After years of pushing pencils hard, one day Gary got the big promotion at the chip factory.
Finally, he told himself, his wife, anyone who’d listen, he’d be the one calling the shots.
Gary loved the flavours the chip factory pumped out. Sour-Cream-N’-Onion-O-Rama. Bold Bacon Explosion. Barbecue Massacre. A big fan from way back, Gary couldn’t get enough.
What bugged him about the chips was the crunch.
Love the taste, he’d tell his wife, his coworkers, anyone who’d listen. Neighbours, cashiers, the clergy. Whoever. But they’re just too crunchy!
After the promotion, everyone started listening. Started showing some respect. The boys all bought him drinks at the bar. His wife started blowing him again. Even the neighbourhood dogs stopped shitting on Gary’s lawn. It was like magic.
With Gary calling the shots, it wasn’t long before the chip factory cut back on the crunch. And how.
A big fan, Gary, of the new not crunchy chips. All the great taste, he’d say as he stuffed his mouth, without that hard crunch. I could eat these all day!
Some days, he did. Gary couldn’t get enough of the new limp chips. So tasty, so not crunchy. So not painful when he mashed them up with his soft, weak teeth. He’d lick his dry lips with his pasty pale tongue and shove another handful down the hatch, his long fingers dusted with fiery fiesta flavour flakes.
Things were just going tickety-boo for old Gary.
But not everyone was a fan of the limp chips. No sir. They still craved the flavours alright. The chips themselves, though? Not so much.
Too soft, his wife, coworkers, everyone agreed. Why mess with success?
The chip factory bean counters agreed. Nobody wanted the mushy chips. They bought other kinds instead. Hard kinds, crunchy kinds. Chip factory execs would abide by the changes no more.
Gary, he lost his job. He was out on his ass. Pow! Sure enough, none of the boys from the factory would go out for drinks with him anymore. His wife stopped blowing him, demanding he start playing the crypto markets between filling out new job applications. Dog turds repopulated his once pristine lawn. Poor Gary.
The chips? They got crunchy again in a hurry. So, so crunchy. Crunchier, even, than before.
Even though he had to patiently allow the chips to soften in his soggy little mouth before he took each bite, not unlike a feeble child, Gary still loved those flavours like brothers.
Sheldon Birnie is a writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada who can be found online @badguybirnie