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Woman in a Man’s Game by Robin Brox

November 11, 2014 Leave a comment

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Robin Brox is Lankville’s most successful female entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Brox Uncolored Condiments, Inc.

I was sitting in my office at the arena, bored out of my skull.  There was an empty wire trash can and I took it over to the window and dropped it down five stories to the street.  It just missed hitting a suit eating a hot dog.

“YEAH, SHITCUPS!” I yelled as a small crowd gathered.  I found some condiment catalogs nearby and tossed those out too.  The lunch throng had now gathered round, staring up at me.  I suddenly got moist as a muffin downtown, I knew it.

I scanned the suite of third floor offices.  There was an IT guy there– he was a bit wall-eyed but he had big hands.  I shut the door behind me.

“How’d you like to earn yourself a tidy little bonus?” I asked.  “That kind of scratch, you could buy yourself a bunch of those little medieval playcards.”

He liked that.  He was a smart kid.

That kind of scratch, you could buy yourself a bunch of those little medieval playcards.

Condiment set. Shortly after this photo was taken, there was a period of vast confusion and the set was destroyed.

Condiment set. Shortly after this photo was taken, there was a period of vast confusion and the set was destroyed.

Later, I walked down to the cafeteria.  I didn’t like the look of the egg and chicken dish so I went for the mouth hoagie.  A couple of the executives came over and started on business.  One of the assistants leaned over me.

“Ms. Brox, your speech for next week.”  He handed me a folder.

“Yeah?” I said, my chin glistening with a complex potpourri of sauces.  “What’s that about?”

He looked confused.  “It’s…well…it’s a continuation of your series on the essence of uncolored condiments.”

“Let me see you put the folder down your pants.”

“What?…I…”  He went red.

“Go on, put the folder down your pants.  Do a little dance for me.”

He ran out.  I finished the mouth hoagie and left the folder.  Someone’d bring it up.

I went back to the office and ordered a couple of loud sequined kaleidoscope dresses online.  In the comments section I wrote, “MAKE THEM HUG THE HIPS AND ADD THE SHIMMERY BIB”.  I placed the order and went back to the window.  The trash can was gone and someone had cleaned up the catalogs.  I was slightly disappointed.

I’m a woman in a man’s game, alright.

An Interview with Robin Brox

January 10, 2014 Leave a comment

By Gump Tibbs
Senior Staff Writer
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GT: Haven’t heard much lately from the queen of Uncolored Condiments? What’s going on?
RB: Uncolored condiments sell themselves, Gump. The minute some asshole shoots yellow mustard all over a $10 shirt, the minute I have a new customer. I haven’t been in the office in weeks.
GT: You were married to [Lankville Daily News] reporter Marles Cundiff. What happened there?
RB: We’re in the process of divorcing. There wasn’t much meat on the bone, if you know what I’m saying Gump.
GT: And what about your hockey franchise? Second place. You happy with that?
RB: Who the hell is happy? You happy there Gumper?
GT(pauses): I’ve got some guns. Want to go shoot at the dumpster?
RB: Why the fuck didn’t you say so? Let’s get out of here.

(The interview was ended prematurely).

Woman in a Man’s Game

August 27, 2013 Leave a comment

By Robin Brox
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It was another bullshit schmoozefest at a Condiment outlet store in some corncobber town.  They had a big printed sign out front– TODAY ONLY!  MEET ROBIN BOX.  I was going to say something but decided against it.

They put me in a chair at a table covered in orange linen.  Copies of my first book Succeeding in Condiments sat in a big pile.  

People started filing past.  At first, I put up with it.  Then, I started fucking around.

“What’s your name?” I asked a lardass.

“It’s Phil.  I’m a great admirer of yours, Miss Brox.”

“Alright, Phil.  Here’s your book.”  I signed it “To a God Damn Mary, Best Wishes.”  He’d shit later.

