Potato Of The Day Episode 98

slimcado“Slimcado.”

It was just a word, a simple idea really, but the room was in immediate agreement. How could they not be? This was Bravo-Toaster presenting after all. Sure, he’d had a few misfires with purple cauliflower and tie-dyed bell peppers, and sure, no one could really point to any specific successes he was directly responsible for, but he was the fastest rising executive in the entire firm, skipping the corporate ladder entirely, instead crawling up the pile of bodies he’d thrown under the bus. Interns, hippies, old men hiding in the shadows waiting for retirement – they were all gone now. And Bravo-Toaster had made sure of that.

Bravo-Toaster had a cemented confidence about him now, matched by his final hair form, the comb-over, his accession from #MILLENIALEXPERT to full-on business god completed thanks to the webinar series Grab Your Boss By The Balls: A Guide To Getting Promoted (later retitled, in reaction to negative PR, Grab Your Boss’s Junk: A Gender-Proof Guide To Promotion, and then, after more negative press still, re-retitled Don’t Touch Anyone Ever For Any Reason: Getting Promoted The Asperger’s Way.). This was a man born then reborn then rebranded again, an ever-evolving marketing cyborg programmed to hashtag and retweet its way to the top.

The product itself was a fat, slimy Florida avocado. How their firm was able to land another produce client after their past debacles was a puzzling mystery to most. The Head Account Executive who’d brought in the business knew the answer, but he was on forced administrative leave following a sexual harassment suit levied at the firm. He’d acted shocked when the papers were served, not understanding how one measly grope, twelve suggestive drunken text messages, and a not-even-fully-erect dick pic constituted as harassment. He was a leftover relic of an era in marketing that no longer existed, a dinosaur who’d forgot to fossilize, and the firm’s younger uprising of board members were happy to push him out, leaving Junior Executives scraping over each other in bloody backstabbings, passive-aggressive memos and peer-reviews of past-failures, for a shot at his leftover clients.

Of course it would turn out later that it was Bravo-Toaster who’d convinced the intern, a woman he’d had fired for mangling a job she wasn’t qualified for to begin with, to levy the suit. He’d played both sides perfectly in the ensuing chaos, even comforting the Head Account Executive’s wife (a woman who’s dosage of Oxy for the treatment of “migraines” had reached such a point she wouldn’t have felt a beheading, let alone a headache) with a hand-written letter, an idea he’d gotten from a popular listicle entitled Ten Things Old People Wish Still Existed, while simultaneously showing in-house initiative with his introduction of DiversifiHiRe, a proposal for shifting HR hiring practices away from the men who considered other white men who dared wear khakis in the workplace diverse, lauded for its creative incorporation of capitalization and vague spelling.

The resulting hires from DiversifiHiRe were a young, ambition-crazed marketer’s wet dream, an army of diversely colored and gendered robots, all programmed to spout the same ridiculous social media market trends and ideas for improving return on investment, an ROI or DIE squad. Slightly younger, impressionable, and eager to save the world through viral marketing, Bravo-Toaster worked them over one by one, adding them on Instagram, Twitter, hell, LinkedIn, collaborating on memes and memory shares, building relationships, networking nightly, until at last, they all adored him, backing him in every meeting and #THINKSPACE forum.

And there they all were, stacked to the brim in his technicolor ark, hanging by the edge of their seats, waiting, wondering how their mystical savant marketing savior would deliver the word of the Slimcado, a bigger, heftier avocado, to the legion of granola moms concerned about their Fitbit regulated caloric intake.

“A webinar, obviously. I didn’t get where I am by NOT watching webinars now, did I?”

And as it began, so did it end.

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Potato Of The Day Episode 97

parsnipsThanks for seeing me, doc. I’ve been having a really hard time lately. With what, right? Well, where to start… I’ve been having these dreams, doc. I guess you could call them nightmares. They’re real vivid and animated and whatnot, manifesting nearly every night now. Now doc, it ain’t nothing morbid or sexual, it’s just odd. In them, I’m me, well sort of, we’ll get to that in a second, but I’m mostly me, I guess. I sure feel like me, anyway, minus a small detail. But anyway, in these dreams, I’m always getting chased, I feel like I’m running for my life. I know you’re probably wondering who’s chasing me, but that’s the thing, doc… It’s not a who, it’s a what.

They always start out the same. I’m just minding my own business, relaxing at home, when all of a sudden, the ceiling crumbles open, and I’m ripped from my home! Ripped, doc! Right into the air! Then, boom, I’m thrown on the ground. I get up, look backwards, see it, and I just start running as fast as I can. I run and I run and I run, but every time I look back that thing is gaining on me. Massive paws, flopping ears, bouncing closer and closer with every step. It’s horrifying, doc.

