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Author Topic: In The Kitchen  (Read 12320 times)

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Slimebeast

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on: 03:42:26 AM 07/22/14
Check the first reply to this story for an explanation of WTF.



I had been out of work for nearly a year. That was how long it took before I actually entertained the idea of taking my weird cousin up on her offer.

"Kitchens," she whispered in my ear at the bi-annual family picnic, "That's where everything is right now. Call me sometime and we'll talk it over."

To be honest, I suspected she was coming onto me. She was half in the bag at that point, and there was an incident when we were about seven years old that had always made me uncomfortable around her.

Still, when you're playing hide 'n seek with the landlord and only have ketchup sandwiches for fuel, you become a bit less picky when it comes to job prospects.

Some lingering doubt still haunted me when I met her at the diner.

"I'm so glad to hear from you," she had chirped over the phone, "When you see what we have to offer, I know you'll want in."

Now, she wasn't ugly by any means. Not a looker, but not hideous. The main thing that disturbed me... other than the fact we were related by blood... was her personality.

She was just... way too interested in kitchens.

I couldn't pinpoint the exact moment it started, but suffice to say that picnic was not the first time I'd heard about her vocation. In fact, it seemed to be all she ever talked about.

"Have you ordered, yet?" She asked as she swept into the restaurant. The brown leather coat and wide-brimmed hat stood out against the backdrop of other flannel-clad, blue-collar patrons.

"Oh, no... I, ah, already ate." I cleared my throat awkwardly and tried not to stare at her comically oversized tortoise shell glasses.

"So you want to be in Kitchens?" She sighed happily and slipped into the booth.

I wanted to say, "No, I'd just prefer not to starve in the street."

"Yup," I nodded, "Your work has always interested me."

The front door of the diner opened again, the small bell above ringing in a new customer. He was a tall, handsome man dressed in the same sort of leather coat and hat as the woman who preceded him.

"Here!" She snapped her fingers at the man, who cocked his head and obediently swaggered to the table.

"This is my associate, Barry." She gestured to the man and the two of us shook hands.

"Nice to meet you, I'm-" I started.

"Oh, your dear cousin here has told me all about you!" Barry chuckled as he slid in next to her.

Barry looked the two of us over, then scanned the table quickly.

"Have you ordered yet?"

"Not yet. The service here is a bit lacking." She looked to the counter and let out another sigh.

"Well," Barry smiled at her, "You just need to do a better job getting their attention."

"Dumb waiter." She snapped.

"Don't be lazy, Susan." He replied.

"They're taking us for granite." She shook her head, as serious as could be.

"You always know how to counter." Barry nodded with a smirk.

I was completely lost.

"So about the job..." I started, trailing off in the hopes they wouldn't make me finish the sentence.

"Right!" Barry seemed to snap to attention, but I lost him as he picked up a menu. "We'll talk about that after I get some good ol' bacon & pancakes."

My stomach grumbled, and the idea of my own starvation exposing the lie that I'd already eaten made me a bit more aggravated than I should've been.

"I really have a lot to do today. Can we discuss it now, please?'

"My friend," Barry began in a condescending tone, never looking up from the menu, "Business before breakfast will leave you broke fast."

"That's good," my dear cousin helpfully added, "Who told you that?"

"I heard it from a Holy Man, once. He was always giving sage advice."

"What a deep Friar."



I sat through forty five minutes and sixteen seconds of this bullshit.



We decided to car pool over to their office. It was a nondescript, mustard yellow warehouse out by the airport. This was the sort of place that needed an "Abandon Dreams All Ye Who Enter Here" sign above the door.

"Home sweet home!" Barry boomed excitedly as we rolled into the gravel parking lot.

"I still don't know exactly what you want me to do." I quietly insisted... or at least I sounded very timid and defeated in my own head.

"Kitchens!" my cousin piped up, now even more keyed up than her idiot friend.

"Selling? Renovating? Demolishing? Cleaning?" I had become an obnoxious toddler in the back seat of Barry's car, desperately wanting to know when we would arrive at the end of the conversation.

"Mm-hmm." he answered.

As our shoes crushed the hot gravel on our way to the building, I found myself seized with a sudden and overwhelming urge to tackle him and start throwing punches.

The interior of the building was much like the outside. Mustard yellow, bland, and reeking of disemboweled life goals. A small reception desk, unstaffed, lead into a short hallway with three doors.

