The Eel

(originally published in Sillymess)

     The eel slid through the city streets, came upon a dry cleaner, and entered, clutching a ticket in its eely appendages.  “We cannot serve you, as you are an eel,” said the harried dry cleaner, sorting through wire hangers, looking for a hanger that had the appropriate feel and energy for each garment he would put on the rotating rack.

     The eel was dismayed.  “It’s not about the starch, is it?” asked the eel, who had demanded an extremely large amount of starch for its little dress shirt.

     “No, it’s not about the starch, it’s about the fact that you are an eel.  My wife had accepted your shirt the other day, while I was on my lunch break, scavenging for wire hangers.  If I had been in the store, I would not have accepted your shirt, and would have advised you to take your business elsewhere!”

     “Well, can I at least have my shirt back?” said the eel, trying to remain reasonable and even-tempered.

     “No, you may not,” said the dry cleaner.  “Good day, sir!”  The eel felt very disappointed by this verbal transaction, and slithered out of the store, looking for a lawyer to implement a legal remedy against the dry cleaner.

     The eel moved down the street, deftly evading proprietors of local eateries, who viewed it as a fine delicacy to include on the day’s lunch menu.  They stabbed at the eel with plastic forks on the sidewalk, but it avoided their jabs, sliding into the wood-paneled lobby of a crusading populist lawyer, much esteemed for defending the consumer against unjust business aggression.  “We cannot serve you, as you are an eel,” said the receptionist, filing her nails, her left eyebrow arched aggressively.  The eel dejectedly slithered out the door and back onto the sidewalk.

     The eel continued along the cement without incident, eventually encountering a pile of clothes hangers, left near the sidewalk after an unsuccessful garage sale.  One of the hangers was solid gold, with an inestimable value.  The eel decided to attach itself to that hanger, and have a nap, as it had been a long stressful day.  Along that same sidewalk stalked the dry cleaner, scavenging for clothes hangers.  “I must find the right hanger for the lawyer’s suit,” he said to himself urgently, feeling the sun’s rays on his skull, looking to the sky for inspiration.  Happening upon the pile of hangers, he sorted through it quickly, palms sweating.  He instantly mentally discarded the gold hanger, as it had the distasteful eel attached, choosing instead a plastic model with exciting stripes.

     Returning to the store, just in time, as the populist lawyer strode in, ticket in hand, the dry cleaner hung the lawyer’s coat on the plastic hanger with exciting stripes, and completed the transaction.  The lawyer disappointedly looked at the hanger, and suddenly in a fit of pique, began striking the dry cleaner with it, deriving populist satisfaction not yielded by his lawsuits, as the eel slept.