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g r a v e l
A L I T E R A R Y J O U R N A L
The Ashtray is Full and on Fire
A man, a man of no real importance for that matter, a man that passes you everyday on the street out there in the world perhaps, must shop, just like you do on occasion. He is the average man, the nobody, the person that doesn’t exist out there in most people’s small grasp of the world. He is just another number, just like you are. The man of little importance pulls up to a large brick building of mass consumerism with flashing red lights and buggies of silver painted steel. There was nowhere to park. He drove up and down the aisles, but no other consumer was leaving that he could see. Soon, after several trips up and down various parking aisles our average man becomes very frustrated and slams his hands against the faux black leather steering wheel of his car. He curses under his breath and pumps the gas with his right foot furiously. He drives further away from his destination now, and ends up at the very end of the strip mall, right next to the party store that no consumer ever went in. The average man hadn’t exercised in a while so he thought to himself that a little walking couldn’t hurt him. He slammed the door of his small compact Korean made car and proceeded towards his original destination of flashing red lights and buggies of silver painted steel. Other non-important people like him were scurrying along the toned sidewalk like sheeple, that’s part sheep and part people if you didn’t know. Kids were screaming and there seemed to be sheeple standing everywhere the average man needed to be. In front of the Gatorade stand, there was an old couple who weren’t even buying Gatorade, they were just standing there. The average man just stood there behind the old people and crossed his arms with displeasure. A few minutes passed before the average man had enough of the old people and just plowed between them without saying a word and grabbed a large pack of lime flavored Gatorade that he wanted. Next, the average man made his way over to the frozen pizza aisle. He had trouble finding it, confusing it first for the milk aisle and then next the beer and wine aisle. Once again, more sheeple were in his way. He finally found the frozen pizzas on aisle twelve. A fat pale white woman with three screaming kids in her buggy of silver painted steel stood between the average man and his usual discount one American dollar frozen pepperoni flavored pizzas. The average man sat his small brown basket down on the dirty floor of consumerism and waited for the fat pale white woman with three screaming kids to jiggle her fat ass to the next clear glass door that contained the frozen Hot Pockets and other assorted mass produced food. As soon as the pale fat woman was out of the way the average man struck like ninja for the frozen pizza door and grabbed four frozen pepperoni pizzas as fast as he could and placed them in his small brown basket. On his way towards the front of the store he grabbed two bags of regular flavored Skittles and put them into his small brown basket. This was enough crappy food to get by, at least for today anyways. The lines were extremely long as the average man tried to check out. Even the “10 items or less” line was enormous. The average man thought to himself that he had all he could take of these sheeple for one day and it was time to go home. He tried to take it. Five minutes passed, and then ten minutes passed. This was too much trouble for the average man’s small stash of Skittles, Gatorade and frozen pizzas. After eleven minutes and seven seconds, according to his digital watch, he sat his small brown basket down on the floor of mass consumerism and walked as fast as he could towards the large red exit sign of the front door.
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