Serial Installment #15 of “On Rainy Days The Monk Ryokan Feels Sorry For Himself”, Pages 283-301


Thank you anybody for continuing with me. Henry Miller claimed he just needed one good reader to satisfy his needs as a writer. I only need half a reader. Preferably the part that keeps the eyes.

I’m locked up in the teahouse. The rain is heavy. Wind too. I feel the energy to write another eighty pages. But as usual I will write two or three pages worth of mock-enlightened spit, and call it a day.
Last night while waiting in a parking lot in the rank and filth of dirty, soiled, and brown Auburn, NY, two eight-year-old boys took turns throwing a concrete rock into a rain puddle. Wonderful I thought! Innocence. Real joy. Oh, but it wasn’t long before I convinced myself that in ten years both of these boys would be insane. In twenty years, criminally insane. In thirty years, homicidally insane. In forty years, practically insane. In fifty, barely lifting a golf ball off the delicate mowed grasses of insanity. Irrigated grass. Technological grass. In sixty years both boys would possess a bleeding, cancerous gash in the prostate. One of them would talk of nothing but his open sores and the dumb dot-head doctors who insist on operating. The other boy would get plowed over by a tractor trailer because he drank two scotches at the club instead of cuddling up in bed with his dying wife.
I am thirty-four years old, sane, and as wise as I will ever be. There’s not a positive goal to aspire to in a country where all the children are insane.
I am overflowing. The creative spirit is tickling and teasing me. It goads me to write what I cannot write, because if I wrote it, I would no longer be human. So I had better stop writing for people.
I am writing for goats. I don’t want to pretend that I am an intelligent human. I’m not even a smart goat. If I wrote in goatspeak for eighty pages or so, maybe I could find a goat that would eat my book. Every pasteurized, homogenized house on this street should have a goat in the yard. And now that the children are insane it’s high time for their bleating goats to explode.
My happiness is awake. It was asleep underground but now it is awake. Although still underground. I want all of you to feel the gladness I feel while my wife and I cuddle with the children in bed. I am so far down below that even your sewers cannot reach me. No one can see me. And if you light a match to get a better look, your face will explode.
Can you smell hot homemade pancakes served on a white plate? Can you taste the maple syrup and salted butter melting over the top? In late September the clouds carry the first cold rain that will help you forget the Roman-ness of summer. Time to hibernate like the animals. My writing must have some feelings you share when wondering about the bliss of nostalgia. This particular letter must be a feel of gray clouds moving over your hands while you lie down in the grass for the last time this year. Soon the true cold and wet, and then snow. Spring is newborn up until the age of equally ravenous and stupid adolescence. Summer is manhood, womanhood. Fall is the present of whatever you are. And winter is all about remembering the bummer of mortality… Life is one such year, and then it’s over. Just like that.
I hate America because it has stalked my imagination day and night and attempted murder on my sense of adventure. A listless waiting. A small rise and fall in the chest. One eye might open for a second, when no one is looking. This is the new frontier? This space? This emptiness? Fill in the void here? You stupid, overtly pleasant numbskulls! Adjust your lives this instant to continue the rightful evolution of our species. Think about where the day should go when you are alive! No death. No unhappiness. No more bottomless brain sludge in an acid lake. It’s been twenty-five years since I have spoken with an enlightened human being. We were lying down in the soft grass tossing a stick back and forth. The clouds passed overhead while time passed away. I want all of you to change course by tomorrow! Become the overflowing reservoir you were born to be. An Alpine lake, too deep to measure, and water pure enough to drink and breathe if you are a fish. I don’t think that I will ever get through to you. You are a target I hit, round after round, but cannot penetrate.
This teahouse is my only material treasure. My anger will cease and my love for humanity flower the first morning I prefer to brew tea and not count money. In my dream of last night there was satellite TV hooked up in the basement. I have read Suzuki’s plea to the western man. I know that if his books were stacked up beside a box of stale vanilla wafers, the western man would blankly flip through the pages looking for pictures, while eating the cookies. If his wife was beside herself with anger, screaming out her final “No!,” he would take the wafers to the living room, lay down on the sofa, channel surf, and chew. If he had the choice of Suzuki or death, he’d sneak the box of wafers down into the basement and munch and munch and munch for however long it took death to pass over him.