At one on the dot, as promised, the session was stopped.  I had a car waiting.

“Any male strip clubs around here?” I asked the driver.  He looked at me in the mirror.  “How the hell would I know?”  He started the car angrily.

“Female is fine too.  Just take me anywhere dark.”  He pulled out onto the highway and dropped me at a forlorn place surrounded by a pebbly lot.  There was a lighted arrow that pointed towards the door but it was temperamental and flashed irregularly.  A light breeze picked up.

“Fucking bag of shit,” I said, senselessly.  That breeze threw me off.  Everything was going to be different now.  I knew it.

Inside, there were a bunch of filthy tables and a stage covered in poorly-heaped mounds of tinsel.  The pole had a red band around it.  Nobody was around.  Finally, an awkward brunette came out in a bikini.  She had a tiny, provincial voice.  The kind of girl that would forever get taken advantage of in some desperate, hopeless search for love.  The kind of girl that would inevitably end up in a place like this.  I thought about offering her a job.

“Know anything about condiments, sweetheart?” I said.

She surprised me.  She knew it all.  She summarized the whole damn business in fifteen minutes.

“I can put you on as a mustard determiner,” I offered.  “It’s mustard but it’s not yellow.  It’s colorless.”

“Why?” she asked, genuinely.  I was perplexed.  I had no idea.

“Listen honey, in Lankville you feed the lumbering beast.  If the lumbering beast likes it, you keep on feeding.  Maybe later, you can plow some guy.  That’s the Lankville way.”

She looked confused.  I let it go.

She’s been my mustard determiner for fifteen years.

Woman in a Man’s Game

July 12, 2013 Leave a comment

By Robin Brox
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I decided to check out Pineapple City.

I chartered a plane over some stupid forest and came down in the Eastern city of Arbisonia.  There was a driver waiting for me with a handwritten sign that said BOX.  I didn’t make a big deal of it.

“You gonna’ drive me all the way out to Pineapple City?” I asked.

“Yeah.  Two hours.”  He didn’t turn around.

I dumped a big bag of pills and a six-pack on the seat.  “I’m gonna’ make a time of it, then.”

“Suits me.”  He put on some terrible music without asking.

It seemed like the next thing that happened was that we were pulling into a gas station.  The driver nudged me awake.  “That’s Pineapple City up there,” he said, pointing east.  I seemed to have a vague memory of the driver stopping for a long period of time, then a milk crate being dumped beside me.  It seemed to contain long plastic containers full of some sort of green substance.  I recall the driver on a cell phone.  “Yeah, I got a big box for ya.  It’s finely-ground and nonmagnetic and you can layer it to create a natural realistic scene.”  There was a pause.  “Nah, it’s foolproof.  And they only had the putty in the pints.”  Another pause.  “IN THE PINTS.  Yeah, that’s bullshit.”  The rest of the ride was a blur.

The driver didn’t seemed interested in taking me into town.  He sat down on a bench and smoked a cigarette, started chatting up some guy in overalls.  I got my suitcase out of the trunk and walked down the old Interstate.  There were only a few wood frame buildings here, raw and weather-beaten.  Then I saw the sign.  “PINEAPPLE CITY”.  A little hippie was standing there was his shirt off.

“Are you Miss Box?” he asked, excitedly.  He extended his hand.  It was calloused and bony.  That’d be alright.  He showed me to my room– just a pile of boards and a single bed with a handmade quilt on it.  “You make that quilt?” I asked jokingly.  “Yes, I assisted,” he answered proudly.  “All chores are shared here in Pineapple City.  There are no pre-assumed gender rules.  Men make quilts, women fix cars, everything is equal.  Every morning, we all gather in the grains…”

I stopped him.
“You put ’em in a sack?”
He seemed confused.  “Yes, we have sacks.”
“And then you empty your sacks?”  I snickered.
“I don’t understand.”
“Skip it.  What the Christ is for dinner?”
“Come.  I’ll show you the dining hall.”
“Nah, fuck that,” I said, suddenly annoyed. “Order me a pizza. Meat Enthusiasts with extra cheese.”
“Oh, Miss Box, we don’t…there is no meat here and we don’t order, well, we don’t order any town food.”

