AKRON, OH -- The staff at Pho Gettaboutit have had their suspicions that the pile of rags they’ve created over the week has become sentient for a while now. Kendra Dulaney, veteran server and most pious worker, has convinced her colleagues that the rags have been moving on their own volition. “I saw it. I swear I did,” Kendra told Sauce On the Side. “Just out of the corner of my eye I spotted it the first time, now it follows me. I see it in my dreams.” Her insistence has inspired folie a deux amongst her coworkers. So much so that a Catholic priest has been summoned to exorcize the inanimate object.
“Why are you talking to Kendra,” Tanner Larson, in the Pho Gettabotit uniform, inquired. “She doesn’t even work here. She’s just the crazy homeless lady who spends Wednesdays and Fridays out back.”
“Kendra’s like an honorary worker, not honorary like she gets paid or anything, but like ‘on time’ every day,” said Manager Ken Rassmussen.
“It was now clear that the demonic pile of rags was capable of hypnotizing the rest of the staff,” Kendra stated as she sorted the recycling in the dumpster/looked for a good sleeping box. “This is exactly the kind of confusion the daemons spread.”
Carl Fitzpatrick, the friar pro temp from the nearby Catholic Cathedral, ever the professional, lept into action. “A sentient pile of anything is undoubtedly demonified,” he said. ”I’ve seen oily rags at mechanics stations, and biohazard bags at hospitals, but never a pile of kitchen rags.”
“I bet there’s a lot of goat’s blood on those rags.” said prep chef Stacey Volchus. “I really doubt that Sysco sends us actual ‘cows’ or ‘veal’, you know?” After pondering for a while, Volchus said: “We wipe up all that shit with those rags. Imagine the fear and terror in their blood. That’s like, generational trauma. I’ve wiped up the blood and sinew of too many dead things with those rags. Even my own, I cut myself all the time -on accident, usually. Matter of fact, if there were people meat in there, I wouldn’t be surprised, there’s gotta be fingers and shit in there, you know, from the factories and whatever.”
Upon hearing this the priest, Fitzpatrick immediately began and dowsing the pile of rags out back in holy water while mumbling in Esperanto.
It was clear that the exorcism took, after Tanner, the previously possessed soul (he was showing signs of possession or alcoholism; constant vomiting, urinating in public See Exorcist, Metro Goldwyn Meyer. 1974.), came outside and said: “Get ‘em Kendra, way to show that pile of rags who’s boss.”
After the purification ceremony, the sun began to set on the day. Miss Dulaney made herself a nest from the boxes she had sorted earlier and fashioned a lovely meal from the trash bags. “I like to think of this as my shift meal. You know, for all the good I do the restaurant,” Kendra remarked. As twilight took hold we shared a stale banh mi, and Kendra spoke aloud to “the wise ones” that allowed her to see through others. “This restaurant always needs me,” the hero remarked, “and I’ll always be there for it.
“Yeah, bullshit. If there’s a demon in the rag pile, I’ve got a beef with the poltergeist in the prep kitchen that keeps taking my 1/6th pans and moving them around.” said Volchus.
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