The life in me has never been this ready to release itself. I feel a total desperation, but the only positive action I can dream up is a new plan to quit my job. When I was young I could take a bottle and a friend to get the madness off my chest. Today it’s just madness that doesn’t go away. Unavoidable masochism. I chew flat stones instead of stale wafers, in a pretend show to stay a step or two away from men.
I need one other person to be as daffy as me. Just one, do you understand? Then we could make our bitter points heard to the walking cadavers of the earth. Are there even two people out there brave enough to share their mad, post-modern personalities? Will anyone play concrete rock with me? It’s not only very unlucky to be socially sane, but to be so is the mark of the highest insanity. The socially sane shop for furniture. One important aspiration of the socially sane is to get through life with just a moderate intake of alcohol. Another is a painless death. Social sanity means never having to fall down drunk in front of your children, unless you can get lucky, and die drunk. Controlled decision-making. Silent dreaming. Extremely controlled dreaming and silent decision-making. Secret dreaming. Underground dreaming. Dream awake, however be prepared to utter a sober “please” and “thank you” upon each human encounter. Watch the boys drop a rock into the rain puddle. Shhh! Wait and hope and dream that there will come a wonderful day when your brain decides to pick up that rock and drop it in the puddle again. Meanwhile, while silently dreaming, ask, “What are we having for dinner?” Wait a moment for an answer. Be patient. One never needs to demand an answer. It will most certainly come. Social sanity must always be polite. Time will get its chance to tie those little boys up into a life of constant, silent, agonizing dreaming. Time waits well. So do the socially sane. They are consummate waiters. Always on purpose.

I think Janie was teething the day the war began. I am at war with America. Come get me.
Afraid of death. Terrified of living without coffee. Consumers continuing movement after having every organ sucked out of their bodies and the bodies stuffed with purchases! I am a man trapped in the culture of no culture. These rows of American flags protect materials. Imagine what the flags are covering… Behind that flag’s door is a pot-belly drinking soda on the couch. He would shit his pants if an armed-to-the-toe, sandaled Arab walked into the room. Box cutters? Americans were overtaken by box cutters? The caged poodles in the hold of the plane were ready to leap through the floor and tear at the hijacker’s flesh, but no man was ready to risk his life to save his life. Jesus, whenever Jesse James held up a stage, he made sure there were several robbers with him, and plenty of guns too. If not, the women passengers, petticoats and all, would jump down off the stage at full gallop, and ferociously scratch out eyeballs to prevent assault and robbery. But these guys had box cutters. Box cutters!
Flags and more flags. We need bigger flags for bigger houses. What a warning to the world! “Bomb us with our own planes and you just see how many flags we can buy!” Now the terrorists back East, burrowing in the sand, have a sense of humor. This moment their leaders are sitting down around a campfire, giggling and toasting their luck with tin cups of warmed goat’s milk.
My wife and I admit that I must be careful what I write. Too many stupid people in the world. She fears for our safety. No fear-struck tiny editor mind would publish this book in America anyway, so she shouldn’t worry. She can worry the day I address all of my manuscripts to Pakistan.
Is it over? Is the war over? A “Don’t Tread On Me Flag” is popular at market today because it’s different. A fine symbol for revolution with an autumnal Winnie-the-pooh flag waving below. Got to prove to our neighbors that we are patriotic and incurably tasteless. Beany Babies for sale down a rural American road, and when church lets out up the street, I swear to God that not one of those flesh blobs looks human. Stunted human moles, young and old with flab roles. No man walking down the steps, tall, strong, proud, fierce. Everyone into a new car. Even the rectory hangs it’s token flag. Next to the Monsignor’s satellite dish!
Kenneth Patchen wrote about the war in 1940. Hell’s images for pompous literati to slice open their wrists with. But no one who mattered read it. The killers never read. Ferocious dogs and their mad, continuous barking. The indifferent cold murder of children and the elderly. The running and hiding behind walls to rape twelve year old girls. Lynching. Tying up negroes and Chinamen to trees and snapping rubber bands around their constricting testicles. Stopping along the highway to rob a service station. Setting up camp on a riverbank southwest of Detroit. The relentless bombing from the skies, bullet holes, bleeding… The masses cannot understand. Their children will go to school to recite The Pledge of Allegiance. I must nip that insanity in the bud. It is my intent to poison their little minds with the truth, for someday they will be grown-up enough to kill. I must teach them now, in innocence, the value of life, of every life…Human, skunk and stinky Arab.
