The Death Of A Braincell
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The smell of paint was really beginning to get to me. I'd been sitting in the office all day, slowing killing my brain cells with every intake of breath. My mind was shrieking, "Don't walk! RUN!!" but I had a job to do. I couldn't just up and leave.
I rifled through the desk drawers looking for a mask. Maybe there was a bandanna I could borrow from the construction workers?
I started to wonder which brain cells, exactly, were kicking off. Were they important? Did they control basic motor functions, or REM sleep? I prayed they were just stray thoughts, destined to die from the beginning, but I had a sneaking suspicion that cosmic irony was hard at work, destroying what I needed to survive.
I continued to sit in front of my monitor, tapping away. I answered the phone occasionally, or stood up to stretch my legs. The smell had not abated. If anything, it was actually growing stronger. I wondered how people could stand such olfactory abuse. I thought about the people working at the sewage treatment plant, which we had visited in junior high on a field trip. They generally worked without masks, nose plugs, or nostril protection of any kind. One of them had commented, "You get used to it after a while." How long a while? Was it days? Weeks? Months? How long did it take before your nose was used to inhaling the heady scent of offal? I can only speculate, but I get the feeling that your sense of smell would necessarily weaken after prolonged exposure to disgusting aromas.
I thought about the sanitation workers, constantly breathing the methane fumes of decomposing trash. How much does the city have to pay these people to work with such horrible scents assailing them on a daily basis? Can any monetary amount really be worth it? How had modern science not yet come up with a counter-scent for these horrid eau de toilettes?!
I was becoming enraged. Perhaps the fumes really were affecting me. I began to plot against the company, my parents, the government, people wearing horizontal stripes. I was out of control. I needed a target for my rage, a scapegoat for this proboscis molestation.
I settled on George "Dubya" Bush.
I fired off an angry missive, blaming him for the ills of the world, especially the revolting odors I had smelled throughout his presidency. I informed him that I had never voted Republican, and now I definitely never would. I demanded that he clean up the air and put an end to the stinky smells across the nation, especially at pig farms, paper mills, and "sanitary" landfills. I emailed a copy to whitehouse.gov and faxed another copy directly to the White House. I considered mailing a third copy posing as a child's contribution to the War on Terrorism, but I figured this would only encourage the FBI to hunt me down and beat me within an inch of my life for falsely impersonating a minor or some such charge.
I sat back and surveyed my work, confident that I had finally made a positive contribution to society and tried my damnedest to make this world a better place.
Laura Roberts did the right thing