Swagger Jack


Jack Earwig once sneezed so hard he lost his swagger. He despaired for many days till he found, to his surprise, a specialist not far from his town Little Hopes. The specialist did have a cure but an expensive one, and Jack was only a part-time stocker at Walmart.

One day while stocking an isle of mostly corn syrup items, a stout girl tripped on a shoestring and spilled a jug of Hawaiian Punch all over a passing woman in a scooter. The red juice formed a fist shape on the floor, provoking an epiphany in Jack. Jack was inspired to come up with his own business.

By the following week, Jack was running a lemonade stand he called Lemonade Parade. Two little yellow flags were installed to go with the theme. Each cup was a dollar and contained certified lemon-free Crystal Light powder and Fluoride water. These modifications were all part of the business plan. The business had to be unique. Just because he had lost his swagger did not mean Lemonade Parade could not have any. Essentially, Jack externalized his wishful swagger onto his business.

One day with slow business, Jack utilized his time by practicing his selling technique.

“I’ll take three,” said Jack mimicking a transaction.

“Did you say three?” Without actual swagger, Jack carried himself more like a three out of ten scale Vince Offer from  ShamWow, which was just enough for any Joe Schmo to overlook the fact that Jack was naked. This gimmick was another product of his business brainstorming.

“Why I sure did partner.”

“Okay then, three Ooh La Lemonadas comin’ right up!”  He made a little drum beat on his Walmart-bought Coleman cooler before opening it and thought, Oo La Lemonadas. Will you hear that? A special title for a special lemonade! He opened the cooler but there was nothing inside except for a dry lizard carcass. He then closed the lid. “That’ll be three dollars my fair man.”

Jack put on a his bewildered face. “Three dollars for what?”

“For what? For what?”  Jack pulled out his hand and extended his index finger and thumb into a pistol shape. His reaction time to a double-cross was second to none and was unaffected by his loss of swagger.”That’ll be three dollars,” he restated but in a somber tone.

“Jack! Get your ass down here and eat your Hamburger Helper!”  Jack said to himself, hesitant to break free from self-dialog.

That two-timing bastard is lucky it’s lunch hour, he thought as he came down from the Sycamore tree and clocked out using an iPod app. He was the only associate working under Lemonade Parade, but he thought maybe he would expand the enterprise soon with cheap labor near the Mexican border.

A plate of Hamburger Helper was waiting there for him on a bench advertising for Kellogg’s, a product Jack stocked thousands of times at Walmart.

Jack picked up the hiccups after forgetting to drink Sunny D with his Hamburger Helper. He preferred Walmart’s Sunny D over his product any day. The hiccups had spontaneously reanimated his swagger.

With his swagger back, Lemonade Parade took a turn for the passé, so he sold the rights to the appropriate candidate the morning after high up in the Sycamore. Despite initial difficulties with the language barrier, Jack managed to sell his entire business to a toad.

From then on Jack lived a fulfilling life as a stocker at Walmart. He became known as Swagger Jack by his associates and even earned multiple employee of the month awards.