Mr. Mack Gets
His Bead On
by Wanda Morrow-Clevenger
A less than
illustrious R&D career had come down to the
frayed wire with little to no juice surging
through the circuit. Dean Mack, Mack the Hack
around the water cooler, checked the time,
brushed lint from his ten-year-old suitMontgomery
Ward's Executive Line in baby-poop
greenthen shuffled a handful of papers into
a nondescript manila folder. Almost as
nondescript as he. An adios amigo tacked
to the fridge, from his wife of thirty years,
concurred: his bright ideas had gone as limp as
He hadn't rung
the bell since the suit was new. With her or the
top bananas in upper management. But before then,
when brains trumped buzz words, when Springsteen
was irrefutably the boss, he'd seen a little of
the glory. Rode the wave for his small part in
developing the Scrunchie. His ex had sported a
burr, didn't appreciate the genius, never
understood the hubbub. He'd show the chrome-dome
his lightbulb hadn't blown. Somehow, someday, he'd
show them all.
retirement still a couple of years away, and the
young bucks clacking antlers, Mack needed to
score some prodigious points. He'd pulled out all
the stops with this one: studied Letterman;
watched Will & Grace reruns; took
note of current trends in People Style Watch.
Though, couldn't decipher the superiority of
Jellies over platform flip-flops. Both looked
luck, Mr. Mack. Kandi, his thirty-something
secretary, gleamed as he plodded off to, yet
another, marketing meeting. A raspberry-pink
Scrunchie corralled flowing, blonde locks.
Knock'em dead, sir.
He paused at
the unsolicited encouragement. Kandi: the one
perk granted in all his years at the firm. Lovely
Kandi with the body and the hair and the Farrah
you, Kandi. Back straightened and shoulders
squared, he patted his folder. I've got a
dandy proposal worked up. What'ya say after I
nail this sucker to the wall, make my fortune,
you and I escape to a tropical island, leave the
Gucci coochie-babies and their YouTube behind?
cooed from luscious lips. Then, pow,
there was that smile.
later, jacket slung over forearm, pit stains
nearly to his waist, Dean Mack slumped to his
office. Another day. Another failure. Kandi's
desk sat vacated, her personal effects
suspiciously MIA too. Just as well he didn't have
to face another disappointed female.
door quietly closed, shutting out a Bluetooth
world he no longer had a bead on. His proposal
for glow-in-the-dark, recyclable condoms sailed
toward the ceiling. Fly, fly my pretties.
Maybe it was
time he was put out to pasture. Embraced the
inevitable. Relinquished the reins to the xyz-just-bite-me
generation. Sighing, he sank into a worn swivel
chair, noticing dear Kandi had tidied his desk
before leaving. Front and center, a lime-green
sticky atop an airline ticket to Aruba read:
Right after becoming your secretary, I purchased
stock in Scrunchie. I've got a dandy proposal for
you, Mr. Mack. What'ya say we leave the coochie-babies
and their YouTube behind?