Would you trust Anj with Twinkie? Find out what happens when Cindy Furgus, Twinkie and Anj collide. Take a two-minute holiday for a sneak peek of Jack Dey’s latest book. A hilarious look at a very serious subject… enjoy!
by JACK DEY
The first time I heard the saying, ‘Tin fish at home in a concrete fish tank’, it made absolutely no sense at all to me. It’s quite possible the slight attractive bent I felt towards a dishy colleague who used it may have had some bearing on its profoundness, but being another year older and much wiser, the bent has straightened somewhat, morphing into a distant but exasperated sigh. Especially when his ever-present girlfriend resembles a perfect siren… and is just as loud as one! Even with all the negatives and after asking my colleague to repeat his distracting explanation several times, for reasons I can’t explain, the meaning seems to have comfortably settled over my life and I’m never too far away from ‘tin fish at home in a concrete fish tank’. I will elaborate further, but first you need some facts.
Being a late bloomer and now approaching a staggeringly ancient twenty-nine, I qualified both as a journalist and a psychologist, having completed a double degree in journalism and psychology. Although I consider my gifts and talents are unique in helping people with their ‘problems’, I had to take my second choice as a journalist when few opportunities arose among the psyche community to apply my counselling genius. Even with this great tragedy and sobering loss to humanity, I still practise on my cat and the elderly neighbour who lives in the apartment next door. I have to admit though, the cat is more receptive but we are not fazed in any way and we push on regardless.
My neighbour is a strange man and shakes his head profusely whenever I attempt to engage him in the deep and meaningful things of life, trying to help him see that I have all the answers he needs. Lately he’s taken to hiding in people’s doorways whenever he sees me… sounds like a clear cut-and-dried case of detachment disorder to me and although he doesn’t know it, he definitely needs my expert help. However, nailing him down and getting him to attend my therapy sessions where I can pick at his emotional bandages and expose his mental wounds into my specialist air for healing is proving to be a daunting and frustrating challenge. Without doubt, I deem my psychology degree gives me superior insights to peer behind his – and all people’s – hidden facades. Try as they may, they can’t hide from my all-seeing knowledge. My neighbour doesn’t seem to appreciate, like the cat does: I can see right through him! Stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted!
I’m tempted to lament the loss to the world of my expertise in such a vital area and become disappointed, but being negative represses the endorphin flow to the brain, stifles dopamine build up and encourages Parkinson’s. So I will turn my attention wholeheartedly to journalism and put on a happy face… no uncontrolled shaking for this talented little lady! Switching heads is not a problem to someone like me and just to show you how adaptable I am, I intend to write an autobiography of my life and my adventures as a journalist so you can judge for yourself and agree: I am a truly unique woman among the less gifted. Like all adept people, there’s always a struggle to be recognised and a brute waiting in the shadows wanting to crush an exceptional person with their malicious jealousy. I’m sure you’ve heard of the tall poppy syndrome?! My brute turns out to be a complete department, led by the inauspicious… Snell!
Before we go any further and as I’m sure this account will be extremely popular, let’s get something straight, right up-front, and just so you are aware and aren’t tempted to listen to critical gossip, it wasn’t my fault it took ten years to finish my studies and then another year to find a job! I’m not sure how I feel about that! I do understand brilliance isn’t easily accepted in today’s envious world and especially among the ordinary people who lack the discernment we literary laureates possess. I can only concede, Ivan Snell – my current boss – is one of those people, taking some firm elemental convincing at the initial interview stage for him to look past the vivacious exterior to the shining journalist hidden within me. Using my best psychological suggestive techniques to lead the slow-moving simpleton, eventually he saw things from my perspective and the value in hiring someone of my artistic genre… something that is perfectly obvious to me and I’m sure to most normal, intelligent human beings. In my well educated opinion, it would appear Snell has a clear case of schizotypal personality disorder verging on narcissistic personality, although he could be described as borderline personality, too… maybe he’s all three!
It still puzzles me why he choked when I suggested I would make a valuable contribution to the foreign correspondent team, although, knowing what I know about Snell now, it makes me wonder how he ever recognises anything at all, regardless of whether its inanimate or living. Doesn’t that sound suspiciously like dissociative fugue? What do you think? Even after Snell’s discouragement, it’s still no secret, my ambition is to be one of the finest foreign correspondents this paper has ever had in its arsenal. Ivan Snell seems to be amused by this reasonable but oft-spoken of and hinted at dream and sees fit to send me to cover assignments like a sewer pipe eruption at the Turkish embassy. When I complained bitterly about the job – of which I deem to be totally beneath the dignity of someone approaching my calibre – he capitulated and told me it would be an apt grounding for a gifted, trainee foreign correspondent like myself. Then with a smirk he thought I didn’t see, he suggested the privileged opportunity offered me a valuable experience and that I should completely immerse myself in my subject, and then challenged me to deliver a detailed report equal to the occasion.
What was that supposed to mean?!
I tell you, it’s not easy getting along in a world filled with unpleasant Snells!
Lacking the opportunities to indulge my ambition and constantly told my genius was of better use at home, it’s now my intention to concentrate on writing this account and deliver a riveting autobiography, instead. After being stifled, and stagnating under Snell, I consider my burgeoning intellect needs an outlet, and a detailed and instructive description of my life would simply result in a best seller. It only stands to reason, my shining example would bring peace and harmony among the world’s population when they see how it’s supposed to be done. However, unlike most capable people having a stringent ambition to empower others, I intend to keep this account factual, brief and candid.
Stop laughing! A journalist can tell the truth… especially when it can’t be avoided! Are you right?! Would you like a few more seconds to regain your composure before we continue, or do I suspect a developing obsessive compulsive tendency? Hmm! Where was I?! Oh, yes!
Over the years, experience has taught me vast lessons, and within the process, I’ve gleaned a great wealth of knowledge. Because of the extent of such an instructive work, the effect it will have, and other obvious reasons, I’m considering adopting a solid and dexterous writing name to suit the tome. Christened Cindy Furgus, it would appear this appellation can have some negative drawbacks, particularly when I work in a highly competitive environment like The Truth Advocate and among stringently jealous and resentful colleagues who don’t have anywhere near the abilities moi possesses. There have been numerous times when I’ve intercepted my newsworthy articles drifting across the editor’s desk, drawing unrestrained laughter and gathering a suspicious crowd of co-workers to the amusement. I can only imagine whoever vandalised my credit to read… Sydney Fungus, and another of my extensive works to… Hey You, has little else to do with their time.
It’s a good thing my psychology degree has equipped me well to deal with these brusque and unprofessional people who seem to have little honour to respect the exclusive literary work of a superior colleague and perhaps learn from my unique abilities. Breathe-in… breathe-out!
“Furgus! Get in here!”
Uh..oh! I’ll have to go for now. When Snell bellows across the newsroom floor from his office and singles out a victim, everyone knows something has displeased his lordship. I can’t think what I’ve done, but as usual, the whole floor has gone quiet trying to eavesdrop and this just intensifies the nervous tension for the unfortunate individual on death row.
“FURGUS! IN HERE… NOW!”
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