Bear
Bear

"Star Wars Episode IV.5: Hi, My Name is Darth"

After the Death Star explodes, Darth Vader is pulled in for a humiliating meeting with human resources.

"So, Mr. Vader," the HR director asks, lips curled into a slight, but highly smug, smile. "How are you today?"

"I'm fine," Darth says, voice as menacing as ever, but now dripping with anxiety. "I'm a little nervous about why I'm in here."

"Well, Mr. Vader," says the HR director, now grinning expansively, his expensive, blinding veneers visible for miles. "I wish I had better news, but I'm afraid we are going to have to let you go."

"But —"

"We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors," the HR director says, extending his slimy little hand.

Darth can't afford the payments on his condo, which goes into foreclosure, ruining his credit. He rents a crummy efficiency apartment with 1970s-era fixtures and wood paneling and takes an assistant manager position at Walgreens. His white, button down short-sleeved shirt and "Hi, my name is Darth" name tag do not match his sinister black helmet. Not at all. He can barely look in the mirror.

"It's OK, Darth," he tells himself. "Just make it through today. It's going to be OK."

He turns around to see his orange tabby staring up at him.

"Here kitty, kitty."

The cat abruptly turns around and walks out of the room.

"Well," he says. "That was awesome."


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Every day at work is a new nightmare. Darth's boss is a skinny, pimple-faced 19-year-old named Chad. He constantly tries to pull Darth into a pyramid scheme that he calls an "investment opportunity." Chad's voice cracks, which makes his incredulous reactions at Darth's polite refusals all the more unbearable. His coworkers, all 20 years his junior, snicker at his "Nazi helmet." He takes his lunch alone in the break room and never gets invited to after-work cocktails.

A typical day for Darth goes like this:

"Hey, Darth," Chad says, making sure he does so in front of four other employees.

"Yes, Chad?"

"Hey there, I'm going to need you to clean out the sanitary napkin disposal boxes in the ladies room," Chad says. He pauses for effect before continuing with "And Stacey forgot to do it the past two weeks, so it's probably pretty bad in there."

"Yes, sir."

"And Darth?"

"Yes."

"I know that the big mask is like a life-support thing, but we are getting complaints from customers that your voice scares little children, mostly when you breathe in and out. Can you breathe a little more softly maybe?"

"Um, I can try. It's kind of hard."

"Great, Darth. And one other thing."

"Yes, sir?"

"When you are cleaning out the boxes in the ladies room?"

"Yes?"

"May The Force be with you."

Chad and Darth's four coworkers snicker violently. Although no one can see it beneath his mask, Darth tears up as he pulls on his latex cleaning gloves.

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