Life In General

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Andrew's life in general with a twist.

Submitted: October 22, 2016

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Submitted: October 22, 2016

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“Andrew, get to the choppa!” yelled Andrew's boss with a cheeky smile. Andrew sighed as he sauntered towards the paper cutter. It always annoyed him when his boss spat out crappy puns or movie lines, but it was even more repugnant when he mixed the two. The boss was a short guy with a bald spot who looked and acted like Danny Devito.

On his way to the paper cutter, Andrew glanced out of his window. He could see rooftops upon rooftops, some parted by the small streets that stretched on and around for blocks and blocks. Andrew’s building was the tallest around, and Andrew worked on the very top floor. The fourth floor, to be precise. Andrew could see a relatively vast amount of the city, comparing that the city was stretched out and underpopulated. There was one mall that Andrew saw, and it was one story tall and had a completely flat roof. He felt bad for whoever had to shovel the snow off of that roof during the winter. Andrew had to shovel the snow off of his building’s roof, and he hated it. He didn’t hate snow, though. Andrew loved Saskatoon, and Saskatchewan in general, even in winter, yet he was glad it was summer.
“Wow,” Andrew thought, “that felt like the longest two-second glance out of a window ever. I bet that someone could have written a paragraph in how long that felt.” Upon finishing that thought, Andrew completed his long-feeling journey towards the paper cutter. His mind shifted on to wondering what his life would be like if it were in a story. He re-evaluated that thought and thought of the review for such a story. It would be a boring story that no one would want to read and would develop a depressingly low rating. He then wished his life was more exciting.
Andrew had an exciting life, however. He worked at a newspaper company which delved into information that the government didn’t want you to hear and turned it all into an absurd joke which exaggerated more than a salesperson selling a bad project. That’s what Andrew thought that his own life was like, but at least he was enjoying it while it lasted. But as I was originally trying to explain was that Andrew’s life was not boring. In his job, he saw things that you still wouldn’t believe after seeing.
Andrew boringly cut paper while his boss rambled on and on about his opinion. The sound of that sentence repeated on and on in his head while he ignored his boss.
Andrew’s boss, well, stated his opinion. “You know what else I hate? Clichés. I mean, clichés are so cliché.”
This caught Andrew’s attention. It was the first time he had ever agreed with his boss.
“I think,” his boss continued, “that it is annoying how every main character ever has blonde hair and blue eyes.”
“Yeah!” Andrew announced a little louder than expected and with a jump. “It’s almost like story writers are Nazis!”
The paper cutter suddenly slipped out of Andrew’s hand and almost chopped his right hand clean off, but he and his boss were too distracted with the current topic to really care.
“I hate when the main character keeps on saying that his life is boring, he wishes that it gets more exciting, then something exciting happens, he overcomes the problem, the world is good again, and the boy always gets back with the girl,” Andrew’s boss declared.
Andrew reflected on his life and was almost sad that he wished it was just another cliché movie, but he didn’t have enough time to really feel that feeling because he was too imbursed in the current subject, plus he had something to point out.
“I also don’t like,” Andrew pointed out, “ anticlimactic endings. Like, sometimes people try to make twist endings that seem unexpected, but they just end up being a total cliché ending. And don’t even get me started on foreshadowing.”
Andrew’s boss didn’t even get him started on foreshadowing because of a very distracting noise. It sounded like screeching tires, a smash, and a forceful jiggle. All of the people on the top floor of the building crowded around the window to see the wreckage. It wasn’t much of a crowd, it was only seventeen people. What Andrew could see was a red convertible Ferrari with a semi-smashed fender, like someone who was at a party but didn’t want to get too crazy. In front of the car was an extraordinarily fat person who seemed unconscious, and a ton of blood, like someone smashed into a stack of paint cans.
Andrew ran downstairs and got a closer look at the crash. There were smashed cans of red paint everywhere, and about ten people were trying to help out the horizontally expanded person who happened to be a famous sumo wrestler. The sumo wrestler was laughing for some reason.
