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A Day in the Life of Dean Gordon
“…Six seconds left on the clock in the NBA Finals, the Bulls are down by two with the ball on the inbound… to the top of the key to Gordon… he feeds it inside to Robinson… three seconds… Robinson back out to Gordon at the three point line! He shoots…”
The cruel shrill of Dean Gordon’s alarm clock nearly made him jump clear off the bed. Monday morning had come before Friday evening had ended and before he knew it, he was back in his office thirty stories above the Chicago city streets, sitting in front of his computer’s blank screen and a scalding coffee mug for the “World’s Greatest Boss.”
“The World’s greatest,” he kicked back in his chair. “…And we’re back here at Channel 9 News in Flagstaff, Arizona where the world’s greatest extreme stuntman, Dean Gordon is attempting a motorcycle jump over the Grand Canyon. He has been preparing for this all day, he’s made his warm up runs, and now he’s going for it!
Gordon revved his engine at the start of the runway. Through screams and cheers, he proudly took off suddenly toward the canyon, completely concentrated on the edge of the ramp. Tunnel vision set his mind solely on the task at hand. As he reached the jump, he squared his shoulders and lifted up off the ramp, launching himself into the air. To his relief, he wasn’t falling straight to his death, but the other side of the canyon looked dangerously far away and didn’t look like it was coming any closer. The wind picked up, screaming at his face. Through it all he heard a familiar voice whispering to him, “Gordon… Gordon…”
“Mr. Gordon, sir, your assistance is needed out here.”
He walked out of his quiet office into the jungle of chaos. People all around were scrambling and yelling.
“Mr. Gordon! Milwaukee’s on the phone!”
“Mr. Gordon, we’re never going to get these reports done in time!”
“Dean, you were 15 minutes late this morning!”
Gordon walked down the hall to the vending machines.
“Gordon! Dean Gordon! With the release of your new album, how does it feel to be regarded by critics as one of the greats, among the likes of Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, and even Jimi Hendrix?”
“Well you know I loved listening to all those guys growing up, but it doesn’t really matter man, none of this really matters. I mean we’re all just dust floating around on the Earth, just molecules making up something bigger, something universal and dynamic. I mean yeah so we made a triple platinum record, but after it’s all said and done, man, after it’s all said and done.”
“Wait! Mr. Gordon—you heard it folks, from the man himself. A musical and theoretical genius, a legend of his time, Dean Gordon.”
The clunk of his Cheetos hitting the bottom of the vending machine startled him, as if he had forgotten he’d even chose what he wanted yet. He picked them up and started back toward his office.
“Gordon!” his boss shouted as Dean passed his office, “Get in here!” Gordon looked around innocently as he closed the door to the office and sat down sheepishly. “Gordon, over the past three years you’ve been working here, I’ve always thought you were a strange character. But lately you’ve just been over the top. You come in late every morning, you never seem to be listening to a word anyone is saying…”
Gordon crunched on his Cheetos and stared out his boss’s window at the Sears Tower across the street. The wind screamed at his face and his body felt completely weightless as he plummeted to the ground, his hand on the release of his parachute. 3, 2, 1…
“Are you listening to me Gordon??? This is what I’m trying to tell you, Dean! You never listen to anything! I’m your boss! You’re supposed to listen to me!” He stared angrily into the eyes of a harmless, startled Dean Gordon, and made himself calm down. “On the other hand, Dean, in your time at this company you’ve somehow managed to climb the ranks from newsboy and now you answer only to me, the president of the entire company. How did you do it? I have no idea. I will commend you on a job well done, but you’re really going to have to step it up. We are in a real tight spot right now Dean, if the deal in Milwaukee falls through, we’ll go bankrupt. And I’m not about to let you throw my entire fortune away with your shenanigans. You’re a great executive, Dean. I’ve seen you work magic in these types of deals before. All I’m asking is for you to just not mess up. Now are you ready for the meeting?”
“Uh, I’m sorry sir, what meeting was that?”
“What meeting?! The one in 15 minutes, that’s what meeting! The execs from Milwaukee flew in an hour ago! Wasn’t I just talking about this, Gordon? For God’s sake, son, get your head into this. Our jobs depend on it.”
“Oh, ok. Sorry boss, sure thing sir. I’ll be there.”
“You’ll be there? Ha! Yeah, you better hope you’ll be there!”
