Bim Kerbler is a Junior Associate in the Office of Official Optimism, Division “C” (Quotations) Unit 42 (Inspiration) sub-sector twenty-nine (Cats). His particular area of assumed expertise is words.
“I really love the one of the cat hanging from a tree branch,” says Pilota Prune.
“That was Alva, Unit 10,” says Kerbler. “I only do words.”
“Ah,” says Pilota.
Kerbler is aroused. Pilota is, as the term goes, a statuesque blonde. She reminds him of the President-elect’s daughter. He will think of her after the party, when he pleasures himself so vigorously that he fears damage not only to the prepuce, as is usual, but to the internal jugular as well.
“Hang In There,” says Pilota. “That was you then?”
Kerbler adjusts his glasses. A fringe of coalblack hair spills upon the pancake of his manchild face.
“In is mine,” he says. “I came up with the In over a takeout mall-court Moo-goo-gai-pan.”
“Is that the one with the tiny corn?” says Pilota. “Or whatever it’s called.”
Kerbler is aroused by the way she says tinycorn.
“Baby corn,” he says. “Or cornlettes. Some call it candle corn.” He hopes this learnéd display of word mastery will impress her, but as always he hopes in vain.
These days the Office of Official Optimism is busier than usual, now that Mr. Crusher, the notorious cannibal, has been elected President of these United States of America. When he arrives to the office at daybreak, Mr. Kerbler is directed by his superior, P. Bloden, to double the usual output of inspirational posters.
“And not the so-called Grumpy so-called Cat,” says P, who the underlings ironically enough have taken to calling “Grumpy Cat.”
This is a blow, thinks Kerbler.
TURN TO THE SUN, he writes.
AND, he adds.
So far, just so. AND?
A good time for the food court, thinks Kerbler.
One day, god bless us all, a machine will satisfy the nation’s bottomless daily requirement of optimism. Indeed, President-elect Crusher, the alleged copulator of nannies, has plans to replace homo sapiens with deus ex machina. Mr. Crusher, the well-documented shaker of babies, has a weak grasp of language and believes these terms to mean “stinking humans” and “a deuce of a machine,” respectively.
In his absence, the social media accounts of Mr. Kerbler are programmed to dispense an inspirational quote every four minutes clockround. This thoughtful measure is a nuisance to his forty-one followers, the majority of whom have muted him. In any case, the world is a congress of variegated imperfection. The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley. Just so, the odd inspirational quote chews clean through the wainscoting and scurries into the pantry of our consciousness. Metaphorically speaking. For example:
GIVE GOD YOUR WEAKNESS AND HE WILL GIVE YOU HIS STRENGTH.
A ripper, that. The work of Carder, sub-sector 30 (Faith).
Does the President-elect, indicted only thrice of homicide and mind you not once yet convicted, put his faith in the Unmoved Mover? Mr. Kerbler is himself a devout believer. He is dismayed by the coffee-shop Christmas display, “Cheer to All,” which conspicuously averts from Our Savior’s Act of Grace and Redemption. Still, there’s nothing to wash down Moo-goo-gai-pan like mocha. Principle be damned, decides Kerbler, a sentiment the President-elect, proud serial adulterer, would doubtless applaud.
On the way back to the office, Mr. Kerbler encounters Holly Nxgq of Inspirational sub-sector Politics.
“How goes it?” says Mr. Kerbler.
“What a week!” says Ms. Nxgq. “Our product is flying off the shelf.”
“No doubt,” says Mr Kerbler. “In these remarkable times.”
“Let Us Unite,” says Ms. Nxgq, “over one hundred million units alone.”
“One hundred million,” repeats the incredulous Kerbler.
“Have to get back to the office,” says Ms. Nxgq. “I was lucky to get away. Headquarters has just requisitioned a 242b—the We Are One People stuff. Very challenging. Ta-ta.”
Kebler returns to the office to discover that four followers have abandoned him. Into the browser’s address field he types WHOUNFOLLOWEDME and clicks his way to the engine that will masticate his query. Seconds later, the bolus:
@Tori_Neumann: Passionate about SEO
@Bussy_fay: #socialmediaexpert #author #theBumbletrustTrilogy #BUY #NOW
@Koksuk: #MAGA #ihatePC #JESUS #killFEMINISTS #lovemycountry ♡♡♡
@Olma_Kerbler: Joined September 2016
His own mother!
Kerbler receives the cut with philosophy. Perhaps she’s simply abandoned the whole business, taking her egg elsewhere. If he can work up the courage, he’ll ask. Perhaps on the weekend, when he’ll see her at the senior’s residence. In the meantime, there are inspirational cat quotations to be made.
The sun shines brightly on the street riots below. Mr. Kerbler has to admit it’s a distraction, but the business of inspiration must go on. There are fulfillments to be met.
TURN TO THE SUN, AND
He sags, arms folded. Awaits the bolt of inspiration. Perhaps the muse requires a nudge, perhaps an application of elbow grease will help.
TURN TO THE SUN AND…
TURN! TO THE SUN…AND
TURN…to the SUN!
It’s beginning to look like an uncrackable nut, but Mr. Kerbler assures himself there is no such thing. The trick lies in substitution. For example: Advert, Heavenward, to the Luminous Orb! Ecce the incandescent sphere! Sunne sweᴁlwered suþan scineð. Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
No, perhaps not. A frustrated Mr. Kerbler revises his stratagem: the trick, in fact, is to make the thing jive with a cat.
- to be continued