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The Complainer
by Michael A. Kechula

“Hey, waiter!” Harry yelled, “There’s a fly in my coffee!”

“Not to worry,” said the waiter. “It’s Horace. He belongs to the owner. He’s training for the Olympic swim team. Wow!  Look at him go. He’s in great form this morning.”

“Are you crazy? Get this cup outta here and give me a fresh one.”

“Shhh. Horace is very sensitive. If he hears you, he may think you don’t like him.”

“Give me a new cup of coffee, or I’ll never eat here again!”

“Do you hear that, Horace?” asked the waiter.

“Yeah,” the fly said, looking up at Harry. “What’s your problem, Mister?”

Harry chuckled. “Oh, I get it. You’re a ventriloquist. Pretty neat trick making it seem like the fly’s talking.”

“I ain’t a ventriloquist,” the waiter said. “Horace is talking. He just asked what your problem is. You better answer. He don’t like it when somebody don’t answer him.”

“I ain’t talking to no stupid damn fly.”

The fly leapt from the cup and karate chopped Harry’s nose. The impact knocked Harry off the chair. His face was blood-soaked when he hit the floor.

“You hit him pretty hard,” the waiter said. “He ain’t getting up.”

The fly flew to Harry and put its ear against Harry’s shirt. “No heartbeat,” it said.

“Aw, hell. Why’d you hafta hit him so hard?”

“He deserved it for not answering my question. Let’s dump him out back in a garbage can.”

The waiter grabbed Harry under the shoulders, while the fly grabbed Harry’s ankles. Carrying the corpse outside, they dropped it into a trash can.

“Leave the lid open,” the fly said, as whistled into the wind.

Suddenly, the sky was black with flies.

“Free, fresh chow,” Horace called, pointing to Harry’s corpse.

As thousands of famished flies dined, the waiter and Horace returned to the coffee shop.

Soon after, another patron complained about a fly in his coffee. He too didn’t talk nice to Horace.

“Hey, I got an idea,” Horace said, while he and the waiter carried the second body to a garbage can. “Instead of letting flies dine on corpses for free, we should charge them each a dollar.”

“Good idea. But where are we gonna get extra corpses for them to munch on after this one’s gone?”

“No problem. If I keep swimming in customers’ coffee cups, I’ll bet they’ll complain like these two guys did. When they do, I’ll slam their noses right into their brains. We’ll drop them into garbage cans, let the flies know dinner is served, and collect a buck from every one that wants to eat.”

Horace and the waiter got rich.

Unfortunately, they invested all their earnings in the Stock Market. They lost everything during the Great Crash of 2008.

Worse, a customer didn’t see Horace swimming in his coffee, and drank the whole cup in a single gulp.