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Squid #350
(published October 4, 2007)
Ask the Giant Squid: Skinny and her Bitches
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid,

Does denim shorts, and a tank top look good with flats? Or am I better off wearing skinny jeans? I don't like skinny jeans 'cause I am quite chubby. Skinny jeans, as the name implies, are for skinny bitches.

Chubby But No Chump

My Dearest Chub,

First a note on the proper and efficient running of a laboratory. I did once run my own lab, and then for a great many years I had this job delegated to a nefarious Chinamen with a clockwork heart (metaphorical) and a soul made of benthic slime (literal). He was efficient in his own ruthless way, but also did conceal much from me, and for that he was summarily destroyed (after some amount of necessary lag, and a great battle upon the frozen wastes of the Detroit River, in which all swung upon the brink — a thrilling display of loyalty, wrath, and gal).

My manager and financial planner destroyed, I returned the laboratory to its original Mom-and-Popsicle Shoestring status, with my own great and grand cephalitic sack at its head.

The most important task in such a hostile takeover is to quickly and immediately assert dominance by squelching all development made by the previous (and by definition incompetent) management.

And so the staff meetings were ended, as were Casual Fridays, Pizza Lunch Wednesday, and the Concealed Santas of Winter.

Pursuant to these ends, the staff meeting hall was destroyed by fire, and by the hurling of feces (this accomplished upon my request by Claude, dear and trustworthy Claude), and then the carpets salted so that no crop might grow there.

The "projects board" was broken into many pieces, and the refrigerator unplugged.

The public "hallways" were laid with many a snare and trap. Tallgrasses, brambles, and kudzu were cultivated there by Claude and Reneé, and genetically engineered minicougars were seeded about the darker spaces of the lab. Native huntsmen from the darkest Amazonia, equipped with the guns-of-blow, were positioned in false walls behind narrow dart slits. Many light bulbs were broken, and the glass let to fall in among the foliage and ground cover.

The coffee pot was carefully cracked so that it would lose its contents while brewing, leaking so slowly that the coffee would not all drain away, but cook sourly upon the hot plate and go bitter and rank.

And only Diet Sodas were stocked in the soda's pop machine, and the machine of snacks was stocked only with mealy apples and the Jelloéd cups.

And the spiders . . . oh how I loved when Reneé did introduce the spiders. The spiders were a truly exquisite addition.

And as a consequence there was a great Fear which descended upon the laboratory, and there was much wailing and discontent, and people did rend their clothing and beat upon their breasts, and upon the breasts of their comrades, and they did gnash their teeth in unison, and yank upon their hair, and surreptitiously smell at their own armpits in order to gauge how obvious their discontent was.

And finally each man and woman — and Belgian chimpanzee not "on the in" with my Efficiency Project Core Team — did retreat one from the other, all in their respective cubicles and dim, tiny offices, such that no man could know what another was working on, and no woman could know what I did order of another, and each was set upon his or her path by me alone, their direction known only to me, their goal known to None.

And only I did know of their respective velocities and positions, and even that only one or the other at any given moment.

And so the laboratory was, once again, pleasing in my optically perfect eye.

And I saw that it was Good.

And it was in this context that I was able, without question, to demand and receive one thousand pairs of the skinny jeans from assorted retailers and resellers in and about the Detroit MetroNeapolitan Area. When these did arrive in crates that stacked ten feet into the air, I did fill up the better part of the scorched employee lounge, and none did complain for fear that the crates might open in retribution, and out might spring iridescent wolves with rocket launchers for eyes, and all would feel the Terrible Woe that they did deserve for deigning to dare to imagine to ask Why?.

I then commanded to be brought up the skinniest of the bitches from my kennels, as well as for the surrounding alleys to be scoured for yet more bitches skinny. A veritable three score and six bitches most skinny were acquired and presented before me. Claude and Reneé — and a very nice man named Michael, whose capacity was in the Mergers of Acquisitions — did arrange these before me with the careful application of the love, the treat, and the tazing. Michael wept much and openly, and muttered. He was "sorry" for some manner of thing, but what and to whom I could not discern.

And each did stand her ground, some fearful, some growling, and each was beautiful in her own way.

