Saturday, July 09, 2005

Precious Panda # 5

The Road Not Taken

Her eyes were swollen and his arm was in a sling, but all Rob Layne could think about as he stared at the two teenagers in his office was how long the Momba would be out of commission.

“That’s what you get for screwing around on the tallest and fastest rollercoaster in the Midwest,” he said in his somber and authoritative voice. Even when lecturing his employees, Rob still managed to sound like a commercial. “That sort of behavior isn’t something we endorse here at Worlds of Fun. We’re going to have to let you both go. Don’t worry though, assholes like you will fit right in at Six Flags, so something tells me you won’t be out of jobs for long. Now GET OUT.”

As the teary-eyed teens were leaving, Rob was reminded of his own tearful exit from something he loved seven years earlier. It was then that he left the world of forensics that had been his home for over a decade to pursue a career as a Worlds of Fun Theme Park executive full time. Swiveling around in his Italian leather chair, Rob looked at all of the pictures hanging on the wall and took stock of his life.

He knew he was what the world considered to be a phenomenally successful person. When he returned to Missouri seven years before, Rob quickly demonstrated the initiative and creativity that ensured his fast rise in the Worlds of Fun Corporation. His “Spinning Dragons in Spin-City” project—building three rollercoasters in Central Park and one on top of Madison Square Garden—made the company billions. Now President of all North American and Southeast Asian parks, Rob made roughly five million dollars annually and he was only 33 years old. Add to that his partner of over six years Kenny Chesney, whom Rob has “turned” shortly after moving back to Missouri, and he was a pretty happy camper.

Still, Rob couldn’t help but feel that he was missing something from his former life. Sure, he had money and cars and a 55th level Paladin on World of Warcraft, but part of him secretly longed to be back in the debate community. Sometimes, when he would look into the eyes of his country music singing beau who was hot enough to make his teeth sweat, Rob wished he could get up at 4:30 in the morning and drive a 15-passenger van to some Godforsaken hole in the wall town and listen to poorly structured inherency arguments all day. As Rob walked over to the bar in his office and poured himself a drink, he realized that he really missed all of the goofy bastards that he coached and wondered aloud what might have been had he not chosen his current profession.

For a moment, he regretted the choice he made. But only for a moment. Whistling the tune to “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy,” Rob picked up his drink and headed back towards his desk.


Blogger Online Onslaught Host said...

Definitely not even one of the dozen ways I'd imagined the prompt going, very clever :P

11:08 AM  

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