The Game of Life

I had a busy week! It all began on Monday, when toward the end of another eleven-hour shift on the stapling floor of The Coupon Clipper for Seniors, I started to zone out for a minute, briefly scanning a buy-five-get-one-free offer for Gleem toothpaste as I prepared to put another stack of them into the 6250. Well, my supervisor caught me, dang it.

“Employee Narnia!” he shouted. “Dammit, I’m not paying you to read!”

I’m not paying you to read. This gave me an idea.

Within the hour I had quit the stapling floor and gotten a job at Random House. On Tuesday afternoon I was in my spacious private office scribbling in the margins of Philip Roth’s latest manuscript when the executive fiction editor walked in.

“Narnia,” he said, “you got a little bit of Mounds bar on the Joyce Carol Oates galleys. We’re not paying you to eat, you know.”

We’re not paying you to eat. This gave me an idea.

By Wednesday I was dining at Snoot’s, the hottest five-star restaurant in town, taking copious notes about the meal I was ingesting in preparation for dashing off a thousand-word, fully commissioned review for Gourmet magazine. A fellow critic, Nathan Phone, was with me and he frowned at what I was writing as he sipped his Pinot Noir.

“Narnia, Narnia, Narnia,” he said, shaking his head, “yes, the food is good, but you’ve got to be a little more critical. Gourmet isn’t paying you to shamelessly kiss butt, you know.”

This gave me an idea.

By dusk on Thursday I was playing foosball in Harrison Ford's luxury penthouse in Los Angeles, down 13-11 to the noted actor in game five of a best-of-seven series, assuring him of how absolutely wonderful his recent performance had been in Indiana Jones and the Remorseful Vampire and agreeing completely that it would be a fantastic idea for Harrison to quit Hollywood entirely and follow his dream of buying a lemon farm in Lopez, Michigan.

"Narnia, that's the worst advice from an agent I've ever heard," Harrison told me, stopping the game in midstream. "You're not supposed to let me destroy my career, you know. I'm not paying you to commit acts of sabotage like that."

This gave me an idea.

At 10:22 a.m. on Friday, I laid the last of the Mossad's sixteen pounds of dynamite inside the walls of the Crown Prince of Siam's prized personal yacht. When the steering wheel was turned the slightest bit upon that night's maiden voyage on the Dead Sea, the whole thing would explode into a million pieces! But upon returning to Mossad headquarters, I realized I had left the detonation setting on channel 4 instead of INPUT.

"Damn your incompetence, Narnia!" yelled the ruthless covert agent who had hired me. "We're not paying you to be a total, abject failure!"

This gave me an idea. Within the hour I was back on the stapling floor of The Coupon Clipper for Seniors, at a slightly reduced pay rate. It’s tough to know exactly what you want to do in life, you know?

What’d you do this week? Oh yeah? The police are digging up the area around your potting shed again? Persistent little buggers, I’ll give ‘em that much!