Week Month All Time

I applied - this might take a while but you'll barely feel a thing - for a job and was interviewed in a glass-walled corner-booth in a small-town thousand-person office complex. I sat down and showed them my hands and asked them when I'd be starting and if I could have the first couple of Fridays off, whenever they are, for some crucial appointments. But they wanted me to answer their questions first. And I didn't get the job despite all the lies I gave in response, such as:
I can be relied upon to care about targets. I care about targets all day and all night, I think of them as a kind of powerful sauce that I can't get enough of, can't actually eat without.
I am subjectively, objectively, rationally, emotionally, historically, romantically, obviously, and chemically the strongest member of any team I'm in or on, whilst I maintain an alluring indifference to accolades and a robust but nuanced lack of smarm.
I can prioritise tasks in a unique manner that has caused more than one area manager to describe me as the auto-acknowledged yes-bulb of self-propelled co-operative procedurality.
I could go on, I'll not go on. It was remarkable, at the start, in the booth, that both my hands remained unshook. That was the verdict. We might've ended there.

Trounced Haddock, Gloomy Cod

The staff performed welcoming and efficient routines to an intriguingly non-confrontational soundtrack in Damien Hirst's cafe. One of the spot paintings ogled me from the opposite wall, bravely ignoring the butterfly wallpaper behind it, and echoing the thin cabinet of small fish in perspex coffins next to the entrance. A popular song minced from the speakers, in which an optimistic boy sings about a new pair of shoes, followed by several hundred thousand other songs of similar shapes and colours. There were no other customers. It was obvious: this playlist was an unannounced piece of never-stopping art, repelling locals and tourists alike, more baffling and visceral than any number of formaldehyded animals, and disappointingly audacious in its resemblance, like the spot painting, to a machine-generated array of squibs. I wrote that sentence across three packets of white sugar and used it to pay for another coffee. The barista smiled at me through her completely transparent motorbike helmet and said you're right, it's called The Joy of Not Giving A Shit.
I'd come to Ilfracombe to see the statue of the pregnant woman you could see the insides of, standing on some law books and thrusting a sword in the air. Later, in the very good chippy, the chip man described his first encounter with the statue. It was lying down, having a rest next to some concerned people, who said they were such big fans of Jesus that they found it nigh-on impossible to approve of anything that wasn't Jesus. And this statue wasn't Jesus at all, not even lying down, not even slightly, and how could he stand here not disapproving of it.
He boxed and bagged the fish and chips and said it's nice to have something to look at.

In the Region as Predicted

The ear man phoned and said he'd have to cancel because he had an appointment at the doctors. I thought it was me who had the appointment, with him, so he couldn't have any appointments, he'd be at work, assessing all the local ears. Give me a number, I considered saying, and I'll explain to them that it's me who has the appointment, with you, at this time, and that therefore no other appointments involving not both of us are possible.
I agreed though, instead, that we postpone, and I stayed home, with my ears, unexamined.
At the rescheduled appointment he said it was his son who'd had the doctor's appointment, really, and I'd misheard, ha-ha, ha-ha, I don't have the kind of phone where you can tell what people are saying. It would encourage me to speak, and there's no telling where that might lead.
He dredged my canals and asked me how much Hawkwind I'd done. He measured my cranium and threw some twigs at my neck. He printed a graph and amplified the areas of concern with his most serious finger. It was a bit worse than I expected.