NASHUA NEW-HAMPSHIRE - I'm sitting down at the "Happy Pig" lunch counter café in down town Nashua New Hampshire, nursing my tenth cup of coffee while waiting for Mitt Romney to arrive. The short order cook is busy in the back flipping over egg's and bacon on a hot grill as Sally, the lone waitress in this joint, is carrying plates in both hands and serving it up to two burly looking steel workers sitting next to the entrance. Immediately they begin to gobble down their luscious, beautiful breakfast while I sit there and watched, trying to keep the excess saliva from drooling out of the corners of my mouth.
Sally, an old coot of a girl, is getting angrier at me by the minute because of my flagrant abuse of the free coffee refill policy. She has already sensed the scorch marks of poverty that radiate from my being and she knows that no matter how good the service or how big the smile, that there will be no substantial tip forth coming. In her eye's I am no longer worthy of the courtesy of being asked for a refill. I must humiliate myself by standing up and getting it myself which is a signal to everyone else in the joint that I have no money. In their eye's I'm not a hard-working journalist trying to crank out the truth, I'm seen as a no good dead beat bum, which considering the publication I work for, and the lean per diem, is unfortunately very close to the truth.
Sitting back down with my cup of steaming java, I shake sugar out of a clogged sugar jar and glance over at the other patrons sharing the counter space with me. I'm reminded by their cold stares that I'm a stranger here, and if not for the Constitution and its laws, I would probably be cast out and stoned to death in the public square. Reaching over for a roll in the bread basket I hear a small sub sonic boom as Sally smacked my hand with a fly swatter and scolded me by barking out, "He dead beat!. The rolls ain't free!"
Romney people call and explain that Mitt ate some bad brisket and has been vomiting all morning. They apologize for any inconvenience and promise to send an autographed picture. Immediately following the call, the owner comes over and tells me to leave.
I just picked up my expense envelope and discovered that my no good son-of-a-bitchin editor from dc Lampoon gave me 100 dollars and a book of happy meal certificates to cover the cost of 10 days of hotels and meals. I've also been informed that my bus ticket is one way. No story, no return ticket.
Went to the Romney's office downtown and tried to obtain press credentials. Romney people said they never heard of dc Lampoon and call security to have me escorted out of the building.
Showed up at a pro Mitt rally at a local high school and slip into a side entrance. Inside, I actually got close enough to see Mitt waving and shaking hands with the teeming throngs of cheering teenagers, who were attending the staged, serve it up to the press rally. Thinking I had pulled off a coup, I tried to inch my way closer.
Upon my first steps toward Mitt, I Felt a hand on my shoulder. Looking up I see four pairs of dark sunglasses. The lips under one pair of the sunglasses move and ask me for my non-existent press credentials while the other pair of sunglasses rifle through my backpack, briefly pausing and gagging as they come across my used undoes which had been fermenting in my bag for the past week. Following a brief verbal exchange where I tried to plead my case, I was ejected from the event. For some perverted reason they kept the undies.
It's as cold as fuck outside, and since I didn't bring a decent coat I spend most of my time looking for someplace warm to sit and write. I used the last of my happy meal certificates and bought a burger which I accidentally dropped on the floor where it was stepped on and rendered uneatable. Sinking deeply into despair I ate my fries and a half eaten burger left by a previous occupant of my booth. By accepting this assignment with the Toast I knew that I had reached the rim of the toilet as far as my career was concerned, but somehow, I had to remember that no matter what paper I worked for, I was still a journalist and I had a responsibility to the story.
Ejected from the Mc Donalds.
Trying to maintain my integrity as a journalist I decided to canvas the neighborhood to get people's opinions on the up coming primaries. First door I knock on this old man comes from around back brandishing a shot-gun and tells me to get the hell off of his property. Having no desire to add pulling buck shot out of my ass to a growing list of traumatic moments, I departed the vicinity.
On my second attempt, I knock on the door and as I'm standing there waiting, I look down and this mutt walks over, looks up at me, opens his mouth, and throws up on my foot. The owner comes out and throws me out of the house for making her dog barf.
On my third try I knock and the door pushes open. I stick my head inside to see if there was anyone at home and spot a couple having sex on the floor. Surprised, as was I, the couple looks up at me, and then the man looks down at the girl and say's. "Who is this? Is this the other guy you've been banging?" Immediately I depart the vicinity, but not fast enough. The angry man comes running out of the house pulling his pants up and fumbling with a shotgun shouting something about shooting off my wee, wee. As I rounded the corner bounding for freedom, he let me have it with a load of rock salt. The pellets bore into my hind end as the adrenaline rush reached my feet and I ran all the way back to the center of town and back into the sanctuary of McDonald's.
Once again, ejected from McDonald's.
Desperation had set in. I was hungry and in need of shelter and some kind of support from my paper. During a brief telephone conversation with one of my editors I got support, but not the kind I was hoping for. I was firmly reminded that if I did not get the story that my return bus ticket was not guaranteed. dc Lampoon has a firm policy of no story, no return trip. When I asked them to wire me enough money for a hotel room they told me that they had taken care of it and to check my e-mail.
Thinking that maybe I had these guys figured wrong, I found the nearest electrical outlet, which happened to be located at Larry's Laundromat and plugged in my lap top to check my emails. The e mail from dc Lampoon was a list of homeless shelters.
Friday September 15
Thoughts of finishing this story are long gone. My story now is that of survival. I checked into a hotel last night, and the hotel manager is outside the door pounding and shouting about the maxed out credit card I gave him. I have no money and nowhere to go except out a window that is a three-story drop to the ground. My story is coming apart at the seams.
I'm sitting on a toilet in the restroom of the downtown Grey Hound bus station pounding out these garbled notes into my faltering lap top to use in my court battle against dc Lampoon. There is a guy pounding on the door of my stall telling me to hurry up because he's got to go. A few moments ago a hand reached under from the stall from next to me and tried to steal my back pack. I'm pretty sure I broke the guys hand when I stepped on it with my foot.
I have no where else to turn. I must now store this file on a flash drive and find a pawn shop that will give me enough money for my lap top to buy a ticket out of here.
And for all of you at dc Lampoon, I promise you, I'm going to torch your office, if and when I find it considering, you never gave me an address.
Editors Note; Henry disappeared shortly after finishing this story. All police were able to find was the flash drive which was in the possession of a bum with a broken hand. If you know where Henry is, please send us an e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org