Floozman Saves a Dog
by Bertrand Cayzac
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Fred Looseman used to be the head risk assessor at World Wide Credit Corporation and the chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Commission. Now he works as an automated teller machine repairman.
Sometimes he hears voices, and sometimes what he hears moves him to tears. His bank account overflows with the money of deliverance, and he becomes a financial super-hero: Floozman.
This may be the most archaic episode. No more than 5 minutes, no links. Try as you may, nothing happens if you click on anything within the story.
It features a sort of “proto-Floozman,” who is almost unrecognizable. The story is futile and incongruous: “Floozman saves a dog”!
We are very far from the monetary transverberation sequences or the scenes of collective trance so typical of the late period. Everything takes place as if Floozman is doing an experimental sortie to hit his stride.
* * *
At the beginning, patterns seen at ground level fill the foreground. Then come crushing blocks of buildings very high on the horizon. A violent change of perspective takes us suddenly into a glass cage. We quickly notice that it corresponds to the impatient movement of a dog owner pulling a leash.
Later, in the elevator, this dog cries silently in a kind of nursery rhyme:
Nothing is good
For a hound!
And WOE, WOE
In the deserted computer room, Fred Looseman closes his eyes. “It’s a dog!” he says even before hearing his correspondent.
At her desk, Mrs. Marinella turns around to look at the city. “A dog! Well, you must get started with it! I am sending you the Floozboys. And don’t get lost this time.”
The Floozboys take him to the dog right away. When he steps out of the car, he is wearing the Floozman suit and mask. “Are you the one who called me?”
“Dog, I shall set you free. Here, I will ransom you. Sir, how much for this dog?”
The dog owner hurries over. “But I am not selling my dog! No way. I don’t know you, and you are ridiculous with that mask on. Is it a game? What do you want with me? I am in a hurry.”
“I am very serious, sir. Your dog is overwhelmed with sorrow. I know what he feels like. Picture yourself in a world where nothing is suited to you, nothing for your senses, nothing for your instincts, nothing to love. I give you one million dollars.”
“This is not funny.”
“One billion dollars. But I want the dog right now.”
Floozman turns to the Floozboys. “Do the transfer and give him a down payment.”
A Floozboy gets immediately connected to the Internet from his terminal. Another one hands out a huge wad of bills.
Almost simultaneously, the dog owner’s telephone rings. He starts talking to his banker. He hangs up. “Floozman! So this is you? All right, take the dog.”
“Dog! You are free!”
The Floozboys are crying out in joy. Music. They are dancing in a circle because they are jolly good fellows.
“Let’s find him a territory!”
They ride in their Rolls. The Floozboys are busy with their terminals where pictures are displayed: mansions, manors, parks. Calls go out to real estate agencies and lawyers. The dog pokes his muzzle out of the window.
Abundance sequence begins:
A sumptuous historical XIIIth century house fully renovated in a vast, secured domain including a 15,000-tree oak grove, 1 lake and 2 swimming pools. Magnificent view of the valley and the river; 5 luminous suites with bathrooms. Tower with Jacuzzi, private terrace and helicopter area.
Main building featuring 20 large rooms, loft converted into fitness center, equipped observatory, reception hall with medieval chimney, library, lounge, pool, kitchens. Central heating electronically controlled. Refurbished outbuilding featuring 5 rooms, lobby and kitchen, bathroom, solar heating with central backup. Stables.
In the vicinity of a charming village of 500 inhabitants. Numerous services. $700,000,000
Abundance sequence ends.
They arrive at the gate of an immense park. A couple is waiting for them. They are the managers.
Floozman talks to the Floozboys and asks them to show the dog his new domain. As the group flies away in the alley after the animal, Floozman stays alone with the managers. “Here we are. The domain is yours; you have an unlimited budget until the end of your days and beyond. All you have to do is to make sure this dog lives in nature and doesn’t lack for anything.”
The managers aren’t quite satisfied. “We received the contract by fax all right. We have a few questions.”
“Well. How is the domain covered by insurance? And what about the dog? Can we have the details?” the manager asks.
“And what if we want to go on vacation?” her husband adds. “There is nothing about holidays. See?”
“Nothing about vacations? Wait...” Floozman looks around for a Floozboy and then bends over the documents.
“And all this money,” she whispers to her husband... “What do you think, Jack?”
“Well, we will certainly add a clause that the dog be taken care of during your vacations. We will have, er...we will need to...”
“It has to be stated that we have five full weeks, entirely paid and possibly consecutive.”
Floozman looks again around him and sees not a soul. In the distance, he can hear a lot of merriment. He remains silent. The managers are staring at him unsmilingly.
Under their eyes, Floozman becomes stooped and withered.
The next moment, Fred Looseman is standing between the two managers. Numbed with bewilderment, he takes off his mask. He notices he is still holding a bank note in his hand and throws it away as if it were burning. Overcome with confusion, he runs away as fast as he can through the wide open gate.
The Rolls chauffeur casts a knowing glance at him as he disappears. “They’ve stuck him with villains again. The show is over...”
He starts driving slowly in the direction where Fred Looseman has gone.
Copyright © 2006 by Bertrand Cayzac