Jim Meirose

Auxx-Coo the Computational Man – ALIVE!!!

Toy Train Collision 2b by Edward Supranowicz

Long-haul trucker “Horse” heard himself laughing, and figured, quite wisely, as I-80 east streaming past might as well not be any more, due to his extreme fatigue, and, this not being a TV show, showing a curious first-person’s view of what’s bigrig running off to a peep-froggy supermudded sidewise ditchful of salamanders, it seemed time to run off at the next place, which may have hot black coffee for sale. So; all handy, yes, here comes a rightside sign-shout, fresh, bright, gaily saying, Auxx-Coo the computational man – ALIVE!!! Exit 5a (Business) local access only – Puppy Bottom Industrial Greenway. Truckers Welcome!

And below all underbottomed; clean beds – one quarter. Showers extra.

Welcome home!

The dusk darkening ‘hind his saggy eyes topped it off, uh his foot off his loud pedal, into the brakerpushdowny-ing fat steel shaft goin’ going gone down, swept on to the right turnoff, and somehow slow-stopped, the Samaritan having done its job in his tight flat face. “Horse” parked neatly, sammartino’ing himself all successfully. Yes. His feet pushed down the Earth, and it did not give way, making him able to head for the door, which opened out into a big warm of a light-space, come on saying brightly, Welcome son, eh, eh, hind which had come from some big head of a woman uphinding back o’ the counter—to which ‘Horse” replied, Hey, yah, hello—it’s been a day, you know.

I bet it has. Well, you’re here now. Relax, and welcome. What can we do for you?

Thanks—hey. Got coffee? The sign said it—so I think so. I mean, Do you?

Sure, yep. In there.

Uphanded again, she pointed in there, so then it, et, once more had-to-be-true, so to speak, and, once in there, sho’ ‘nuff he popped down, up, into and out from, the flow of a little Keurig machine he loaded up with Donut Shoppe Breakfast blend looking old, but—usable. After the flow died, he drank it back, black. Back-black. Black. Back. So what? And he carried it backward, facing front, this time though, to roughly in front of her, and took the drink lukewarm—having no choice, no option.

Hey, you look bushed, she said—how many miles you covered today?

Not sure. Maybe three hundred, more or less.

Where you headed?

To a layover at Lent Truck Stop. Know that?

Oh sure. Who doesn’t? So. You been on the road all morning?


Hey, listen. Go back and see the show. It’s air conditioned, dim and dark, the seats are new, all plush. Adjustable too. We remodeled last year—hey, listen. Tell you what.


Wait here. Just wait—and she went from behind the counter to a door ‘hind the side, unlocked it, disappeared through its open, leaving the door wide, saying, I will be just a  second—sayeth the door actually, not her, she’s inside already but, her words—yah they followed and. Hidden in there comes a sound of some dense loud rough-tumblin’ so, be curious—but here she comes out, so, face her and smile, right into whatever’s next.

Hey, she said breathlessly, holding out something wrapped tight—here you go—a fresh ham and cheese hoagie. Just for you, and—on the house! I made these this morning. Go on, go one, take it. Take it and go in see the show, you’ll love it I mean—I mean, it’s a blast. A killer blast, and, for you, half price—ten seventy-five, and I will even swallow the tax. What a deal! I would take it in a minute, ep.

You reach to say Okay, but—

She jumped on him harder with, So how ‘bout it? I mean you got to consider that after all this, to not go to the show would be extremely insulting. But, of course, of course I would smile, and forgive you, and make light of it all and even say, Sure, sure, no problem, no mas—as  matter of fact, keep the free hoagie as a token of appreciation for coming in, having free coffee, and getting something for nothing and just leaving like that. Why should we mind that? After all, we exist only to serve the public. You know?

With each word she’d grown twice over, more impossible to say no to, fearsome, actually—and so, ah—go on, give up, and surrender.

Yes, sure, he said, smiling, then adding, As a matter of fact, I think I got exact change. Let’s see. Hey, yah, yeh. I do. How’s ‘bout that? Some days everything goes right. You know?

He thrust her the money, and it disappeared. She tipped back her head, saying, Well, sonny. That knocks it down tight that you’re doing what was meant to be—go on inside, now. That door back there. Show will start when you’re in. You’re the second victim today! I think, you know—God has just told me we’ve been waiting especially for you. Quite specifically, for you—but, go. It’ll start in a minute.

