Darrell Vickers – Farting Through Nylon: Chapter Two Sunshine/Rain

The next morning, as I sat there with all the other vibrant-thread-to-the-rich-tapestry-adding drones, I began to wish that I was just a little bit fonder of having my nose broken by large black men.

Whatever this company was, it was obviously very successful.  They had a huge, well-furnished waiting area, which was now full of young, well-dressed assholes, all vying for my job.  Obviously, they had no idea how much I needed to land this well paid employment opportunity.   Damn this shitty economy!  There were so many people in fact that several applicants had to sit on the floor, like the rather sweet looking young woman next to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I would have gallantly offered her my seat, only A. it wasn’t all that comfortable, and B. I was already at a disadvantage because my competition all had intact faces.

I just couldn’t afford to go into my interview with carpet remnants stuck to my ass or a wrinkled jacket from leaning up against the wall.  I had to be ruthless or I was going to become one fucked up motherfucker.  And I really didn’t want that.

I tried to straighten out my nose that morning, but the pain was indescribable. (And not only is nose pain indescribable, it’s right there in the middle of your fucking face!) Sure, you can really hurt your foot (who hasn’t?) but that’s way down there next to your other foot.  It has to send all those pain signals up the entire length of your leg and then up through your spine before it even gets near your brain.  But, your nose and brain are neighbors. You do something untoward to that decorative little face-awning and your brain knows about it quicker than instantly.

I believe I read somewhere that swearing was invented because of a nose injury.  Before that, cavemen or cavewomen or even cavekids would just sit around with their busted arm or twisted ankle and pray to whatever mastodon pelt they worshiped to make the pain go away.  But when Ug the Shortsighted smashed his nose on a cave door… it was “Fuck this!  Shit that!” And a couple of “Goddamns!”  It changed man’s entire concept of the use of language.

And there I sat, the morning of my big, possibly life-saving interview, with an enormous, purple, swollen mass on my face that looked like it was laying alien eggs in my stomach.

Anyway, back to my unfortunate predicament. (Are there fortunate predicaments?  Just wondering.) God, those other people seemed so together and businesslike.  So…uninjured.  I was sure that all was lost.  My whole practically-coitus-free life flashed before my eyes and Polo was right there at the end of it with a big smile and a shiv.

The door to Mr. Big’s office opened and a well dressed jerk-off applicant stepped out.  Do you call women jerk-offs?  Or do you call them rub-offs?  I don’t know.  All I do know is that she was pant-meltingly attractive and dressed like a runway model.  Everyone in the place looked up to gauge well how she did but her expression revealed nothing.  The bitch!  There was no way I could compete with that heaving pair of gravity-defying bra-fillers and a body that looked like it was born to sit in a Pocono’s bathtub.

I was just about to give up hope and go get murdered, maybe grab a bite to eat first, when I heard my name.

“Mr. Bramble?” called the elderly receptionist.

It had to be a sign, right?

Her name was Dorothy.  She had a very sweet, welcoming, grandmotherly smile that seemed to promise freshly-baked pies and badly knitted sweaters.  This elderly soul turned out to be one of the warmest and kindest women that I’ve ever known.  Of course, when you consider who my mother and her friends are, it’s a bar set so low that most limbo dancers would have a hard time shimmying underneath.  She was wearing an old fashioned, light blue cotton dress.  It made me think of all the rock stars who’d hung themselves over the years.  The two guys from Badfinger (Baby Blue, Come and Get It), that Hutchence guy from INXS (that was a weird one) and the guitarist from Big Country.  Hmmm.  Why did this/them come into my mind?  I pondered.  Maybe it was because her dress was something you might see in a western and they hung a lot of guys in westerns.  But it didn’t make me think of Indians or Dan Duryea and they’re in a bunch of westerns.  Perhaps I was thinking of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. That’s an old western that had Bob Dylan in it, for some reason.  So logically, I’d made the nimble mental leap from a western and Bob Dylan to rock star and hanging.  It kind of made sense.  This was all being worked out internally when Dorothy cleared her throat.  I guess she was waiting for me to do something.  But what?

She looked up patiently and smiled.

All this was kind of new to me.  A job interview!  I mean, what happens in a job interview?  Are you supposed to know shit about what you’re applying for?  I had no idea what I was applying for because the ad didn’t say. I was really only there for the “Good Pay” and not to be strangled with my own intestines, though that’s probably not what a prospective employer wants to hear.  But none of that mattered.  These were desperate times and I needed to grab this situation by the balls and squeeze until I got the outcome I required.  I exploded into action.

“Should I er, go in?” I enquired.

“I think that might be a nice start,” she winked.

I straightened my clip-on tie and strode into that office with as much successful businessman bravado as I could muster.

