A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
Burl Hard walked into his office, loosened his tie, undid the top button of his shirt, then slumped into his high-backed, leather chair. Before he’d even finished exhaling, the phone on his desk rang. Reluctantly and resignedly he picked it up: “Hello?”
“How did it go?”
“Your meeting with Steel. How did it go?”
“It went good.”
Exasperation bled through the phone line; “‘Good’ is an adjective meant to describe or limit nouns or pronouns. ‘Well’ is an adverb used to modify the action or condition expressed by a verb. In this case, you could have said ‘it was a good meeting’, but when describing how the meeting went, you should have used ‘well.’”
“Oh yeah,” Burl responded glumly, “I always forget that one.”
“That one among others,” the voice replied.
“So what did Steel say?”
“He offered me part-ownership of Bolt Fasteners.”
“Oooh, he must be terrified if he’s willing to go to such extremes.”
“Yeah, he seemed kind of angry.”
“This is wonderful! Things could not be going any better. Good work, Burl.”
“Thanks,” Burl said with no enthusiasm.
“Be at my place at 7:00. Tonight we’ll be working on elocution, calculus, table manners, vocabulary, and Renaissance architecture. Perhaps we’ll brush up on your grammar as well,” said the voice.
“Okay.” Burl hung up the phone and sighed. Truth be told, he hasn’t been happy for more than five minutes since he inherited his father’s fortune. That’s because this man, his tutor, his mentor, is driving Burl crazy. Forcing him to cram all sorts of useless information into a brain he considers quite full already. And this plan to start Hard Hinges in an attempt to take down the Bolt family is overly vindictive, Burl feels (or would, if he’d gotten to the word ‘vindictive’ in his vocabulary lessons). He doesn’t enjoy it one bit.
He was doing one of the things he does enjoy, spinning around faster and faster in his big desk chair, when the phone rang again. It surprised him not only because he’d just finished talking to the only person who ever calls, but also because its ring was different than normal. This time he picked it up tentatively. “Hello?”
“Mr Hard, this is Miss Spell.”
“Your secretary, sir,” she said patiently.
“There’s someone here to see you.”
“Shall I send her away?”
Her? That’s another problem Burl has with his mentor: the guy rarely lets Burl indulge in his favourite pastime (and the thing he’s best at). He constantly lectures him about how sexual intercourse is a distraction, and that obsession with it has been the ruin of many a man.
Burl smiled as he remembered the feel of a woman in his arms. A naked woman. Mmmm.
“Mr. Hard? What should I tell her?”
“Uh, send her in.”
Continue Reading:Episode 40: Jiggles and Giggles