BABBEDY GONK • by D. W. Parkhurst

Snorting. Spitting. Shouting.

His red cheeks flapping as he stomped to the lobby like a fat toddler.

A table of cotton candy heads snapped around. Their eyes rolling in unison. The leaned-back chatter and laughter now a huddle of whispers and giggles.

He barked at the woman behind the counter. Loudly. But nothing too colorful. Just some low level swears that’d give a 10-year-old no more than a finger-wagging. More pathetic than effective.

She didn’t deserve this. Any of it. It wasn’t her fault. Besides, she’s a genuinely kind and sweet and thoughtful person. I could see her trying to help, but he just hollered over her helpfulness.

I straightened my tie and quick-stepped over.

“Sir, what is the problem?” I asked in my most concerned voice.

“YUH! BABBEDY GONK BRUH DA BUMBA DUH!” might as well be what he said.

Honestly, I wasn’t paying attention. I simply nodded, “It’ll be just a moment to gather someone to send up. If you’d be so kind to wait for them back in your room. Five… maybe ten minutes?”

It was like I gave him a lollipop. He straightened up and jutted his chin with satisfaction as he sauntered to the elevators.

She cocked her head and shot me a look.

I don’t work here. I just know that lovely young woman behind the counter was already supposed to be off the clock, and the guy working the next shift, who is a world-class weasel, just waltzed in. It’ll be at least ten minutes before Mr. Entitlement gets fed up waiting for someone who was never sent, and thuds back down for another round of spitting and yelling. By then, her scumbag co-worker will be in charge of the desk. I would love to watch the fireworks between the middle-aged man-child and that cocky slimeball light up the lobby, but I have a date. And she just clocked out.

D. W. Parkhurst is an award-winning copywriter who also dabbles in short stories and poetry.

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