Biggest Office Ever Without Cows

That lasted about a second and a half because, Wow!  And I mean fucking wow!  This office was the hottest shit I’d ever seen!  I could really see why people wanted to be rich, now.  They got to live like goddamn kings. (It’s one thing to see it on old reruns of Dallas.  It’s another thing to walk into it and feel the ultra-plush carpeting beneath your Cole Haan slip-ons.) His office was the biggest space I’d ever seen that didn’t have cows in it.

Biggest Office Ever With Cows

Second (or is it secondly – I can never remember), it had more oak than Sherwood Forrest.  The room was full of overstuffed leather chairs and gigantic salt water tanks.

I’m surprised the fish weren’t wearing suits and ties.  The entire vibe just said, “Really big, important businessy things go on in here”.  I was impressed.  Who wouldn’t be?  It had a view that actually made New York look pretty.  Now that’s expensive.  This guy had obviously been farting through nylon for a very long time.

The “guy” in question was Harvey Ziegler.  Picture a slightly older Howard Dean.  He was a brawny sort of a dude with a thick neck and large meaty hands.  Harve also had a smile that could swallow a toilet.  Everything about him was massive.  Especially, his personality.

I had only taken a couple of steps into the room when he galloped over to me like Seabiscuit and grabbed my hand.  He practically shook it out of its wrist socket.  Nobody ever, ever had been that happy to meet me before.

“Hey there son!”  Shake, shake shake. “Am I glad to see you!”  Shake, shake, shake.

Harvey stopped shaking my hand and stared at my face with great concern.

“What the flippidy-heck happened to your nose?”

“Allergies.” I replied.

Yikes!  What a terrible whopper.  I didn’t want to lie but, what choice did I have?  I didn’t want him to think that I was the kind of guy who got beaten up for delinquent drug debts.  Those kind of people traditionally, make terrible employees.  But Allergies?  Shit.  I braced myself for his reaction.

“Boy, they can be brutal, can’t they?”


“So what the dig darn is your name, young fella?”

“Zack.  Zack Bramble, sir.”

“Well howdy, howdy hoo there, Zack Bramble!”

He gave me a friendly slap on the back that nearly propelled my teeth into one of the fish tanks.

Harvey Zeigler was always like this.  He was a man I would grow to love and trust, like a father.  Better than a father because I never loved or trusted mine.  And with good reason.  Harve was a man who never asked of others.  He gave for the sheer joy of giving.  I hear that there are other people in the world like that.  But in New York, he was truly unique.

It almost seemed as if Harvey was nervous meeting me.  He marched over to his desk and started to fiddle with stuff, like he didn’t know what to do with his hands.  I was a little confused.  Are all job interviews like this?

“So, Zack?”  If it’s, you know, okay to call you that….”

“Oh sure.  Call me anything you want.”

“You went to college, right?”

“Williams.  It’s a small…”

Harvey beamed at me like he’d just gotten a blow job from a Quaker woman.

“Oh, no need to tell me about Williams College!  ‘The’ Williams College (See?) Tucked away in the bucolic North West corner of Massachusetts.  Number one liberal arts college in the country according to U.S. News and World Report.  Fisk just raves over it.  You’re a lucky man Mr. Bramble.”

Christ! He knew more about the place than I did.

“You’re exactly the kind of person I’m looking for.  You’re young, you’re vibrant, you’re educated.  You’re not some dumb old fuck like this sack of shit you see before you.  I need men and women like yourself because you’re the future and I’m just an old retarded dinosaur who was lucky enough to fall over a nickel or two.”

He looked deep into my eyes.  Very serious like.  I thought he was waiting for me to say something very profound.  This was probably the big test of the interview.  This job could absolutely hang on what I said next.  My brain froze up like a TV dinner.  I had to say something deep and impressive and I had to say it now!

“You sure have a nice office.”


I prepared myself to be frog-marched out of the room and unceremoniously thrown down the elevator shaft.  But no.  Harvey’s face lit up like the audience at a Snoop Dog concert.

“Zippidy Dooh Dah!  You’re exactly the kind of uber-genius of a dude that we’re looking for here at Zeigler Enterprises, Inc. “

“I am?”

“It’d be a wet fucking dream having you come and work for me, young fella.”

“Wow.  I mean, don’t you even want to see my resume or something?”

“Do you have one?”


“Well, no.  Not in as many….ah…”

“You see Zack.  I’m so happy that I can call you that, by the way.  I’m just a dumb old piss-drinking retard.  A fucking stupid, shit-eating asshole who goes by his gut cause he doesn’t have a brain to go by.  Do you get me?”

“Sort of.”

“Do you hear what I’m sayin’, son?”

“I hear you sir.”

Harvey actually got down on his knees like he was going to fucking propose or something.  It was like I was having an acid flashback and I’ve never even taken acid.  Well, not that I knew about.

“Zack Bramble.  I’m asking you as humbly as I know how.  Will you come work for a low class pus-for-brains Cro-Magnon like me?”

