/short story – surreal comedy/ 
Written by Dany Tanner 


Obe Dreipantz wandered the streets of Paris, arms crossed in front of her, shivering but happy. Paris, like New York, Stockholm and McCool Junction in Nebraska, always excited her. Culture out the ass! There was art on every corner, musicians on every second, and amazing books wherever one looked — except, of course, in the boardrooms of big corporations. Although Dry Pants International Inc could certainly be counted among this select group, the library in her office offered more than The Little Engine That Could Save You at Night, which she had personally seen lying on the coffee tables and desks of several of the corporate leaders she had met with.
Today, however, she was not about business. Obe wanted to drink Paris in and let it fill the most distant regions of herself. She stopped at a playground and watched small children playing. Then she walked to Pont Neuf — the oldest standing bridge in Paris — and gazed into the Seine. The structure stood at the western end of the Île de la Cité, the island in the middle of the river that was the birthplace of Paris, then known as Lutetia.
Obe strolled to the other end of the island to observe the construction work on Notre Dame. It’s a real tragedy to see the Grand Dame so… mortal, she thought before turning to head to her favorite Parisian café. In ten minutes, she was in Le Caféothèque de Philippe, feeling happy despite not finding a seat outside on the sidewalk or next to a window. As she sipped her Ugandan Bugisu latte macchiato and leafed through a Simenon paperback (while standing in the middle of the room, closer to the WC), her ears perked up at the sound of a television. Obe Dreipantz looked up: there on the screen for all the world to see stood none other than Bobby, the shy guy she’d met on the plane, whose last name was apparently Petrov. 

There he stood at the podium, looking so suave and debonair in his new suede suit and faux Dolce and Gabbana shades. He was so happy to share his incredible new business venture:

Wet Pants International!
The future of the 22nd century!
They would have airlines, special media platforms with Wet Pants live videos, pre-mixed cocktails on each corner of the street, laundromats, and a hashtag: #Those-Really-Huge-Masculine-Things-Online-With-TheGreen-And-Purple-That-Go-ROARBest of all, Wet Pants would branch out into completely new, exciting territory: the ancient and forgotten. Their warehouses would immediately begin producing 78-rpm records again because “the 3800-rpm motor used within a turntable sees peak performance at 78.26 rpm.” Also, WP Waist houses would revive the trends other fashion companies were too petrified to traffic in: for example, balloon pants and Spanish breeches, or condoms shaped like Christmas trees. 100% wool bands for breasts and penises would be huge this winter, as would buttocks warmers, rainbow-colored bell-bottom overalls, shoes shaped like fruit or ice cream, toques for non-chefs, mitres, plaid deerstalkers, kalpaks, Phrygian caps, peach baskets and ushanka hats, as well as the ugliest collection of shirts and sweaters humankind had ever produced or seen. 
“Some of these pieces are so hideous,” Bobby Petrov bragged, “that they come with an included warning that they should not be seen by persons with high blood pressure, light and color sensitivities, depression, anxiety, allergies, extreme joyousness, expecting mothers (or fathers), persons over the age of 52 ½, Albanians, and chihuahuas.”
Afterward, reporters shouted questions for over an hour, desperate to learn where these WP Waist outlets could be found. 
Obe stopped listening: Bobby Petrov had stolen all of her brilliant ideas. Instead of being shocked or angry, the woman leaned back on the bathroom door and sipped her coffee, smiling. Bobby had taken the bait. 

Out the back door of the kitchen of the Burning Bowels BBQ in Marseilles, a new set of stairs ascended above the alleyway below. Heading up these stairs, visitors came to a “steel” door at the top, formed to look like a bank vault. The letters ‘WP’ were branded into it; a creative artist had sculpted a weighty-looking demon and attached it to the vault door. Guess which part of the demon served as the knocker? Inside, the walls of the new corporate headquarters of Wet Pants Industries were made of 20cm thick, massive glass plates. Apparently, people inside were not embarrassed to go to the bathroom in front of others.

Bobby’s office had a towering mirror inside, which acted as his best friend.
“You and I have known each other for a long time,” said Bobby to his reflection. “Could there be another as magnificent, wise and sexy as me? Be honest, Petrov!”
“Surely, there couldn’t be,” his friend answered from inside the mirror. “Unless…”
“Unless what?” asked Bobby, freezing in mid-cherish.
His reflection burst out laughing, “Unless nothing! Just fuckin’ with you. You’re so easy to fuck with, you fuckwit.”
“Oh yeah?”
Someone yanked the demon door buzzer. It was hooked up to a computer that played a thunderous gong noise every time someone thumped the dong-knocker. Bobby was at the stage where the initial excitement over this gadget had worn off, and the beginnings of a deep-seated annoyance at the sound of the gong sprouted.
“WHAAT AGAIN? I AM BUSY!” he yelled, emplacing his favorite scowl with matching piercing eyes over his face.
His accountant, Mr. Robinson, and a gaggle of advisors stumbled in, chattering, bumping into one another, picking lint from each other’s shoulders and smoothing their slicked-back hair into place. They took their places around a massive red faux-oak table. Bobby’s velvet mulberry button-down was open to the diaphragm (to show he was capable of restraint), and he stood with his arms crossed over them.
“Bad news, Mr. Petrov,” Mr. Robinson said. “Your stocks are plummeting, and the banks are calling in loans. Many investors have lost confidence in your Wet Pants enterprise.”
“So what?” asked Bobby, practically shouting. “We’ll start our own chain of Wet Pants Banks. This is a Wet Pants Universe!”
“That might work if your 78s were selling,” said an advisor named Winnie Pugh.
“Or your Phrygian caps!” added McSquat, head of PR.
“Or the inflatable balloon pants,” the advisor known as QuiveryLips advised, nodding in every direction in the way a mouse would sniff, with rapid mini movements.
“OKAY!” Bobby shouted again, holding an open hand out. “I get it. What’s the good news?”
“Sir, if I may,” Mr. Robinson said. “It’s time to cut your losses. You’re stretched too thin. Your budget cannot maintain all of your endeavors. It’s unsustainable.”
“BAAAHH!!” blared the big boss. “I’ll decide what’s susta-na-nainable or not.”
“Hm, you don’t really know the meaning of what I’ve just said, do you?” noted Mr. Robinson.
“Shut up, worm!” Bobby Petrov screamed, his face turning a volcanic red. “What even is your first name?”
“It’s Wilford,” said his adviser. “You ask me that at every meeting.”
“Whatever! You’re fired, Robertson!”
“Thought you might say that, which is why I’d like to inform you of my departure. I shall be working for Dry Pants Inc., who, I’ll have you know,” Wilford Robertson reached into his suit jacket and laid a packet of papers on the table, “have made a more-than-generous offer to buy your Wet Pants. In closing, I’d like to personally add that my time here was the worst I’ve experienced, and “Wet Pants” is the stupidest name I have ever heard.” 

man without pants

 To be continued…

Don’t know anything about Obe Dry Pants? READ Part I

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