Tuesday

The Death Of Barnaby Jones (498 Words)


"You die before you hit the ground!" That's what they always said but as I hurtle passed the Forty Sixth floor, I'm calling bullshit. My life isn't even flashing before my eyes; this experience is as disappointing as my entire life was.

As I can't distract myself from my fast approaching demise with a flashback of my first kiss. (Vicky Matthews at the year eight Christmas disco, she put all of her tongue in my mouth and I gagged.) I may as well tell you my sorry tale.

My name was Barnaby Jones; it's ok to laugh, it was a horrendous name. I ended up with it after my dad lost a bet in the pub. So you could say I was a loser before I was even born.

I worked on the hundred and Eighth floor of the Nakatomi tower with the grand sounding job title of data control manager, but as I was the only one in the department being manager didn't really amount to much. All I really did was sit in my cubicle above the clouds for ten hours a day and put numbers into a spreadsheet. To be completely honest I wasn't even sure what the numbers meant. I'd come in to work in the morning and there would be a ream ready and waiting on my desk, I'd fill the template in and email it off at the end of the day. A monkey could have done it.

One morning I came into work and there was no pile waiting for me. After an hour or so of twiddling my thumbs and still no paperwork, I emailed the person who I send the template to saying I hadn't got anything to send them today. A few minutes later my phone rang. My phone never rang; I had forgotten I even had one.

The voice on the other end was a menacing whisper. Telling me not to fuck things up for everyone; to use my head and just make something up. They assured me none of it meant anything anyway. I was just a small cog in a much bigger machine.

So I did, then the next day I came in and there wasn't any paperwork waiting for me, so I made it up again. This went on for six years and then last Monday I came in and there was a pile of paper full of numbers for me to fill in. I was relieved to be honest; I missed the routine. So I filled them in and sent them off and thought no more about it.

And then it happened, Black Tuesday. The market collapsed and a lot of people, a lot of important people, lost a lot of money. No prizes for guessing who was inadvertently responsible for the record breaking period of prosperity.

Far as I saw it I had two options. Confess to being a simpleton or go down in history. Least this way people will remember me.


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