There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots Circulation: 184,867,923 Issue: 483 | 25th day of Awakening, Y13
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Oh No, Not Again...: Part One


by fuzzymonkey31

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In the first place, quitting your job without any idea where you're going to work afterward is really stupid. Even if you got a nice bonus with your last paycheck. And if you live on Kreludor it's even worse. You have, simply put, three options: work in Mining, emigrate to Neopia, or emigrate to the Space Station.

     So either you work underground at home or in the open air somewhere else.

     I used to commute. I didn't mind it since the job paid well and I don't mind riding the SiPUT every day to and from the Space Station. But then I got into a bit of a hectic situation with my boss and quit. I got a really awesome retirement bonus, but after the Brown Paint Brush was used to finally de-feminize my rosy pink base colour, and I put on the Daring Sea Captain Coat and deposited my cheque into the local Kreludor Binky Bank, and paid my monthly bills for my apartment... I felt disturbingly poor.

     I applied for a job in the mines, just because I had never done it before. It was not long before I found out my lungs are not suited for a job that places you in an eternal cloud of dust, thousands of feet under the moon's surface. I didn't even finish Miner's Basic Training, which was sad because there were weak, pale, Grundos down there who could survive longer than I could. I felt pitiful, and removed myself as stealthily as possible.

     I looked in at the other Kreludorian businesses, but none that interested me were hiring.

     I even dared to go to Neopia to look around, but the atmosphere bothers me so I didn't even leave the SiPUT station; I just sat there until the next ship left for Kreludor.

     I finally turned to the Space Station. I had really not wanted to go back, but it was the only place I felt I could look at this point. I had to pay for my apartment somehow.

     I stopped in at the Robot Petpet Shop. I like petpets, so I felt I might be good at that.

     "So, mister Bif, what are your previous places of employment?" the pleasant green Grundo asked me, petting a Millipod in his lap.

     "Oh... I worked here a few months ago."

     "Where around here?" The Grundo pressed onward.

     I flinched at the question. "I worked in the... bowels."

     He looked at me, face solidifying into a hostile shape. His hand ceased to stroke the Millipod's back and now it lay frozen upon it.

     "Get out." Icicles hung on those two syllables.

     I slid out of my chair and ran for the door.

     The problem with my past job is that every time I mention who I was last employed by, people on the Space Station instantly decide I am a devil and should be cast out from their sight for eternity.

     Neither Space Weaponry nor Space Armour wanted my assistance. And it was even worse after I told them who I had previously worked for in the Station.

     Gargarox didn't seem enthusiastic about my abilities to bus tables in his cafe, and suggested I referee Gormball. Of course the Gormball people didn't want me either.

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     I sat outside an abandoned utility closet, hitting my head against my knees.

     When you're young and you see a poster saying Help us take over Neopia! Earn fair money!, and you go to the address listed on the poster, you get the job after a minute long interview and all you have to do is bring milk and cookies to the boss every afternoon at 2:22 sharp and do a few odd jobs on the side, you think it's really awesome.

     But when you work there a bit longer and find out that you're on the unpopular (and most likely losing) side, and that this job will most likely be a blight on your portfolio for the rest of your career, you start wondering if this was such a bright idea after all.

     Now I knew these things. Now I truly felt the idiocy of my past job.

     It's like having worked in a crypt with all the dead bodies for all your life. If you get angry at your boss, quit in a huff of rage, and try to go out into the world and work in an ice cream parlour everyone will shun you. It's not until you go back to your old boss and beg for your job back will you find yourself where you will find workplace solace.

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     "Bif? Really?! Well then send him in!!"

     "Alright then, Mr. Sloth."

     The great Franklin Sloth sat back in his swivel chair and placed his feet triumphantly on his desk.

     He swore he was never returning... Ha!

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     I shuffled into Dr. Sloth's office, holding a dusty plate covered with meepit-shaped biscuits in one hand and a glass of milk in the other. The swivel chair behind the forbidding, walnut desk was vacant. A feeling of terror crept in through the back of my neck and wracked my hands with tremors.

     I looked at the floor and saw a strangely shaped shadow where mine should have been. It was tall, had an ominous collar and a silly, three spiked hair-do–

     "Bif!" Sloth cried as he threw his arms around me and lifted me off the floor. "I've missed you!"

     "Sir, you made me drop the biscuits and milk," I said stiffly. I don't know why I got mad at him for that. I should have been wriggling out of his arms, telling him not to hug me. But no, I made a fuss over a mess on the floor.

     It didn't matter; Sloth paid my reprimand no heed. He held me out in front of himself and observed me, much like how an elderly relative does to a new baby while the parents sit nearby, worried that Great Aunt Barbara might just drop their little bundle of joy.

     "You look smashing in your new, brown base colour!" Sloth said, brimming with pride. "I thought you'd like it."

     Suddenly I felt awkward. Here I was, ready to kick this man in the shins and remind him how much of a living Moltara he had made my life, and I had forgotten he had been my saviour from my pinkness.

     "I do really like it, Sir," I mumbled humbly. "I could not have been more touched by your gesture. And the coat is very nice too."

     "I'm glad," He said, and set me down. "Now, am I correct in assuming you shall be reentering my employ?"

     "Yes," I said, then wondered if I had really, honestly said it.

     "Great! I've a nice little contract here to make it easier for you to hold me accountable if I go outside of reason with my requests for your assistance."

     He handed me a sheet of white paper with lots of text on it. I skimmed it (note: I never normally skim important documents, but I was so riddled with guilt and shame and remorse and a certain belief I could find no better job) and signed on the proper line.

     "Excellent!" Sloth exclaimed, and grabbed the sheet from my hands and filed it away. "Now, I'll give you an hour to clean up the mess on my floor and get me a replacement snack." His grin sat pleasantly on his villainous face. "I'll be okay with having my snack at 3:33 PM, rather than 2:22."

     "Yes, Sir," I said, and went to get a mop and bucket.

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     Sloth was very happy all that day. He beamed with delight every time he saw me. I felt he had a bit of smugness in his smile, which worried me. How long had he been sitting around, waiting for me to come whimpering back?

     I tried to take my mind off of it by being as good a little flunky as possible. After all, I owed him my luscious brown base colour.

     I left at 7 o'clock and went back home to my apartment. I came up to my room to find my Chia landlady at the door of my room with her hands on her hips.

     Or, rather, on the rolls of fat that might have been mistaken for her hips. Her hips were in fact a two rolls down from the section that her hands rested on. If she ever managed to touch her hands to her hips, I'd lose 10,000 NP to my buddy Tiork.

     "Ms. Vladderly, I am in fact employed now. No need to give me that stern look." I smiled assuringly.

     The Vladderly shifted from foot to foot nervously. I could hear the tenant downstairs freaking out, afraid the ceiling might fall in on him.

     "Truth?" she asked, rubbing her quintuple chin and squinting at me.

     "Truth," I said, holding my right hand in the air.

     "Good," she said, and she shifted down the stairs, like a glacier proceeding towards an innocent ship on the horizon.

     I went into my room and collapsed on my bed. Today had gone well (despite the embarrassment of asking for my old job back) but I knew something would happen tomorrow. Sloth had a glimmer in his eyes. An undeniable glimmer that spelled a return to insanity.

     But hey, at least I wouldn't get mistaken for a girl anymore!

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     The little cards were all laid out on the floor, like they had been months ago. Sloth took a pinkish one and looked it over. He sighed, smiled wistfully, and threw it in the trash. He pulled a beige one of the stack of blank ones that sat next to him. At the top of the new card he wrote in gothic calligraphy: Bif.

To be continued...

 
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