The Right Institute
By Mike Ingles
If I were a god-fearing man you would probably call me Job. As it is call me Hank.
My ex-girlfriend Marsha called me ‘stud-pony’. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever known, and I was very lucky to have loved her. But I have always been lucky - or blessed, whichever you want to call it. I met Marsha in college and we were together two lovely years. Marsha is a very honest person. She left me last month standing in the middle of an empty street drenched from the wet snow. She left me for a dwarf, his name is Thomas, he’s the smartest man I wish I had never met and I’m glad I did.
I worked for Thomas at the Right Institute; he was in charge of all consumer product inventions. If you have ever bought a ‘Pizza Pocket’ at the grocery store then you can thank Thomas for this delicious convenience. He made millions for Proctor & Gamble and made a small fortune for himself. My own claim to fame is the Automatic Laser Potato Peeler (ALPP), it hasn’t been released yet but I am told the utility value (that’s how we measure things around here) is enormous. Our R & D people tell me that every restaurant and every household in America will own one. Suggested retail is $39.95, our cost $6.12. I am to become a very wealthy man.
When I was about to graduate from college I wasn’t sure what work I wanted to do. Professor Jockus, who taught ‘English- the Language of Arts’ told me about the testing for, “Applications Engineer” at the Frost Building. My degree is in Language Arts, but he said it didn’t matter, he said- “My boy, as a poet you think like an engineer.”
After two weeks of taking various tests I was offered the job at The Right Institute. My salary $60,000 a year! I told you I’m lucky or blessed.
The first thing you notice about The Right Building is that it’s all glass and brass, but all the glass has been blacked out. The second thing you notice is every door has a brass padlock on it. When I arrived for my first day of work I told the guy opening the door who I was and he escorted me to the Orientation Room. The door was padlocked. He gave me a key and told me to hold on to it, it would be the first of many keys I was to receive. The key was engraved, ‘meet-1’. I unlocked the door and went in.
As I entered the theme from the movie “Lawrence of Arabia” started playing in the background. There was a long glass table, eight chrome chairs, a movie screen and a blue binder lying on the table. My name was embossed in brass on the cover of the binder. I started to open it when she walked in.
“Hello, my name is Dr. JVD6, you may call me 6.” She was tall, slim, and around thirty. She had very short auburn hair. She was not unattractive and tried, with considerable success, not to be.
I held my hand out. “Hank,” I said.
“But of course you are the new Applications Engineer.” She turned her back to me and placed her hand on her butt. “Tell me, do you think I have a nice ass?”
I thought perhaps I had misunderstood her. “Excuse me, I didn’t quite get that.”
“Don’t be embarrassed. My ass, do you think it’s nice?”
I hesitated for an instant and wondered why this lady was coming on to me. I thought it might be some type of test, to see if I was morally centered or perhaps a pervert of some kind. Having no clue as to what the right answer was, I said quietly, “A very nice ass”.
“Thank you, I’m thirty-one and I think I have a nice build, don’t you?”
“Is this some sort of test? I mean I’m a little confused.”
She said nothing but moved both hands to her breasts.
I turned my head to the opposite wall and responded as I thought she wanted. “Yes, I’m sure you have a nice build and everything, but I’m here to work and I don’t see how your ass or build has anything to do with my job.”
“It has to do with answering a simple question, honestly. You are an honest person, aren’t you 64?” I turned to see her and she had cupped her hands under her tits and was bouncing them up and down like a child at play with a pair of rubber balls.
“You have me confused with someone else. My name is Hank and I am to be at Orientation today…”
“We don’t use names here 64, we find there are built in prejudices with names, so we rely on numbers for identification. Numbers hold no ethnic or religious connotations. We strive to keep everyone here as equal as humanly possible. Do you understand 64?”
We kept this verbal exercise going on for a few moments, every so often she would ask about her ass, or her tits, until out of frustration I said something like- ‘Your ass looks great, I would do you in a New York minute.’
At which point she smiled and putting her hands on top of her head she said, “How about my boobs”.
I shook my head in disbelief and started for the door. A symphonic voice came over the intercom system and said, “Well done 6, and thank you. If you would be so kind as to wait there just a moment 64, I will be down to see you.”
6 and I sat in silence for a moment and Dr. LZR27, or 27, as I know him now entered.
He was five-foot nothing, bald, wore thick brown eyeglasses and constantly chewed on a pencil.
“Thank you 6 for a brilliant orientation.” Looking at me he said, “And you must be 64.”
“Yes,” I said, “I must”.
He sat down. “You mustn’t be too upset with 6, you see we don’t have a personnel department here at Right. As a matter of fact we don’t have any administrative people at all. All of our employees, with the exception of Thomas and myself, are classified as Application Engineers. 6 has been with us six years. We have no janitors, secretaries or typists. We have one hundred and five people employed here; one hundred and three are just like you and 6: Application Engineers.”
