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An Essential Toil – Issue 4

The room was cold, just a shade under laboratory temperature. People fiddled with their pockets

and pens just to squeeze out a little finger warmth. There was the odd few huddled over their mugs despite any fresh steam being long gone. Overall it was a wriggly bunch, but there was something else outside the cold that seemed to cause even further fidgeting. All along the boardroom table were screwed up sticky notes and dead laptops. The wriggliest of the

the room sat at the end beside an empty whiteboard, the cap of his marker popped off and on. His lopsided clip-on-tie paired nicely with the sweat patches orbiting each armpit. By now it was a cold sweat crystallised on odd parts of his upper, the bottom half however was still very much



“What the fuck are we calling it? It cannot be this hard.” Even his voice was sweaty.


“We’ve tried everything, boss. Healthy Smells. Nature’s Liquid. Flower Power. The Sniffs. Are we sure we don’t like The Sniffs?”


“Ralph, that’s easily the worst one so far. Listen people it’s 5.57. In exactly three minutes I’m walking out of this office and heading straight into a bubble bath. I’m talking stee-raight, not taking off my belt, nothing. I’m going to wash my ass through these slacks and as I do I’m going to be at peak relaxation because guess what? I’ll be saying the name of this fucking product to myself over and over.”


As the clock ticked a fraction closer to 6 an employee on the outskirts of the boardroom looked up from his carefully disguised sudoku. Stu was stout, pieced together in three shades of khaki. His body looked the word Stu. His face was as non-descript as the default character in any video game. Such a forgettable set of visual markers that maybe his name was actually Tony, despite the very Stu like build.


At that very moment his brain began to do something completely new and remarkable. It was

beginning to have an original thought. The pink cogs behind his eyeballs lurched into action and he stood up from his chair. The room twisted around at the squeak of his movement.

As if a monkey picking up a stick for the first time and smacking his monkey mate on the head Tony’s voice broke as he spoke the word ‘essential’ followed by the word ‘oils’.




“Essential Oils.”


“What are you talking about? They’re not even essential to-“


“Shut it Ralph.”


The marker flew across the room and hit Ralph square in the temple. He crumpled back into his chair as if it were the entire whiteboard thrown at him.


“Essential Oils it is. Write it down, tattoo it on your first born, I don’t fucking care, I’m going home to my jacuzzi.”


And that my friends is the tale of Essential Oils.


It’s essentially just oil, for fuck sakes.