I was kind of dumbfounded.  I didn’t know what to say.  So I said, “Well…”

Harvey suddenly went as red as a wounded nun.  Yikes!  I’d blown the whole fucking thing.  I should have said “yes” immediately.  All was lost!  I could see Polo’s fingers plunging into my eye sockets as he told me how sorry he was that I had failed to secure gainful employment.

Harvey exploded up off the ground and started to pace and rant. “What the fuck are you doing Zeigler?  This kid is as sharp as a college educated tack!”

He hit himself hard on the side of the head and then he grabbed me by the lapels.  Fortunately there was no store window to smash my skull into, though there were some considerably pointy African art pieces, so I was still a little nervous.

“You want to know how much this job pays and you want to know now.  Right?”

I braced myself for the un-fortuitous fiscal tidings.

“Is it going to be strictly commission?” I nervously inquired.

“Even a dumb, brain-fucked, piss pot asshole like me wouldn’t be as insulting as to ask you, a Williams man, to work for just commission.”

I sort of relaxed a little but I was still waiting for the big Monty Python boot of reality to come crashing down on my head.

“Though there is commission!”

Fuck! I just knew it. Oh well.  Perhaps being savagely murdered isn’t quite as bad as the news reports make it out to be.

“Of, like, course,” I countered.

I re-braced myself.  That’s tougher to do than it sounds.

“It’s four thousand dollars a week base pay, plus commission, but please don’t judge it too harshly.  That’s only to start.”

I would be less than truthful, if I said that that was the kind of remuneration I was expecting.  And the not-expecting did not stop there.

“After six months I’ll double that plus you give 20 per cent commission on all you sell, to be paid semi-annually.  And I provide the list of people to phone.  You’re not doing cold calls.  No-sir-bob.  These are all vetted firms that need our product.”

“I’m not quite sure I understand.  Like entirely.”

“Of course.  You’re saying to yourself, what’s the catch?  Where’s the downside?  Well there is a downside, son.  A King-Kong-sized turd of a downside, and I’m a little ashamed to admit it.”

Okay.  Here it comes.

“The fucking, shitty downside with piss stains all over it is you’d have to be working for a dumb-ass, shit-fuck motherfucker like me.  Do you think you could do that, Zack?  Do you think you could stand to work for a cocksucking bag of dogshit like me?”

I felt like I’d died and gone to Christmas.  If this was a dream, fill me full of whatever killed Michael Jackson because, I did not want to wake up. I graciously accepted his initial offer.

“Ah, sure.  Not that I think you’re a cocksucking bag of dogshit or anything.”

Harvey jumped out of his seat.  I thought he was going to fucking eat me.  He looked on the verge of tears.  I hadn’t seen a man cry since I showed my father my freshman grades.

“Of course you don’t.  You’re too good a person for that.  Too good of a person for this lousy stinking jerk-off of a boss.  Fuck! Shit!  Oh, you’d better go now before I talk you out of this.”

Harvey couldn’t have talked me out of this job if he’d put a live grenade in my mouth.  Instead of a grenade, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a huge wad of Benjies and starts peeling off a chunk.

“I’m so fucking happy I could shit.  Here, take a couple of grand.  Go treat your best girl to the night of her life.  On me.  This is a gift.  Not even out of your pay.  Just say you’ll come back and start work here, tomorrow.”

And with that, Harvey slaps the money down into my unbelieving palm.  If I’d have known getting a job was so easy and paid so well, I would have gone and done it right out of college.  I had wasted some serious fucking time not making four thousand bucks a week plus commission.

Harvey was getting a little misty-eyed again.

“I can’t thank you enough, Zackary.”

He very ceremoniously led me to the door, like I was the Prince of Denmark or something.  I was impressed for a second time.  His management skills were impeccable.  That must have been why he was so successful as a businessman.  He knew just how to treat his employees.

“This has been great, sir, and I want you to know that I won’t let you down.  Whatever it is I’m supposed to do.”

“I’d be honored if you’d call me Harve.  Like we was pals or something.”

What the heck.

“Sure.  Harve.  You’re the boss.”

“I can’t tell you how it warms my dumb-as-shit heart to hear you say that.  Here…” And he slaps another wad of cash in the old Zacker’s palm. “Take another grand or so.”

He got a little teary again.  This guy was more emotional than a fire and brimstone preacher getting caught with a male prostitute and a handbag full of meth.

“Do me one small favor, will ya kid?”


“Just don’t show any emotion when you leave, I don’t want to disappoint those people out there that I can’t hire.”

Shit! I’d really wanted to dance out of his office like Justin Tuck after sacking a quarterback and dislodging his sternum but hey, a guy gives you three or four grand just to consider working for him…you play along.

“I totally understand, Harve.”

“Harve” smiled and opened the door, I put on my game face and walked out completely expressionless, past all those losers who could eat my I-just-got-hired-instead-of-you shit.


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DBAWIS_ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com

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