August 11, 2009

"I was a teenage guinea pig": document-fiction hybrid

Below are some documents found in a cardboard archive box, dating back to 1999. Rather than just posting them by themselves I took the step of adding a fictitious story for the captions. While the documents are very real, the story is fiction. And needless to say, the story has nothing to do with the documents or anything printed on them including entities.

Since experiments are the theme, this post itself is an experiment of sorts in meshing the two together. I'm expecting it to go horribly wrong....

Christian had a headache. He really needed to get that term paper finished soon, but was too tired after his shift at the supermarket.

His work part time still felt like a full time position because of his schedule being all over the place. "Fucking old bag" Christian thought after Grace, his boss refused to reschedule his shifts so he could take his intro to macroeconomics course after a spot finally became available.

"I guess I need to find another job" Christian thought. The next day he gave notice that he quit his job. He worked in a grocery store which was ironic since he had little money for food. "What now?" he thought aloud as he put a kettle on the hotplate and smeared peanut butter on a end slice of bread...

...The orange poster caught his attention on the bulletin board. Easy money testing sunscreens. Why not?....

Blah, blah. blah. Blah....Blah Blah...fill out these forms.

...."I'm officially a guinea pig" Christian told April. "hole-ee! I couldn't remember to do all those things on this sheet" April exclaimed as she looked over the paperwork...

"VIRUS!?!?!?!!! What the Hell!" April raised her voice. "I though you were going to be testing sunscreens. I can't borrow your viruses for my skin." "Oh, that's what you wanted to do all along eh? Borrow the shit I bring home to test? " Christian replied half jokingly. April misunderstood Christian's tone and poor attempt at humour and got all upset. "While your all sick from Rhino's virus, I need to stay far away or crash at someone else's place" she worried, in a loud voice. "God! She has fucking loud voice" thought Christian as he searched for a teabag. He was not a big fan of tea, but was becoming one fast since they ran out of coffee a week ago. He could hear April somewhere. "Don't you ignore me!......"

after the argument...

"I expected the pay to be higher" April said. "Yeah it sucks" Christian agreed. "Hey, are we going down to the food bank later?" "No, maybe tomorrow" April said. Silence entered the room. April, feeling tired sank into the old "retro-pizza colour" couch. The couch was added to the basic decor two months previous. It was found in the back alley. Probably leftover from a midnight move from a tenant in the next building. In their narrow room, it occupied an entire wall.

Christian looks over to April. "It'll do for now. Until I can find a job where the boss isn't a prick." More silence, until April starts snoring.

...a few weeks later.

Now that the testing was completed, April felt safe from taking ill. As a result, she lowered her voice as there was no need to overcome great distances. Even though 10 feet is not really considered a great distance. She spent more time at home again. Christian had been spending time at the library doing some research for a term paper titled "Hippies and the Coors Beer boycott." At times he wished he could just write down the line "Hippies don't drink beer because they did drugs instead." and hand it in. Now, he was waiting for the bus to take him back home.

Bus shelters would later piss Christian off in later years, because of the advertising in them: recruiting students to join the Armed Forces, or showing some well dressed students taking advantage of the rebate on tuition if they stayed in Manitoba after graduating. Christian still had not graduated, and would not get such "help" from the government to be able to.

"'even more opportunities to earn extra cash.' Here April, you can have my Antiperspirant!" Christian laughed. "Fuck you." April replied.

"Why does it say May and June?" she asked. "Dunno, same reason all of these papers are mixed up." Christian yawned. I guess I'll go down there tomorrow...

"Was that wash 3 times or 4?"

2:00 the schedule read, 1:55 was the time Christian had when he got off the bus. Miss the appointment and all bets are off for getting paid. He ran since he did not want his bus trip to be a wasted effort...

Back on the bus again, this time in the opposite direction, Christian looks at the schedule once more before shoving it into his bag. "Human Repeated Insult" catches his eye and he smiles to himself. "Got that right" he thinks to himself before the din on the bus suddenly spits out words that concerned Christian: "Do you smell Apple pie?"

"Damn!" I knew that crap they shoved under my arms smelled like apple-cinnamon" Christian thought. He really wanted the bus to hurry up so he could get off. "This antiperspirant must work by shaming sweaty people into showering" By the time he got off the bus he smelled like a bakery.

April greeted Christian at the door. "MMMm. What smells so good?" April asked. "My armpits." "What?!" "Don't ask. I'm gonna screw up my paper because I'm gonna have to go job hunting full time. I can't smell the classroom up with this shit."


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