Home > Uncategorized > How to handle a fucking HOPPING POTATO

How to handle a fucking HOPPING POTATO

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Mike is sitting in front of his laptop, the screen’s blue glare illuminating his weary face. The desktop background is a high resolution photo of two dolphins jumping together out of a blue pool and leaving a trail of sparkling water drops. They look happy but Mike doesn’t. He is watching a long line of figures dropping endless down the screen like a waterfall made of numbers and currency symbols. He is checking stock prices on the international markets. That’s how he makes money, by monitoring the fucking prices and getting good deals for his clients. He plays with money. He is good at that. He is the fucking best. That’s him. The stock market is his natural habitat and the rules of that habitat are the same than in any other habitat: fucking survival of the fittest. If you want to thrive in that kind of environment you have to be the smartest and meanest motherfucker in the fucking environment, or you are fucked. Like hose dolphins in the screen background of his fancy last generation aluminium laptop. They are the meanest fish-eater motherfuckers in the fucking ocean. That is why they deserve to decorate a high-tech flat screen. Do repugnant fleas manage to become models for sleek wallpapers? No. They do not. Because they are nasty and weak. Dolphins are entirely another matter. They eat all the fish and still have time to fuck around and pose for photos. If dolphins wouldn’t live under the fucking water, he though, they would own a place like mine, even with the same appliances and decoration. Fucking sharks only know how to eat your legs, they are fucking oceanic terrorists

Mike is still worried. Today his supervisor passed him what they call at the office a hopping potato. His boss came to him when he was about to leave and handed him the folder with the data. He told him to sort out things with that assets portfolio for next day and leave, because he was fucked as shit. Mike had flipped quickly through the contents of the folder and was worried because he could not make sense of the data. In the elevator a friend he despised told him about that folder. That black folder had been around the office for weeks because nobody wanted it. The guys called it a hopping potato. Shit you wouldn’t touch with a ten feet designer aluminum pole. You touch that shit, he had told him, and you find next sleeping in a dark alley under a cardboard box. That didn’t sound as something Mike wanted for himself. What worried Mike most was that he didn’t know what the fuck a hopping potato was. He understood the literal meaning of the words but he knew that the words had some kind of ominous metaphorical significance. They referred to some dangerous feature of the funds contained in the folder he had been assigned to manage.

Now he is at home staring at the flat screen of his computer. Peering through the high speed wireless window open to the world of international finances. He is looking for clues about the meaning of hopping potato. He found several descriptions of the expression hot potato used to describe a matter that is difficult to handle, but were a hot and a hopping potato the same thing? Is his colleague an idiot who had made a malapropism? Whatever a fucking a malapropism might be. His colleague is certainly an idiot and human being of inferior quality than himself, but still, was he making an idiot’s mistake when he told him about the fucking hopping potato? Mike opens the black folder and checks the numbers, they do not look right, specially the fives and nines, they are skewed and blurred. This does not make any sense. Why in fucking hell the sort of people who prints smeared figures would like to invest thity-million dollars in upturned funds. What they were trying to do? And what are upturned funds anyway? He feels sick of all this shit. He is the best and he should not be dealing with upturned funds and shit all the time. He feels he wants to tear off his own skin and run around the city showing his muscles to everybody. Does not the world know he is a fucking finances genius?

He makes some calls to find out about those upturned funds, but gets mixed results. Somebody tells him upturned funds are risky assets whit high profit returns. Somebody says they are bonds issued by international trading stakeholders. Somebody says leave a message. Somebody says upturned funds should and will go to hell for all he cares. Somebody says upturned funds are a crime against free flow of capital. Somebody says his grandmother lost his teeth because upturned funds. Somebody says don’t call this number ever more you motherfucker. Somebody says she will suck his cock and let him come on her face and he realizes he had mistakenly dialed a hot-line or his girlfriend’s number.

He is beginning to despair. What will he do tomorrow? How is he going to explain his boss, that son of a bitch, that he doesn’t know what to do with the folder? Even worse. What is going to happen when his colleagues find out he is clueless about what a hopping potato is? Those motherfuckers will think he is not the best any more.

He can’t stand the pressure. The walls are closing around him and the ceiling seems closer to the floor every minute. In no time his floor will cease to exist. He lives in the thirteenth floor of an apartments high-rise, but there is no thirteenth floor on the building and his floor is numbered fourteenth. He lives in a level that already does not exist. Trying to cheat imaginary bad luck the builders created an imaginary floor that is about to truly crush him into nothingness.

He goes out for a walk. It is late but the streets are still populated with people who does not want to sleep and people like him, who cannot sleep. They look to Mike like shadows, like fucking shadows. They are pale and they do not care about Mike or the upturned funds. Bunch of fucking losers, he thinks. A well dressed man on his thirties with a pretty blonde hanging in his arm is coming towards him. They are laughing and probably they are drunk. Mike thinks how exhilarating would be to spit on the  blonde’s face and see what happens. That would teach those fuckers to be alert, he thinks, but he does nothing because he doesn’t want to get in trouble. Instead he enters a dark alley and after making sure nobody is around he begins licking one of the blackened masonry walls of the building. The taste of soot in his mouth always pacifies him. It tastes like eating the city itself and makes his tongue black.

‘ Are you going to finish that? Ha, ha! ’ asks a cranky old voice coming from the darkest recesses of the alley. Mike stops and turns around. He detects some rustling among the trash bags and cardoboard boxes that are piled up against the wall at the other side of the alley. He can make a  shape struggling to stand up. A man that smells of urine and liquor. There was a homeless sleeping in the shadows and now he is making fun of him. Mike does what everybody does when they see a homeless: he acts as if it didn’t existed. I am smarter and I dress better than a fucking homeless, he thinks. The homeless is dressed with several layers of dirty clothes and still can’t stand up. He gives up and starts mumbling sitting on a mattress made of damp cardboard. He begins mumbling something but Mike is not listening what he says. He does not even registers the man’s presence and his voice is indistinguishable from the muffled noise of traffic coming from the mouth of the alley. Homeless speech is like the muzak of the streets. Mike would not get any closer anyway because from the other side of the narrow alley his smell is already unbearable to him.

‘ That fucking hopping potato is going to ruin you life ‘ says the homeless from the darkness when Mike passes by his side, but Mike does not register that either and goes back home.

Next morning he shows at the office resigned to tell his boss he has not been able to make any sense of the numbers. He will try to have the black folder passed to somebody else. He will make some excuse, a death in the family. Not his father. Mike already killed him to dodge the fallout of a very bad business deal worth millions.

When he steps into the wood paneled lobby of the firm he sees the young and cute receptionist is very altered. Almost in the verge of tears. Mike asks her what happens. She tells him his boss is dead. That night a homeless had sneaked in his home and slit his throat and his wife’s with a cutter. Then the nameless homeless killed himself in the same bed when their kid showed up on the bedroom.

Mike is petrified for a few seconds. He couldn’t tell how he knows this but he knows it. He is fucking positive. The killer is the same individual he had ignored that same night in the dark alley. He murmurs some perfunctory grief formalities and heads into the office. It is very early and people is around in clusters, probably talking about who will get the coveted supervisor’s post. Mike sneaks into his dead boss’ office and slips the hopping potato at the bottom of the pending folders stack.


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