Why, I'm Time Magazine's Person of the Year

"Do you know who I am?" I asked the waitress as she waddled past me for the seventh time. She turned and looked at me with a mixture of porridgey uncomprehension and raging incredulity. "Hon," she said, as if her words were some kind of mucus trying to ooze its way out of the corner of her mouth, "I don't have a clue who you are." I smiled broadly, sat up straight, and looked her cold in the eye. "Why, I'm Time Magazine's Person of the Year," I said, "and I'd appreciate some service." Her expression changed from incredulity to disgust, as if the bile of her own speech had left skidmarks in her mouth. She didn't believe me. "Oh yeah?" she retorted. "Prove it." I unbuckled my leather attaché case and removed one of the five pristine copies of Time Magazine I'd been keeping there since the issue had come out. "There," I pointed at the cover, "see?" Instantly, she was wide-eyed. "But ... but ..." Her mouth hung open like a sore on a spangled slug, gooey and dripping. "But I'm Time Magazine's Person of the Year!" She was mistaken. We certainly didn't look alike, and the cover wasn't some kind of psychic image to the best of my knowledge, so it had to be a gross delusion on her part. (Clearly the honour was mine, and everything she did was gross.) Calmly, I reclaimed the magazine from her paw-like hands and pointed at the cover. "No," I said, witheringly. "It's me. I'm the special one: look. Now kindly fetch me a club sandwich." Her eyes were like dynamite. "Hon," she snarled, building up to a crescendo that balanced on the edge of her voice like an anvil, "I'm on the cover of Time Magazine, and your glasses-nosed, earlobe-heavy, nerdsquatch face is not going to take this away from me." I began to protest, but before I knew it she was coming at me like Bluto and I found myself lying on the ground watching my braincells dance across my eyes, wondering what kind of psychopath she had to be to think it was her face on the cover instead of mine. She was coming at me again, yelling something incomprehensible, and I wanted to explain to her that I didn't speak whale but I didn't have time and the whole thing was like Wrestlemania but in the first person and I wanted to escape and oh God all I wanted was a club sandwich and -- A finger tapped at the waitresses's shoulder. It was a little girl. "Excuse me," she said, her ringlets catching the light and reflecting it like golden innocence itself. "I'm Time Magazine's Person of the Year." She headbutted the waitress so ferociously - while emitting a piercing "nyaaaaah!" - that the behemoth went down instantly, groaning heavily. The girl turned to me and showed me her fist: "you want some?" I shook my head, slowly backed my way out of the diner and stumbled onto the street, where I fell at the feet of a moustachioed man in an Adidas tracksuit. "Hey," he yelled at me. "What do you think you're doing? I'm Time Magazine's Person of the Year! Get the hell out of my way!" He gave me a brief kick with his Converse; I yelped and rolled out across the street, narrowly missing the gargantuan wheels of a Hummer-like pram. All around me, people were talking to each other with a false sense of importance, declaring themselves smugly to be Time Magazine's Person of the Year. Babies, mothers, husbands, sons; even pet dogs had given up endlessly talking about sausages in favour of declaring themselves to be the Person of the Year. As I wandered home through the cloud of narcissism and perverse self-belief, the cries of "Me! Me! No, me!" were ceaseless. Finally, as I sat down in my favourite armchair with a glass of wine and the weight of the wind pulled from my sails and placed firmly on my shoulders, I gazed at the cover of Time Magazine one last time and saw the truth. Why, I was Time Magazine's Person of the Year!

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