I got the next bus out of there.

Woman in a Man’s Game

April 9, 2013 Leave a comment

By Robin Brox
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He was a little man with round glasses and a piebald head and he emerged awkwardly from beneath the surf, his skin a delicious malachite hue that belied his otherwise grotesque appearance.  I watched him towel off and stared hard at the center of his taut short pants where I could sense an ethereal bulge that I knew would whisk any woman away to a place where no eternity existed and where there would be only an endless corkscrew pounding like some ancient, mythical rotary tool lost to mankind.

I followed him up to the hotels.  He ducked along a fading side street and the air suddenly became rarefied and then stale with a deep and resolute masculine musk.  I collapsed briefly against a pushcart popcorn vendor and then into some small garden fencing that surrounded a weedy, unkempt little lawn.  I remained there, up on one hip, staring across at the piebald man as he entered a dilapidated flophouse known as “The Emerald Inn”.

Minutes later, I entered the lobby.  It was adorned in unfashionable browns and purples and manned by a frowzy, corpulent islander.  I walked up to his little counter kingdom and, by means of cutting off the light with my quaking body, isolated him from all warmth and love.

“Tell me where the piebald man is staying.  The room number.”  He produced his sad little sign-in tablet from beneath an accumulation of phone books.  Freezing now, he pointed to a name.  I allowed light, then.

I climbed the carpeted staircase to the second floor.  Someone was grunting loudly in short, agonizing rhythmic spurts.  I kicked open the offender’s door.  He was a bulging, overly-muscled man doing squat thrusts.  He failed to notice me.  I continued down the hall.

I tapped on 121.  Where there had been the light sound of movement within, I now heard nothing but a ghostly sibilance.  Then, the sound of a supernal wind.  He was gone.

He had left the taut short swim trunks, wet and sandy, on the unmade bed and a greeting card depicting a cartoon turkey.  “HAPPY THANKSGIVING” it said inside, though it was July.  He had left it unsigned.

I have not been back to the beach since.

Woman in a Man’s Game

March 22, 2013 1 comment

By Robin Brox
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Ivan was my first love.  He had strange, tremendous tufts of blonde hair and a glove compartment filled with napkins.  You would have never thought it possible to shove so many napkins into a glove compartment.

We drove down to the paper factory.  “It’s burned to the ground,” he said.  “There’s nothing to see, really.”  He opened the glove compartment, removed a single napkin and tossed it out the window.  “Hand me those tapes,” he said.  They were neatly arranged in a brown leather case.  We listened to some bullshit– he had terrible taste in music, one of his few faults.

We walked among the charred remains.  A train went by and disappeared into a tunnel.  “You know what that means?” he asked.  At the time, I didn’t.  He let it go and walked over to the car and took out another napkin before I could respond.  He folded it carefully and threw it up in the air.  It landed at his feet.  “Gravity, that shit!” he exclaimed.

He rented a hotel that night under the name “Mr. and Mrs. Karl Koupons”.  Paid cash.  It was a double bed with a yellow comforter and a large painting of a dog above an old television set.  “Why don’t you see what’s on?” he said.  “I’m going back to the car”.  I knew it was to get another damn napkin.  It never ended.

The set sputtered and then flashed on.  A series of spaceship rockets were being launched into a bay.  You could hear a voice over a radio– “The spaceship rockets just fell into the bay.  Mission aborted.”  Then, the show ended.  There was a long pause and then a commercial came on for soap flakes.

I put on some pink shorts.  Ivan came back in with his head down.  He looked terribly guilty of something.

“What?  What is it?”
“Nothing,” he said. “Nothing. Just, those napkins make me so nervous”.

