The Plague: A Conversation

The Plague: A Conversation

-Hey, man. It’s John.
-Hey buddy, what’s up?
-Yeah, nothin’. Listen man, Jesus, I don’t know how to say this: I can’t come in to work tomorrow. I have the plague.
-I can’t come in to work… I have the plague.
-What the hell are you talking about?
-I know. It’s crazy, but I found out today that I have the plague.
-Like: The Plague? The Black Plague?
-Is there another one…?
-Well… I… I don’t think so. Wait a minute. This is bullshit. Are you fucking with me? Do you really have The Plague?
-Like the one from, like, the 13th century? Wasn’t that in Europe?
-And you can’t come in to work?
-NO! I have the friggin’ plague! And yes, I’m going to be alright. Thank you.
-How long will you be out?
-I don’t know? Jesus, man. I have the fucking plague.
-Okay. Well, if it’s more than three days you have to bring in a note.
-You want me to bring in a doctors note stating that I have the Bubonic Plague…?
-Yeah. Weird, right?
-Okay. Um. I’ll talk to the doctor. But that’s the weirdest fucking thing I have ever heard of.
-So, like, are you contagious?
-You’re kidding, right?
-I don’t know!!
-God damnit….
-Listen, can Katherine cover your shift tomorrow?
-You want me to call her?
-If you could.
-I have the friggin’ plague!!
-Okay. Okay. Alright. I’ll call her. Sheesh, calm down. You know, it’s not exactly a “plague” if only one person has it. Isn’t it something else then?
-You cannot be serious. Like, a handful of people still contract it in the United States. So, yes, it’s still a friggin’ plague. Jesus.
-Well, I don’t know.
-Fucking Google it, man.
-So, um, dude, I have to ask… did you get bit by a rat?
-You are a moron. You are truly a moron. Yeah, it’s carried by rats. But seriously, it’s carried by animals that host fleas. No, before you ask, I don’t have fleas.
-I wasn’t gonna…
-I don’t know how, alright! The doctor said it could be from another person who may have been carrying it. It’s airborne, man. It fucking sucks.
-Yeah… Well, um, feel better…
-Let me know as soon as you can when you can come back. I mean, you know… Katherine is here, and Scott, and Theresa. But Theresa is starting school again soon… and Scott can’t work Sunday mornings… so…
-Alright. Alright. I’ll let you know when I no longer have The Black Plague! Jesus.
-Thanks, man. And, well, I’m sorry.
-Sorry… for what?
-You know. That you have The Plague.
What? Dude, I’m not a customer. You don’t have to apologize to me. Sheesh.
-I don’t know. It seemed like the right thing to say. What do you say to someone who has the plague? Oh, man, Theresa is gonna flip out!
-Don’t tell anyone!
-Are you kidding!?!
-NO! I’m dead serious.
-“Dead serious”?
-Fuck off.
-No really. I can’t tell anyone? This is, again, sorry, hilarious!
-Dude, I’m gonna fucking kill you if you say anything! People are gonna look at me sooo strange. And, Theresa is never gonna let me touch her again.
-That’s exactly why I wanna tell her!
-Okay. Okay. I’ll keep it under wraps. You are “sick” and absent for an undetermined amount of time. You know, you should really contact corporate.
-You okay?
-I have the plague…
-I know, man. I know.



9 thoughts on “The Plague: A Conversation

  1. Wow… I thought this was a legitimate conversation at first, but then it kind of dawned on me that it wasn’t. It seems as if the two characters know each other pretty well, and that creates a sense of familiarity with them…at least to me.

    • Thanks for the comment Ginger! I’m glad that you thought, at first, that it was legitimate. That’s good! 🙂
      They are supposed to know one another–supervisor & employee, I suppose; but on familiar, friendly-workplace terms.

  2. Ha! I always say I have the plague when I’m sick. I also refer to my sisters brood (nephews and niece) as plague bearers. Wherever they go, contagions follows and multiple. But, back on point! This is excellent, and I did the same thing that Ginger did and assumed that it was a transcript of an actual conversation initially. What inspired the piece?

    • I’m glad you liked it! And I was waiting for that question! Haha!
      I stopped to get gas one evening, and the total was some $33.17, and I had the $33, but not the 17 cents. So, I ran to my car to get it from my ash tray thingie (I think that’s what it’s called if you don’t use it), and I pulled out a quarter. I ran back in, gave it to the clerk, and she told me that it was two quarters stuck together. Ewwww, right?
      She then went on to chat me up for a few minutes about the weird money they see at the gas station (no kidding!), e.g. piles of pennies, all sorts of sticky and discolored monies, etc. And she said, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if you someone got the plague from this sticky, nasty money? People still get it in the US…” And that was it. I imagined an employee calling in to a gas station/food/retail place with the plague as an excuse. I wrote it in 5 minutes on the floor, just after I was done exercising the following day after work. 😀

      • Ahh, “thingie.” Nothing like a good technical term. ;]
        It’s always the little, random things that create the best stories.
        I have a piece of mircofiction I wrote last night because I sniffled and another because a character in a show I watched put a flower on a coffin. Honestly, it makes me feel bad for nonwriters. What do their brains do with all the excess tidbits of would-be inspiration? They either have very cluttered belfries or ones so wastefully empty they rarely bother to ring.

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