Food Additives – Chapter 3
Larry Tittleman lies his way up the corporate ladder of a global biotech conglomerate and back down again into federal prison…
Chapter 3 – Apples
(Out in the yard of Jackson State Penitentiary, cellmates Larry Tittleman and Tyrone Jackson are shooting hoops while Larry continues his story…)
Larry: I had risen to the title of VP in charge of product placement at HetroChemical Inc.
Tyrone: Through lying and chicanery.
Larry: Well yeah, but still. Now it was time to take the next step. To develop a product so mind-blowing, so revolutionary that they would be forced to promote me again and again until I was in charge of the whole damn company. Then Rebecca would take me back.
Tyrone: Many, you sure was hung up on that white girl.
“In my new office on the eighth floor of HetroChemical headquarters, I was having a hard time adjusting to my new secretary…”
(Larry’s phone keeps ringing and he glances at it…)
Larry: Flynette. Flynette! FLYNETTE!
(A plump older lady saunters into Larry’s office…)
Flynette: I know you ain’t yellin’ at me, boy.
Larry: My phone’s ringing.
Flynette: Well, pick it up then.
Larry: Flynette, I am the VP of product development of HetroChemical Inc.
Flynette: And he don’t even know how to answer a telephone. That’s a damn shame, that’s what that is.
Larry: (hands on hips, goofy grin) Flynette, you so cray-zay!
(Flynette rolls her eyes and returns to her desk as Krysten Ratking enters, hands up…)
Krysten: Why aren’t you answering your phone? I’ve been calling.
Larry: Oh, Flynette’s just being sassy again.
Flynette: (hollering from outside office) I hear you talkin’ about me in there!
Larry: She’s a delight. What’s up?
Krysten: We need a new product for the fall line. You got any bright ideas there, Mr. VP?
Larry: Well, it’s the autumn time. And what does everybody have in the autumn time?
Krysten: Impatience over an inferior boss who’s been promoted well past his own capabilities?
Larry: Wrong. Apple cider! And what’s the most annoying thing about apple cider?
Krysten: That you have no idea what you’re doing and you’ll drive this corporation into the ground?
Larry: Wrong again. Making it. What if there was a way to enjoy apple cider without having to go through the grueling motions of making apple cider?
Krysten: Like going to the store and buying a jug of apple cider?
Larry: Apple cider apples! Just bite into an apple cider apple for a scrumptious autumn treat.
Krysten: So what, there’s like…liquid inside the apple?
Larry: I dunno, that’s your department. (claps hands) Make it happen, Cap’n!
Krysten: Don’t call me that.
Larry: (hollering) Flynette, you takin’ all this down?
Larry: (smiles, shakes head) So sassy.
“That afternoon, I bumped into Eddie in the hallway outside the data entry office…”
Larry: Hey, Eddie.
Eddie: Oh, hello there…Mr. Tittleman.
Larry: Aw, I’m still the same ‘ol Larry.
Eddie: The same ‘ol Larry who deserted me for Vice Presidency and left me to fester in data entry?
Larry: Well what was I supposed to do, Eddie? Make you co-VP? This all happened so fast.
Eddie: You could have made me your assistant.
Larry: You mean my secretary? I…I didn’t think you’d be interested in that. I thought you’d think it beneath you, answering my phones. ‘Course Flynette doesn’t answer my phones…
Eddie: No, Larry. The fact is you don’t need me anymore.
Larry: That’s not true, Eddi–
Eddie: Enough. (narrows eyes) I have data to enter. (turns and stomps off)
(Krysten Ratking enters Larry’s office that evening with a bushel full of apples…)
Krysten: Here they are, Tittleman: Apple cider apples.
Larry: Oh boy!
Krysten: Careful, they’ve got a little kick to ’em.
(Larry grabs one, takes a bite and his eyes light up…)
Larry: (coughs) You ain’t kiddin’ about that kick. Flynette! Get in here and eat some apples!
(Flynette sashays in…)
Flynette: Child, stop hollerin’.
Larry: (hands Flynette an apple) Try one, they’re good. Apple cider apples. I invented them.
Krysten: (clears throat)
Larry: And Krysten helped.
Flynette: (takes a bite) Ooh, damn. They are good. Gimme another one.
Larry: I’m havin’ another one, too. Dig in, Krysten.
Krysten: Oh, what the hell.
(The next morning, Larry wakes up behind his desk in just his boxers, with a throbbing headache. He stands up rubbing his temples as Krysten enters sharply-dressed and donning a pair of dark sunglasses…)
Larry: Whu-why am I naked? Did you-did we–?
Krysten: What, no. NO.
Larry: God, stop yelling.
Krysten: A few apples in, I left you and Flynette alone and went down to the lab to run some more tests. Turns out those apple cider apples were 180 proof.
Larry: (frowns) Proof of what?
Krysten: Proof of why we all have pounding hangovers this morning.
Larry: You made booze apples?
Krysten: Oh, now they’re my invention.
Larry: Look at this desk, somebody knocked everything onto the floor. Flynette! Get in here and clean up this mess!
Krysten: Flynette doesn’t work here anymore.
(Krysten nods toward Larry standing in his underwear and his eyes bulge…)
Krysten: Don’t worry, she was given a handsome severance package. Unlike whatever you gave her.
Larry: Oh my god, I cheated on Rebecca.
Larry: My girlfriend. Well, my ex-girlfriend. She’s the reason I’ve been lying my way up the corporate ladder, in order to impress her and–
Krysten: Never mind, I don’t care. I have some lab results to shred and you have a new secretary to hire.
(Down in the data entry office, Larry pokes his head in…)
Larry: Hey buddy, you still want that secretary job?
Eddie: You mean the assistant job? (turns nose up) You had your chance.
Larry: (sighs, looks down) Eddie, I need you. I’m sorry– (looks up) What the, where’d he go?
(Larry hears scampering out in the hall and turns just in time to see his new secretary excitedly running upstairs to Larry’s office…)
(Back on the ball court at Jackson State Penitentiary…)
Tyrone: Still haven’t heard any crimes yet.
Larry: I’m gettin’ there.
Tyrone: Think you can make those booze apples in here?
Larry: I dunno. Don’t we already have plenty of toilet wine?
Tyrone: (tosses Larry the basketball) 10-0, me.
Larry: You know, by beating me so handily you’re only enforcing stereotypes, Tyrone.
Larry: How about checkers?
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