At the dinner table I have told my daughter that war can be creative. If America dropped baskets of fruit over terrorist compounds, I would rave about being a patriot and wave my flag out in the yard, on my car, out my ear. I’d take it to bed with me. Baskets of fruit, toy horses, lemonade packets, toilet paper, dog bones… War is hell, but only from lack of imagination. Drop sacks of body odor, a billion dollar bills, false teeth by the thousands. Strap a couple billionaires to gigantic fresh-water fish and drop them with a surprising message of devotion to humanity.
Why the billionaires? Because they are the ones the evil doers want. Tie Bill Gates to a mother salmon fat with eggs, ride him and the poor fish five miles into the sky, tie a note to his wrist that reads, “I think that you starving sand niggers smell” in Arabic, or whatever language those dirty beggars speak nowadays, and drop him, the fish, a bright light, and a parachute over the bleak and wide desert of human sadness and poverty.
I say seize his assets, and those of anyone else who would allow decorative crafts into their homes. Seize everything made of money and convert it all into silly bombs. We must retaliate with laughter. Terrorize the world with laughter!
But I am through with war. It doesn’t exist. I said Janie was teething the day the war began. She’s still teething and it’s over. Finished forever. No more human wars. They’re too funny. Historically speaking human blood wrought from war is funny. It is entertainment. It’s still Thanksgiving in November and beer picnics on Memorial day even if a Johnny’s head was sliced off in 1863 or 1943 or 2003. It never matters. I want very much for this book to blow some fresh air into our children. I want to empower each child with the vision of becoming a remarkably better parent than what exists today. I write for the children although I don’t want the children to read what I write. It is a book for when they grow up. If I finish it, they will grow up by the year 2020. If I don’t finish it, all the babies presently cutting teeth will have their brains blown out impersonally by whichever President you elect. My finished book is all about teaching the children music and sewing, cooking with love, and building shelters for safety and never decorative deception. It is teaching them sanity. Because right now, at present, the parents cannot differentiate between sane or insane. I need to shine some light on the darkness coming. Truthfully, there is no danger that your local lettuce-nibbling backyard rabbit hasn’t felt a thousand times already. Still, we tend to make our imaginary monsters massive, ferocious, and unmerciful, even if they are not real. American monsters at their most violent and murderous, are really just crying new born babies with sore gums.
I loathe American Democracy. It sucks. I think we need a king of America. A successful revolution would crown a king. A king would spare us another four hundred years of cancerous madness. But what would happen to the poets? Well, he would have to wipe them out of course. I mean the four or five who foolishly kept writing the truth. The rest of the pretties, the laureates and the university professors—they could keep writing the safe crap that buys things, whether medium-sized boats, new cars, or self-esteem. It might please the king. Only in times of near disaster would it matter to me that I had a silver tongue. Then I’d speak up knowing that my throat would be cut by the king if I did not.
Yesterday, on the way to my sister’s new house, I drove the car across a bridge built over an ancient river. Down below, along its southern bank was the timeless village of Lashojas. Autumn’s blaze was full, singing praises of Indian summer. Canoes paddled up to docks where the children gathered to play. Husbands and wives were out walking, dreaming, of their golden day and the last still night before the cold winds blow.
“This is the real world,” I whispered to my wife who was nursing our baby in the backseat.
“What?” she asked. The broken muffler drowned out my talk.
Then I said, “Canoes,” as if expecting her to see all that I saw of the invisible village during those few seconds spent speeding over the bridge.
She saw. She knows. We have a baby. We cry. We feel.
Lashojas had a king. Not a mayor. Not a chief. No governor, no supervisor. The king had the power of the village’s strongest man, balanced beside the weakness of its most sensitive woman. The people sat at council. It mattered what they said, so the king could make his best decision, which was unanimously accepted. How could his decisions not be pure? Each utterance was true, every action needful, all no-action religiously necessary. Lashojas had a warrior-king. Without him, there would be no Lashojas.
