This micro-novel will appear in the sequel to my book "Briefs for the Reading Room". Check back often for an update!
Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel never had a nickname.Everyone always used his full name whenever they addressed him.At first, that used to bother him.He thought he was never good enough to have a nickname.“Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel, sit down” his teachers would nag.“Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel, come for dinner” his mother would insist.Eventually, he got used to it.
Today, as most days, Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel arrived at his job right on time.It was a point of pride for him. When he was much younger he had shown up late for work.“Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel,” his boss had waved him into his office, “you’re late.This cannot be.You will never get ahead in this life if you’re not punctual.Any questions Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spatzel?”There were none, and he never showed up for work late again.His career as a laser specialist had bloomed since then, and he was constantly shooting his argon laser at any target that was put in front of him.Mostly, he shot it at age spots and wrinkles, but one day he might be called on to do something bigger.Like a mole.
After a day of shooting things with his laser, Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel headed home to his wife.Unlike heading to work, he often was late coming home.“Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel, how often have I told you to call if you’re going to be home late?”The question was rhetorical; there was no way to count the number of times.He started cooking dinner in the microwave, he microwaved the meat, then the beans, then the mashed potatoes.“Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel, are you done microwaving our dinner yet?” she inquired.He was.They ate.
The next day was Saturday and Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel was going to work on his yard.He picked up his Roundup and headed out the door to treat the dandelions with herbicide.“Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel, be careful not to kill my roses when you spray that stuff,” his neighbor Big Ron yelled out the door.Big Ron was a big guy and his name was Ron. Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel suspected that was how he had gotten his nickname.Lucky!He thought about it as he continued to treat dandelions with herbicide.
Done with his chores, he and his wife headed out quickly to the store to do some shopping.The scooted in and out of one store after another, from store to store they quickly went.While buying a pair of jeans for his wife, Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel handed the teller his Visa card.“Woah, that’s a mouthful!Has anyone ever called you… oh nevermind, nothing’s coming to mind Zarginald Adam Prothanius Spaztel.Sign here!”With a sigh, he laboriously signed the slip and followed his wife out the door.
(alternate ending, replace “followed his wife out the door” with “zapped into a parallel dimension” - Auth)