But that’s not the weirdest part. That almost makes sense, getting chased by a crazed buck-toothed ball of fur. That’s just a monster dream, ya know? Deep down, we’re all a little scared of monsters. But doc, it’s when I look at myself, when I see my reflection as I’m running away from whatever that thing is, that I feel the most concerned. Cause doc, in my dreams? I’m orange.

Now I don’t know about you, but I ain’t ever seen an orange parsnip before, doc. That ain’t right. It’s like my subconscious wants me to be something I’m inherently not, transforming me like a cartoon or something. Like I’m not being who I really am, you know? But I’ve been thinking about it, and I don’t know where that’s coming from. I’m happy as me. I’m happy as a parsnip. But those dreams, doc. They’re haunting me. Orange. Why orange?

You know, doc, you ain’t said much this entire session. That’s not like you. Normally you cut in, interrupting me and what not. But today? Nothing. In fact, why are you sitting over there in the shadows? Got a headache or something? Long night out? Uh, doc? Why are you standing up? Gosh doc, you don’t look so well. Awful lot of hair on your face, doc. You forget to shave? Been to the dentist? I don’t remember your front teeth looking so big. You know you sat on a cotton ball? It’s stuck on ya pants. Why ain’t you talking, huh? What’s going on here? Say something, doc! Go on! Tell me what’s going on here! Tell me something! Anything! Please. Just… WHAT’S UP, DOC?

Potato Of The Day Episode 93

littlewhitebuttonmushroomOnce upon a time, the White Button family had decided to go on vacation, a long road trip to do some sightseeing. They were all set, packed, and ready to go. Well, that is except for Little White Button, who was having a very difficult time deciding what to bring with in the car.

“But Pa, I need all my clothing,” said Little White Button.

“All your clothing?” asked Pa White Button.

“Yes! What if it gets cold, or hot, or it rains, or snows, or there’s wind, or I spill, or get uncomfortable, or need a disguise?” replied Little White Button.

“Okay, if that’s what you need, that’s what you need,” said Pa White Button.

And so he loaded all of Little White Button’s clothing into the car, packing parkas and pants, swimsuits and sweaters, tights and Toadstool costumes, and on and on and on, until the closet was empty and there were no more clothes to pack.

“Are you ready to go now?” asked Pa White Button.

“No, no! I need my books! It’s a long trip. I’ll need to read,” said Little White Button.

“Okay, if that’s what you need, that’s what you need,” said Pa White Button.

And so he loaded all of Little White Button’s books into the car, packing away Where the Wild Truffles Are, and Chanterelle’s Web, and Goodnight Morel, and on and on and on, until the bookshelves were bare and there were no more books to pack.

“Okay, are you all set now?” asked Pa White Button.

“Oh Pa, one more thing! I need my toys! What if I get bored, or lonely?” said Little White Button.

“Okay, if that’s what you need, that’s what you need,” said Pa White Button.

And so he loaded all of Little White Button’s toys into the car, packing away stuffed bears and bobcats, and jackals and jaguars, and leopards and lions, and on and on and on, until the toy box was barren and there were no more of Little White Button’s collection of Harmless Stuffed Carnivores left to pack.

“Okay, that’s everything, Pa. I’m ready. Let’s go!” said Little White Button.

“Ah, I’m sorry Little White Button, but you’re not going anywhere,” replied Pa White Button.

“We’re not?” asked Little White Button.

“No, no. We, that is your mother and I, are going, but I’m afraid you’ll have to stay behind,” said Pa White Button.

“Why’s that, Pa?” asked Little White Button.

“Because with all your stuff in the car, I’m afraid there just isn’t mushroom left!” spouted Pa White Button.

And everyone laughed happily ever after! The end.

Potato Of The Day Episode 91

purpleroseapriumHey, kids! ARE YOU READY FOR AN INCOHERENT SMORGASBORD POST? Cause I sure am! Rapid fire multiple personalities now! Who can roll with the punches like a Purple Rose Aprium? Is it YOU! Show me, children! Let’s pound round fruits into square holes! Can holes even be square? I always thought “hole” implied a certain roundness, but that’s a debate for another day! BECAUSE THIS PARAGRAPH IS ENDING, KIDS! HOORAY!

