Marshall Mallicoat

John Henry


Emails from your boss, written in the form of a question, with a period at the end

Smart people are house slaves to the rich. Even among the aliens, the Nordic whites rule over the little greens and grays. To my landlord, I am an encumbrance on the property. To my employer, a capital outlay. I find it hard to believe that, in three million years of fossil record, there is not a single lizard man.

Some open questions: Why does the cable company need my Social Security number? Why does my boss need to know my credit score? How come I can't give him a piss test? Where do cows get their calcium, if they only eat grass? And their protein, for that matter?

Spy satellites are so high up, they always look straight down. If you face forward, they can only see the top of your head.

I found a spot behind the security desk at the mall where I can watch the guards idly browse the internet.

John Henry

To survive in white collar labor, you must cultivate a certain lassitude, and wear it as a suit of armor. If the work load is heavy, you have to drag your feet, since even if you finish early you won't get sent home. If the work load is light, you have to pretend to be working hard or you will get assigned more work. In any case, you must also appear to be having a good time.

When the railroads were built, work songs were sung to set the pace of labor. It kept everyone working at a level of exertion that could be kept up all day in the hot sun without risking death. It also kept every working at the same rate, so no one could foolishly work harder to win the graces of the foreman—which would force everyone else to work harder, and thereby endanger both their welfare and their lives.

In the office, there's no sound other than the dull hum of the air conditioner and the cricketsong of computers. And your coworkers are all blood doping—cranking on the commute, then drinking themselves to sleep at night. How can you keep up without joining in?

John Henry was able to beat the steel-driving machine through sheer effort. But afterward, his heart gave out and he soon died. The "Ballad of John Henry" says “That old hammer killed John Henry / but that old hammer won't kill me”. I'm saying, that old hammer won't kill me.

Not an apartment, but a dark hole I lived in for 3 years

To vacate an apartment without incident feels like getting away with a crime. You drag your mattress down the stairwell and leave it in a dumpster like a warm body. Having recouped the full deposit, you skip town before the landlord gets wise.

To live is to be in constant fear of legal retribution: speeding, jaywalking, illegal downloading, cheating on your taxes, and so on. The state of Connecticut defines “loitering” as: standing around, moving slowly about, spending time idly, sauntering, dallying, lingering, or lagging behind. In Florida, twenty grams is a felony.

Say you found a pair of crystal antlers. How could you explain having a pair of crystal antlers to the police? Better to play it safe and quickly dispose of them.

Whenever you hear sirens, you think it's for you. When you see a cop, you think "so this is how it ends". It's only a matter of time before the black helicopters swoop down to snatch you up. As for me, I know my last days will be described as brazen.