Were they free?
More free than any freedom anyone has ever imagined.
More free than a United States Citizen?
Well, if freedom meant a safer place for human fear and apathy to reign, then no, the men and women of Lashojas were not free. Freedom was not a word in their vocabulary, nor was it ever a sign to motion. The people called themselves “trees with legs.” The king had all rights to hurricane or calm summer days. Yet he never ruled on whim. Nor did he need to conceal automatic weapons beneath his pillow. He kept no army besides devoted trees with legs, all of whom had unyielding, equal ambition to raise sane and healthy children. There was no nuclear missile ready in silo to annihilate the neighbor village, nation, or planet. No prisons that could comfortably fit a walking tree with legs.
When human evil came to Lashojas, the king killed it with his bare hands. Then he cut it up and fished using tiny cut chunks of its flesh as bait.
The United States has a president. It has freedom too. Freedom that is well defined, which doesn’t make a difference because its people are caged singing parakeets, not walking trees. When the President says, “kill,” the parakeets clump together and trill “kill.” When the President says, “Good parakeets,” the parakeets coo and cuddle up in flannel pajamas. They are proud of being caged birds. And why not? They have the biggest cages, bursting surpluses of parakeet food, shiny parakeet cars and trucks to wash and wax by their immaculately clean water bottles. When the President says “everything is evil,” the parakeets coo. When the President says “Have a good time,” the parakeets take off to Disney World, warbling and wondering, only to crash into walking trees and explode. When the President says time to kill again, the parakeets go shopping. They praise their god who is the parakeet with all the stuff. Their president is a money god.
No parakeet will trust another parakeet. Mother and father parakeets are waiting for the President to appear on TV. The baby parakeets are staring into the mirror. They are singing “me, me, me, me, me.” The President is on. The President sings.
“Hey wait a second!” says the want-to-be walking tree parakeet. “He’s not singing to us from a cage. He’s a thousand miles away safe in a steel mansion with many bullet-proof rooms. He has servant parakeets, a free car and all the gourmet seeds he can eat. He flies in leisure through the most ominous skies because the parakeet air force protects his wing. La! La!” The lone parakeet is startled by his own, emerging voice. “La! La! Who the hell does that President parakeet think he is bossing? La-la-da-dent-ta-da! President of the parakeets my eye! I have every right to be the President of me!” The parakeet with the new voice sings out to his fellow caged birds. They cannot hear. They drown out the new voice of the parakeet with a flood of their combined singing. They watch their President on the TV. They sing songs about their President. They pick out the best seeds in the dish. They buy parakeet toilet paper and sing “freedom” and “God bless America” because their President told them to.
The lone parakeet flies off to Montana, buys a used cage and carries it in his beak to a remote woods.
Meanwhile the entire population of the United States of Parakeets minus one rebel, caged bird, has their necks broken and feathers plucked personally by the king of Lashojas. That night he orders his cooks to prepare a grand feast to mark the change of season, and initiate another walking tree.

Even if I had the originality to access entry into the minds of future man, and they bought fifty of my books a month to keep my grandchildren free from toil, what good would that befall my family if their memories of grandfather were of a broken, and defeated man? Especially if all they ever wanted was a toy?
To continue on this course means to be too poor to give them a plastic bag to play with during a visit. I couldn’t even find one of those last night to shut out the freezing cold draft above the sill! My wife said,“Well, we’d have to go to the grocery store to get one of those!” Then she laughed. I laughed. In twenty years, neither of us will be laughing.
The spiritual meltdown of America. Yes of course! But what good is showing them if in return they cannot provide a chicken to braise in my pot every Sunday? I am spent. I want so badly to leap over to the other side. I want the opportunity to make the money I see being burned all around me. My daughter is selling candy bars. She put $22.00 into the 4-H piggy-bank this month. I made no money for my family. No money. Not even for food. Nada. What’s worse is that I am completely indifferent about getting a job.
