January 2021


Successful Applicants Will:
-Have and enthusiastic and high energy at all times

-Keep the entertainment level high

-Wave at cars and pedestrians passing by outside of the establishment

-Preserve the secret identity of the mascot, without which it has no power

NEVER deviate from the mascot’s established mannerisms, thoughts, philosophy, and soul

-Administer a stable of 5-7 other costumed mascots

-Coordinate costume maintenance and signage on a daily basis for said stable

-Help clean soiled costumes (vacuum, wipe down, re-sew, etc.)

-Track down costumes and mascots that have gone “on walkabout”

NEVER cross 24th St or Avenue E in costume or allow others to do so

-If necessary, ensure others in costumed mascot stable do not cross 24th St or Avenue E

No experience needed.

Must be at least 16 with high school work permit.

To apply, present proof of social security card and ID to Nephi Insurance Agency Inc.

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“The system is very sensitive,” said Shril. “You must know the sound of each letter in the English alphabet.”

“I do,” replied Arkis. “What d’you think I’m flapping my lips with right now?”

“No, no,” Shril said. “The sound of each letter in the English alphabet as it was. It’s expecting the English of people who’ve been dead centuries.”

Arkis looked over at Birc, who was standing in front of the machine, speaking:

“D00d, h0w d0 j00 0p3n teh dor, bruh?” Birc intoned, reverently.

“Such a beautiful old tongue,” Shril said. “More like singing than anything.”

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“Joseph and Jasmine Tomme,” Hannah said, lighting a cigarette. “Heard of them?”

“They’re related to the Tommes from New York, right? The ones in the tabloids?”

“Second cousins once removed. The side of the family that cares more about money than fame,” said Hannah. “Lots of cash, lots of influence, but they’re pretty sheltered. Babes in the wood, really, aside from the one thing we’re hiring you for.”

“Babysitting?”

“Murder.” A long drag from the cigarette. “They like to kill people. It’s like a game to them. It’s our job to keep them from doing it without cramping their style. That’s the brief from the New York Tommes, and it’s why the pay is five times scale.”

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Same story told again
Small against large
Large against huge
All bigger than us
Sand grains beneath
But given an eon
Sand wears mountains
Peaks fallen low
Fated to tumble
As the sand grains
They once spurned

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Thank you for ordering online with MetroMart! Please confirm the following substitutions:

2x Frozen Eggo™ Waffles: Out of stock
Substitution: 1 box MetroSmart™ pancake mix, dried

5x Stouffer™ Mac and Cheese: Out of stock
Substitution: 1x box MetroSmart™ Cheese Noodles & Sauce

1x DiGiorno™ Pepperoni Pizza: Out of stock
Substitution: 1x Subway™ Pizza Sub™ left behind by an inattentive customer

1x Totino™ Pizza Rolls: Out of stock
Substitution: 1x leftover calzone from Mario’s from the MetroMart Associate Break Room refrigerator

2x Ore-Ida™ Frozen French Fries: Out of stock
Substitution: 5x russet potatoes with extra eyes, 1x MetroMart Essentials™ potato peeler

1x Double Stuf Oreo™ Cookies: Out of stock
Substitution: 1x Larry Cohen’s Infinite Stuff™ Cookies

1x Lay’s™ Classic Potato Chips: Out of stock
Substitution: 5x packets, MetroSmart™ Mashed Potato Mix (just add water!)

10x Campbell™ Tomato Soup: Out of stock
Substitution: 1x bottle MetroSmart™ Ketchup, 1x bottle distilled water

1x pint Ben & Jerry™ Cookie Batter ice cream: Out of stock
Substitution: 1x pint MetroSmart™ Biscuit Batter Core ice cream

horrible substitutions a la Kroger

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“I mean, Gnashing Peaks? Mountains of Wailing? What sort of superstitious nonsense is that?” Ryk said. “If you’re trying to frighten me, there are better ways of doing it.”

“Frighten you?” Kuni scoffed. “Those named have been earned, lowlander. It’s a thousand leagues or more to the next pass in these hills, and sometimes being able to struggle a few wagons of food through after a bad harvest is what makes the difference for those of us who live here.”

