Whole Paycheck

Excuse me, where do y’all keep the diet Pepsi?

Writing by Charlie Brice
Art by 51 Pegasi

Tragedy in the Arugula Aisle

Want to have a little fun?

Walk into Whole Paycheck 

(our name for a certain high-end

grocery chain) and ask one of those 

food fanatics where they keep the 

Diet Pepsi. Stand clear and watch 

his head, and those of his colleagues,

explode. Watch those decapitated

food ninnies run full bore into the 

granola and knock over the raw honey

display. Try to dodge the rivulets

of Apis excreta as it flows like

health food lava down the goat

cheese aisle into the kale, arugula,

and legume bins. Listen to one of

the organic food colonels chortle

about how deadly diet cola is, how

it removes rust from worn spoons

and forks, watch his eyes pop out

of their sockets when you explain

that’s why you drink the stuff.

“No rusty parts in my innards,”

you exclaim. Stay calm when 

the Gluten Free Police throw you 

and your reusable grocery bags out 

of the store and onto your keister. 

Want more fun? Stroll into the vegan

section and tell a stock boy how

great Spam tastes when slathered

with yellow mustard and nestled

between slices of Wonder Bread;

or stand in the middle of the coconut 

water and oat milk aisle and loudly 

complain that you can’t find the 

Sweet’N Low. There’s much fun 

to be had. The possibilities are endless.

About the Author

green leaf plant on brown wooden stump

Charlie Brice won the 2020 Field Guide Poetry Magazine Poetry Contest and placed third in the 2021 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize. His sixth full-length poetry collection is Pinnacles of Hope (Impspired Books, 2022). His poetry has been nominated three times for both the Best of Net Anthology and the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Atlanta Review, The Honest Ulsterman, Ibbetson Street, The Paterson Literary Review, Impspired Magazine, Salamander Ink Magazine, and elsewhere.

About the Artist

51 Pegasi is a hallucinogenic trip through a world of Stepford dolls that shimmy their way around a 60’s Nuke Town in a dystopian world that almost was. A pop surrealist fever dream from London-based designer Jenna Patrick, who, let’s be honest, probably spends most of her time making boring things look slightly less boring. But hey, who needs reality when you can escape into a world of pop surrealism and pure unadulterated madness.

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