Sunday, January 31, 2016

5. unemployment

by nick nelson

illustrated by palomine studios

for previous episode, click here

to begin at the beginning, click here

at first rob was not too concerned about being fired from his job at the stop here.

he was not sure about his eligibility for unemployment under state law.

he decided he would look into it in a couple of days.

first he wanted to enjoy his new freedom. he had not had a real vacation since high school.

rob wanted to use his new found time to do a little research into being a vigilante and tracking down serial killers, satanists, and other evildoers.

he also took a couple of books out of the library entitled “how to write a thriller” and “how to write a romance novel”. he thought he might earn some money writing one or the other, he had not decided which. he had never actually read a romance novel. he had read some of ruth’s thrillers but his own preferred reading was true crime books.

all this sounded good inside rob’s own brain, but ruth was having none of it.

she wanted rob to show a little more gumption and proactiveness.

ruth’s first idea was for rob to call mrs peters back and beg for his job back, blame hutch for everything - say that hutch had put the porno in rob’s car and rob didn’t know anything about it, - and swear that he,rob, would never look at such stuff and that he was as disgusted as she was ,etc.

rob was lying on the couch reading a book by ann rule. he pretended to consider ruth’s suggestion.

“if i was going to do that i would have called her right away.”

“tell her you were too confused and bewildered to call. tell her anything. it can’t hurt to call.”

“um - maybe she will tell the police i am harassing her.” good one, rob thought to himself.

“shit, i didn’t think of that.” ruth hesitated. “then you should start right away applying for unemployment.”

“i’ll look into it.” rob stuck his face in his book.

“i already have looked into it,” ruth told him. “you were employed long enough, and you made enough. and it wasn’t your fault you were let go.”

“it wasn’t ?” rob looked up. “they will probably will say it was.”

“it wasn’t your fault, it was your asshole friend’s fault! besides, you didn’t break any law. you didn’t even get arrested.”

“i’ll look into it. i don’t feel like it right now.”

“do it now! after i go to work. which reminds me, i got to get going.” ruth took her bag off the table . “and remember, it was all dickhead’s fault. oh, and don’t forget, i don’t want him coming over here any more. his vibes fuck the whole place up.”

hutch had come over a couple of times since rob was fired, apologizing profusely, almost crying. rob had ended up consoling him more than he consoled rob.

“he’s all right, “ rob said. “he was trying to apologize.”

“no, he is not all right! he’s a fucking creep! he’s probably a child molester!”

“you think everybody is a child molester.”

“well, they are! don’t you watch television? we’ll discuss this later, i got to run.”

“he’s just lonely.”

“lonely! that’s just another word for child molester! if he's so lonely why didn't he try to get a girl friend instead of watching that crap!"

"he told me. he fantasizes that the actors in the movies are his friends."

"in porn movies? why doesn't he watch real movies or tv shows, and fantasize about jennifer lawrence or taylor swift or kim kardashian like a normal healthy human being?"

"he told me that too. because he doesn't have to share them with so many people."

"bullshit. he's just a pervert. perverts have all the answers. like liberals. and don’t let him in here if he comes over, i mean it.”

“what am i going to do,” rob mumbled, “put a shotgun in his face? we don’t have a shotgun. ”

but ruth was out the door and gone.

rob sighed and let his book drop to the floor. he decided to at least look at the unemployment website, just so he could tell ruth he did.

and then he would do some more scouting for a likely candidate to start his career as a vigilante on.

he still had not decided whether to tell his plans to hutch and invite him in on them.

rob lay on the couch for a few more minutes.

the doorbell rang.

he figured it was hutch, who had probably been lurking outside waiting for ruth to leave.

6. larry

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