I kissed him.  He ran his tongue along my front teeth.  The sensation was odd.

“I…I’m sorry, I’ll be…just a minute.”  He left.  Those fucking napkins again.

I slept alone.

Woman in a Man’s Game

March 8, 2013 Leave a comment

By Robin Brox
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He took me out to the racetrack.  It was desolate, not a car in the unpaved, dirt parking lot.  It had rained so there were puddles everywhere.  Puddles and potholes, filled with brown water and the effluvia of filthy, degenerate mankind.

The sky was slate grey.

He launched the airplane.  It made a queer buzzing noise, then ascended out of sight.

“Imagine my pride at this,” he noted.  I hated his winter jacket– it was too damn puffy.  A man gets too puffy and he looks like a total asshole.

“Did you hear how it took off towards the heavens with a great WHOOSH?” he added.  That was enough.

“No, don’t go yet, don’t go,” he pleaded.  “You have to see this.”

In the grey distance, I could see something red appear from the bottom of the plane.

“It’s the recovery chute!” he exclaimed joyously.  “It will float gently back to earth.  Another sensational flight!”

The plane disappeared with a final ejaculatory buzz.  We walked back to the car.  I dumped him a couple of days later.

Woman in a Man’s Game

February 13, 2013 Leave a comment

By Robin Brox
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A lot of people ask me, they say– Robin, how do you run your uncolored condiment factory?  I smile knowingly, this unnerves them.  Then, they say– uncolored condiment factories in the past have been exclusively the domain of men, how did you compete with them and ultimately drive their obviously inferior products off the grocery shelves?  And I tell them about “The Limelight”.  “Boys,” I say, “I could see the limelight before me.  And I grabbed it.”  It’s around this time that I run my finger seductively down the pool cue.  That really drives them wild.

The windowless billiards room at Gelsinger’s French Toast is decorated with giant, blackened pizza oven spatulas.  Their wooden handles betray the marks of many a knife fight.  “My relatives ran such restaurants for years,” notes Gelsinger himself, who occasionally wanders into the hall to change a lightbulb or urinate in the doorless latrine.  “Then, the act of preparing and cooking a pizza was not the banal act it is now,” he continues.  “My relatives had to fend off constant attacks.  Many were killed and quickly replaced.  It was the way of the hills.”  Everyone ignores him.

Inevitably, some young rube will call out, My God, Ms. Brox.  You’re so…so rich.  So…so in absolute command of Lankville’s uncolored condiment supply.  I can see that the rube has become flush, is almost shaking.  “Eat this,” I’ll say, handing him a block of pool chalk.  “You’ll then know a small portion of what I went through to get to the top.”  And the rube will naturally devour it.  “One of you corncobbers,” I’ll suddenly bark.  “Bring me a new block of chalk.  Johnny Fuckbrain here has eaten mine.”  And someone will quickly hand me the desired object.  And I’ll place the cue between my legs, chalk the tip slowly and sensuously while girlishly proclaiming, “Ooh, it’s like I’m riding a donkey, scratching the donkey’s head!  Scratching the donkey’s head.”  A murmur goes up around the room.

Minutes later, I crack the stick over my knee.  And I laugh and laugh and laugh as I leave the room.

Woman in a Man’s Game

January 26, 2013 Leave a comment

By Robin Brox
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I was sitting up in the owner’s box last night at Uncolored Condiment Centre, watching my squad of listless bozo’s fall all over the puck, when I suddenly grew terribly bored. I turned to our CFO, a fat, greying man from the Islands and said, “You ever diddle your wife in one of those giant cushy chairs that hangs from the ceiling?”

He grew terribly embarrassed and clutched his clipboard to his chest. He shook his red face left and right and nervously sipped from a nearby soda. I knocked it out of his fat hand.

