After burning up the keys one his faithful laptop, Mike decided it was time to rethink his web surfing habits. While his intentions for buying the machine had originally been good---write a story a day, track his finances, keep in touch with his parents, it hadn't taken long before those important things got left by the wayside, and visits to celebrity gossip websites picked up.
So with the new year fresh in his head, he decided to make a clean break from the connected life and to find another way of keeping up-to-date with his gossip.
The next best way, of course, was to buy an old lady. Mike didn't know if old ladies were easily had these days but figured if he walked a mall in the middle of the day he was likely to find someone who could meet his gossip needs.
So one day, on his lunch break, Mike went to the closest mall and sat down on a bench outside a pet store, listening in on the conversations of old ladies or their mumbling to themselves.
He took copious notes, eliminating those ladies who were talking only about current affairs or politics and grading the gosspiers by placing stars beside their notation each time he heard them swear or call another woman a hussy. At the end of the noon hour, he had two women who had accumulated seven starts apiece---the only women who had even reached the five star number.
Knowing he had to get back to work, Mike approached the woman who was closest to him. She was a little old lady with short white hair, big green glasses, and a bigger blue dress.
"Excuse me," he said, tapping her on her shoulder.
"What do you want, I'm too busy to be chit chatting with riff raff like you," she said with a scowl.
"Well I'll get right to the point then. I want to buy you," Mike said outright.
"I don't swing with chaffers like you."
"I don't want you to swing with me, and I don't know what a chaffer is. I want you for your gossip. I've given up on Internet websites and I want you to tell me the news from here on in."
"You mean like how old Mrs. Chuggins shacked up with her grocer last night?"
"You're kidding, she didn't."
"She did, and this morning I saw him leaving with the bag of groceries he brought in. It's probably filled with all the empty speed containers she has lying around the house."
"She takes speed?"
"Amongst about a thousand other types of drugs. How else do you suppose she's still alive?"
"I thought she just had good doctors."
"Oh she's had plenty of doctors, if you know what I mean. They're always coming and going. In and out, if you know what i mean."
"I think I get the idea. You're talking about sex."
"Of course I am boy, clean your ears if you want to listen to me. You're just as deaf as Mr. Shipley who lives near my friend Muriel. not only is he deaf, but he's missing a leg. Cut it off himself one night when he was right drunk. Crazy old coot he is."
"Does that mean you'll come live with me?"
"What and be the subject of endless gossip. I can hear them talking now: 'That attractive young lady we always see walking the mall shacked up with a scruffy looking homeless man who preys on the good nature of pretty, smart women.' Well I'm not interested in that."
"I'll pay you a thousand dollar a month," Mike pleaded.
"I'm not a prostitute like to old Mrs. Bell who lives down the street from me and is always inviting men into her home to have relations with. You know she was a member of the Klan when she was younger?"
"How about if I pay you eleven hundred dollars a month?" he bargained.
"For that amount I'll not only move in but I'll also share your bed. Just like Mrs. Smith who lives near my grandson did with a young hockey player who is boarding with her. You know, she also takes his pain relief medication from him while he sleeps it, crushes it up, and snorts it off her toilet seat."
"Ok, that's great for her, she must be very happy with all those drugs."
"Don't get smart with me young man or I'll slap you so hard you'll forget where your ding-dong is. Just like old Mr. Jefferson did after he had all those relations with that hussy-like Jezebel that calls herself my sister. She'll melt the wing-wang right off a grown horse she will. And then she'll steal their drugs and sell 'em to babies."
Mike started walking to his car, very satisfied with his gossip selection. The old woman followed closely behind, looking back and forth as people walked by and continually making comments to herself and to him. As he listened to all the sex and drug talk, he realized he hadn't thought of the Internet since noon. this was going to work out just fine.