Ed. Note – Terence McKenna was an American writer, lecturer and noted-whack job. His arguments and ideas follow flawless logic, impeccable research and possess a deep resonance with the pulsating heart of the human soul. However, he would be a really crappy shift manager if he worked at Cici’s.
It was 11:45 and the droves of worker bees from the Aquinas building were still pulling into the parking lot. Their cars wove a haphazard pattern or colors and logos. Grey Chevy Impalas, red Hyundai Elantras, and Blue Subaru Foresters all framed in the asphalt parking lot.
“I can’t believe there’s more,” Sarah the cashier said as she snapped her bubble gum. “Can someone go get Terry? I’m going to need more nickles in a few minutes.”
Kendrick the busboy perked up. “I’ll get him, Sarah.” He put his spray bottle down on the laminate counter and walked through the corridor to the manager’s office. The bright red door was closed. He rapped quickly.
“Terry? You in there? Sarah said she needs change.”
There was a dull rustling of papers that could be heard through the hollow aluminum door.
“Be out in a minute,” a voice called back. The rustling stopped and the door handle turned. Into the neon light of the corridor emerged Terry. Looking disheveled as always, he causally crept toward Kendrick with a bag that contained a few rolls of assorted coins.
“Here you go,” he handed the sack over. “Has the lunch rush finally subsided into some sort of manageable conglomerate of carnivores?” he asked.
“They’re still coming in,” Kendrick replied. “Dom said we’re running low on mushroom pizza and he’s doing like twelve things right now. You might need to jump back there and make a mushroom pie.”
“I would be glad to. After all, we are an ape with a symbiotic relationship to a mushroom,” Terry lectured. “And that has given us self-reflection, religion and all the spectrum of events that flow from these things.”
Kendrick was about to turn around and return to his task of spraying down the tables vacated by the “conglomerate of carnivores.” He had started the job in February and wasn’t really sure if he was doing a good job. Kendrick took pride in his work, even if it was just a lousy pizza shop. “Hey Terry? Am I doing ok?”
Terry looked shocked. “Kenny, you are a divine being. You matter, you count. You come from realms of unimaginable power and light, and you will return to those realms.”
Kendrick looked confused. “I meant more like are the tables clean and stuff?”
“Oh yes. They look fine. You’ve managed to make them mirrors of introspection.”
Just then a voice called out over the PA system. It was Sarah. “MANAGER TO THE FRONT! CUSTOMER COMPLAINT!”
Terry took a brief sigh. He hated direct confrontation. The prospect of a half-satiated bi-ped barking at him over the symmetry of the carrots in their Caesar salad or the fact that their sugar-water wasn’t bubbly enough. It was all so pedestrian. He meandered around the back for a bit more, hoping the problem would go away.
“MANAGER TO THE FRONT! CUSTOMER COMPLAINT!”
Terry plodded up to the cash wrap. A moderately obese woman with a Micky Mouse denim jacket stood tapping her press-on fingernails on the register. The Aqua-net cemented her hair skyward, perhaps in some ill-conceived homage to a god she has never experienced.
“Yes Ma’am,” he asked. “How can I help?”
“Yeah, I had paid for a large pizza. And y’all gave me a small or something,” she snapped. “Are you guys for real with that?”
Terry looked at Sarah, who stood there snapping her bubble gum on some infinite loop. He looked at the woman. “The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.”
“Does that mean you’ll take fifty percent off my bill?” the woman asked.
“I suppose,” he replied.