Nodding, turning, searching and thinking, okay, so “Horse” walked back to a brand new unpainted door, its faux brass knob new—it opened he entered too dark step careful the hoagie gripped cold and fresh in his hand as he passed an invisible sidewall to the left opening into a dark space whose front’s a lit stage and so—she didn’t provide any napkins. Shit.

Feel for the seats forward. The dim rows, ah, this here’s one, sit there. No stumble, thank God. Sit.

Sit safe.


Settle. Down, as—

All start; all a’ once s-s-s-s-o all light’s down darker still, curtain, up—flowing light over all from the stage, onto which slid a portly unsmiling man and a straight tall b-blondie, who took places on either side of the stage, facing the audience. The man shook free a sheaf of purple paperwork he’d pressed to his chest, booming, My name is Omar Giapunka. I am indeed a Cobol mainframe programmer of over fifteen years’ experience, hup! With strong analytical and design skills of over twenty-five more, hup h-hup! I wish to join the excellently elite Auxx-Coo Consultancy. My experience, as you can clearly see, adds up to forty years so far, h-hup! Further questions anyone? Ook. Say—you?

I, uh, yes, me, eh—said the straight tall b-blondie, doodling roundabouts ‘ver a hot pink Scarlet Long style clipboard—the first fifteen and the other twenty-five—are they fully consecutive, fully concurrent, or tapering into and out of each other—

Yes, watch okay yes oh now hoagie, unwrap okay which fingernail, long fingernail.

—somehow because, it is odd, greatly odd, actually an actual freak of the corporately organizational nature that one lops the one totally off and begins into the other so can you answer that in some way we do get?

Abruptly, without apparent notice, Mr. Giapunka slickly replied, No, no. So unimportant, quite so very, uh; since additionally, I am indeed able to work independently and deliver high quality results and have done so for over twenty years, hup! And also, having been responsible for application design, d-development, c-c-code r-r-r-reviews, w-w-w-w-writing and m-m-m-m-m-maintaining p-p-p-p-p-programming d-d-d-d-d-d-d-documentation, p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-project c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-coordination, and d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-deployment super-support for e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-eeek! Over thirty-four years in totality, hup! I wish to join the excellently elite Auxx-Coo Consultancy. My experience, as you can clearly see, adds up to seventy-four years so far, h-hup! Further questions anyone? Ook. Say—you? You? Please, please, but; let me speak to someone in authority, please.

—turn sandwich over turn again over and feel ‘round the ‘round-wrappering to pull—

No, hold it. My question’s not only unanswered, but now’s onlywise fourfold largerscoped now, because now you must stop, breathe, and explain not only ‘bout your first two claims regarding experiential duration, but now this new claim of twenty and its partnered-up thirty-five. So not only change lanes go back and would answer the first question, but then set that aside and formulate an answer to the same style question, except substitute twenty and thirty-five for the fifteen and the other twenty-five in the first question, then, study the answer to the first question which you put to the side in relation to the answer to this second question, and then, think down through and backundering up to me, are the two answers also fully consecutive, fully concurrent, or tapering—

For the ends of th’ tapes rounding turned ‘round this sandwich while c’mon—get it—

—into and out of one another somehow because, it is even more odd now more greatly so actually and even more of an actual freak of the corporately organizational nature that one side lops the other totally off and butts so unnaturally at the ‘hind of the other, so. Can you can you answer answer this this now in now in some way we some way we do get and do get? said b-b-blondie.

No, no, no, waved Mr. Giapunka. So unimportant, even more so eh, uh; since additionally, atop those there top-weighty but correct fact-panels, I have indeed over t-t-t-ten years of e-e-e-experience and have had that for over fifty-five tenths of ten years, hup! I have indeed been quite intimate—

The wrap’s smooth, no—c’mon ‘round the spiraling roundy around of the cold thing so.

—with C-C-C-Cobol, D-D-D-DB2, S-S-S-Stored P-P-P-Procedures, B-B-B-BMC and I-I-I-IBM utilities, C-C-C-CICS, J-J-J-JCL, P-P-P-Procs, M-M-M-MQ, S-S-S-Sola, D-D-D-Data S-S-S-Services and i-i-i-interfaces with m-m-m-multiple o-o-o-online p-p-p-platforms for over ninety-five fifths of fifty years, hup! I wish to join the excellently elite Auxx-Coo Consultancy. But please, call in someone in authority, to consider me. So that I have not to speak this all over and again.