“Yes, well I am afraid I don’t understand. She just kept on talking about her build and everything. I just want to go to work.”
“And you shall. 6 here just administered a small test to check your honesty. We find that if people are going to lie about anything it is sex. May I say you passed with flying colors. Honesty is extremely important at The Right Company. We place a high value on honesty here. The fact that you said you would do her in a New York minute is exceptionally honest, wouldn’t you agree 6?”
“I really am quite horny now,” answered 6.
“Splendid,” said 27, looking at me. “See how honest we here at Right are with one another.”
“Yes, I see.”
“Don’t you have anything to add to that statement 64?”
I started to sweat, little lines of perspiration angled down from my forehead onto my cheeks. I was not sure what he wanted me to say and my mind went as limp as my Johnson. Finally I looked at 6 again and three words sprang from my mouth. “Let’s get naked.”
“Brilliant! offered 27 with a beaming smile on his pleasant face.
“Simply amazing,” stated 6.
6 excused herself as 27 showed me to the lab where I would be working. The room was oblong, 20 feet in length and about 8 feet wide. There were no desks or chairs or carpeting or windows: there were however two wooden broom handles and an assortment of brightly colored plastic balls lying on the floor and a reel of string. Mounted on the ceiling were 4 single light fixtures each with a 100 watt bulb. The light reflected a stark room, more like a large tomb than a laboratory.
“You will work here today with 44. The challenge for you two will be to make something interesting out of the materials you have in this room. Each lab at The Write Institute is different. Different shapes, different sizes, different objects and different degrees of difficulty. You are starting at the bottom. 44 has been with us just over nine years and he has not been very productive these past several months and so he is once again starting at the bottom. You may take as many breaks and lunches as you like, your time is your own. But, we expect results. You will have these materials and this lab at your disposal for two days. Good luck.” And with that he walked out of the lab.
I took off my coat and waited for 44 to arrive. After about 20 minutes of waiting I grew somewhat impatient and so began knocking some of the balls around with one of the broom handles. I made up a game; I hit a red ball and used it to try to hit another red ball, I got a point each time I hit a red ball, but if I hit another colored ball I lost my turn and would begin the game again with a different colored ball. I went through orange, yellow, purple, green and white before he entered the room. 44 was very tall and thin. He had long blond hair with a streak of green running through the middle part of his scalp. He had Elvis-like pork chop sideburns that were also colored green. He was young, not yet thirty, with a wry smile and he stuttered ever so slightly. He put his hands on his hips and said, “Tell me, do you think I have a nice ass?”
“What!” I shouted in disbelief.
“Just kidding,” said 44. “Shall we get to work?”
I explained to 44 about the game I had made up. But he was not impressed. “You didn’t use the string,” he said. “You must use all the elements that Thomas puts in the lab. He put the string here for a reason, Thomas always has a reason.”
“Sorry,” I said. “I didn’t know.”
“Of course you didn’t know. That’s why I’m here. I’m to show you the ropes, so to speak, no pun intended.”
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll try to learn. I’m a very quick study.”
“Of course you are. And after I have taught you all the ‘strings’ and helped to make you the success that you will become, they will fire me and use your talents for awhile. Just wait until you have not had a winning idea for 3 months and then you will begin training your successor. It’s the American way- it’s the Right way.”
“I’m not here to take your job,” I said. “I’m just here to learn.”
“And I’m supposed to teach you how to replace me. There are 103 Application Engineers at the Right Institute; there have always been 103, no more no less. You, my friend are number 104. Somebody has to go and it’s not going to be me. I’ll be damned if I’ll teach you how to replace me! You will find that honesty is cherished above all at The Right Institute.” 44 then put one hand under each deltoid and said “Do you like my tits?” With that he left the room.
I waited a while hoping 44 would return, but after about an hour I decided to begin work on my own. I moved the balls around and made various shapes. I separated them by color and placed each color in its own space. I tried rotating the colors, first red then white then blue then green and so on. I used the string to group some different designs I had made with the balls. I used the two broom handles and tied balls to them hoping that some utility might come to mind. But nothing I did even approached an idea for a new product or invention. I went home that night and discussed what I had done all day with Marsha. I thought maybe she might have some idea as to what to do with those damned balls. But she couldn’t think of any practical uses either. The next day I returned to my lab at The Right Institute and stared into space for hours trying in vain to come up with some idea, any idea for the goddamned balls. But there was nothing. Not a hint of inspiration. I took two of the balls and placed them under my head to use as a pillow and soon I fell asleep.
When I awoke there was a four foot dwarf standing over me looking down and shaking his head. He was bald, perhaps 50 years old and he wore a pair of glasses with orange frames. “Tut,tut,tut,” he said. “64 what am I paying you for? I trust you came up with an idea for these balls. Our client has over two million of these balls and he needs to know how to market them. What have you got for me 64? What dreams have popped out of that ivy league head?”
