(Kansas City, KS) Many full, part-time, and hobbyist satire writers have left the keyboard and put away the muse for the unforeseeable future, distraught and disgusted that, no matter what they conceive and create and share, they simply cannot keep up with the current reality.
These fed-up writers – ranging from those who voluntarily provide stories to unknown sites like The Spoof, to highly-paid writers of popular late-night comedy shows – have found comfort with companies like Amazon.
We caught up with one such writer at one of Amazon’s Midwest warehouses, or “Fulfillment Centers”. Bert Kibbler, who goes by the name of “Cockwomble”, who provided us with much insight on this phenomenon.
“It’s not that I’m an out of work writer. I have an advance for a book and contract with two online parody websites. I just can’t compete with reality right now.” Bert sighed and continued, “It used to be easy, a jab about a tan suit, or parody consisting of a string of Bushisms. Even in more recent years, with cruel humor about Mexicans with calves the size of cantaloupes, we could get by. We never thought we would have to write something as ridiculous as ‘windmills cause cancer’ but a certain line has been crossed. Now, even a story about hydroxychloroquine being in toothpaste pales in comparison to the reality of injecting yourself with Clorox or shoving a UV light up your ass to cure this virus.”
We asked Bert why he chose Amazon. He said: “I simply had to get away from the constant bombardment of bizarre statements and even more bizarre actions coming out of Washington, they were trumping anything I could ever write. A massive warehouse where I could be happily overworked in mind-numbing repetitive tasks seemed like a paradise of sweet relief. Sure, this is a cardboard box sweatshop, the work is tough, and there is serious concern that not enough precautions are being taken to protect us from the virus spread on the floor, but the physical challenge and health risks are small compared to the mental anguish I suffered as a writer unable to produce.”
Curious if Kibbler still felt the need to write, he became reflective. “Sure, the muse never completely goes away. I tried doing some contract work writing product warranties and software end user license agreements, you know, stuff that does not take even a minuscule amount of creativity, but that was just too dull.” He then smiled, and continued, “Lately, I have been slipping little snarky notes in boxes as they come down the line. For example, just yesterday I dropped one about Apple using genitalia recognition in a box of adult diapers headed to someone named Ethel in Christminster, Nebraska. Boy, what a laugh she will have, considering she probably uses a Jitterbug, and will now be afraid to go near the bag of golden delicious on her kitchen counter!”
When asked if he will ever return to writing satire, Kibbler said he was not sure. “Even if we get someone else in that is a milquetoast, there are only so many sniffing hair and challenging people to push-up contests stories to write, and they will seem boring considering what we have been through.” Sighing reluctantly, he concluded, “The landscape is forever changed. Voltaire is laughing from his grave.”