In high school I wrote a short story that involved bad jokes and landmines. I lost that story to the void. A month or so ago I was able to remember the story’s main joke, to which I quickly posted it to Twitter. The post was then commented on, to which my friend reminded me of the landmines in the story.
At this point I was completely lost, because I had forgot about the landmines and the importance they had to the story. It is now safe to say I remember the second joke and why the landmines are there, so without further ado, here is my new and improved, super revised version of A Sticky Situation.
A Sticky Situation
My name is Elmer. I used to be involved a high stress work environment, and by that I mean that I used to be a spy. I worked in a particularly strange department in my agency, I was known as a cleaner.
When I had to do my job, which I always hoped that I didn’t, it always involved cleaning up the messes left behind by the other spies. Sometimes that meant patching a gunshot hole. Sometimes that meant cleaning up blood from hardwood flooring. Sometimes that meant disposing of an already eliminated assassination target.
It’s safe to say that whenever I was called in it was always because something didn’t go according to plan. Some spies just aren’t meant for the field, and yet that didn’t stop our agency from sending them out. There was always messes to clean.
On what would become my final day, my boss handed me a tape. He spoke, with a mournful tone, “Agent H was compromised. We sent him to the house of a suspected terrorist thought to be constructing nuclear arms in order to subdue him. This was the last transmission that we picked up from Agent H’s earpiece.”
I clicked the tape on. It started up with what appeared to be the sound of Agent H busting down the door to the house.
A voice could be heard from the tape, with a high pitched static, as if coming out of a TV, “Hello agent, I suspected they would send one of you to get me. Lucky me, my bet paid off…Unlucky for you though, you seem to have stumbled into my trap. I have set landmines all around the house, and now that you’re here I’ve activated ALL OF THEM. You’re going nowhere agent unless you answer my questions.”
In anger I paused the tape and yelled, “The terrorist wasn’t even there! Why did you send Agent H there without proper intel?! I know you aren’t even paying him fair wage, he’s getting paid sugarcubes, but now you’re just recklessly endangering his life!?”
“Please calm down Agent Elmer… Please listen until the end of tape.”
I clicked the tape back on. The terrorist was now questioning Agent H.
“Agent, if you answer my questions I’ll consider letting you go. Does it sound like we have a deal?”
Agent H’s distinct voice rang clear, “Nay.”
“Are you sure agent? If you don’t answer, I will have to dispose of you. So let me ask again. Are you going to answer my questions?”
And once more, just as assured as the last time, “Nay.”
“ONE LAST CHANCE AGENT! I WILL detonate the landmines, if you do not comply. WILL YOU ANSWER MY QUESTIONS!?”
Being the bravest (or perhaps the dumbest) agent I know, Agent H said one final time, “Nay.”
Well, kind of. He really said “Na-” and then after a very sharp loud noise, the tape cut out. Agent H was gone. It became clear to me that my job was to clean him and the house (or what was left of either of them).
“I quit.” I murmured. This was it. This was one more death that the agency could have prevented if they were more careful. I wasn’t going to clean up the agency’s mistakes anymore.
“I understand your anger. At least clean this one last time, and then we’ll let you go.”
And that was the final time I ever stepped foot in the agency.
When I got to the house it was completely destroyed. The terrorist truly did lace the place with landmines. Although after seeing so many James Bond movies I guess I can’t blame him for being thorough.
I found Agent H’s body. It was mangled and bloodied, but surprisingly is was also very sticky. The entire area around him was a very sticky, compared to the other parts of the rubble. Papers were stuck together, debris was clumped up, my shoes stuck to whatever I stood on. It was a mess, but I was very good at my job. It only took a couple of days to clean up, and by the end there was no trace of a house ever being built there.
Now I was unemployed. I had enough money to get by for a while, but I inevitably needed to find a new career.
There was a problem though, most of the messes I cleaned I forgot, it was just another day on the job. But as for the Agent H job, I couldn’t bear to forget it. It haunted me. There was something about it that stuck to me.
And then one day I was trying to seal an urgent letter, but sadly I was out of wax. I panicked, looking for anything to get the envelope flap to stick. And then it all rushed back to me. That rubble was so sticky. I suddenly had the inspiration to create something better than wax, something that I could use to seal envelopes and stick things together.
My name is Elmer and this is my story.
So there it is. The original story was about a paragraph long and didn’t contain Elmer, just Agent H blowing up into a sticky mess after saying ‘Neigh’.
If you missed it, which you probably did, Agent H is supposed to be a horse. When I originally wrote the story my goal was to write a story that was a little weird but still made sense, whether the main character was a horse or not. It holistically worked on the pun that all they can say is ‘neigh’.
The Elmer bit is entirely new, but is in reference to the fact that glue used to be made from horses (due to their high amount of collagen). And Elmer’s glue is a popular glue brand so I figured it would be reasonable.
There is a couple problems with the Elmer bit though, that I am willing to take on the chin.
1. If you blow up a horse I guarantee that it won’t turn into glue. PLEASE DO NOT HARM ANIMALS, FULL STOP.
2. Elmer used cow milk to produce glue. Oh well.
If you liked the story feel free to comment, I might start writing more stories in this blog.