On the tenth Daze of Christmas,
Paul Greenberg gives to us. . .
Paul Greenberg gives to us. . .
Merry Christmas, Hipster Douchebag: A Holiday Story by Paul Greenberg
He was fifty-five going on twenty-five: skull rings, black tee-shirt, black hoodie, leather jacket, cowboy boots, and jeans.
Tossing his five-dollar cup of Starbucks in the trash as soon as he was alone in his office, he never drank it. It was too strong. Everyone in the office knew about the coffee farce but no one said anything. He was The Boss and it was Christmas after all.
The economy sucked but he could afford it. Paying himself close to three-hundred grand as the sole partner of his advertising agency Scrooge/Chicago. From his office window, he could see the Navy Pier decorated for Christmas, Lake Michigan, and beyond.
“The ad game is a tough racket,” he’d tell his employees. “There are hundreds of agencies scrapping over every piece of business and available clients. Pitching the same tired shit. You got to be new, fresh. It’s kill or be killed. Watch out. They eat their own out there.”
Scrooge hired well-educated and hungry people looking to advance. Soon, it turned them into the working poor. Want health insurance? Pay through the fucking nose.
Mid-afternoon, he pulled a leather sketchbook from his bottom desk drawer and worked on caricatures of his employees. Exaggerating their noses and ears, drooping the skin, he turned them into monsters and zombies. He despised them. They made enough money, so fuck ‘em. Empathy was not a song on his playlist.
He left his office for a meeting and made the mistake of leaving the sketchbook open on his desk. His secretary found it. As she thumbed through pages of gross and sadistic portraits of employees past and present, including herself, she laughed and quickly came up with a plan.
She made an announcement to the staff. “Today is the day we have all been waiting for. Prepare yourselves.”
Returning from his meeting, Scrooge went directly to his office and sent an email to the secretary, telling her he was ready for his chai tea and yogurt. She entered, holding a tray with the tea and his chilled Greek yogurt.
Scrooge sat as his desk to relax and sip the tea, which had an aftertaste he’d never noticed before. It was actually a combination of Oxy and Valium that his secretary had crushed into it.
A half-hour later, he was unconscious. The staff dragged him out to the main office floor, rolling him onto a big plastic sheet.
His two writers brought out knives and started cutting his arms off at the elbows. Blood gushed as his body convulsed. The IT guy laid a wreath on his chest and sprinkled him with tinsel. He snapped a finger off one of the hands and started gnawing on the skin. The art director boldly took the credit cards and cash out of The Boss’s wallet. After handing out the cash, he kicked him in the head, took off the cowboy boots, and started biting off his toes one by one.
The girl from production suggested barbequing him, but they decided against it so she bit his ear off. The secretary took a chug from a bottle of Vodka she’d taken from his mini-fridge. She poured some on his face before chewing his lips off.
Scrooge woke up surrounded by his employees.
“You’re right, Boss. We ad folk do eat our own,” someone said.
They all laughed.
The boss noticed it had started to snow. The flakes were twinkling, almost bright. It seemed as though the sun was striking each one individually. He couldn’t see it from his vantage point, but he pictured the Navy Pier covered in a blanket of white, lights blinking, giant snowflakes, and flags waving as people skated in the rink. For a moment, he felt as though he might be happy.
The last thing he saw was Merry Christmas, Hipster Douchebag written in blood on the wall and his zombie sketchbook burning in a trashcan.