“You know what I’m talking about, you god damn goober? One of those giant fuckers made out of bamboo or some shit, installed into a rotating hook in the ceiling? You rally up enough pelvic torque and you can send your old fat barnyard wife there into a mind and body heaven where she’ll ooze and quake…”

He interrupted me.

“Ms. Brox, I…I do wish…” He had a terrible stutter that annoyed me. Plus, he could be a little haughty.

“I’ll grant it’s a little hard to find those giant hanging bamboo chairs these days,” I said, looking back at the spiritless hockey being played before me. “You wanna make sure you cushion them up though. Whatever you find from the factory is not gonna’ have enough cushions. Might as well buy extras too, cause there’s gonna be all kinds of mess…”

“Ms. Brox. I…I need to go back to the…office.” He rose quickly.

I cracked open the laptop. There were about 15 screens of good porn up– I closed about half of them. Then I did a quick search. I found a company in Western Lankville that produced pretty sizable hanging chairs– I could tell there was enough width in the seat to accommodate the stutterer and ol’ barnyard.

I had one ordered and ready to ship before the start of the third period.

Woman in a Man’s Game

January 22, 2013 Leave a comment

By Robin Brox
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The Pondicherry Association News is pleased to present a new feature by Condiments owner Robin Brox which will explore gender and diversity issues in the sport of hockey.

“Fuck you, you stupid Goombah,” I yelled. Then I threw a framed photograph of my mother at the asshole. That’s when he finally backed out of the office.

I picked up the broken photo. “Oh, Mom,” I said. Then I wept.

On the way home, I pulled into a Meyer’s all-night plantain hut. “I know Shane,” I told the cashier. “I own a team in the Pondicherry Association and he used to. Give me one of those plantains in foil and make it free.” The kid looked at me funny, so I hit him square in the jaw. “Like that baby?” He looked up at me from the floor– he liked it. I told him to lock up.

Afterwards, I sped home at a steady 100MPH clip without braking for a single red light. “Fucking cops. Fucking a-number one fuckheads,” I said to no one in particular. I tried the radio. There was a light little number, light little trumpets. “YEAH, SHITTERS,” I yelled. I don’t know what I meant by it but I enjoyed the Christ out of that song.

When I got home, I kicked the front door so it slammed against the inner wall. There was a big hole there now. I noticed a sickly blue light from the otherwise darkened living room. I stumbled towards it.

Tippy was there. “You gonna’ work on your speech?” he said.
“Your mother’s gonna work on my speech,” I offered.
He sighed.  “You gonna’ work on your speech?” he asked again.
“What speech, asshole?” I countered.
“Your speech on the essence of uncolored condiments.”
“Oh, right, that bullshit mouth party. Give me a pen.”

Tippy and I worked for a few hours. Then he put on a program. There were some guys in space that were shooting at some other guys in space. “Look at this conventional jive,” I said. Tippy ignored me and kept watching.

I collapsed on the couch shortly thereafter. I think I threw up in my mouth once but Tippy just bent me over the edge of the couch and let it run out into a pail.

I’m a woman in a man’s game, alright.

Catching Up With Robin Brox

January 8, 2013 Leave a comment

By Marles Cundiff
Lankville Lakes Region Attache
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Lankville Lakes Cabbager correspondent Marles Cundiff had a chance to sit down with Condiments owner and GM Robin Brox at her uncolored condiment factory in Western Lankville.

MC: Disappointed with the lockout?
RB: Absolutely. But I’m a female entrepreneur. We can’t sit on our hands waiting for something to happen. So, I’ve gone ahead and rented out Brox Uncolored Condiment Centre to several circuses and an athletic display for the retarded.
MC: You’re the only owner, in fact, who seems to be moving forward.
RB: My life has always been about moving forward. I’ve been married 13 times.
MC: Somehow, I…I find that really hot.
RB: You like that, baby?

(Brox began slapping Cundiff hard in the face and caroming condiment packets off his head. The two were later married and the interview was ended prematurely).