by simon rich

i read an amusing article today. it reminded me just a little bit of myself and my unbearable job. it's written by simon rich and the characters are simon rich, who works as a screenwriter, and his great-great-grandfather, herschel, who fell into a vat of brine while working in a pickle factory catching rats, got preserved, and then woke up to the 21st century. the article is written from herschel's point of view and broken english.

here is an excerpt, where simon is complaining about his job:

Herschel: When I first move in with Simon, I do not really understand what it means to be “script doctor.” But as the days go by I learn about the job. The way it works is this: each day, for twenty minutes, he sits down and types up words. The rest he spends complaining.

“I’m so pissed off,” he tells me one day. “They hired me to polish the new ‘Spy Donkey’ sequel. But just looking at it, it’s going to need a page-one rewrite. It’s, like, I didn’t sign up for this. You know what I mean, Hersch?”

I do not know what he means. But it is clear he is upset, because he is drinking so much alcohols in the middle of the day.

“That sounds bad,” I say, trying my best to be polite.

“It’s real bad,” he says. “There’s no way I’m doing a whole fucking draft for them. It’s, like, you gotta draw the line somewhere, you know?”

He refills his alcohol glass.

“You ever deal with this kind of bullshit at the pickle factory?”

I think about it.

“There was one time my friend got caught in the gears,” I say. “And it ripped up his torso, through the chest. And there was blood coming out of his mouth and he was screaming. And I plead with them to stop the machine, because my friend is dying, but no one listens to me, and my friend keeps howling until he is dead. And for years I see his face inside my dreams, with the blood coming out of his eyes and his mouth, begging for me to please save him.”

Simon says nothing for a while.

“Maybe I’ll just do the draft,” he mutters.

- hahahahahaha! nalingaw lagi ko.


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