”
Billy was still upset about the ‘greenbacks’ event. You think you know someone… Mind the size of a planet and then this? What. The. Fuck?
Billy pointed at the flatscreen. “Hey what do you think about that?” It was scrolling an announcement that Republican budget cuts would adversely affect the safety of kittens in city parks. Doogie followed Billy’s arm and saw the screen. He was entranced. The colors, the scrolling bar, the pretty girl reading words while bracketed by photos of adorable kittens. It all made sense. Yes! This was definitely a true thing. He was suddenly concerned with those kittens and very angry at those nasty corporate fat cats who caused it all! It was important to say this very true fact and make Billy agree with it. “I think she has a cogent argument. If someone would think about the kittens…”
A second cup hit already scalded skin and Doogie stumbled back.
Achmed froze, there had been too much weird and he couldn’t process it all. Working nights at a convenience store, he was jaded to the depravity of most of humanity. But K-cup man had brewed eleven cups of coffee just for the purpose of burning the face off another customer?
Doogie was in too much pain to do anything but Billy had a plan. He roughly grabbed him and shoved his face in freezer. Doogie dimly registered a desire for a Dove bar. Then he sighed as the soothing cold calmed his skin. Alas the respite was brief. In less than a second Billy hauled him up by the belt and shoved his face toward the clerk.
“This guy!” Billy demanded. “Is he racist?”
Doogie blinked. The words came out of his mouth unbidden. “Yes. He’s white so….”
When the third cup of coffee hit him, facts started reconnecting in Doogie’s mind. How could tax policy get a cat out of a tree? Since when was the cat/tree interface a Federal issue? How can you denounce a man you’ve never met as racist?
Billy was shouting at him again. “If I put on a dress and self-identify as the queen of England, what am I?”
Two thoughts fought for primacy in Doogie’s mind. Self-identity is always followed by assent. But if he agreed that Billy could be the queen of England he’d get a face full of coffee. He tried to sort it out…
“You’re thinking too long. The answer is ‘I’d be fuckin’ nuts’. What’s wrong with you? Have you been drinking? Are you high? What the fuck is going on!?!”
Doogie’s mind was whirling. “It’s all crazy! Kittens! Racists! Russian collusion!”
Doogie desperately tried to think of anything to make it stop. His face was on fire, coffee had splashed down his neck and his eyes were watering. Billy kept shouting questions inches from his ear.
“If I say two plus two is five what’s the fucking answer?”
Blinking back the pain Doogie tried to answer correctly. “Everyone is entitled to their interpretation…”
“The answer’s four. It’s four. It’s four even if I’ve got a goddamn army. It’s four even if I drive a Rolls Royce. It’s four even if you’re told otherwise by a chick with enormous…
Something clicked in the middle of Billy’s exposition. Moving quickly, he grabbed “Genetically Improbable Sluts”, riffled through it and held up page 43. He positioned it inches from Doogie’s nose.
Doogie, sputtering with pain and confusion from the hot coffee assault blinked. He focused. There was something in front of his eyes. Kittens? Squirrels. Oh my….
“Hello? Are you in there?” Billy was shouting.
Doogie was slowly processing the scene from page 43. There was a lot to process… though all of it was nude.
“Um. Er.” Doogie was entirely out of thoughts. That’s the power of sex… well at least it was the power of page 43.
Billy was still working Doogie’s mind over with a figurative tire iron. “Are you concerned about that woman’s carbon footprint?”
“Polar bears and…”
Doogie reeled back and for the first time, registered a new emotion… anger. “Hey, what the hell do you think you’re…”
Billy shoved the page in front of Doogie’s eyes again. The page drilled through Doogie’s psyche and he suddenly could think of nothing but tits. Just like that, 63 hours of concentrated mind-altering programming faded into nothingness.
“What are you thinking about?” Billy demanded. He was about to cuff Doogie hard.
“They’re real and they’re spectacular.” Doogie beamed.
Doogie grabbed the magazine and held it before the clerk. “Yes, spectacular.” Agreed the clerk. It was a self-evident truth. Also, he was afraid the K-cup man would start hurling coffee at him.
Billy cocked his head to the side.
“Are you sure? Are you thinking about her carbon footprint?” Billy held another cup of coffee in his hand, swirling it menacingly.
“Um, who cares about carbon.” Doogie was flipping to page 44. He was not thinking about carbon.
“Kittens? Russian collusion? What’s a dollar worth?” Billy hissed.
“A dollar is worth anything you’ll give for it. I’m not sure where the kitten thing came from.” Doogie was wiping coffee from his face. The clerk handed him a bag of frozen daiquiri mix which Doogie gratefully accepted and pressed to his burned forehead. He tossed the magazine on the counter alongside the pyramid of K-cups and tentatively probed his lightly burned nose.
“You sure? I can do this all day.” Billy sipped coffee and leered.
Doogie looked at the remaining coffee. A cup in Billy’s hand, 3 steaming hot cups of coffee waiting on the counter, and the scattered remains of 7 cups around his feet. “Did you brew eleven cups of coffee in anticipation of throwing them in my face?”
Achmed blanched. That’s exactly what he did! K-cup man was a not merely a random lunatic but a coldly calculating menace! They oughta’ lock him up!
“Are you pissed off at corporate shitheads?” Billy prompted.
“Which ones?” Doogie asked. It was the most lucid voice he’d used in the entire encounter.
“The ones who won’t pay their fair share.” Billy swished his coffee, exuding menace.
“That’s bullshit. Whom defines fair share? What’s wrong with accumulating wealth?” Doggie was genuinely confused at the question.
“Welcome back.” Billy was satisfied. His friend was sane again.
“What’s all this about?” The clerk asked dubiously. Mostly he was wondering if he’d have to mop the floor after the menace had thrown coffee all over everything.
“Abba.” Doogie shuddered. “It’s all about Abba.”
If you think it makes perfect sense to brew eleven cups of coffee and hurl them in the face of someone who’s been exposed to excessive and unhealthy bullshit, you might want to click below: