AMERICAN SARCO by Frank Looney




In the morning I like to wake up. And usually I do. Three years ago, one day, I didn't wake up until the afternoon, but that was because I'd taken several Tuinol, some Seroxat, and Lomotil for my IBS. I was eventually woken by a phone call from my mother.

'Are you okay?' she asked.

'Oh, sure, yeah,' I answered, 'It's three o'clock in the afternoon and I've just been woken up by mother calling collect. Why wouldn't I be okay?'

After I've woken up I like to shower. Well, no, first I like to piss, and then shower, although sometimes I simply piss in the shower to save time.

Then I shave; even though my beard growth is so slow I would normally only develop a trace of beard after several months of non-shaving.
I once asked a medical specialist about this, and he said it was probably due to a lack of testosterone. He said he could test me for that, but it would cost me 500 bucks.

Yeah, sure, I said, that sounds like a really good way to spend 500 bucks, so I can get to shave more often.

After I've showered and done twenty bench-presses, I spend twenty minutes on Aikido, strictly timed on my kitchen timer. Sometimes about this time, my art broker rings and ask me if I've like to invest in a new work by Damien Hirst.

Yeah, sure, I say, because we all know he is one of the great artists of the twentieth century, second only to Tracy Emin.

Then I put on my Calvin Klein boxers, my Conrad Knight socks (enhanced with llama wool), my Pink shirt, which strangely is white not pink, my Gucci silk tie, and my Armani suit.

Then I go down to the lobby, where Pete the doorman reminds me I've forgotten to put on my shoes.

I go back to my apartment to select a suitable pair of bespoke Saville Row brogues. As I'm putting them on my bookie rings me with a tip for the four o' clock at Anaheim.

Oh yeah, sure, I say, then why don't you put five million bucks on it for me, because none of your tips have ever been known to lose?

Back downstairs, Pete opens the door for me and says, 'Have a good day, sir.'

Yeah, sure, I say. Today I have to meet with two Jewish lawyers, an oversexed female real-estate consultant, and also possibly hack the head off one of my business associates. I'm sure today is really going to be one I can look back on with pleasure.

I usually get a taxi to my office uptown. The driver is a Russian who tells me he is saving to open a pizzeria in Harlem. He has five children and hopes to make enough money from his venture eventually to put them all through medical school, as well as pay for his wife's breast cancer treatment.

Yeah, sure, I say, that's bound to happen. You'll obviously live a long happy life without being poisoned by pesticides, or have your old business associates from the former Eastern Bloc catch up with you and blow your head off, on the basis that you sold them out to a Mormon Hit Squad, dedicated to cleaning the streets, or at least those around Utah.

Should I turn right, here? The taxi driver asked, on the corner of 43rd and 10th.

Yeah, sure, I say. Funny, like I thought a Russian taxi-driver who'd been in the country two weeks would already know how to get from place to place.

I walked from where the taxi driver dropped me the few blocks to my office. On the way a bum asked me for a cigarette.

Like, yeah, sure, I said. Here have the whole packet, after all there's absolutely no chance of you dying of lung cancer from smoking them.

It's a bad day in the office. Ruth, my secretary has got pregnant and wants to keep it.

Yeah, sure, I tell her, as a single mother with high-powered job you'll be able to dedicate all the time that's necessary to ensure its safe upbringing. There's absolutely no way it will end up a junkie, as I am absolutely sure you've never dropped acid or done heroin.

Ben and Phil and some other guys I work with barge into my office while I'm masturbating over a picture of Britney Spears.

You like that bitch, Ben asks?

Yeah, sure, I say, I think she's one of the most beautiful and desirable women in the world and doesn't at all appeal only to sad old men, like judges, who like to see her dressed up as a school girl.

The guys suggest we go to an Irish theme pub for lunch.

Yeah, sure, I say, that sounds like a really cool idea. How else could I possibly wish to spend my time? At the pub we show each other business cards we have had made up for ourselves.