No hold it a minute mo’ hold it there, eh—ten years of experience for over fifty-five tenths of ten years comes to—from a rough estimentation derived ‘hind my head—ninety-five years, which is impossible—and, additionally, ninety-five fifths of fifty years comes to—h-h-h-h-um-m-m-m—nine hundred and—

‘mon this is ridiculous get the wrapped taping’s edge end, pull, and in the dark, no, ’mon!

—fifty years, which is—eck—let me ask you, Mr. Giapunka let me ask you, as well as yourself. If faced with such claims and calculations yourself, what proof would you offer that such proofs as you’ve provided, are in any way compatible with any current corporately organizational nature? The mine inside me needs to know—a’fore we go on. Heck?

Hey. You are clearly not a decision maker. I have no need to prove to such as you—no, wait, before protesting, hear this—those erudite enough to rise ‘top your level—no offense meant, of course—will sweep—

Ok. While watching take any edge one edge only but follow tape edge peel back and—

—aside all such minutiae, and know—the very fact that I wish to join the excellently elite Auxx-Coo Consultancy, wedded to the additional fact, that, my experience, as you can clearly see, adds up to one hundred forty-seven years so far, h-h-h-hup—will prove me able, and will additionally prove to ones wiser than you, that I do indeed stand out from the pack, being ready, willing, and able to work as a W-W-W-W-W2 employee of G-G-G-G-Genesis10—no C-C-C-C-Corp-to-C-C-C-C-Corp—and have been like that, and like that, for an additional humptedy-dumptyish number of years, well—

C’mon no tape end with right fingers rolling ‘round hoagie c’mon crap as so! Already!

—sort of undefined at present, but no less than one alone, hup! And, so there is no, yes, not no misunderstanding, hic; ‘member re dat I wish to join the excellently elite Auxx-Coo Consultancy. That said, and now that you must, yes you must, see your smallness in the face of such as me, you will graciously step aside, and yield your spot in the stage here, to someone from up above. Whom you must get down here immediately. Until then, this flimsy charade—

Following tape to the end so. Ho! The’ roll it all off round and gone now at last eat it.

—can go no further.


Mr. Giapunka, let me make something clear. You came to us, not t’other wise around. You deal with me, or no one yet. Your numbers don’t compute. All your excess prosody’s gone for nothing, if numbers—which are hard facts—do not add up, make sense, or defy logic.

Whose logic? Your logic? The logic of one’s such as you’s always sidewise, unlike; unlike my truth, which I’m not shy to tell—

Feel along roller it more c’mon feel and feel but almost maybe al’ crap crap need to eat.

—atopwhich o’ that portion alreadied all over you, I should add, I am also a master of J-J-J-Java and the O-O-O-O-ODM rule engine, which your ad says is a plus—which something’s you’ll surely be sideswiped by—for an additional additionally longish stretch of a final forty-eight, hup! Get me someone else—immediately.

Get over yourself, Mr. Giapunka. Deal with me, or no one. As in, you’re free to leave.


Crap! It’s rolled ‘round more times than several seem so why hey it’s not no. Shit!

—are no one. So, go get me someone. Tell them to get here now, because it’s a blessing on them, that one such as I should wish to join their excellently elite Auxx-Coo Consultancy. For which I am qualified, I might add.

Stop! One worthless as you bleating this over that’s can never change the truth of my desire to bless you with my Data Services-style agreement to become part of your excellently elite Auxx-Coo Consultancy.

—edge anyplace along please please c’mon pull rip the tape no won’t crap crap crap—

I am sorry, but I am simply done with such as you. Go get someone higher, please.

Crap! Crap—

Deal with me, or with no one, and, if you wish—that way is the door.

No. Get someone else not you whose someone else please ‘n also. Immediately!

Absolutely not.

—wedge tighter pull harder, want to eat, rip the tape rip it now—

Yes, they do, yes, I am, plus, did you not hear me? I’m done with you, eck, so eck-k bring someone else, please, eck-k-k someone not you, someone ‘n else please—

Wait, wait, Mr. Giapunka—stop, let me make something clear—

No. Rest. Okay. Here hold the round of it down here here what, and pull. Then eat—

I—as I’ve said already but it seems must repeat; the facts you lay down make no sense.

But I am all Cobol! All Cobol. How ‘bout that? But since you are—

No, slipped damn, got to find the edge all over ‘gain now, shit damn c’mon!

