Artwork: Alex

TV Salesman

Author: ZDG '20
As seen in: For Your Consideration #

Bread the TV Salesman started the day like any other: with a hot cup of coffee and a curse to his mother for being too short. He strolled into the store, Tommy’s Shop ‘n Save TVs, a quarter past 9 with a hankering to make some sales and an even bigger hankering for his favorite snack, buttered toast.

On that day the first customer that came in was a dog. No, not a dog of a man, but a real dog kind of dog. He sauntered on in and asked to buy a TV. Bread wasn’t fazed; this happened at least once a week. He reached into his desk, looking smug, and pulled out his trusty “TVs are NOT for dogs” sign.

Bread watched, his know-it-all smile slowly melting away as the dog continued to look unphased. He turned the sign towards himself and beheld in horror that the “NOT” was crossed out. As it turned out, TVs were for dogs.

It is this moment that his acquaintances typically point toward as the outset of Bread’s insanity. Indeed, his mental decline was immediately apparent to all coworkers and family members – and all who met him afterwards readily attest to the horrific, inhumane aspect of his gaze and frequent propensity for low, dark mutterings and violent outbursts.

This case having been brought to our attention by Bread’s now estranged sister, our medical committee began a full-on investigation into the former salesman. It was our finding generally that the dog incident instigated such a dramatic shift in Bread’s worldview as to render all faculties totally and irreversibly altered. We cannot confirm the nature of his rumored wild nightly experiments in the attic of his old house, but we can attest to their frequently cited production of otherworldly voices and the foetid odor which has ignited such unrest and unease in the neighboring community.

But our report must invariably come to events of the 25th of May, the culmination of our dealings with that insane man – if man he truly was. We entered through the unlocked front door at 4:15 in the evening, calling out but to no response. Hearing a commotion in the kitchen, we ran up the two flights of stairs with a nervous excitement to find Bread in the most horrific state of affairs.

To this day I do not know if what I saw was the truth or some twisted machination of that mad sorcerer. All I can write is what appeared to me that fateful afternoon and hope that it conveys some semblance of reality. For we rounded the corner and discovered Bread making the toast snack which so propped up his previous lifestyle – only instead of buttering the toast he was buttering the front of his own body.

Upon espying our party, the raving mad man let out a shriek such that has never before and should never hence be heard by human ears. Our stunned reaction allowed the daemon a brief window of opportunity for his escape; this expression being especially pertinent as he made a mad dash towards and ultimately jumped through the then-closed kitchen window. Most aspects of this unsettling character remain a mystery following his death, but if anything, I can further attest to the fact that bread always falls butter-side down.