"Barry's office is on the left, and mine is on the right."

"Would you like some coffee?"

I turned my attention back to Barry, who was standing next to no less than five coffee makers of various styles. Each was humming quietly, ready to be of service.

"Wow, you must have a lot of people working here." I marveled at the unnecessary excess.

"No, there's only three of us currently," he picked a machine on his own and started pouring, "Me, our computer tech, and the lovely Farrah Faucet over there."

"That's Barry," my cousin tsked, "Always running hot or cold."

"Speaking of the tech, you should meet him as well!"

Barry ushered me into the third door at the back of the hallway. I didn't even see where he set my coffee down, but I heard most of it splash to the floor.

The hall was decorated with a few paintings. They were similar to Norman Rockwell's work and depicted housewives baking cakes, roasting turkeys, and so on... all in their beautiful new kitchens.

I almost didn't notice the signs on the two "office" doors. They were the standard shiny fake wood-grain placards with basic white lettering etched upon them.

"Sausage" on the left, "Eggs" on the right.

"This is our store room." Barry noted as we walked past row upon row of kitchen appliances.

Sinks, stoves, dish washers, et al, displayed haphazardly in mismatched dioramas of half-walls and windows to nowhere. Even more disorienting was that fact that each display was itself facing in a completely random direction.

"So you DO sell kitchens." I brightened a bit, finally feeling like I'd grasped a piece of the puzzle.

"In a manner of speaking." my cousin agreed.

Finally, we reached a closet-sized room at the very read of the building. What had seemed like a cramped cheese box on the outside appeared to actually be the length of an airplane hangar.

"Techie, we want you to meet the new guy!" Barry lead us into the small, dark workspace.

There at a bare metal desk was the stoop-shouldered, pale, whale of a man we all picture when someone says "computer geek". Pit stains marred his striped shirt, and the black office chair he sat in was cracked and worn.

"Give me a city." the techie mumbled as he furiously struck the keys.

There was silence.

"Who, me?" I asked.

"Give me a city. Fast."

"Uh..." I stammered, unsure of the proper response, "Quebec?"

"Kitchen Sales Quebec." the Techie responded as I relaxed a bit, "Kitchen sink discount better pre-package shipment built-in ice tray."

Peering over his shoulder, I saw the words appearing on his screen as well.

"So what exactly is this?" I asked Barry, folding my arms and trying to act as if that were just a normal question.

"City." the tech barked.

"Paris." I answered coolly without missing a beat.

"Kitchen Counter Top Paris. Discount priceless sterling silver cabinet pulls refrigerator-freezer seven blender settings including puree."

Barry and the woman I knew less and less about both beamed at me, heads cocked as if I'd made them proud.

"I knew you'd fit in here!" she stroked my shoulder, "I always knew!"

We left the cramped office soon after, and I don't think its inhabitant even noticed we were gone. We'd only made it a few steps into the store room before I finally decided to put my foot down.

Rude or not, I had to have answers and I had to have them immediately.

"Listen, Barry, what exactly do you do, here?"

"Kitchens!"

"What about them? What do you do WITH them? Do you sell appliances?"

Barry smirked, squinted, and shook his pointer finger at me as if I'd asked some sort of cosmic question.

"That could very well be."

"Motherfucker." I muttered under my breath, then all but shouted, "Okay! Fine, then at least tell me how much this pays!"

Barry looked confused. He shot a look to my cousin, who gave it right back.

"Are you serious?" he scoffed, "Listen, Kitchens are a necessity. Everyone wants... no, NEEDS a kitchen. They need the best kitchen. Where else are they going to make food? The Living Room?"

My asshole cousin laughed out loud, as if this was the most absurd thing she'd ever heard.

"This is a calling, my friend." Barry stroked my shoulder, and somehow it felt a lot more wrong, "Frankly, I'd pay TO do this work."

I couldn't tell if they were joking... and even so, that wouldn't have made anything better. At that moment, I remembered everything I'd been taught as a child. Never let anger get the better of you. Always stay in control of your emotions. Most of all, never do something in anger that you can never take back.

Then, I punched Barry square in the mouth.

He fell backward in shock, stumbling a bit before tumbling to the ground. Somewhere along the way, his head met with a stainless steel cabinet pull. The solid thwack was a sound I did not find wholly unpleasant.