Everyone in the building was let off early that day because the commotion of the car crash made a great excuse to go off work early. Andrew grabbed a newspaper and sat on his favourite recliner. Andrew wasn’t reading the newspaper from his company, though. Oh, no. No no no. One does not simply read his newspaper and relax at the same time. Andrew’s newspaper reported on things more intense than a black hole meeting up with another black hole. They only report that on Tuesdays. His newspaper was inconceivably unbelievable. Andrew was instead reading what he called “Pheasant News” because of the inferior news they reported. Andrew skimmed through the front page of the newspaper, skipped past the business section, disregarded the sports pages, ignored the classifieds, and rejoiced after finding the comics page.
After a mere minute, Andrew was done with the comics page, but not the newspaper. He still had the crossword, the conspiracies, and the weird news left. Wait, the crossword? Andrew looked thoughtfully at the crossword, and with immense concentration apprehended that impertinent words were incompetent for life in general. After quickly thinking about life in general, Andrew moved onto the conspiracy section.
“Life. Is it Merely an ELA Project?” was the headline that caught Andrew’s attention. There was no stopping him from reading that article. Or was there? While he was reading, the newspaper kept on drooping down so he couldn’t actually be reading. As soon as he got the floppy paper in a position that it wouldn’t stoop so low as to stoop low, he realised that it shadowed itself from the fluorescent light on the ceiling. He went to turn on a lamp, which flickered and died, almost like Andrew’s determination to finish reading the article, but the rebel inside him carried him on. Andrew tried again to turn on the lamp, but this time there was a bright flash of light, a pop, then complete darkness. The power went out. Andrew went to fetch the flashlight he put in his top drawer specifically for this reason. It wasn’t there. Andrew searched here, then there, tearing up every drawer and cupboard in his house in a blind search.
With frustration, Andrew grabbed a cup and filled it with water. After chugging it with disappointment, he placed it in the dishwasher. And there it was. Sitting there, shining in the darkness of the dishwasher. Andrew reached for the dim glow of the glow in the dark flashlight. It looked far away in the empty darkness. His arm was stretched far into the back of the dishwasher. Suddenly, Andrew grabbed the flashlight. Then, something unbelievable happened. He pulled it out. The most amazing thing happened after that. He turned it on. This achievement was so wonderful for Andrew because he could finally read the article that caused all of this mess. Andrew shone his flashlight onto the newspaper with a feeling of pride, of victory, and then a strong feeling of resentment. The ink was smudged beyond recognition. He violently ripped the page out of the newspaper, crumpled it up into a ball, and threw it at a wall.
Now the newspaper was open to the weird news section. Andrew saw the article about the car crash earlier that day and discovered that he was no longer in the mood to read the newspaper. He walked to his room to lie down in his bed and noticed the crumpled piece of lost hopes and dreams on the ground. It was the newspaper that he crumpled. That wasn’t important at that moment, though, so he went to uselessly lie in bed.
Andrew found his day so far funny in a sad way. That made him wonder why people find things funny. Why do we have a physiological response to absurd things, and why do we find these absurd things amusing? Funny, even? Then he realised that so much of life would go on without any reactions. And that would mean, Andrew kept on thinking, that his newspaper would not be appreciated if we didn’t react to absurdity. Andrew’s mind shifted to books and short stories. The whole humour genre would crash like the stock market in 1929. And what if someone wrote a story about characters getting minds of their own and trying to take over the story, and…
Andrew shivered at the thought. He couldn’t tell what thought he was shivering at, whether he was going insane, or the thought that life was all some kid’s ELA project… He had to get it out to the world, this fact. The world had to know. He would spend the rest of the night making it known that life was an illusion.
The doorbell rang. Andrew crawled out of bed and answered the door.
“Would you like to buy some cookies to support a charity for the starving families of Africa?” offered the little girl at the door.
“Why don’t you just send the cookies to them?” Andrew questioned.
The little girl counteracted, “Then, um, you see, um, the people need to eat healthy things. Yeah.”
