Echelon Gap

I really hate it when those low-echelon types come after you. I mean, they all see us high-enders and they say, if I can just get an in with them... Don't get me wrong--it's not like I haven't indulged myself with a few of the low-echelon women once in a while. Some of them are quite cute, and they're not as dangerous as the higher-ups. I mean, their testimony isn't going to be worth much in court, right?

For real intellectual equality, you have to go for the high-echelon women. I've never been fond of them, myself--they're too bossy, and some of them are such teases. And if you jilt them, it costs you big. But what really gets to me is when the lower-class babes think they have any kind of a chance with you. Give me a break.

I was in the library one day, just reading some Proust. You know, À La Récherche Du Temps Perdu, and all that. I didn't like it as much as some of the other stuff they'd put me on, but better than that Thoreau guy, anyway. And this low-echelon chick comes up to me and starts talking to me.

"I like Proust, myself," she says, just out of nowhere. I look at her. Not bad--nice hooters, at least, even if the face needs some work. And wearing glasses--yuk. I can't see her legs over the edge of the table, so I lean forward a bit--and she's wearing pants, right? Not even a skirt, or shorts, or anything.

So right away I know that this is the wrong kind of girl. She thinks she can get to you by appealing to your brain. She hasn't yet learned that any guy who wants a woman with brains can get one higher-up, and anyone else isn't gonna look at her twice.

"Really," I say, in my most off-putting tone.

She nods, or so I presume, since I've turned back to the book. " Remembrances of Things Past, right?" Well, right there I know she doesn't even measure up on the intellect scale. I mean, she read it in English? That's like reading Thoreau in French, or Plato in Swahili. Real useful.

So I let her have it. "Non, non, c'est La Récherche Du Temps Perdu." And I proceed to let her have it, both barrels, all the criticism on it I can dredge up, in French. I can see her face fall and her body slump in defeat. But I don't stop. And she doesn't move. She just stands there and takes it.

Finally I take pity on her. "Look--if you want to talk about Proust in English, I'm not the guy you should be looking for." I scribble down a name and call-address on a sheet of paper. "This guy, Mitsuko, is much more your style. What's your name?"


"Great. I'll call him and tell him about you. He'll be thrilled." Mitsuko is a real bastard, see. He gets a morbid satisfaction about these low-echelon chicks, making them think they have a chance intellectually and then pounding them into dust. His suicide rate is two for three. For some reason, though, they all seem to come to me first, and I have to send them on to him.

Now I'm horny, though. She did have nice hooters. So I put the books back on the shelf and go down to the street for some real action.

<Ron Echeverri gave me the assignment


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The Den of Ubiquity/ Aaron V. Humphrey /