I believe I have the right to steal for food and rent. Yet I won’t even imagine the opportunity! Total and absolute slave mentality. They got me! It’s a Saturday morning of the 21st century. I possess heaven’s eternal right to demand two percent of the millionaire’s income. A lousy two percent! That feeds the family, and delivers a toy or two for the children this Christmas. Why not? No millionaire earns his fortune, not working the way I have over the years. Five dollars an hour. Ten, fifteen, even fifty an hour and there’s nothing waiting for us besides cancer and heart disease. Only a persistent, insanely determined few can get to the million. They should be the most unlucky in a healthy society, and raided right now for a fair distribution of their dough. It’s a lie to say that anyone has ever earned that kind of money. It just isn’t true.
How many thousands of years philosophers grappled with the mysteries of life! Some in robes, most in rags, a few stark naked, but all in need of a bath. And for what? For more unsolvable mysteries! Fate, spirit, wealth, happiness, law, morality… No. This morning I stopped believing in morality. I launch internal mind spit at anyone who practices morality. My neighbor has enough to share with me. Money, not morality. I can take him by the throat and demand fairness, compassion, humility, and money, good god, yes… Money! Demand a position beside him at the office to prove to the world that I can squeeze a dollar from innocent blood as well as the next guy. If he doesn’t budge, I’ll take his money or his life—whichever I can get to first.
Aeons of thinking philosophy, arranging philosophy to fit a philosophy. And what is there now? An infinite number of paths leading to money. And still only one lonely road into the soul. Ten thousand years of practiced thought. So what? For this? Through every age, every epoch, all laws made by kings or legislators had to be broken by real philosophers. Then the philosophers were hung, or stretched, or tarred and feathered to death for breaking the law. Over time truth came to despise real philosophy because it could never amass an army before all of its soldiers got killed off. America, the modern empire, enforces its laws at the bottom in order to protect the top. It doesn’t matter if the bottom mass is a million times that of the top. The bottom can be that huge, that massive, but the law would never allow one lucky man to crawl out from under it. That might make the top drop another fifty bucks. So today laws are made to break the philosopher long before he can summon the courage to break them himself.
The philosopher is trespassing in America. He might walk tall, but get caught on the treated lawn of the millionaire, and off to prison, or a fine, or no job, or divorce, or “here’s fifty more channels for free, you human embarrassment! Be entertained and be thankful! If we catch you farting around this property again, you will be shot dead.”
In America the philosopher is anathema, the millionaire admired, the middle class, the envy of themselves, and the poor, always deserving to be envied and admired, someday. Truth is anathema. And each philosopher accuses the other of seeking a pension and not the truth. Correct! There is no truth after a man watches his second car commercial.
Who or what do you think these new and popular terrorists want? America? Do you really believe that? Yes you do. The reason for the recent flag proliferation. But I tell you, and telling you I know lessens my odds for a healthy dinner this week… Still, I tell you anyway. Listen. The terrorists want our millionaires. And yet we refuse to hand them over. There will be no more terrorism if we drop ten in the desert right now, freeze their assets, no—take their assets and bake money pies with them. Drop them and their pies to feed the hungry. Give up our millionaires to the terrorists! That’s what they want, and if anyone actually listened to their desperate plea to America, we might achieve a better understanding. Perhaps even take a step closer to morality.
Why did the World Trade Center have to be so god damn big in the first place? Could not the business smarm of this nation conduct the rape of our planet from underground? All of this is the fault of a cocky architect. A wiser Joe would have built Rape Central as close to the center of the earth as possible. How many companies upstairs do you think practiced honest, caring, business acts of love and devotion to their clients, employees, and the unrecognized gazillions of other sentient beings occupying planet earth? Each greedy business had its crooked fingers pushed up deep inside some poor man’s ass while busily cutting back another species to extinction. I’m sure of it. And so are you. But we’re entertained too well to think about those things. Too painful, especially before, during, and after such a delicious and filling supper.
And the other terrorist target…Tell the truth. How many murders do you think the Pentagon has been accomplice to? And don’t you dare say that there is any such thing as necessary murder! My guess is, since the birth of our nation, that office, or its equivalent, has killed more or less about two million people. That’s a very rough guess. The exact number can probably be determined, depending on your willingness to trespass onto its well-guarded estate. Just don’t get caught, or they’ll shoot you dead.
