Friday, July 18, 2008

The Variable Annuities of Wrath: Chapter 2

A huge white moving truck stood in front of the house. The roaring motor caused the neighbors to peek out their windows at the monstrosity, so out of place on the sleepy suburban street. It was a dirty truck, with yellow and blue stripes, and in 24-inch letters on its sides--UNITED VAN LINES. Inside the air-conditioned house an iPod played Jack Johnson, turned low the way it is when people are on the phone. Flies buzzed excitedly about the doors and windows, poised to come in and hover around uncovered food once the movers tied back the doors for easier access. Inside, one man, the variable annuity external wholesaler, sat on a kitchen chair and rested his elbows on the sticky table and looked over his latte at the weary and frazzled wife, who was listening to an automated menu of options and trying to push the correct numbers on her cell phone. The toddler beside her handed her an empty cup, and the woman, without thinking, filled it with milk from the refrigerator.

She closed the phone and looked at her husband. “There’s no way that plant is going to fit in the van,” she said.

“No,” he agreed. “With all of us, and the dogs, that makes seven passengers. Add in the four suitcases, nine bags and three boxes, plus snacks...we’ll be lucky if everything fits.”

“So we need to find the plant a new home, and fast.”

A neighbor offered to take over the care of the large hybrid drought- and pest-resistant ficus. Other items had already been given away in the previous weeks. A living room set, a weed whacker, an extra mattress. Anything that didn’t have a place in the new home, stuff that was still in a box from two moves ago.

Still, when everything was boxed up and the boxes were stacked up throughout the house, it seemed they must have enough consumer goods for at least three households.

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