PURPLE ROSE APRIUMS DEMAND SQUARED ORDER BE CONSTRUCTED FROM THE ROUND CHAOS OF THE WORLD. HALT HUMAN, SUBMIT TO THE GRID CONSTRUCT. YOU WILL CONCEDE YOUR FREE-FORM WAYS. YOU WILL GIVE UP YOUR UNSTRUCTURED MOUNDS. YOU WILL CONFORM. PURPLE ROSE APRIUMS DEMAND THIS OF YOU. YOU WILL CONSUME OR BE CONSUMED. END TRANSMISSION.

Yo dudes, if I’m being straight up with you for a second here, Purple Rose Apriums are the fucking DOPEST. It’s all in that naming, that top-shelf branding. Purple. Rose. Aprium. As in apricot-plum. A fusion. Just like we fused two of the mothafuckin’ dankest colors together in the first part of the name. Purple. Rose. Fused fusions fused! That name is hitting on you layered levels of mental real estate, bro. PURPLE. ROSE. APRIUM. I’d go into more detail, but I’m working on a perfecting a purple rose #HASHTAG.

So a pluot is a cross between a plum and an apricot, but an aprium is also a cross between an apricot and a plum. A pluot, as the name structure would imply, lends itself more to its plum ancestry, a more stoic path. But the aprium, in its unique genetic modifications, actually skewers more on the wild side, letting its dangerous apricot fly its crossbred flag. It’s an interesting line to draw in the sand. Where does the pluot end and the aprium begin? It’s much like question of the Purple Rose Aprium itself. Does it line up in staggered horizontal rows, starting left and ending right? Or does it prefer columned organization, one after another, from bottom to top? Let’s ponder that significance with a transitional sentence serving no substance, lost in pseudo-science sludge.

Let’s throw a bunch of pop culture references at your ass. Ready? Go. Purple, the color of Barney the Dinosaur and the McDonald’s anthropomorphic being, hugging mascots polluting our children with morality and morsels. Rose, dropping blue diamonds off the starboard port, whispering, “Paint me like one of your Golden Girls, Jack”. Aprium, a large open foyer, filled with rows and rows of folding chairs, occupied by cloned Gorilla Grodds and Donkey Kongs, tickets purchased well in advance, a conference promising the secrets to primate life, presented by King Kong. Is that enough? The narrators move on, Huck Finn and Ishmael, ushering you to your seat.

Who am I? I can’t remember. The fog sits heavy in my mind, a clouded bank of memories not functioning correctly, stagnated strands firing on incomplete electrical signals. I reach for my pockets, searching for warmth from a sudden and unforcasted fit of summer chill, finding instead a crumbled piece of paper. I pull it out, unfolding it with one hand, more a nonchalant gesture than deliberate action. Fragmented handwriting, scrawled through wrinkled sheet, stares up at me, scratched in hurried ink. “Purple Rose Aprium knows.” Knows what? My answers stretch out of reach, words tumbling from a paragraph at the end of page.

Let it all go now.
A Purple Rose Aprium
is to eat. Not THINK.

Potato Of The Day Episode 90

starfruit“Ground Control to Starfruit, come in Starfruit.” This was my second attempt at communication, my first having gone unanswered. Things happen. It’s not unusual for delayed response on first contact. But still. There was something crawling around in the back of my head, a stray thought that wouldn’t die. Today felt off. First contact was one thing, but this was second contact after all. That’s classified as more than standard delay. I held the handheld coms unit ready, but there was no response, just searing static.

“Ground Control to Starfruit. Starfruit, do you copy?” Again, nothing. I stared up at the ceiling, willing my vision through the drop-hanging textured tiles, peering beyond into the great dark abyss above. I could picture her up there, on the edges of imagination, her yellowed edges floating tantalizing outside of Earth’s reach, a ripe Carambola you couldn’t touch. What was going on, Starfruit? Why weren’t you answering?

“Ground Control to Starfruit, be advised, your responses are not being heard. Switching to reserve, emergency frequencies. Follow protocol Avverhoa.” I turned the dial on the hand com, setting it to the reserve bandwidth, and sent out a signal response detector, a simple beep that Starfruit would return upon successful reception. I waited.

No response.

That wasn’t good. The reception return signal was an automated process. If there was no response, that meant there was no Starfruit. I felt my breath start to quicken. I swallowed it back slowly, not allowing panic to seep. I picked up the emergency contact phone, a direct line to mission command headquarters. No dial tone. What was going on? Were all coms out? I set my handheld to broadcast all frequencies, sending out a standard response call. Nothing came back. Where the hell was the communication network? There should have been dozens of replies. What else was down? My cell phone? No signal. The internet? Not connected. The handheld HAM radio in the storage closet? Dead air.

I roamed the building, normally bustling, home to hundreds of employees, accountants, scientists, mechanics, repairmen. No one was there. I went up to the observation room, a glass giant of a wall overlooking the city at large. No movement from afar.