And then the Belgian chimpanzees and Michael did set upon them with lasso and glove and net and catchpole, one by one, and in pairs, and by triplicate, trying carefully, and then angrily, and finally desperately, to test the factuality of the basic claim: that skinny jeans are for no other creature than skinny bitches. Michael swore and soiled his gabardine slacks, but still he wept. Later, he changed into the largest of the skinny jeans, although bitch he was not.

Vanity of vanities, say I, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

Finally, I set Claude and Reneé upon the skinny jeans, and they did try to wear them as well. The legs of the trousers were far too long for their short bow-legs, and they did stumble and jape about my lab, as clowns. Michael minced in his skinny jeans, and pulled at the creeping seat of the denim. But the bitches, as they prowled and snapped, were a sight to behold; it was as though they were new creatures, creatures which had not existed afore there were jeans to encase and compress them. Like sausages, they were only a pitiful quivering of flesh, and then their casing gave them menacing form.

And then the skinny bitches, resplendent in their skinny jeans, turned upon Michael. His legs, hobbled by the skinny jeans, could not carry him swiftly, and the chase was ever nearly before it had begun. His defensive thrashing was similarly pinioned by the narrow denim tubes tourniqueting his legs, and he was short of this world. As a by-product of his mortal injury, my planned acquisition of Buddy's Pizza — a merger Michael was still in the midst of organizing — was torn assunder as surely as was Michael's face and neck.

In a fit, I did devour all of the skinny bitches that I could consume, and many did flail and then float dead in the water, and had them ejected once again, crushed and mangled, and we did pile these bodies in the employee lounge, and did enshroud them in the shredded remains of the skinny jeans.

And when Amanda, a junior programmer from the BitTorrent division, did come for her most bitter of coffees, she was the first to see our decadent pile of failure, she did hold her mouth, sink to her knees, wail, and eject tears.

By mid-afternoon, autumnal flies were thick throughout the laboratory, and it was clear that Buddy's Pizza would nought be mine.

All that had been accomplished was spiraling like madness itself into a darkening vortex of horror.

Jarwaun, my typist, arrived for his post-schooling labors, and he frowned.

"What happened?" he asked.


"This the Bad Research, Mr. Squid? We been talkin' 'bout the Bad Research, and you said that you was gonna stop with it, 'cause it only just made you grumpy, anyway."

Rob, my ever-faithful lab assistant, did arrive, and was waylaid at the staff-lounge door by either his sense of smell or decorum, "Goddamn it, Lord A.," he did shout down the treacherous, panthartine hallway, "Why you gotta freak everyone out all the fucking time? Amanda is totally fucking not right right now. It's like, you come so far with empathy — giving money for orphans, and sending all those basketballs to Darfur and shit, and then," he looked both ways down the hall, past the vines and restless natives toward my laboratory, and then through the shadows of the trees back deeper into the cubicles, and yet still failed to take in all he surveyed, "It's like, two steps forward, three steps back with you. All the fucking time."

Jarwaun waved a hand in front of his nose. "It stinky in here, Mr. Squid. Like, stinky worse than usual. I'll see you tomorrow."

Once the boy was gone, Rob turned to Claude, "Jesus, Frenchy, why the fuck do you let him do this shit? Didn't crazy motherfucking Belgian Doctor Moreau give you a teaspoon of moral cajones?"

Claude did reply: "Écoutent, le chef de pillule, je ne rebondissent pas dans et hors du laboratoire toutes les fois que je me sens comme lui. Je colle avec le patron. Je suis fidèle. Vous êtes juste un certain punk de la rue qui erre dedans et des juges a chié il ne comprend pas. Obtenir ainsi l'enfer hors de mon visage."

Rob sighed, "I'm not mopping this shit up. I'm going to my Meeting." he turned toward the jungle hallway, and then back, "I'm taking the freight elevator," he indicated, and left from the rear.

It is this that I am left with, dearest Chub. Clearly, it is the case that the skinny jeans are the sole domain of the skinny bitches. Take heed of the Parable of Michael, and wear only that which most suits you: The denim shorts and tank's top — offering both protective armor and freedom of movement — seem well advised, and the fleet-footed-flats nigh unto mandatory.

For my own part, all I can do is ask of Claude and Reneé to corral up the Amazonian blowgun hunters, and for all of them to go down onto the maintenance department and acquire the appropriate plastic sacks for the bodies, and the appropriate mops and enzymatic cleaners for to clean up the mess.

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

And So I Say Unto You,
I Am Your Only and Loving,
Giant Squid

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