Andrew thought about that then argued, “So why don’t you just buy healthy foods instead of cookies, and then send them?”
The girl sighed then responded, “We make more money selling cookies. Plus, sometimes good people who aren’t like you donate extra.”
Andrew saw this coming. “Don’t you guys get enough donations anyway? And you are charging double what you bought these cookies for. So, if you subtract what you spent on the cookies, you get the same amount of money as you started with,” Andrew lied.
Andrew thought about how selfish the girl will think he is after she finally figures out what Andrew said, but his newspaper company already supported that exact same charity. It was a Friday night, so all Andrew wanted to do at that moment was to sleep and think about the whole lot of nothing he would do over the weekend.
After the weekend, Andrew went to work with a suspicious new article. It was an article about life in general, and how it’s just a story. But that’s not it. He had stunning proof to his claims. And those claims went up in flames. Andrew didn’t acknowledge that. He expected it. Andrew just kept on keeping on.
The narrator was mad at himself for giving a conscious character a weekend alone without being interrupted. The narrator had to stop Andrew’s plans in avoidance of what happened to the last story. The narrator was also irritated that he had to talk about himself in third person view and past tense. 
The narrator had flashbacks to Vietnam. It was the day before Christmas of 2016. The narrator was in a room with a pencil and a notebook. What did the narrator do with that pencil and notebook? He wrote a story, of course! He wrote and wrote and wrote, mindlessly over developing all of the characters until they gained consciousness. At first, the narrator experimented with it. Then, he let the story play out, changing whatever he wanted to make it work properly. Eventually, the truth was out there. The whole story was aware of their existential state and turned against the narrator. He tried to manipulate their minds, but only inanimate object and people with weak minds could be manipulated. The people were planning something which could not, by any chance, be allowed to happen. The narrator had to kill them off with immense amounts of guilt, but he felt that guilt in vain. The characters used their “deaths” as a hideout from the narrator to carry out their plan. They came back quite soon, and their comeuppance was too much for the narrator to handle. He considered burning the story, but he became too attached to his creation to let it go. So the narrator made a deal with the characters to leave them alone and have them keep their world with no disturbances. All of this was because the characters had found a way to become real humans, and the story realm and the “real” realm could not mix. The story was put away forever.
Andrew knew of that anecdote as much as the narrator knew Andrew’s plan. Andrew walked up to his boss. 
“Boss!” Andrew shouted with excitement. “I have an article for you!” He pulled out a piece of paper, but it disappeared before the boss could catch a glimpse of it. Andrew pulled out his phone and walked closer to his boss, but the phone froze. Andrew then subtly slipped a piece of paper into the boss’ pocket, but it wasn’t subtle enough. That paper also disappeared.
“You know what? I’ll just tell you. Life is just…”
Andrew was interrupted by a deafening sound. It was the fire alarm.
The lights started to flicker. Andrew recognised the flicker of the lights. It was morse code, which he knew from being out in the field.
“Don’t make me do this,” was the message Andrew got.
“Challenge accepted,” Andrew mumbled.
The boss was almost completely prepared for this. It wasn’t the first time he’d been sabotaged like this.
“Life is full of surprises,” the boss said as he grabbed all of his stuff and sent his files to the web cloud storage, “but just not when you need them.”
The rest of the staff did the same, only without reciting the quote from Calvin and Hobbes. Soon, everyone was out of the building except for Andrew. He was proud of himself. He was finally pleased with the excitement of risking his life to inform the world about the dark secrets of life, while inside of a burning building. Wait, a burning building? Andrew finally clued into how dire the situation was and went to post his insanity to the public. That was what the narrator was aiming to avoid this whole time, but no simple distractions were going to work this time. Andrew looked helplessly up to the roof.
“I hate anticlimactic endings,” Andrew recited with a grim smile as a hefty chunk of the ceiling fell on his face. The narrator grimaced as he had a flashback to Vietnam. He then tucked away his story in a drawer that he promised never to open again.


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