Back to Work

Overheard by Leonard Pierce

"Hey, Ray! Welcome back!"

"Marty! What's up?"

"Eh, you know. They got me on the outs."

"Why? What's up? They change your work detail?"


"What'd you pull?"

"Trash compacter."

"Oh, man, that's rough."

"No kidding. I have to watch that thing eat. And you don't get Life Day off."

"Yeah, but think of all that time-and-a-half."

"True. I guess I can't complain. So, how was your vacation?"

"Well...I mean, Tattooine's nice, you know? Really relaxing, just like the brochure said."

"Bored the tits off you, huh?"

"You can't believe it. It was like spending your vacation in a coma, only instead of being in a hospital, you're on a moisture farm. I mean, sure, I caught up on my sleep, but I could have done that at home, and I wouldn't have gotten charged sixty creds on my charge card to watch a Bantha fight just so I could get out of the damn hotel."

"That bad, huh?"

"You don't know the half of it. By the end, I was hanging out at this little dive bar in Mos Isely for the conversation."

"Sorry to hear it, man."

"So, did I miss anything around here?"

"Whew. Did you. We got a new top man."

"No kidding? Old Man Garvin finally stepped down, huh?"

"Well, that's one way to put it. He didn't have a lot of choice in the matter, is how I hear it."

"Huh. They probably found out about all those 'business lunches' at Cloud City."

"Ha! No kidding. You can put down a lot of martinis and bad shrimp cocktails when they're served to you by a chick with six tits."

"So who's the new boss?"

"You'll never guess."

"Not Tarkin. That guy was born for MLM."

"No, not Tarkin. Vader."

"Vader? Vader is the new Darth?"

"Not just Darth. He got the double barrel."

"You're kidding me."

"Nope. And Dark Lord of the Sith, too. Not just Assistant Vice-President of Sith Affairs."

"Oh, man. That's nuts. I mean, he's a hard worker, and I like him fine, but he's a trenches kind of guy, you know? The Force is strong within him, but can you imagine him making a departmental budget come in under projection?"

"Hey, you don't have to tell me, man. He was my shift supervisor back when he was Anakin Skywalker. He had a lot of good ideas, but at the fiscal planning meetings he just sat there and breathed heavily. Once he left his columnar pad on my desk, and it was filled with nothing but Sarlac doodles."

"But they gave him the corner office anyway, huh?"

"The whole schmeer. Huge bonus, stock plan, customized company TIE fighter, his own parking space, everything."

"Man. And nobody said anything?"

"Well, Grand Moff Januzszewski drafted a pretty bitchy e-mail about how he had more seniority and how his stormtrooper unit was operating at a higher budget efficiency, and he cc'd the whole department on it."

"Ouch! What happened?"

"The emperor said he'd take it into consideration, and the next morning they found Januzszewski in the executive washroom with his tongue pulled halfway down his windpipe."

"And where was Vader?"

"Taking a long golf weekend at Running Droid."

"It's good to be the king, Marty."

"You know that's right, Ray."

This piece originally appeared on The Ludic Log.