—not en close to my intellectual skill level, I’ll tell you just one last time. Get someone else down here!

No, crap—rip the paper? Eh, oh, try rip the paper pull hard harder—eh I think eh—

Mr. Giapunka, you are out of line!

No! You are the one!

Paper wedge; a nail; the sharpest nail; want to eat dig it under dig it—pull. Pull!

That’s it, that’s enough, Mr. Giapunka!

—first nail tried seems not the sharpest its shorter but better so dig with th’ one—

Cold plus fingertips stop no not yet this was free but not money but still need to eat want.

And, the door is over there!

Here! At last so use th’ sharpest nail on the tape no; the edge, the end, okay—

But I really need to join the excellently elite Auxx-Coo Consultancy!

—okay okay maybe—

The door is that way sir!

I will not leave.

—yes, here she comes at last thank God I will get it eat eat—

Yes, you will.

But why? I am more than fully qualified—

The ans—atchoo!

—ok, this’s it; pull. Here is; pull. The tape; pull—shit—rip the whole—tape wrapper-thing.


—need to eat!

God bless you.

Thanks, but—

Then; a thousand-pound brass bell r-r-rang earsplittingly loud, shouting them down, through the fade of its duration—then in the silence, the straight tall b-blondie suddenly stepped back, tapped down her clipboard, and spoke with a snap.

Mr. Giapunka, time’s up. congratulations. You—

Rip! Crush! Tear at t’ hoagie, yes, crush—shhhhhhhh—tear rip down this pressure rip—shhhhhhh—hard harder hardest—shhhhhhhhhhh—

—have passed your first level of assessment.

Wonderful, exclaimed Mr. Giapunka, fisting the air.


Shhhhhhhh!!!!!!—no—no—no time no and—


You will receive a call, from one of our next-level master-staffermen—

Thank you!


Shhhhhhh!!!!!!! Shhh!

—who will schedule you for questioning toward your next stage.


Mr. Giapunka oozed, I may have got a little hot back there. Forgive me, please.

I am sorry, but it’s completely unnecessary to apologize.

—nooo, please—gentle gentle—rip, crush—


Tapping her clipboard to her thigh, the straight tall b-blondie said;

In this hotbox environment, tense moments are to be expected.

—damn what kind of shit hoagie’d she give me what kind?

Thank you.


Thanks for choosing Auxx-Coo. And, may you enjoy a profitable day.

—I give up.

Exit right exit left empty stage down curtain. Go.


Lights up.

Need to get the ‘uck up need to and don’t look around they’ll be coming.


Shit. Out—there’s the hall the hall but.

Go but.

She will ask if it’s good—what no, there, thank God.

Passing a trash barrel, “Horse” let it go waiting not for its thump but out through the light-door fast as irrational not to seem—and they’ll be coming—

Out, through, and into—some saying, Sir. Hey! How was the show?

All right keep going.

And—that hoagie was great, eh? Great. I made it fresh, you know. Was it good?

Yes of course go keep yes it was great of course keep go yes the door out and that—

He kept cruising.

Clean beds. Ook—but wait, hey look what’s that tiny word eh?

Pedal, eh, oh, yes—pedal down pedal slower. That ‘ere under th’ Truckers Welcome, eh, slower, look—what is that there, no further down under—clean beds—down low down one quarter. Sorry, brake down brake hey off, roll.

“Horse” slowed down closer nearly uptop ‘f the sign.


Showers extra. Sorry, we’re—Welcome home!

Showers extra closed. Welcome we’re home Sorry!

Sorry, we’re closed.

Oh crap, oh well. “Horse” shook ‘way the dusk darkening down his fatigued eyes, sped up, pressed down inching the truck back up out toward eighty, passing the sign’s turnoff by.

What a shame. What a shit. Could have used that coffee.

But, what the hell. There’re other places.

Keep on.


About the writer:
Jim Meirose‘s short work has appeared in numerous venues, and his published novels include Le Overgivers au Club de la Résurrection (Mannequin Haus), Understanding Franklin Thompson (JEF pubs), No and Maybe – Maybe and No (Pski’s Porch), and Sunday Dinner with Father Dwyer (Optional books).

Image: Toy Train Collision 2b by Edward Supranowicz. Digital image created with GIMP. No other technical information specified. No date specified. By permission. Edward Michael Supranowicz has had artwork and poems published in the US and other countries. Both sides of his family worked in the coal mines and steel mills of Appalachia.