Tell me, what is Al-Qaeda? What does it stand for? Does it mean “bomb and burn innocent bodies?” Should we murder Timothy McVeigh’s entire family; grandpas, grandmas, ma, pa, sister, brother, etcetera, and a few more thousand relations not by blood? According to this government’s recent logic, oh absolutely! Actually, following its broken line of reasoning, we should bomb strategic pieces of this nation off the map. These lands were McVeigh’s temporary hideout, were they not? If the FBI didn’t catch him, Mr. President could have had Florida decimated, if he guessed that’s where evil Timmy was hiding out.
But I despise myself for giving the murderers of the world my time and effort. Right now, undercover in America, every man, woman and child is perpetuating murder. Jesus, I’m sorry but it must be true. If I don’t hear another dissenting opinion soon, I’ll go mad. If there was just one other sane human being to talk to, I don’t think my argument would get far enough to reach its inevitable conclusion of retribution. Just one more philosopher to explain my position to, for him to agree or disagree, but more importantly, for both of us to go out after talking and find a recreation less demanding than “round up” and “execution”.
Give the terrorists the millionaires! Just don’t give them the millionaire’s money. They can have the men and women who make money their mission. They can shake each one over the sand, to death if they want to, and find nothing besides pale faces and eyes staring wide open. Without money, money cannot be made. Good riddance to the millionaire, I say. Bad news for the terrorists.
The real terrorists, the true “evil-doers’ are the millionaires and any government that supports millionairism. It’s the truth. Why should I explain it to men who refuse to think like men any longer? Real terror is obeying laws made against your conscience, and every law that has ever been made without my permission has gone against my conscience. I am so embarrassed to be an American. I am terrified to be an American. I fear my own country, like my countrymen pretend to fear planes being hijacked and steered into billion dollar buildings. I could squeeze a Saudi until his eyes popped out. I am not frightened by this man, his bombs, nor his belief. I could take on any human being who challenged my heart’s desire. Our government is no human being. It shares the same ideals as a terrorist organization, just on a more massive, near infinite scale. It is greater than Allah, than Yahweh, than it’s own Jesus Christ, and the most terrifying truth is that it knows! And speaks murderous gibberish with a lunatic’s zeal. It has purposely made itself master of a weak belief, built from fear, and lasting only because it is supported by nuclear missiles. Behind its present unlimited power the helpless American dogs play about without a care in the world. They are shit-sniffers who won’t change a thing until the morning their food bowls aren’t full.
But the real bonding strength of our country comes from the millionaire. What he represents to the shit sniffers is a lifelong hope that the bones to come will get bigger and bigger. He is master. He decides which paths the loyal dogs will take. The terrorist dogs need his bones too. They need even more. Like an SUV and a rocket-launcher. These poor desert dogs are no different from us. Just a touch more envious because of their poverty. They just want what every dog-brained citizen of the United States of Fatstomachs wants. And a rocket launcher. Hmmn. Where can a poor dog get one of those?
From Grandma next door?
From Lenny your best friend?
From 99% of the shit-sniffing dogs in America?
From the millionaires?
Should I write “yes?” Or should I beat you into the corner with a rolled up newspaper?
Meeting together, somewhere lost in a forest, I could give any millionaire smaller than me, a black eye and push down to the ground. And I know that terrorism would cease to exist if I knocked enough of these shorter scumbags into the dirt. The universal jihad of truth instructs us to turn on our masters, to upset our yummy food bowls, and go straight for the jugular.
But what about America? Why do I fear the country as a symbol more than the entire store of pot-bellied men who inhabit it?
Because as long as nuclear weapons exist, America cannot be beaten. Power is top dog. I can’t imagine that a significant number of men live within these borders who would dare rise up to eliminate the bombs. Not even for the sake of their children. The fathers accept both nuclear bombs and millionaires. The fathers follow the millionaires. The fathers look the other way while their children are beaten with a stick by the millionaires. Even if all men were once themselves children and dreamers, it is only children, small children, very small children, the children before their mothers and father’s wrong teaching… Only these small, helpless puppy humans, most still waiting to be born, can be trained to triumph over power.
Because in America, even the wide-eyed toddlers want to become millionaires!
So who will help these tiny babies?
Well, I am struggling to do my part. What are you doing Mr. and Mrs. Fatlapdog?