“So they gnash and wail at you? Typical of you yokels up here, ascribing a malevolent will to whatever you can’t understand,” said Ryk.

“The gnashing and wailing is ours, lowlander, when our children and elders die because a caravan was snowed in at the pass.” Kuni pointed at the serpentine road winding its way up between the Gnashing Peaks, splitting the Mountains of Wailing in twain. “If you want to march up there, be my guest. But the only way you’ll see your lowlands again is from the hereafter.”

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“What happened?”

The corporal shook his head, his pupils dilated. “He just…walked up to us. And one by one, I saw the guys fall over as he came near. I thought they were dead, so when he came to me, my gun was up.”

Not a hint of concern flittered across Revatī’s face. “That didn’t work,” she said.

“No. I couldn’t pull the trigger. He reached out, touched me, and then I was down.”

“Did it hurt?” Cosgrove said.

“No, not at all. It was…it was like lying in warm sunshine. I felt like I was back in Paris–my honeymoon–asleep in the summer sun. Everything was warm and golden and I couldn’t…I couldn’t have been happier.” The corporal choked back a sob. “It’s…it’s been almost two years, since she died, and this…I just couldn’t…”

“Uh-huh.” Revatī turned away. “As we thought.”

“Another detail you neglected to mention?” Cosgrove said. “I don’t remember anything about a euphoria of golden memories in your report.”

“I imagine it’s different for every one of them,” Revatī said. “And I imagine most of them would do anything to return to that state of bliss. We should go. If he comes back and asks them to kill us, I have no doubt every last one of them would pull the trigger.”

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You may have heard that the strange glyph ETAOIN SHRDLU was an artifact of hot-metal linotype machines, that it was nonsense text that operators would enter after a mistake by running their finger down the keyboard in order to key in a corrected version, sometimes slipping into print as a result of inattentive typesetters.

This is, of course, a lie.

It is writ large in the Codex Malasterium that ETAOIN SHRDLU is one of the 9,999 names of the dread entity many know as Køs the Cruel Star, Baleful Køs, Køs the Lamented. She manifests most often as a great light, shining from the upper atmosphere with cold radiance outpacing the sun, and to be touched by any natural light she has contaminated is to risk madness or death. When she appeared above Korton in the dreamlands eons ago, the people there traded with the Dark itself for relief, in the form of a dusky shadow that shrouds the town to this day.

But what is little-known is that Køs may be summoned into any world simply by writing her name–any of her 9,999 appellations.

No one knows the exact number of times it must be written. Perhaps there is some dread name that will summon her at once. But what is certain is that the Society of Køs snuck one of her names into thousands, millions of printed papers between the 1890s and 1980s. Digital expressions will not work; ink must touch paper.

It is said that, when the technology was discontinued, most of the work had already been done and that only a few hundred thousand instances remain before Køs will appear and rain her horrid light down upon this world. To forestall that, and the erosion of sanity in ordered space that will bring, we beg of you.

Please.

Please do not print out this post.

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Name: Scorchy
Species: Hellhound
This charming orphan was left behind when a demon-summoning ritual went awry. Keep in mind his predisposition to evil, her 550-degree body temperature, and remember that he is hellworm positive and will need to see a veterinary exorcist.

Name: Bastet
Species: Deity
Bastet, She-of-the-Ointment-Jar, Eye of the Moon, Lady of Beni-Hassan, is the cat goddess of protection, perfume, fertility, pregnancy, children, music, the arts, and warfare. She expects to be treated as divine and infallible, pampered and precious. So she is essentially the same as most of our other cats.

Name: Chiron
Species: Phoenix

Chiron is classified as an elderly pet, meaning he will require special care commensurate with the waning days of his 1000-year lifespan. Keep in mind that your home will also have to deal with the searing flames of his eventual rebirth.

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I look at the Zoom class
Names suspended in the void
Voices from the dark
They may be learning
Asleep
Even dead
But I teach on, smiling
Before a careful backdrop
This could have been over
But you insisted
On your constitutional right
To breathe on the barista
As she worked for seven bucks
While her grandmother died

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