STEVENS POINT, WI—Part-time dishwasher and self-described "utter failure" Eric Mayhew opted to call in sick and spend the rest of the day in bed Monday, and may do so again tomorrow, sources said.
Reasons cited for the decision to remain in bed include: overall misery, desire to withdraw from all human contact, and the lack of any point in getting up to face another day of the pathetic charade of his totally wasted existence.
"I knocked on his door for a long time. I don't know if he didn't hear me or what," said Tom Worland, a former roommate of Mayhew's from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, where the two briefly attended classes before dropping out in 1991. "He's pretty much a loner nowadays. To be honest, I don't see much of him anymore."
The 24-year-old Mayhew, who for the last several years has eked out a partial subsistence at various minimum-wage menial-labor jobs and has been rescued from insolvency by his parents on more than one occasion, hit the "snooze" button on his alarm clock 11 times before finally venturing out of bed long enough to call in sick to work, using a neighbor's phone because of his own line's disconnection for non-payment of his February bill. He spent the mid-morning staring into space, picking dead skin off his feet, and listening to Jesus & Mary Chain's Psychocandy before leaving his room again at approximately noon to urinate.
Upon returning to bed, Mayhew reportedly listened to the CD—a gift from a girlfriend who broke up with him 17 months ago—three more times before taking it out of the stereo and snapping the disc in half.
"I tried calling her, like, last April, but she just yelled, 'Loser!' seven or eight times and then hung up," said Mayhew, speaking to reporters through the mail slot of his tiny one-room apartment. "I guess she just hates me now. And who could blame her? I'm a sad, worthless, empty shell of a pitiful excuse for a human being."
Mayhew also reread, for the 29th time, Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast Of Champions, a book he calls "one of the most horribly depressing depictions of humanity's essential pointlessness ever written." He then spent the remainder of the afternoon watching re-runs of Saved By The Bell on the sole channel his television can pick up, accelerating his descent into a nightmare hellscape of unrelenting horror.
"I hate that fuckwad Slater so much," he said, "but I despise that fucking Screech bastard even more. Whenever he's on the screen, I just stare at him, mumbling, 'Die, die, die.' I don't know why I even bother to watch it. I guess it's either that or staring at the wall." Mayhew then kicked the television over and began staring at the wall.
While it is not known how Mayhew will occupy himself during the remainder of his time in bed, it is widely believed that he will berate himself under his breath, pausing every half hour or so to break down into desperate, half-choked sobs. He is also expected to draw squiggly shapes on a crumpled Taco Bell napkin with a magic marker; halfheartedly masturbate twice; and restore his television to an upright position sometime around 10 p.m. to watch reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It is unknown whether he will repeat these activities tomorrow.
Observers attribute Mayhew's utter failure of a life to a variety of factors. His lack of any employable skills makes him ill-suited for all but the most degrading menial jobs, few of which offer a living wage, leaving him in constant poverty and debt. His lack of health insurance, coupled with a diet consisting almost exclusively of Saltines and Tang, has contributed greatly to the deterioration of his physical and mental well-being. And his substandard personal hygiene, caused by his low self-esteem, as well as his enormous emotional neediness, make him extremely unattractive to members of the opposite sex as a potential romantic partner.
Mayhew dismissed such explanations. "The reason I'm such a loser is obvious," he said. "I'm such a pathetic fucking loser because I'm a worthless goddamn dorko motherfucking gaywad asshole useless piece of shit, that's why." "Duh," he added, snapping the mail slot shut.