“Yes. Yes I’ll be there.” Captain Gordon put his radio away. “Alright boys, we got ourselves a recon mission. Stay behind me and keep your head down!” He took off down the dirt path with his men right behind him. They ran for miles until they came upon a small clearing inhabited by an enemy camp.
“What are we doing, Cap?” one of his men whispered.
“Just stay down and shut up. We got a whole fleet in captivity and we gotta bring ‘em back.” Gordon led his men around the camp. “Okay. You three go left, you three go right. I’ll take the middle.” His men dispersed, and he waited for his opportunity to sneak up to one of the tents. When the coast was clear he bear-crawled up through a patch of shade, his heart jumping out of his throat. He made a break for the nearest tent and got down quick as he peaked into the opening. Two guards were just inside the entrance sitting in chairs, guarding the prisoners. He slowly crept into the tent and knocked both the guards out. Before the prisoners could react at all, Gordon gave them the signal to not make a noise. “Are there any more of you?”
“No, just us six. The rest of our fleet got away,” one of the soldiers whispered, “This is our translator; he told us he heard them planning to take us to Hanoi Hilton later today or tomorrow. You came just in time!”
“Yeah well we gotta get you guys out of here. Follow me.” He was about to sneak them out of the camp when suddenly he heard a frenzy of gunshots outside. He peaked around the corner just in time to see three of his men get shot down. “Ok, change of plans boys!” he said furiously to the imprisoned soldiers, “You guys run that direction as fast as you can until you reach the beach and set off this flare. That’s your extraction point. You got it?”
“Good. It’s been a pleasure fighting with you gentlemen,” Gordon said as he ducked out of the tent and took off across the clearing, shooting furiously.
“I’m gonna kill all you dang commies!” Gordon shouted as his head jerked up from the table. He opened his eyes and saw three complete strangers in suits staring blankly at him, and his boss looking like he wanted to murder him.
“Uh, hi, nice to meet you gentlemen. I’m Dean Gordon, and you must be the Milwaukee guys?”
“You’re going to kill all the commies?” one of them said sharply
“Huh? Oh yeah, that,” Gordon laughed sheepishly, “Well, no one likes the communists, am I right?”
His boss was still glaring at him.
“Okay then, so anyway, uh, what are you gentlemen here for?” Gordon nervously asked.
“Well Mr. Gordon, I think we all know what we’re here for. We want to renegotiate this deal. We’re simply not willing to give up this much money. Now, we’ve come up with a very reasonable counter offer…”
Gordon was devastated. For sure he’d be fired right after this meeting, if they even had a running business by then. He blew it. It was completely his fault, and he knew it. He stared at the full pitcher of water in the middle of the table and remembered back to his college days.
“…Another way to stay in control during one of these high-pressure meetings,” his professor told the class, “is to pay attention to everyone’s water intake. High water intake is a crystal clear sign that someone is nervous.”
As he stared at that undisturbed, full pitcher of water, he began to think about what he would do next with his life.
At that moment he was sitting on the Pacific beach by himself, watching the tide roll in. He wouldn’t need another job; he could just live on the beach. No one could stop him, could they? It’s a public beach, on the ocean. No one owns that, do they? He decided to take his chances, and lay down in the sand. He was awoken by a policeman. “Excuse me sir, you’re going to have to get up. Sir, I said you have to get up, you can’t sleep here… Hey! Pal! Wake up! You can’t sleep here!” He was wide awake, but just didn’t feel like getting up. So he just lay there. “Fine, you lazy bum! Sleep there, I give up! Congratulations!”
Gordon jumped when he noticed the outstretched hand in his face. He looked at the pitcher of water in the middle of the table, which was now over half emptied. “Sorry, what was that sir?”
“I said congratulations,” muttered a defeated Milwaukee executive, “It’s obvious you aren’t budging on this, and it’s just too important of a deal for us to pass up. You got a deal.” He smiled and shook Gordon’s hand. Dumbfounded, Gordon looked at his boss. His face revealed that he was scared out of his mind, but he was smiling, nevertheless. The Milwaukee guys left and he fell back into his chair.
“Sir,” Gordon said innocently, “May I ask what’s wrong?”
“Cut the wise guy crap and just go home Gordon. You nearly gave me a heart attack, sitting there not saying a word for God knows how long. What the heck were you thinking? On second thought, don’t answer that. Just get out of here. Take the week off. I’ll see you next Monday.”
And with that, Dean Gordon picked up his sack and set out on his brave journey. After one last look back at his family, he turned and walked off into the sunset.