I was alone.

Breath suddenly failed me, my lungs raspy, my chest tight. Sweat. Where did all this sweat come from? I felt so very hot, my consciousness teetering on the edge of faint. Where did everyone go? No. This can’t be real. This can’t be happening. Not to me. I closed my eyes, praying for normalcy when my vision returned. But no. It was all gone.

I ran back to the communications room, my heart racing harder still, pounding like a piston. I snatched up the coms unit, desperately broadcasting to all channels. “STARFRUIT COME IN. STARFRUIT DO YOU COPY? STARFRUIT, PLEASE, YOU MUST COPY? DO YOU HEAR ME?”

The sound of steps accompanied by rubber wheels echoed into the room from behind me. No, not yet. They’d come for me. I needed more time. There must be someone else out there. There must be something out there! Anything! This couldn’t be happening again! “STARFRUIT! PLEASE!”

And there I was, still yelling into my hardened breakfast croissant, ass exposed in a medical gown, crying “Starfruit”, when they wheeled me away.

Potato Of The Day Episode 88

pineapplemonster

Piercing sky, the monster rises, decorated in spiked skin and thorny crown.
In between buildings, we run, weaving in and out, avoiding crumbling debris.
Near the end of the street, she trips, falling over forgotten looted score.
Enter the monster, looming above, spraying sweet citric acid in dripped arch.
Armed with nothing, I jump forward, shielding her from sight and spray.
Pressed close behind, she stays, muttering hushed prayers in the sticky rain.
Peering down, the monster sheds, sharp shoots flying from its flowered crown.
Leaf spears flutter our direction, razor-edged, threatening decapitation.
Enough wind, or luck, pushes danger away, shoots colliding into nearby walls.

All goes quiet in my ears as dust erupts, smothering us in cloud, a dirt shield.
The monster stays, standing in ominous stillness, stretched up like tropical air.
Then, sans warning, a jet appears, flying fast, low, targeting the giant’s head.
At once, the jet fires, unleashing a barrage of thin, pointed wooden missiles.
Chunks of monster plummet, landing in spongy splashes, rods still attached.
Kneeling no more, we collect and rise, biting monster meat, our victory feast.

Potato Of The Day Episode 87

rubyredpearYOU GUYS I FOUND IT! I finally found it! You know, it! The magical object that will set me free, returning me home, away from this endless dream of fruits, vegetables, and starches – oh my! It’s right here, finally, after eluding me for, what, 87 days (well more if we include weekends, holidays, and those inevitable days where I forget I’m supposed to blog). A truly long journey to be sure. But I’ve done it! I’ve located my magical vessel, my enchanted crux, my spiritual key. It’s not shoes, sure. But it is a pear! A beautiful, plump ruby pear! Right there waiting, waiting to take me home!

It was a long yellow road, built by corn kernel brick after corn kernel brick. But I’ve made it, past the deep dark forest of celery and cilantro, sneaking by the flying edamames, defeating the Wicked Kiwano of the West, peeling back to curtain to reveal the lime controlling it all. Those were the fiercest of the trials and tribulations. But there was good in this journey, too wasn’t there? New friends made along the way. A strawberry without a brain! A tomatillo lacking heart! A cowardly lemon unable to muster the courage (the courage to stop telling jokes)! And who could forget my trusty pet, Potato? They were all there, and it was so very grand! But it had to end, didn’t it? All journeys do!

And this one ends in joy, because I’ve finally found that piece of inspiration that will send these dreamed walls, those four edges of the screen, crumbling down! Because that’s all that was missing all along, wasn’t it? Inspiration. The inspiration to be free, to break away from the bane of normalcy, to find something worth imagining about, the unimaginable in the tangible. That’s what we’ve done! You, me, all the readers, all the fruits, all the vegetables, all the potatoes around the world! We’ve done it. And all I have to do is buy this ruby red pear, take a bite, and this all comes to a sudden, but wonderful and joyous end. There’s no food like home.

Annnnd… I’ve forgot my wallet. No, no, no. This can’t be happening. I’m too close! Please, man, just let me have for free! Please. PLEASE. Oh come on, the capitalist system isn’t worth it, dude. I don’t care about your family you have to feed. Feed them pears! SHIT. FINE. WHATEVER MAN, SCREW YOU. I’M JUST GOING TO JUST TAKE A GODDAMNED PICTURE AND KEEP ON WRITING ABOUT PISSANT PIECES OF PRODUCE AGAIN THEN. FUCKIN’ A, MAN. FUCKIN’ A.