Babble babble babble. I am not strong. I have not the strength to take on a country. My neighbor could say “Boo!” and I’d jump, then run, then hide. I am an American. I am over two. I guess I want to be a millionaire also. Yes, maybe it’s time to admit defeat. You and I, from the beginning of time, and until the end, are the greatest cowards that have ever existed under stars in the night sky.
Time now to write my letter of application. I want the CEO job.

Generic Letter of Application For CEO Job

Today I shared a loaf of stale bread with my dog while my wife ate frozen shit on a shingle. If we decide to pay our bills and not buy food, tomorrow’s dinner will be less and much worse. I want to eat and share a warm bed. I want to get excited over the purchase of a small toy this Christmas season for my new baby girl. My oldest daughter would like some good books and a reading light. She already has a library card, but we are not so certain that electricity will be in flow come December. And my wife? All she wants is my happiness. And a little money.
Therefore I want the CEO job. It will make me happy. I want it and will get it because I am smarter than the boob who is presently in control. Coincidentally, I want to rip off people and wear a sharp suit too. I want to make the company a million unearned dollars right now, not tomorrow, not even tonight. Now! I want to strip all company employees of dignity, and sign my name to everything they own. I want to enslave human beings and have a parking place reserved for me. I want to join you guys. Let the shareholders vote me in to power. I think if the majority of investors get this letter, then the job is in the bag.
Here’s what I want. $26,000/year, weekends off, and two week’s paid vacation. I’ll work hard for fifty or sixty hours each week. I will do this without a company plane, or car, or estate bought special for me. In fact I want no fringe benefits besides free coffee and a private bathroom.
There, I just saved the company a million dollars, and nobody got fired besides the single human piece of waste who was running the show yesterday. In the next minute I will sign a document that will save the company fifteen million dollars.
I, Ron Throop, expect not a dime of retirement money. No severance pay. Nada. Zip. If I don’t do the job, please fire me, and get someone who can do it better for cheaper.

Signed:  Ronald J. Throop                                          Date: Recently

Okay. So what is it we are selling? Dog food? No problem. Now that I am at the same pay as a veteran factory worker, we will be able to slash our prices and beat every competitor. I see here that your product design sucks. Well, the company is in luck. My wife is an excellent graphic artist. She will have the consumer believe he is buying a five pound bag of sugar cereal for breakfast. I might persuade her to do that for a mere compliment. Now you can fire half the advertising team. Another two million saved.
There. I just made our dog food number one in America, and this quarter’s profits will break an earnings record. I don’t ever expect a raise, so no conservative investor need fear a sudden growth spurt in my swimming pool.
Or are we selling cotton swabs? Same thing. I got a plan to screw over the Texas farmer good and proper. Next season he will be begging our buyers to stop by his field before crossing the border to Mexico. The crazy chiquitas down there work all day for fifty cents and a promise. You don’t think I got the stomach for that? Oh I know some countries where the armless and legless disabled will role our cotton balls between their teeth and tongues for just one glass of clean water.
I will save you millions on the sale of whatever bauble, big or small, which you presently dangle in front of the dreamy eyes of fellow, zombie-struck human beings. You name the product—telephones, natural gas, electricity, garage door systems, ceramic bowls, toilet paper, giant, blood-dripping, cut-open stomach stink slaughterhouses… I am your cheapest and smartest choice. I am a marvel. Not only am I young, fit, and prepared to play along for the rest of my life at your cheat of humankind, but I am also quite good looking. So there’s more money saved on advertising. Send over a film crew on my Saturday off. They can catch my wife and I warming up on top of a box of your crackers, or next to one of your checkered chair pillows. If it’s nail clippers, just dub a row of them dancing across the screen and we’ll be the leading seller of nail clippers by nightfall. I promise I won’t charge a penny for that kind of service. My wife will probably expect some small compensation. Perhaps a new dress.
I am not kidding. I am so in earnest that it frightens me. I will represent your jigsaw puzzles, alarm clocks, tiny painted clown crafts, cheese spread, diaper pins, ant traps, playing cards, trucks, cars, paper plates, lawn mowers, screw guns, fence posts, television, DVD, VCR, rubber wire, jelly jars… On and on and on, and I will take the first offer, no matter what embarrassing trifle it is that you spend the better part of your lives trying to sell to everyone. Oyster crackers? I love them! I’ll do anything to keep them profitable and in circulation. But I will not die for them. And neither will the overpaid moron who is presently ripping you off as CEO.
