Ever since you took that job at the Rose Junction Mall Friendly's you've been feeling that you might be at the absolute lowest point of your life. You used to be a teacher, but you got fired after you offered a boy student a ride home and he reported that you might be one of those teachers that want to marry thirteen year old boys that all of our nation's teachers are turning into lately. Your husband kicked you out because he didn't buy that you just wanted to help the kid out with a ride after he'd gotten a kickball in the face. You got a studio apartment near public transportation, and you got that Friendly's job, where you're still not making a full share of a shift's pooled tips because, according to the managers, 'You can't just walk into a Friendly's and expect to be on the same level as everyone else who's been working their butts off for years and years. Where the fuck do you think you are, fuckin' Fridays? Now go pitch some Parfaits dammit.'
Amidst all of this turmoil, when it all gets to much to handle, you head on up to the second level Sharper Image and you plop yourself down in the massage chair for an eight minute respite from reality. As those rollers knead your weary muscles and the heaters warm your cold, cold blood, everything feels like it's going to be okay. Your husband will eventually ask you to come back home. You'll eventually start making full share tips at Friendly's. And maybe one day you'll be able to find yourself a teaching job at a private school someplace. The hum of the massage chair is a jumble of hopeful whispers.
Today when you take your break and head into the Sharper Image, your heart will sink when you see a heavyset man in a suit and hat reclining in the chair. He'll be smiling at you when you walk in.
'Are you going to be long?' you'll ask.
'That depends,' he'll say, 'On what your name is.'
You'll tell him your name and he'll throw divorce papers at you.
'You've been served,' he'll say. Then he'll run out of the store giggling because he loves his job.
You'll pick up the papers and you'll realize it's all really over between you and your husband. Then you'll look at the 'out of order' sign on the massage chair and your heart will feel like it's just popped like a balloon stuck with a needle. You'll sit on the edge of the chair and cry. Then some bulbs will flash and you'll see a news photographer taking your picture. Tomorrow you'll appear on the front page in your Friendly's uniform with the caption, 'Kid Banger Working At Family Restaurant.' You'll be fired, and then you'll have no choice but to go to Friday's, where the motto is, 'We don't care how far you've fallen. We don't care what you might have done before you got here or whom you might have hurt. We don't care who you used to be. We're Friday's, and we only care about the here and now, the you and us. Join our staff and watch all those sad memories gradually fall away. Seriously, we're Fridays.'
Happy Massage Chair Day!