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THE SCAB

    Once a scab signed a seven-figure book deal.
    The scab’s publicist announced in a press conference called to herald this “publishing event of all time” that “My client intends to expose the full state of corruption, foul depths, and shocking cover-ups witnessed in a lifetime of political service. Nothing will be held back from the public eye.”  
    The publicist, speaking for the scab to a shouting and shoving throng of reporters, went on to allege that many seemingly upstanding figures had good reason to fear the scab’s revelations, and while some had sought to keep the full facts from the light, “the dark truth will out.”  
    When pressed for the names of those most likely to be hurt by the promised revelations, the publicist responded, “Buy the book,” and then abruptly ushered the scab away before any further questions could be yelled out.
    Later, during a prime-time television exclusive, the publicist again deflected all attempts to scoop the scab’s story by leaning into the camera and holding up a cover proof for the book, entitled at this point simply The Scab (though also under consideration was Open and Running Sore). The cover blocked all view of the scab beginning to slump under its own weight in the armchair behind. Flakey on top, it seemed distinctly more slippery and unstable below.  
    Asked if rumors were true that a ghost writer had been hired to tell this saga of a scab, the publicist dismissed the implications with another waving of the book’s cover, declaring curtly: “I’m not even going to dignify that question with an answer. My client, the scab, has no need of assistance in laying bare the whole disturbing story of how a conspiracy of odious malefactors has engaged in a campaign of slander most vile.”
    Again, when pressed for names, the publicist said the odious malefactors in question knew very well who they were and so would the whole world just as soon as “all this stuff hits the stores.”  
    The increasingly frustrated interviewer tried once more to coax at least a sound bite for the evening news promo directly from the scab, as the camera crew attempted a circling maneuver designed to get a better shot of the new literary phenom about to slide out of the chair, it appeared, and across the floor. 
    “Any further questions can be submitted in writing,” the publicist added, tiptoeing gingerly in the wake of the surprisingly fast-slithering scab toward the door, as a new figure burst into the room at a breathless run and slid, just barely avoiding a fall, before the camera.
    “As the scab’s recently hired lawyer, I intend to file a motion shortly to protect my client’s rights, now and in perpetuity, to any and all profits generated by the airing of this interview or its reproduction in any form whatsoever without the express written consent of my client, the scab.”