After Willy Wonka retired, Charlie took over the factory.
Things went well, until the unions got involved.
They tried to organize the Oompah Loompahs.
And they paid off human rights organizations to stick their noses into business.
Slowdowns and sickouts were rampant.
Charlie sought out his old mentor.
“When I rescued the Oompah Loompahs from Loompahland,” said Willy, “I also brought a few of their old neighbors.”
During that famous tour, Willy hadn’t included the cellar… where he kept the Hornswagglers, Wangdoodles, and Vermicious Knids.
“Meet your plant managers,” said Charlie, introducing the Loompahland monsters.
Productivity returned to normal quickly.
Lydia had an office far from the break room.
So, she kept a pitcher of water in her office.
That way, she didn’t have to walk to the break room every time she wanted water.
It got warm, through. So, he kept an ice bucket in her office.
That way, she didn’t have to walk to the break room every time she wanted ice.
That worked out well for her. She had all the water and ice she needed during the day.
Until she knocked over the pitcher and ice bucket.
She ran to the break room for paper towels.
From the time she was a baby, Denise was coddled by everyone.
Her parents never told her no.
Her teachers never told her no.
Her professors never told her no.
Everywhere was a safe space for Denise.
Never challenged, never questioned.
She stayed a baby forever.
Never really became a real person.
Your skin doesn’t toughen up without a few bruises and cuts.
If you don’t have to wash off the mud and dirt, it never really shines.
Life was one big safe space for her.
Her coffin was the safest space of all.
Nailed shut, sealed away from everything.
Long ago, I worked at a television station as the IT manager.
I took care of the computers and computer network.
Every now and then, in between anchors bitching about wanting Solitaire or a reporter whining that their cell phone didn’t look cool, there was a legitimate issue.
The National Lightning Detection Network used a dedicated computer to ingest data.
We ported it to the on-air weather system for display.
Some fool unplugged it from the surge-protector so they could plug in a coffee machine.
Lightning struck the station and fried that computer.
But at least they had fresh coffee.
There are two kinds of people in this world:
Those who can be replaced by robots, and those who build, program, and service robots.
Someone who can be replaced by a robot really shouldn’t date or marry someone who builds, programs, and services robots.
Because, after a bad fight or two, they’ll be replaced by a robot.
And that’s really awkward.
Especially when you try to explain it to the kids.
Well, maybe not to the kids who like to build, program, and service robots.
But the kids who don’t, well, you can always replace them with robots.
They say that the best way to lose weight is a balance of diet and exercise.
So, I walk on my treadmill every day, but the dieting part is giving me trouble.
I just don’t have the willpower.
I’ve bought a lot of dieting books.
Most dieting books warn me not to drink my calories.
So, I freeze them and eat them.
Which still makes me fat.
Injecting your calories can be dangerous.
And administering them rectally is plain weird and disgusting.
I tried soaking in my calories.
But I got hungry… and… well…
I’d rather not talk about it.
Don’s always trying to catch some Z’s.
No, he’s not sleepy.
He’s literally trying to catch some Z’s.
Don’t ask him why or what he plans to do with them.
It’s no business of yours. It’s still a free country, right?
He puts out Z traps on his lawn.
And checks the traps in the morning.
Squirrels, stray cats.
But never any Z’s.
“Maybe I’m using the wrong bait,” Don says. “What do Z’s like?”
He tried looking it up on Wikipedia, but there were no answers.
And the reddit subpage told him to just go the fuck to sleep.
The hurricane didn’t come anywhere near here.
Because I successfully scared it off.
I stood on my back porch and screamed at it.
GO AWAY HURRICANE! I screamed. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!
And, after sixteen hours, it did.
Instead of coming here, it went to New Orleans.
My neighbors didn’t appreciate it, though.
Even after I told them that I had successfully scared the storm off.
They brought torches and pitchforks.
And they’re about to do something that will make me scream.
Which is rather ironic, considering they want me to stop screaming.
GO AWAY NEIGHBORS! I scream. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!
Patsy set up a lemonade stand next to her school.
The company that had the contract for the school’s vending machines demanded action.
“It’s just a girl and a lemonade stand,” said the principal.
The company’s attorney displayed district sales charts on her laptop. “This one in red is yours. Sales are down seventy percent.”
The school administration refused to shut Vicky down, so the company sued for breach of contract.
Patsy cried in court, and the jury sided with her.
The vending company pulled out of the district, and Patsy’s father, a rival soda vending supplier, grinned with delight.
A hero is a person of admirable quality who performs good deeds.
A superhero is a heroic person with superhuman or supernatural powers.
Ted lived in a community overlooked by superheroes.
Sometimes, Ted’s good deeds helped. Other times, they didn’t.
But people still thanked Ted. At least he tried, unlike the superheroes.
Ted wished he could do more.
So, he pretended to be a supervillan.
“When things go wrong, blame them on The Evil Ted,” said Ted.
The superheroes suddenly noticed the community and fixed things.
They never managed to catch Evil Ted.
“You just missed him,” he said, grinning.