Yo, yo, yo, H-Dog is back in tha house, all-new an' luvvin' tha boos in tha '02, know what I'm sayin'? First off, big upz to tha whole Midstate Office Supply Accountz Reeceevable posse, who took top honaz at tha officewide holiday banquet foe Best Departmental Attendance of 2001. Aw, yeah, you know how we do.

Now, some banquet attendees wuz hatin' on tha Accountz Reeceevable posse, sayin' Human Resourcez shoulda won cuz of all tha ovatime Bob Cowan put in when he revised tha employee handbook. I say, fuck them H.R. bitchez. Buncha lightweights. They may have tha shorties an' tha fame, but when it come to gettin' tha hardcore accountin' done, A.R. beats they sorry asses hands down.

Ordinarily, yours truly, tha K-Hova, gots no time foe no silly holiday banquetz. But my homegirl Gladys be leavin' Midstate, an' she an' her babydaddy wuz takin' off foe Oklahoma tha next day. She say she got a job balancin' tha bookz foe some Big Willie R.V. dealership her uncle owns. Whateva. Beatz me why she wanna leave a bangin' outfit like Midstate, but as long as she continue to represent tha Principles of Accountin' to tha fullest, I gots no beef. Mad love to mah homegirl Gladys.

Now, tha banquet wuz pretty cool foe a banquet, but by about 9 p.m., I had enough. So afta I say goodbye to Gladys, I head ova to the buffet table, toss a bunch of pigs-in-blankets an' potato salad into a Gladware containa I brought foe tha occasion, and cut outta there. Yo, I know what you thinkin', but if they be delvin' into tha company scrilla to give tha Midstate krew a big spread foe tha holiday banquet, then it ain't freeloadin'. Ain't no shame in tha H-Dog livin' large on tha company coin. I worked my ass off this year.

As I revved up tha Nite Rida, my cell phone ring. It be my homey Sir Casio KL7000.

"Yo, Dog, all-you-can-eat popcorn shrimp tonight at Lums," Casio say. "Tha whole reeceevable posse gonna be there. You in?"

"Shit, man, I gots to refrigerate these muthafukkin' cocktail weenies wit' a quickness," I say. "Popcorn shrimp? Why didn't you give me no advance heads-up?"

"I gave you a holla as soon as I heard, Dog," Casio say. "I just found out mahself."

"S'all good," I say. "Them weenies can probably last in tha Nite Rida foe a few hourz, anyway. I'm in."

"Cool. I see you there in 20 minutes," Casio say. "Actually, Dog, I gots somethin' more to tell you 'bout tonight. Check it out: Mike Pisano is back in town. He just graduated from Cornell and is gonna hook up wit tha ol' krew tonight ova at Lums."

Mike Pisano? Damn. I ain't seen Mike since he left tha hood to go to Cornell. He wuz a local kid, and when he wuz 16, I took him unda mah wing and educated him in tha wayz of accountin'. He took to my teachin' well, and in no time, he wuz practically mah right-hand man at Midstate. Tha A.R. bruthahs called him "Tha Addin' Machine," because even though he wuz still underage, he krunched numbahs faster than a Power Mac G4. But I didn't call Mike no "Addin' Machine." I gave him the dope moniker "ACO-LYTE," cuz he wuz practically my protégé, jus' like I wuz to CPA-ONE back in tha day, when I accounted freestyle on tha streetz wit' him as mah mentor.

Back in tha day, ACO-LYTE an' I wuz mad tight, only we didn't see eye-to-eye on tha college thang. He thought a college education wuz tha tikket to a lifetime of success, an' I said fuck that boo-ya. Now, tha H-Dog gots nuthin' but respect foe anyone who wantz to get they learn on. But I ain't down wit' that liberal-arts bullshit. I into vocational schoolin', the kind where you learn a real trade. I got mah accountin' degree from Eastech Bidness College, an' I ain't never looked back. I ain't got time foe none o' that liberal-artz shit, wit' its history and philosophizizin' an' all them books that say how you should be nice to tha bitchez even if they playin' you like a fool. Huh. ACO-LYTE kept sayin' that learnin' that shit would broaden his mind, but what's any of that got to do wit' gettin' yo'self some SKEELZ?

Tha day ACO-LYTE left Midstate wuz a tough one, 'cause he wuz like mah baby bruthah. But when I walk into Lums and peep him chillin' at a long table wit' tha rest o' tha Reeceevable posse, I couldn't believe what I saw. ACO-LYTE wuz all decked out in some wack threads. He wasn't wearin' no short-sleeved button-down shirt and tie, or no acrylic sweata vest and Dockaz slaxx like any self-respectin' A.R. bruthah, but jeanz an' a black T-shirt. An' a black leatha jacket slung ova his chair. He also let his hair grow long an' looked like he ain't shaved in maybe two days.