Yeah, sure, yours is really good, I tell Phil. I especially like the typeface. I mean, Times Roman, I can't think of anyone else who's ever used that typeface.

Ben asks me if I saw the Rolling Stones perform at the Super bowl.

I say, yeah, sure, it was one of the most awesome moments of my life.

In the pub a woman dressed as a leprechaun is pole-dancing. Ben says he'd like to bone her.

Yeah, sure I say, I'm sure that wouldn't result in you contracting any sexual transmitted diseases, and you would probably go on to marry her and live together happy and fulfilled for the rest of your life, possibly in a trailer park in Lubbock, because that would be all you'd be able to afford when your career goes down the drain as soon as your bosses found you'd laid it out for a stripper.

I slip Rohypnol into Phil's drink and suggest he comes back to my place because I want to show off my new home-cinema system with giant flat-screen LCD tv.

That must have cost you a pretty penny, he says.

No, I say, I picked it up for twenty dollars on one of those 'price-drop' TV auction shows.

No kidding, he says.

Yeah, sure, I say. Like everybody knows those are the best places to pick up state of the art technological equipment at knock-down prices.

Back at my apartment he is puzzled by the absence of my home cinema system.

Someone must have stolen it, I say.

You'd better call the police, he says.

Yeah, sure, I say, they will obviously make it their priority to try and find it. After all they probably don't have anything better to do. Like busting international cartels of drug dealers or stopping Islamic nut-cases diving planes into skyscrapers.

I put on a cd by Huey Lewis and The News.

This one of my favourite ever albums, says Phil.

Yeah sure, I say, I saw them live once, well at least on Saturday Night Live. They really rock. And it's also interesting how they connect with the underlying substructure of American folk music. And their lyrics are really meaningful. I understand you can take a university course in them these days.

I show Phil my ceremonial Samurai sword.

That's a great sword, he says.

Yeah, sure, I say, of course I only bought it to dice courgettes for my homemade minestrone soup. My recipe won second prize at the Bakersfield Annual Homemade Minestrone Soup Exposition. I obviously have absolutely no obsession with Mishima or any other Japanese regime-loving homosexual who may have used it to disembowel himself, because he essentially suffered alienation caused by his nationalist feelings, and also a general sense that whatever his self-esteem was worth it, it wasn't worth being humiliated, either by history, or some shy Japanese gay guy he might have met in the toilet.

You must be very proud of that sword, says Phil.

Yeah, sure, of course I am. It's small seemingly insignificant things like that which really give me a buzz and make life worth living. I even put it on my CV. I think it was really helpful in getting my current job as a corporate insurance advisor.

Two weeks later a detective investigating Phil's strange disappearance visits me.

I wish I could help you, I say. Phil and I were really close and I really miss his sparkling conversation. He was a vegetarian, you know, and could talk about the perfect tofu sandwich for hours on end in a way that kept you really enthralled.

You're taking the piss, aren't you? Says the detective.

Like, sure, I say, obviously I really like stringing the police along when I know they have nothing on me. Like, it's not as if they will take me down a dark alley and beat seven kinds of shit out of me, and then, say something like, don't forget we'll be watching you 24/24 just waiting for you to make one mistake.

The cop leaves. At the door, he turns and says, don't forget we'll be watching you 24/24 just waiting for you to make one mistake.

Now you're taking the piss, I say. And, yeah, sure, like I'm really scared.

Later that night my mother rings me again. She is sobbing.

You don't really love me, she says.

Why do you say that?

Because you usually pass when I call collect.

That's because I know you are in a bar and have run out of dimes. Look, mom, I really love you. Yeah, sure I do, I say. Why wouldn't I love a clinging, alcoholic mother who starved me of affection and is thus responsible for me ending up as a vacuous, self-obsessed soulless psychopathic sarcastic bastard?

Yeah, sure, like, of course why wouldn't you, my mother says.




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