Ramona said, "You two have griped long enough about not having enough help here, so I hired some. I expect lots more pizzas to be cooked."
Pete looked up from the pan he was spreading dough in. "Thank you! Will they be working tonight? After the ball game, we'll be swamped."
"Yeah, they'll be here. All twelve of them."
Sophie said, "Twelve more? We're going to have fourteen people working in this place tonight?"
Ramona put her hands on the sales counter and leaned toward them. "Yup. So I expect that since you'll have seven times as many workers, you'll make seven times as much pizza."
"You're kidding." Pete said.
Sophie threw her hands up. "Where will we put them all? There's not room for that many workers in this place. We'll be lucky if we make twice as many pizzas as usual."
Ramona said, "You're very creative. You'll figure something out." She pulled her inventory clipboard out from under the sales counter and went into the back.
Sophie put her face in her hands, smelling bell pepper on them and wondering if her eyes were going to start stinging. "Those are going to be the most expensive pizzas we ever made. I should just quit now."
It was hot, the night we burned chrome. -- William Gibson
I like the way that Gibson turned the phrase. "Burning" can be a present progressive tense verb or a modifying gerund. In a two word title "burning" sounds like a gerund, that is, I first assumed that "burning chrome" was a noun phrase--"chrome," the noun, and "burning," telling me what kind of chrome. But Gibson immediately turned my expectation inside out. He used "burning" as a verb and "chrome" as a direct object, as in, "We are getting out the blowtorch and burning chrome."
"Killing Words," one of my short stories, uses Gibson's ambiguity.
But I want to talk about burning money.
The Writers of the Future staff suggested a dress code for the workshop and events during the week. One staff member's clarification made it clear that I was well set, with clothes that fit the code. Later, another staff member interpreted the code differently--I was a bit below the bar.
For me, spending money on clothing is akin to burning it. I have enough clothes to rotate through most of a week, then wash them, then rinse, and repeat. So I do not have the amount of clothes that normal people have. This is one facet of my nerdhood.
My view of buying clothing has led me to make friends with my decades-old shirts. When they're finally too worn to wear, it is like saying "goodbye" to an old friend. I identify with Brian Eno, who once sung, "The passage of my life is measured out in shirts." I think Eno's line is a reference to J. Alfred Prufrock's life, which he has "measured out in coffee spoons."
So today I went to Walmart and bought $150 worth of clothes. Man, that hurt. Yes, I know it will make me a bit more normal to have an office casual wardrobe that can span 10 days or more before a wash. And I know that even though I spend, perhaps, $50/year on clothing, that normal people spend much more than that. And normal professionals do not buy $150 wardrobes at freakin' Walmart. But I am not normal.
However, it just may be the case that people who buy books would rather think of the author as being like them--as being normal. My bet is that WOTF's suggestion is like a flu shot. I did not want it. But it will be good for me.
John's mother paid for his birth by digging potatoes during the final stages of her pregnancy; his father was in a body cast due to a train wreck. Mom recited The Raven to put John to sleep at night. The soles of his feet were thick and hard from going barefoot for eight months per year; his back was tanned from going shirtless. He loved to read fantasy and science fiction.
John completed a PhD in economics from the University of South Carolina. He has published research on the economics of terrorism, education, gambling, corporate incentives, and other topics.
John married Julia about the time he earned his first degree. They now live in a small southern mountain town with their three sons. John works hard to show his students how they can use rational decision making to enrich their lives. Julia works hard to raise three sons and an aggravating husband. John writes speculative fiction. He was published in Writers of the Future, Volume 27. Julia, the world's most voracious reader, edits his work. His mother is now deceased. His hero is his father, Scotty.