"Ay, yo, ACO-LYTE, what tha dilly?" I say. "'Sup wit tha Fonzie shit? You look like some kinda sellout, bro." I didn't like to be hatin' on mah homey, but that Fonzie shit wuz mad foul, know what I'm sayin'?

"Come on, Herbert, let's just relax and have a good time," ACO-LYTE say. "I may not look the same on the outside, but I honestly haven't changed inside. I'm just trying to update my look a little, okay?"

"Yeah, Dog," Kount Von Numbakrunch turn to me and say. "I think Tha Addin' Machine looks mad cool. Thas a muthafukkin' Wilson's leatha jacket he got on there."

"Shut tha fuck up, Numbakrunch," I say. "ACO-LYTE, you trippin' or somethin'? Why you be frontin' like that? You look wack. Back in tha day, you wuz mah numba-one disciple. You wuz mah hand-picked successor, tha one who would take up tha Kornfeld throne after I retired and headed off to Branson wit' mah mad 401(k) retirement scratch. What tha fuck happened? You ain't even kickin' tha A.R. talk no more. You sound like a little A.P. bitch."

"I'm sorry, but you've got it all wrong, Herbert," ACO-LYTE say. "There's no use trying to hide it from you, so I'll just come right out and say it: I don't want to be in the A.R. anymore. Or do accounting of any kind. I graduated in December with a double major in political science and Russian history."

"You did what, muthafukka?"

"Herbert, I'm not the sellout. You are," ACO-LYTE say. "You act all tough, but the truth of the matter is, you're suffering from a wage-slave mentality. You only care about material things—getting paid and getting laid."

DAMN.

ACO-LYTE go on to tell me that since I a non-union employee of Midstate Office Supply, tha H-Dog be vulnerable as shit. He hear Midstate employees wuz payin' twice tha health-insurance premium we wuz last year wit' no raise in salary, an' that Midstate laid off 10 percent of its workforce, even though it took in mad loot last fiscal year.

I ain't tryin' to hear that. "You wrong," I say. "If Midstate don't give a shit about its peeps, how come they give us a big spread foe X-mas? Back in tha Nite Rida, I gots a Gladware containa, all full of leftova weenies an' shit. Besides, if tha A.R. bruthahood don't hold it down at Midstate, there ain't nobody to keep them wack Accountz Payabo foolz in check."

But ACO-LYTE say that bullshit, too. "Don't you see, Herbert? The whole A.R./A.P. rivalry only serves to keep the company's employees divided, and to distract both sides from the real enemy: the upper management of Midstate Office Supply," he say. "You guys should be uniting to let management know that you can't be pushed around. Just because you work for them doesn't mean you can't make demands on them."

I ain't no fool. I know bullshit when I hear it. So I gets right to tha heart of tha matta and aks ACO-LYTE, "If you care so much about tha Accountin' bruthahs an' sistahs, why didn't you get certified instead of chasin' some wack poli-sci and Russian degree?"

He start shiftin' his feet a little and hesitatin', mutterin' somethin' about attendin' grad school. That only get mah bullshit detector goin' off all tha more. I press him, and he finally say it.

"Well, I guess that I, uh, ultimately decided that, for me, from a career standpoint, accounting is too... boring."

Half tha A.R. bruthahs at that table had to hold me back. Tha Letta Opener of Death wuz practically burnin' a hole in the pocket of my Membaz Only jacket. It didn't take long foe tha Lums hostess to notice, an' soon tha manager be clearin' us out. That manager has a runnin' vendetta against me ever since I dunked some A.P. sucka's head in a vat of Thousand Island dressing at the Lums salad bar a few years ago. But that A.P. fucka deserved to be dunked, just like ACO-LYTE deserved a date wit' tha L.O.D. afta what he said.

Dag, yo. What's been goin' on these days? First, Jerry Tha Sharpie Head crosses ova to Payabo. Now, tha bruthah who once stood to inherit mah phat collection of hangin' file folders, dope-ass three-hole punch, and pneumatic desk chair wit' adjustable lumbar support decides that mah life's work not only beneath him, it boring, too.

Afta walking out of Lums, tha A.R. posse wuz still holdin' me down as ACO-LYTE hustled to his hoopty. "It saddens me that we can't have a civilized conversation about this, Herbert," he say as he pull away. "Someday you'll finally learn that you can't solve your problems by whipping out your letter opener every time somebody disagrees with you."

Shit, man, what wuz wit' all that preachy aftaschool-special shit? ACO-LYTE be buggin' out. I let him have tha last word, though. Not 'cause he had somethin' on me, but 'cause I couldn't undastand how a dude could experience tha joys of balancin' an' journalizin' and still give it all up foe some poli-sci and Russian boo-ya.

I still can't understand it. An' to this day, them cocktail weenies an' that potato salad be sittin' in mah fridge, turnin' all green and shit 'cause I didn't think I'd enjoy them afta what happened. H-Dog OUT.