Happiness Inc.

ARE YOU BORED WITH YOUR LIFE? HAS ENNUI ERADICATED YOUR ENTHUSIASM? DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING WITH THE DOLDRUMS? THEN YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE! NASH RUDDIN HAS THE ANSWER TO YOUR PRAYERS!

Fat Mick nodded and his jeweled fingers stroked the mouse. He brushed his pyjama silks and gargled some Dom Perignon.

PLEASE ENTER YOUR INFORMATION. IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR ACHIEVING THE ULTIMATE HAPPINESS. IT IS JUST AROUND THE BEND, AS SOON AS YOU INPUT YOUR NAME, AGE, RACE, AND YOUR BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION. JUST ONE MORE STEP BEFORE NASH RUDDIN REVEALS HIS SECRET TO HAPPINESS! DO NOT HESITATE!

Fat Mick rubbed his fat hands in anticipation and his tongue licked lips permanently fixed in a decadent sneer. His finger worked the keyboard carefully and, upon completion, he pressed ENTER. He smoothed back his five hundred dollar haircut. His self-satisfied smile was cruel.

NASH RUDDIN IS PLEASED TO INFORM YOU THAT EACH ONE OF YOUR OFF-SHORE ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN DRAINED, ALL OF YOUR ASSETS LIQUIDATED!  CONGRATULATIONS ON RECEIVING THE NASH RUDDIN SECRET TO HAPPINESS!

Fat Mick blanched then chuckled, shaking his head with slow mirth. Ha ha ha! The phone rang. He picked it up and brought it to his small, diamond studded ear. His lawyer was frantic. The phone rang. He put his lawyer on hold and it was his investors. The phone rang, and he put his investors on hold to talk to his finanicial advisors. Now Fat Mick began to panic. He stabbed at the keyboard and returned to the website of that damnable Nash Ruddin. He screamed at Nash Ruddin’s grinning face. He destroyed the keyboard, his face red and his larynx tortured. A knock sounded at the door, and the butler went to see who it was. The butler returned with a foreclosure notice, and said ahem he ahem got a call from ahem his employer and ahem that his services were no longer ahem needed and turned in his resignation.  Fat Mick collapsed in the middle of his posh plush palace and rolled like a toddler in the throes of a meltdown. The computer emitted a tone. YOU GOT MAIL! Fat Mick clutched at the desk and pulled himself up by his elbows. He manuevered the mouse. Then he sank down to his arse, his bulk quivering with sobs of relief. Joy exploded from within his being. As he wiped happy tears from beady eyes, the phones rang again.

SURROUNDED BY SPLENDOR ONE FORGETS NOT TO TAKE FOR GRANTED THE THINGS ONE HAS. WITH LOSS IS ONE’S TRUE CONDITION STRONGLY FELT. YOU HAVE LOST EVERYTHING IN LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES. DEAR CUSTOMER, HOW DID IT FEEL? HOLD THAT FEELING, REMEMBER IT. NOW FOR THE TRUE NASH RUDDIN HAPPINESS TREATMENT: EVERYTHING HAS BEEN RESTORED. THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING AND PLEASE DO TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THIS FREE SERVICE!

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…contrived visions…

she peers through the stalks and brushes the cornsilk from her cerulean gaze with golden hands…small green boys caper in the tall rushes under a bloated red sun…a lagoon boiling with silver ripples as dark things twist in its depths…line of labor in the desert, plucking burning bushes to be thrown in long yellow bins…a trail of bubbles etching a line of blue breath as the fish god passes through its medium…orange men with long slender wings gambol above a watery marble, trailing their fingers through the russet clouds…black basalt is the relief which outlines these small, fur white people ascending the mountain…girl children with sad eyes huddle under weak shelters as it rains green frogs and blue snakes…a field ruined by grasshoppers and the wheat’s ward hangs from a tree in hopeless abandon…its corrugated steel rusted, its timbers rotted, its plaster and paint peeling, its streets and windows cracked, its buildings and stores crumbled, its soul decaying like the corpse on the road into the city…a hum of computer in an empty room that smells of morning coffee…roaches desperately race across linoleum, a black flag at their rear…shoes, countless matches and mismatches, fill the warehouse with a musky smell…candles gutter as the black nights blows through the red drapes…women weave baskets from the slender hairs of yellow-eyed cattails that root and lap at pond’s edge…songs that echo through its drafty streets, and a long dead philosopher asks if a tree can be heard when it falls with nobody around to hear…blue and orange turtles leashed to a sapling with bright yellow string trundle in a circle as the laughter of children echo over the hill…neon squirrels flicker through the park at night…old men sit on knurled steps to reminisce about the green days of youth and sip tea in a cloud of smoke…tin cans and aluminium kitchenware on small paraffin stoves splash ethereal blue on the walls of the cardboard shanty…the circle of stars, through the quickening ever-rushing fall of night and swell of day, wobble as the years pass…lazy dust in the lethargic bedroom…thin and bent, his spectacles reflecting monitorlight, he taps slowly at the keyboard