A Homey In Need

Herbert Kornfeld
Accounts Receivable Supervisor

All y'all disciples of tha H-Dog know that The Man always be tryin' to playa-hate on tha Accountz Reeceevable bruthahood, 24-7. On any given day in tha office park what contain Midstate Office Supply, tha 5-0 be bustin' some A.R. bruthah on some trumped-up charge, like jaywalkin' or findin' a ounce or two of correction fluid on his person an' claimin' he wuzn't usin' it for no correctin'. That shit don't never happen to no Accountz Payabo muthafuckas, 'cause they got all tha dead prez an' can bribe tha pigs so they look tha other way. A.R. bruthahs ain't got nothin' but debits, an' they thankful if they just balance at tha end of tha goddamn day.

So tha A.R. krew gots to be vigilant at all times and take care of they own. When one of us be down on our luck, tha others gots to tend to him, 'cause one day, they could find theyselves in that same situation, know what I'm sayin'?


Yo, peep this: 'Bout a month ago at quitting time, tha H-Dog be punchin' out foe tha day, lookin' forward to kickin' back in his crib wit' tha latest issue of Consuma Reportz an' a steamin' bowl of Dinty Moore stew, when I spots this fool leanin' on tha Nite Rida out in tha Midstate parking lot. It be dusk, an' I can't makes him out too good, but that don't matter, 'cuz tha Letta Opener Of Death always finds its target, know what I'm sayin'? So I creep up on tha guy, my Spidey Sense all tinglin', but before I can stick tha bitch, he whirl around an' grabs my arm. It mah homey Jerry Tha Sharpie Head.

"Shit, fool," I say. "Y'all be leanin' on mah hoopty. You outta yo' mind?"

Jerry Tha Sharpie Head be one crazy-ass muthafucka. He always trippin' on them felt-tip pens an', as a result, ain't capable of observin' tha most basic of H-Dog protocol, which be, stay tha fizuck off tha Nite Rida, lest you wanna get sprayed. But Jerry still gots tha reflexes of a muthafuckin' jungle cat, an' he can balance and journalize wit' tha best of them. Word is bond. Only, Jerry look like shit: He be sweatin' an' shakin', his Membaz Only windbreaker be all soiled, tha underside of his nose be stained wit' black Sharpie ink, an' ledga sheets be fallin' out of his attaché case.

"Yo, H-Dog," Jerry say. "I need somethin'."

"Shit, Jerry," I say, "I ain't got no Sharpies."

"Nah, I don't need no fix, Dog," Jerry say. "That ain't it. You gotta help me wit' somethin' else. Don't nobody wanna hire me 'cuz I just got outta lockdown. They think I ain't to be trusted around they benjaminz, 'cuz I been in tha pen. But that be straight-up bullshit, G, 'cuz I didn't get busted foe no embezzlin' or money-launderin' or no fiscal shit like that. I got busted foe theft of certain office supplies. I did my time and paid mah debt to society. What moe they want a brutha to do?"


"Yo, Jerry, chill," I say. "Whatchu want from me?"

"I wants you to let me join tha Midstate A.R. posse."

Damn. Picture Jerry an' me, accountz-reeceevin' together like back in tha day. That would be off tha hook, no doubt. Only thing was, tha Midstate A.R. krew already be full. Wit' Gary an' Gladys backin' up tha H-Dog in his day-to-day bidness, I don't needs no more homeys protectin' mah neck. Tha only work I'd have foe Jerry would be pitiful shit like copyin' an' collatin,' which I wouldn't even make no bitch-ass temp do, let alone a Seventh-Degree A.R. Masta like Jerry. So I tells Jerry that I write him a reference instead. Tha H-Dog be known far and wide as tha Tony Montana of tha A.R. scene, an' a reference from me be worth its weight in gold, know what I'm sayin'?


So Jerry an' me, we go back to my cubicle, an' I gets on tha computa an' types up tha phattest reference letta a A.R. bruthah ever got. I write how tha H-Dog be down wit' Jerry since back in tha day, when we wuz just two hungry young street punks hustlin' to reeceeve. I write how he wuz a disciple of tha legendary A.R. masta CPA-ONE. I write how he be tha hardest workin' muthafucka of them all, an' how you'd have to be a stone-cold fool of a human-resources director not to hire his azz. I didn't say nothin' about him bein' in tha pen or about his Sharpie-huffin'. This letta be nothin' but mad props.