It would be foolish business to not even try me. There are two or three jackasses fired every day. Their stories are on the front page, and honest naive people feel the crunch in their retirement portfolio because that smiling white-toothed bastard had the board of directors sign him over a tremendous retirement package of goodies. Why should the board care? They still keep their jobs and their tremendous packages-to-be. Americans pay too much lip service to the free market economy. What specialty do these top nips possess that any base-level nip couldn’t develop simply out of real need for a job? Organizational skills? Public relations? A librarian or dog groomer could make the same, or better, decisions just as cleanly. It cannot matter because it’s always figures, and never people. Merge the telephone mogul with the asphalt shingle and paper-clip robber-baron, fire six thousand people all suffering the possession of a car payment they can’t afford, rearrange this department, add a secretary there, don’t empty that trash basket until next Thursday, fly all the executives on the same plane, crash the plane, save two more billion…
You are afraid, aren’t you? I might be in earnest. Then your competitor hires me, gets really rich, and you and your buddies lose the timeshare on that piece of ocean in the Caribbean. No, how could I trust you to share my letter with those people who matter? So when I send this application, I’ll make sure to send a copy to a union worker or shareholder meeting loudmouth. I need a job, and I think that my simple solutions to your company’s massive overhead might achieve some backers. If I am persistent I may even get the support from your volatile army of wage slaves who just got canned in a CEO supported sweeping up and downsizing of human dignity. That won’t get me the job I need, but it will definitely piss off enough people to make a difference. If religiously persistent, I can provide for my wife and children. I might consider taking the CEO position of the company dedicated to sweeping up and clearing out the rotten millionaires and billionaires of the world. For as long as there is a man out there making a million dollars a year, in a forty hour work week, there will always be the man whose back breaks to make that man the million dollars. There is not a rich man out there, even in weak moments of benevolence and good will to men, who would refrain from anonymously whipping another human being to the ground in order to make more money for himself. All rich people partake in a massacre of the human soul. It cannot be helped. It will always be this way as long as there are words like “cell phone,” “conduit,” and “airplane” used to scramble and pollute the brains of the insignificant ones. (The millionaire’s money runners).
We are all daffy. Now let’s use this silliness to our advantage. Hire me. Simply for the worldwide positive disturbance I will create. Could it mean more profits? You betcha! On the cover of the nation’s newspapers: “Time Warner/AOL Hires Throop To Do It’s Raping.” Or “Purina Bags New CEO Living Closer to the Bone Than the Average American Dog.”
To hire me would show the world that your company has a regular guy to push its regular products on the regular consumer. Profits would certainly matter to me. I would want to keep my job. Why would I piss off your blood-thirsty mob of shareholders? It’s either dividends or death for the lot of them. That the majority have allowed its executives to prance all over the earth creating and destroying like Indian gods is most certainly the bane of capitalism, and will forever remain a clueless mystery to me. Granny with her sixty shares invested should know exactly what the executive ordered for lunch. If she knew it was a bowl of lobster bisque with garnish of caviar, and a 20% tip was left on top of that, with her money… Well then, you might see granny get just ticked off enough to join in a hostile takeover and cutting up of the CEO.
Moreover, if hired, I promise to keep track of all expenditures. I intend to save the company money at every juncture. That means when we plan to buy out Chunky Tuna, Inc., and break the news to its top men over lunch, I’ll make egg salad that day, bake the bread, and do all the dishes by myself.
Granny will appreciate that. She will rally behind me. I will get elected. All the stockholders will praise the company for such sound, honest decision making. Twenty-six thousand, weekends off, and two weeks paid vacation. I might even consider taking the job as a volunteer, provided your product is life-giving, or even somewhat necessary to sustain life. I would, however, expect home-cooked, free meals for my family, more nutritionally and aesthetically satisfying than shit-on-a-shingle.
Please consider an interview. I am ready for my fair share. I am also quite confident that my presence will only strengthen the goofy machine that is your company—always so serious about nothing really besides making more money. Let me in and I promise to do just that!
Let’s go!





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