work by Alex Deleuse.

Zhaozho looked at the swirling dust in front of him and said: There goes another one.

One Weird Trick

Sumerian Beer Tablet

The one weird trick. The one that doctors simply don’t want you to know. The dentists have begun campaigning against it. Linguists are screaming against it in guttural misunderstandables. The college professors are sending out well credentialed emails campus-wide in hopes of an ebb. Fortune tellers are sick over it and astrologers will move heaven and earth to stop the success of it. The bodybuilders guild of Encino, California has angrily scrawled a letter contra, filled with spelling mistakes. Nutritionalists, usually busy with explanations of their after-name acronyms are picketing streetside. Worldwide, women are working together to defend themselves against the one weird trick.
In a sleepy bar in San Francisco, Jared orders a fashionable drink for himself and his date Amy. The requisites for their meeting have all previously been checked off. He’s tall enough, she’s thin enough. He keeps some facial hair around but nothing too offensive to those with narrow tastes. All of their hues are in the normal range, solid dark browns and grays that meet the eye with agreeable texture. Tans that say: I’ve been to Tuscany and I want to go back, with you. Their jobs however, have surprisingly been left unmentioned, and Amy finds the space to fill this gap while they wait for their drinks. Meanwhile the bartender crushes mint and coriander rom the 19th century as his nostrils inhale the smell of his moustache pomade.
So what do you do? Amy asks with rolled eyes. She of course needs to know this question. This is a question she needs to know, now. The question though is tired and worn out, and word has got around that even though it is a question that needs to be known, now, it has to be imbued with some irony. She does this with her face and her loose vowels, tempering with a slight goof, as if the God of obligation has whispered in her ear: It’s time for the question.
On cue, Jared launches into his professional history, a near memorized monologue that he is now fully comfortable with. It is delivered with confidence, but also with a light twenty-something vulnerability that leaves room for a few months of figuring things out. He is currently working in advertising, after a few years of working in marketing. This is great, Amy works in marketing, and she previously worked in advertising. Both Amy and Jared love their coworkers.
Jared in fact works for a small firm in town that generates banner advertisements amongst other digital propaganda. This seems harmless enough while spoken at a bar sipping a drink named after a drunk author, but the details of his day are actually quite illicit. Just earlier that afternoon, Jared had been designing a small advertisement for One Weird Thing to Say To Women. The thing, which will be mentioned soon, is a quick phrase that will make any woman go to bed with you. Beautiful, independent and thoughtful women are susceptible to its power. Old married witches, wenches, Rapunzels, mermaids and starlets have been easily won over by it. The phrase had been discovered by another San Francisco company, who had unearthed an ancient Sumerian text entitled How To Pick Up Women When You Aren’t A Royal, and they contracted Jared’s company to get the word out. The phrase itself is free, but it does require a rather lengthy email signup form that ensures properly delivery to the correct address. Jared, being in advertising, bypassed the signup and acquired the phrase for himself, leaving his email box spam free. Owing to his job in advertising he had recently learned French and Italian in just two days with another weird language trick. Below his sweater lay rippled abs from a strange dieting trick that while giving him an ideal physique, did strain his relationship with his personal trainer who didn’t want him to know.
Jared usually waited until the end of the night to put his magically weird phrase to work, but Amy was such a catch. It turns out that they had both been to Thailand at the same time. Wouldn’t it have been weird if they had seen each other diving into the Andaman Sea? And after Amy mentioned that she is the type of person who sometimes likes to go out, but also sometimes likes to stay in, he knew that she was just the gal for him. So he ordered another Faulker on ice, (or was it an Andre Gide straight up?), and turned to her with glazed eyes: The Owl sleeps in the tree, the owl also sleeps in the road. This leaves us reckless in the canoe, stranded in the reeds. Below the water, the tail-eating serpent. Our pleasure from this is everlasting. Like those before her, she had no armor against this kind of age old wisdom. Amy returned his gaze and remained struck by the weird trick, suspended in a hazy limbo of love.

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