Tha next day, I be chillin' in my crib, just checkin' my phone mizessages. One of them be from Jerry, sayin' that thankz to my off-tha-heezy reference letta, some Big Willie textbook publisher hired his azz on tha spot. I be crazy proud to help out a homey in need, especially one from back in tha day like Jerry, even if he a Sharpie Head.


A few weeks go by, an' I be tendin' to bidness as usual. Then, one day, I be in tha Midstate break room, and associate shipping supervisa Jim Eberthaler steps to mah grill.

"Oh, hi, Herbert," Jim say. "Say, did you know that my wife works over at Enrichment Publishing? Apparently, a good friend of yours, Jerry, was recently hired over there. I understand he's the new accounts-payable supervisor. That's terrific. Small world, huh?"



Tha next few hours wuz a blur. All I could think about wuz Jerry crossin' ova to tha A.P. side. I took a long lunch that day, only I don't recall gettin' my eat on. What I do remember is cruisin' ova to tha other side of town, grabbin' a bat from tha trunk of tha Nite Rida, hustlin' up to tha seventh floor of Enrichment Publishin' corporate headquarters, draggin' Jerry's ass out of his cubicle, and beatin' tha livin' shit outta him until he was a mass of bloody pulp an' shredded Membaz Only nylon. Some big-hair office ho called tha 5-0, but tha H-Dog wuz long gone by the time they arrived.


I went back to mah cubicle at Midstate and tried to chill, focusin' on mah Executive Stress Ball. But crazy thoughts be flyin' through my dome. Then I hears tha 5-0's sirens down below in tha parkin' lot. I be thinkin', come an' get me, pigs. Jerry an' me wuz mad tight back in tha day, but I don't regret nothin'. It be worth doin' time for what I did. Tha A.R. bruthahood cannot be betrayed.

I gets up from my fly pneumatic desk-chair wit' tha height control an' tha lumbar adjustment for tha last time, thinkin' about how them cold steel cuffs gonna feel against tha skin of my wrists. But as I nears tha Midstate loadin' dock, about to give myself up, there be that wack inventory-department bitch Dave Weintraub, who for some reason think we tight.


"Hey, Herbert, your friend Jerry just got caught stealing a case of dry-erase markers from our warehouse," Dave say. "He didn't even try hiding the markers–he just walked out with them in broad daylight. Right under the 'We Prosecute Shoplifters' sign, no less."

"You fuckin' wit' tha H-Dog?" I say to Dave. "You better not be fuckin' wit' tha H-Dog, or I slit yo' muthafukkin' throat."


"No, Herbert, that's the absolute truth," Dave say. "Scout's honor."

"Then I hope you took tha case from him an' gave him tha beat-down of his life foe stealin' Midstate inventory," I say. "You better say that to me, beeyotch."


"Oh, no, Herbert. I would never take the law into my own hands like that," Dave say. "I phoned the police. They just drove off with him a minute ago. Boy, he didn't look too good, either. It almost looked like he fell down a flight of stairs or something."

Out of mah head, I grab Dave and slam his bitch ass against a bunch of boxes. Only, tha boxes be filled wit' nothin' but packin' peanuts, an' they be all ova tha fool as I peel outta tha parkin' lot in tha Nite Rida. Foe tha first time in my Midstate career, I takes tha aftanoon off.


Damn. After I whupped him, Jerry musta found tha strength to get into his hoopty an' follow me to Midstate. Then he got hisself busted intentional 'cuz of me.

Maybe I shoulda…

Aw, fuck that shit. Jerry broke tha sacred Code Of Tha Reeceevable. Crossin' ova to Payabo be beyond forgivin', man.


I stuck mah neck out foe Jerry Tha Sharpie Head, and he go A.P. on me. Then he go and steal a bunch of dry-erase markers in broad daylight. Why he wanna do that right when he get out of tha pen and be turnin' his life around? Maybe Jerry one of them bruthas who can't live on tha outside. Whateva. All I knows is, that fool gonna have a rough time in minimum-security lockdown when all them A.R. bruthahs on tha inside find out he be a traitor to tha cause. He probably gonna be made some junk-bond trader's bitch. Shit.

Prior to his death on April 30th, 2007, Herbert Kornfeld wrote about workplace issues for The Onion. He worked as the Accounts Receivable Supervisor at Midstate Office Supply, the state's oldest wholesaler and retailer of office supplies and business machines.


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