Happened upon this five-years-ago story, from back when this blog was rampant and unchecked. A looser and more-clever time.
* * * * *
Maximum Strength Mick has heard that you need a housepainter. He has been flyering your neighborhood for weeks. Telephone poles, windshield wipers, doorknobs. Maximum Strength Mick is trying to pick up a little extra cash. One of the most cost-effective ways to refresh your apartment is with a new coat of paint. “Been making yourself sad, huh? Going through all the stuff you guys shared, thinking about how it could have gone differently.” You don’t know what Maximum Strength Mick is talking about. “She had a pleasant face. Not pretty, exactly. Noble. Lively. I can see that you’d miss that.” Maximum Strength Mick is supposed to be painting but instead he’s cooking pasta. “It’s all I really know how to cook,” he explains. Maximum Strength Mick shouts denials over the smoke alarm: no, he didn’t fall asleep and no, your pot isn’t ruined. It just needs to soak, he says. Maximum Strength Mick tells you what, he’ll knock a few bucks off the price of the paint job. Maximum Strength Mick is stretching out a drop cloth, putting it over your table, trapping his unfinished breakfast underneath. “You weren’t very good to her, you know.” Maximum Strength Mick can’t quite get this corner of the crossword. He wrote FOIL where he should have written EPEE. He is critical of your movie collection.
“‘Gerry’ represents the worst of two worlds, combining the self- indulgent humorlessness of independent cinema with the careless hubris of commercial cinema. It’s a hellish combination,” says Maximum Strength Mick.
He continues. “This puerile, ugly fantasy is the sad but unmistakable product of a consciousness not worthy of serious attention,” he says, flinging a copy of “Kill Bill” onto your paint-stained futon.
Maximum Strength Mick is worried about your cat. “He doesn’t look healthy. He probably misses her. How long has it been?” Eggshell-colored pawprints line the floor between your bedroom and the bathroom. Today Maximum Strength Mick is trying his hand at pancakes. He thinks you should probably have some fresh fruit around, that the fruit fly problem isn’t as bad as it used to be. It is nearly his birthday and Maximum Strength Mick is trying to figure out what you’re getting him. “Try to be unselfish for once,” he advises. One wall is nearly finished and Maximum Strength Mick says not to worry, drywall is easy to patch. Maximum Strength Mick does carpet cleaning now. He’ll throw in a discount on that. Maximum Strength Mick is just back from a screening of “The Lovely Bones.” His review is due in the morning and it would really help if he could borrow your laptop. “You’re just not a very generous person,” says Maximum Strength Mick. “You should know that by now.”
Are you gonna get the Kickin’ Chicken or the Slammin’ Salmon? Either one might be a salad, might be a burger. Well, which?