Monday, February 17, 2014

Fifty Shades of Satire (Chapter 1)

I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror.
     Damn my hair--it looks like a tumbleweed on steroids, only not as well-moisturized. I look at my roommate, the beautiful Katherine Kavanagh. Only she's not so beautiful now. Now, she's in bed, sick as a pig.
     Hidden under the blankets, there seems to be an abundance of her. She's sweating more than Rosie O'Donnell's upper lip. Writhing in discomfort, as opposed to datcomfort. Her moaning sounds are heartbreaking.
     How can I stay mad at her?
     Poor baby.
     Somehow she talked me into interviewing some super-duper, wowie-zowie, mega-industrialist for the student newspaper, Mein Kampf. It's an interview she should be doing, but, like I said, she's sickiepoo. I know, because I can see her contortionating under the blankets. Her eyes are rolling back in their socket like that little girl in The Exorcist, just not as attractive looking. She's my bestest, dearest friend.
     God, I hate her.
     "Goodbye," I tell her.
     "Goodbye," she tells me.
     "Goodbye," says a voice from under her blanket.
     "Holy fudge," I say.
     Only I don't say fudge.
     Christian Grey is the Head Hookah of Grey Enterprises Holdings & Fish Market, Inc. I make it to his headquarters with enough time for a quick stop at Taco Bell. I'm still wiping off the special taco sauce when I walk into the lobby of GREY HOUSE, his 69 story office building.
     I'm greeted by Olivia, a young blonde intern seated behind a solid sandstone desk. She's beautiful, in an ugly kind of way.
     "And you are..." she asks me.
     "Anastasia Steele," I tell her.
     "And this concerns..."
     "I'm here to see Mr. Grey."
     "Can I ask you a personal question, Ms. Steele?" she says, leaning forward confidentially.
     "Of course," I tell her.
     "Where did you buy your little ensemble?"
     "Oh, the Dollar Store," I tell her. "Why? Do you like it?"
     "No, I just want to make sure I don't shop there by mistake."
     My confidence immediately deflates, although, to tell the truth, I don't know what it would be like flated.
     "Can I get you something?"
     "Do you have any Taco Bell?"
     As it turns out, they don't. I make do with what I find between the cushions on the couch I'm sitting on. Finally...
     "Mr. Grey will see you now," Olivia tells me, and holds the door to Mr. Grey's office open for me. "Do go through."
     I get up, and smooth the wrinkles from my skirt, just as a tall, elegantly dressed, attractive African American man exits.
     OMG! It's President Obama! He's holding a shiny new penny in one hand and wiping away tears with the other.
     He's crying?
     Once he takes money out of my wallet and gives it to Olivia, he feels much better, even giving me a smile, his dark eyes crinkling at the corners.
     I look.
     He barely left me enough for an Enchirito.
     "You don't need to knock," Olivia tells me, counting her cash. "Just go in."
     As I walk past, the door closes behind me, catching the heel of my left foot. I stumble forward, hitting my head on a low beam. Ow! I put one hand behind my head, rubbing it gingerly, and the other forward to steady myself, accidentally placing it on a wood-burning iron stove. Hot! I quickly lift my hand from the scalding metal, lift it to my mouth, and blow on it. I shuffle backward, and back into a door with a "Wet Paint" sign on it. Aw, nuts, my navy-blue jacket is ruined! As I step forward, the door opens behind me, and an ironing board falls, hitting me on the top of my head. I stumble forward, needing air. I'm at an open window, still blowing on my burning hand, while my other hand rests on the window sill, keeping me balanced. The window falls down hard on my one good hand--Yikes!--crushing it and trapping it at the same time. I have to use some force to pull it out, and the momentum spins me around making me fall face-first into a wedding cake. Yum! Unable to see, I stumble around and step right into a bear trap. Ouch! I'm such a nordberg.
     I hope I didn't embarrass myself.
     "Nonsense," Christian Grey says, comforting me. "I barely noticed."
     When my eyes finally focus, I can see that the great Mr. Grey is pretty young for an old guy. And pretty good-looking to boot. He sees me seeing him.
     "Miss Kavanagh is indisposed," I tell him, "so she sent me. I hope you don't mind."
     "And you are..."
     "Anastasia Steele."
     "And this concerns..."
     "I have some questions, Mr. Grey."
     I smooth a stray lock of hair behind my ear.
     "I thought you might," he says, deadpan, as opposed to livebucket.
     "You're very young to have amassed such an empire. To what do you owe your success?" I ask him.
     'Before every business deal," he confides in me, confidingly, "I stick a shiny new penny up my arse. And then, just before the meeting is to begin, I go to the bathroom and take it out. When I meet my opponent, I give him that penny, telling him it's lucky. That way, when we're negotiating, I can never take him seriously knowing that he's handled a penny that's been stuck up my bum."
     I was amazed at his business acumen. I look at him. He holds my gaze steadily, impassive. My heartbeat quickens. My face flushes. My nose runs. I quickly catch it and put it back.
     Why does he have such an unnerving effect on me? His overwhelming good looks? The way his eyes blaze at me? The size of his feet?
     "And," I continue, "once you've beaten your opponent in a bitter beetle business battle, what do you do to, ah, chill out?"
     "Chill out?" he says, lifting one eyebrow. "Well, to chill out--as you put it--I climb with the sherpas on Mount Everest. I run with the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico. I watch Oprah reruns with Steadman. I'm a very wealthy man, Miss Steele, and money gives me class, a lot of class," he says, and blows his nose into the sleeve of my navy-blue jacket to punctuate his point.
     There's a knock on the door, and Olivia enters.
     "Mr. Grey, forgive me for interrupting, but your next meeting is in two minutes."
     "We're not finished here, Andrea..."
     "If I say it's Andrea, it's Andrea. Please cancel my next appointment."
     "Very well, Mr. Grey," Andrea says, then exits, not letting the door hit her where the good Lord split her.
     Crap, crap, and double crap! Where's he going with all this?
     "I'd better leave," I tell him. "I don't want to keep you from anything."
     He steeples his fingers in front of his mouth, and balances himself on one leg.
     "Plus, I do have a long drive," I continue, continuing.
     He walks me to the door, still on one leg.
     "We have an excellent internship program here," he tells me. Why is he telling me this? Is he offering me a job? "We can always use a good woman who knows her way around a coffee machine."
     "Oh, I'll bear that in mind," I murmur, bearing it in mind. "Do you know where the nearest Taco Bell is?"
     "Out there," he says, and points out of his office and into the street. I'm surprised when he follows me out and walks me to the elevator.
     "Anastasia," he says as a farewell.
     "Christian," I reply.
     "Please," he tells me, "call me Mr. Grey."
     And mercifully the elevator door closes.
     On my nose.
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