Thursday, December 30, 2021

Soap Opera

Humor from Nate Odenkirk in The New Yorker.

How dare you steal my tiny soaps and little mints?

My name is Cal Ganson, and I am the C.E.O. of Stayport Hotels. For years, you’ve been pilfering shampoos, conditioners, and body wash from Stayport Hotels bathrooms and senselessly gobbling mints placed squarely on our clean pillows.

There’s just one problem: those were my mini mints and my small soaps, and they were for me!

Who said you could take them? Nobody! I paid for every last one.

Some keep their assets in gold and silver. But I believed my money was safest in the two most secure commodities on the market: soaps and mints. And now it’s all gone. My entire fortune, my millions, down the drain or flushed away. I’m ruined!

It’s not even one of those “steal a mint to feed your family” situations, which I would understand. (In fact, it’s widely known that I give away a portion of my mints to the poor each year. They’d rather I donated my soaps, but it’s charity all the same.) No, all of you did this solely for the cheap thrill of petty theft.

And, when I say “all of you,” I mean every human has stolen from me! Your spouse? They’re guilty. My spouse? Amazingly, yes. The Dalai Lama? His Holiness has but three possessions: an alms bowl, a robe, and my lemon-chamomile conditioner—and he’s bald! Jesus Christ himself probably swiped my mints for an after-Supper snack. Talk about a betrayal!

How did it take me so long to find out, you ask? Some have said that I’m lazy and bad with money, and that the most basic due diligence on my part would have alerted me to the problem much, much sooner. Others might say my heart is simply so big that I could never conceive of such a vicious worldwide cabal plotting to rob me of my treasure. I’ll choose to believe that second group of people, as soon as they start saying it.

At the very least, answer me this: Did you enjoy my mints? Was the blast of spearmint so fresh, so cool, that it overpowered your taste for justice? And what about the soaps? You can work up as much of an ill-gotten lather as you want—the guilt will never wash off. Your stay with us was temporary; the shame lasts forever.

My father came to this country with nothing more than a toothbrush in his carry-on bag. (He forgot to pack his toiletries.) With grit and determination, he built an empire of mints and soaps—the American Dream. He never stole from anybody. Sure, he may have asked for some deodorant at the front desk that he didn’t really need, but who doesn’t do that? Yet now here I am. Mintless. Soap-starved. A total and complete laughingstock in my industry.

So today I’ll be checking out from my position as C.E.O., no later than 12:30 P.M. I refuse to live the rest of my life looking over my shoulder. You still want my soaps and mints? Fine. But they won’t be in Stayport Hotels suites anymore. You’ll have to come to my house and find them.

I’ll be waiting.

Yeah, but I’m not giving back the little coffee packets.

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