January Blues #2: How to catch up on your sleep

By Maryann O’Connor

After 2 weeks on the job at the stationery factory, the ballpoint and notepad packing became so repetitive that Jake and Elwood could do it with their eyes shut. In fact, Jake frequently did. No one makes eye contact in those places anyway, which was a good thing now the Blues Brothers had to be without their sunglasses: a new company policy put in by that pesky new middle manager. You used to have common sense to keep you safe, this old feller working nearby kept announcing to no one in particular, but common sense had now been replaced by health and safety. Just like Rhythm and Blues had been replaced by RnB.

Over the last few weeks the Calumet City residents had been trying their best to reinvigorate rhythm and blues with little joy so far. The late nights also meant that they weren’t really getting enough Zs so badly needed worktime naps to get through the day. Mostly they relied on each other to wake up in time for visits from the factory owners but just in case neither of them woke up, they had the foresight to bribe another feller with a regular supply of the best fried chicken in Chicago.

One day Elwood was off making some toast (no butter) on his lunchbreak and Jake was asleep. He was snoring a bit. It’d been a hard night trying to convince people that they wanted some live music in their clubs, actual music played with instruments and not just an overpaid DJ who couldn’t even pull his trousers up. The factory owners had been tipped off that some of their workers weren’t treating their jobs with the deserved respect and turned up for a surprise inspection. This feller they’d bribed tried waking Jake up nicely but had to resort to smacking him in the face with a packet of coloured file inserts. Jake was not happy.

Next day Jake waited for this no-good feller to go the powder room and followed him. See he’d brought the bribe in with him today (two whole fried chickens) and he wanted to pay him in the privacy of an ammonia-smelling tiled room. The feller jumped when Jake threw the door open. He’d been jumpy ever since that file insert episode yesterday, quite rightly. Jake held up the bag with the chickens in so this feller could take a look and then smacked him in the face with them. You see, boys and girls, no good deed goes unpunished.

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