I stood up hurriedly, towering over Thomas. “I’m afraid nothing has come to mind yet, sir. But sir, the darkest hour is just before dawn.”
“I see. Then my young friend,” he said almost in a whisper, “you’re fired. We have nothing for you at The Right Institute. Please leave the building.”
I was crestfallen and ashamed. My head hung so low that with each step I took I could feel my knees bumping into my eye sockets. In the hallway by the exit door I saw 6 looking at me. She stopped me and asked what was wrong.
“I’ve been fired.”
“Who fired you?”
“Thomas,” I replied.
She began laughing and shaking her head. “Thomas can’t fire you. He does not have the authority. They took that away from him long ago. Christ, I’ll bet Thomas has fired everyone in this building at least a dozen times. No one takes him seriously. Go back in your lab, Thomas won’t even recognize you. He’ll be too busy playing with those balls.”
I opened the door to my lab and the cold room had been through a metamorphic change. Thomas had taken the two broom handles and attached them with the string to the naked light fixtures. He had then arranged the brightly colored balls to surround the harsh lights and secured them with the string. The result was a startling kaleidoscope of color that danced throughout the room onto the barren walls, ceiling and floor, making a kindergarten out of the entire space.
“It will be perfect for giving a party. It was your idea you know,” he said looking up at me. “All that crap about darkest hour just before dawn. Got me thinking about lights. Good job 64. I’m having a dinner party tonight at seven. I’ll expect you and your wife. Now I must get to lab 102. We have to figure out how large people can cut their toenails without straining their backs.”
“I’m not married,” I said. “But I have a girlfriend.”
“Is she a large person?”
“Too bad,” he said as he started out the door. “By the way son, do you like my ass?”
“I sure do.” I said.
“I can see you are catching on.”
The dinner party was not really much of a party. Thomas lived in a large colonial house in a gated area of town. But he had no servants. Thomas believed all people were Application Engineers and should only serve mankind through tireless invention. He served the five of us TV Dinners on little metal trays. 44 was there, along with 6, 27, Marsha and myself. 44 was back in the good graces of The Right Institute because an invention he had started working on several years ago was finally sold to the Wrigley Company. 44 had invented a liquid flavoring for stale chewing gum. Usually when gum looses its flavor the consumer simply throws the gum away, but 44 came up with the idea to use a chemical to freshen the flavor of the gum. It was to be sold in a little eye-drop type bottle and was guaranteed to make a single piece of gum last all day long. Of course Wrigley did not want to market the product; they simply wanted to destroy it. Thomas called this, ‘Predatory Marketing.’ The rights and patent were sold for 16 million dollars. As is the practice, 44 got ten percent of the profits. 44 was suddenly a rich man.
After dinner 6 and Marsha went into the library, 6 wanted to explain how things worked at The Right Institute and to tell her about the company’s original ‘Mad-Hatter,’ Thomas. I learned that Thomas made his fortune with a Predatory Marketing sale to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Thomas had been experimenting with additives for gasoline when he discovered that one part of fuel mixed with one part of human urine made an internal combustible gasoline engine run at peak efficiency. The king gladly paid 30 billion for the rights. Thomas is a very rich man.
When 6 and Marsha came back from the library, I couldn’t help but notice that Marsha was enthralled with our host. She smiled when she talked with him and batted her eyelashes like a schoolgirl would when meeting an aging rock star. The two of them nestled together in quiet conversation and the rest of us could not but help watch the odd couple flirt with one another. When we were about to leave, Marsha stopped at the door and in a whisper asked our host, “Do you like my ass?”
“I’d do you in a New York minute.” answered my boss.
The rest, as they say, is history. The wedding was attended by every billionaire in the world. King Abdullah flew in with 8 of his wives. I’m told they all had nice asses. I was not invited to the wedding. But my boss did give me a wedding present. He wanted me to work with potatoes, what he was really looking for was a way to market the peelings from the potato. Thomas could not stand the fact that all those potato rinds were going to waste in garbage disposals all around the world. There had to be some utility value.
44 was playing around with lasers, trying to perfect a laser that could clean people’s teeth at home. He wanted to make a Predatory Marketing sale to the National Association of Dentists. But I convinced him to use his lasers on my potato problem. I didn’t come up with an idea for the potato rinds, but I did invent a machine, about the size of a toaster, that will peel up to 8 potatoes at a time. It will also slice and dice if you are so inclined.
Thomas has invested in a plant to peel potatoes and market them to restaurants and stores already peeled and ready for the stove. He has contracted with an animal feed company to sell the rinds for $10.00 per hundred-weight. The utility value is enormous.
6 and I have been dating for a while. Honestly, she really does have a nice ass.
© Mike Ingles