"Buddy..." Barry spat blood as his hand clasped the back of his equally bloodied scalp.

My cousin helped Barry to his feet, though she seemed relatively unmoved by the spectacle.

"You have to admire that construction. Why, you could bash ten men against there and all you'd have to do is wipe it down with a damp cloth."

I'd had more than enough, obviously. I turned by back on the pair of idiots and stormed off toward the reception area. At least, I was sure that's where I had headed.

"Wait! Come back!" my cousin called, "Pepper us with as many questions as you like!"

"We can forget the a-salt," Barry begged, "Just don't go!"

I didn't care about what they had to say, anymore. I kept walking. I passed display after display, squeezing between appliances when space became tight. I stepped onto a dining room chair and slid over a table at one point, though I knew we hadn't taken that path in the beginning.

After what seemed like ten minutes of walking, I stopped to reorient myself.

"Come back!" came a cry in the distance. It seemed like a call from a mountaintop.


I've been walking for days.


The only comfort I can find as I make my way though this suburban diorama maze would be the random sustenance I find in the kitchens. Freshly baked cakes... cookies... Christmas hams... at one point I think I ate Turducken.

I don't know who's making these things.

I don't know if anyone is making these things.

I don't know anything other than the fact I am in a kitchen, and everywhere I turn there is a kitchen. When I leave the kitchen, I am in a kitchen. The only way to escape is through the kitchen.

I can't hear the others, anymore. I tried staying put for a while, but if they're looking for me they never arrived.

What matters to me the most right now is staying sane. Everything in the world can turn to kitchens around me, but as long as they're not inside my head, I can take solace in the fact I'm not crazy like the lunatics who brought me here.

All I needed was a job, honest pay for honest work.

I just wanted to be a bread maker.








Oh God, no.
« Last Edit: 10:46:08 PM 07/30/14 by Slimebeast »
If I should live until I wake, I pray the web my death to fake.



Slimebeast

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on: 03:43:23 AM 07/22/14
This story was inspired by a friend's forum where spambots keep getting in over and over again, all the time, to post solely about sales on Kitchen fixtures.
If I should live until I wake, I pray the web my death to fake.



Felix Theo Wren

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on: 04:58:25 AM 07/26/14
I had my boyfriend read this.  He works in a bakery.. :P
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Slimebeast

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on: 04:45:39 PM 07/26/14
And he shall never return? :O
If I should live until I wake, I pray the web my death to fake.



Felix Theo Wren

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on: 06:47:30 AM 07/30/14
Well, he's signed up on here, but he hasn't replied.. :O
Teie sõbralik kassimees naabrusest :D

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Slimebeast

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on: 04:38:12 PM 07/30/14
Scared.
If I should live until I wake, I pray the web my death to fake.



Mary

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on: 09:24:54 PM 07/30/14
After all the deliberately(?) misworded idioms, I wasn't sure if Normal Rockwell and piece of the pizzle were intentional or not...
» You throw a tantrum, but all you seem to accomplish is slight disarray.



Slimebeast

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on: 10:46:33 PM 07/30/14
Ha

Normal Rockwell sounds like an indie band.
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Mary

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on: 02:32:04 AM 07/31/14
Maybe I should start a patreon for proofreading
» You throw a tantrum, but all you seem to accomplish is slight disarray.



Slimebeast

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on: 02:46:26 AM 07/31/14
Maybe you should start a patreon for STFU.

$1,000,000 in one day.
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tomatopipps

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on: 11:50:24 AM 08/15/14
I know whose forum you're talking about. Poor Johnny. :washing:



DrDemenz

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on: 12:05:56 PM 08/29/14
This is art. This could've been a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode. Maybe that show with Henry Rollins.



3dultrasound.Wing

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on: 07:53:36 PM 03/03/16
This seems like something in Johnathan wojowick's noisy tenant canon, but at the same time feels too.. normal. The peoplec at "KitchCorp" (my name for the people) seem relativly human, and know how humans work....is it set in noisy tenant?



Slimebeast

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on: 04:18:16 AM 03/05/16
No, but it was based on SpamBots that would come to the forum and post threads like "Kitchen Cabinet Sale Marble Countertops". It's an explanation of why the posts were being made.
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3dultrasound.Wing

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on: 01:53:00 PM 03/05/16
...OF COURSE!!! WHY DID I NOT SEE THAT!?!?