Jimmy Hendricks is Down with the flu, from the journal of Jimmy Hendricks

Introducing Jimmy Hendricks, a far from ordinary man who comes down with the flu

Dear Journal,

Brushing his teeth was the favorite part of Jimmy's morning.

He loved making them spotless…perfect. Just like him. He would work up foamy peppermint lather and spit out with the kind of grace that would make a swan blush, and then he would grin charmingly at the mirror and he dazzled himself with his shiny white teeth. Afterwards, he would count them, all thirty two of them, and then floss with a swift assured confidence.

But what does it matter to you about how Jimmy Hendricks brushed his teeth? So what if he's a little cocky when he's alone in front of the mirror? Aren't we all? So why then, am I wasting so many words to describe his actions to you? And why waste an equal amount to ask in the first place? What the hell did it matter?

Jimmy Hendricks was vain. Protecting his perfection was all that mattered to him. So much so that he refused to do anything that would threaten it, including, for some reason, having children.

Today, Jimmy Hendricks didn't enjoy brushing his teeth at all. He dreaded the moment he stepped out of his house and into the bus that would take him to work; and that moment would come very shortly after brushing his teeth. They were going on an outing at work today, a work event that tortured Jimmy for 364 days a year. He remembered the last time; they had gone to the beach, and Jimmy had forgotten to use his sun tan. Well, that didn't bode too well with his perfection, did it?

No. And he couldn't let that happen this year again…even though they weren't going anywhere near the beach. The small company had a picnic planned for the park.

"It's just the park, Jimmy." He constantly told himself for the past month, ever since he found out. But he could already think of things that would go wrong at the park. There were pigeons, puddles, paint-wet benches, small children, and grass…yes grass; there had been an unfortunate incident that ended with colonics.

"It's not just the park," he whined to his reflection. "It's hell."

"Just like the beach, and the museum, and the ice rink…" His reflection gave a mocking smirk.

"Hey, I had to get plastic surgery to get rid of that scar," he protested. "I'm not going back to any of those places, and I'm not going to the park."

"Well you kinda have to; it's your job."

Jimmy scowled at his reflection, but quickly stopped as he noticed how un-perfect it made his face look. And then, a sinister smile formed. That one he liked.

"Oh Jesus, what now?" His reflection just seemed to know that he was concocting a plan; it was like he was psychic. Psychic and perfect!

"What if I call in sick?"

"With what?"


"The flu," Jimmy coughed into his cell phone, and then he proceeded to fake blowing his nose into his napkin.

He closed the clamshell phone and pocketed it with a satisfied smile. He seemed to just linger there in front of the mirror, at least until it stuck him that he had that day off. And he couldn't just hang around at home…of course not! That wouldn't bode too well with his perfection, would it?

No. He would have to go to that one place where perfect people went when they needed a place to go.

"Aspen?" asked his reflection.

"No silly," he said with a laugh. "Times Square."


He had been waiting at the bus stop for a whole two minutes — being perfect was expensive, and so he couldn't afford a car — when finally a bus came. He stepped on, and realized that the only available seat was in the back…next to old people. Well, that wouldn't bode well with his perfection, would it?

He made a condescending grunt and got off, muffling his perfect ears from several curse words the bus driver threw at him before the bus took off, and crashed at the intersection.

"That's what happens when you mess with the cosmic forces of perfection!" He yelled, refusing to believe that the accident had anything to do with the wet road…or the mangy dog that darted across it…or the skinny little child that dashed across to save the poor thing.

He turned his back on the accident, and began wondering how he would get to Times Square. It was a whole three blocks away. Surely he couldn't walk? What would that do to his perfection? He stared up the street as he heard a commotion coming in his direction. There was a one man cyclist marathon coming down the street; Jimmy's favorite. The man on the bike was yelling something like "I'm perfect! Get that damn bus out of my way! I wanna win this thing!", but riddled with swear words. Jimmy cheered as he darted by, but then scowled at the bus spread across his way. And…


The cyclist was dead, his body spread eagle on the side of the bus, slowly slipping off. His bicycle was standing on its handlebars and seat, its wheels spinning in sadistic mockery; however it got that way is a mystery. Before I could think of an explanation, Jimmy had an idea. And this is Jimmy's story, not the bicycle's.

Jimmy flipped the bicycle over and hopped on.

"Hey, you can't take that guy's bike!" yelled someone on the sidewalk, who was apparently supported by many other onlookers, from the way they shook their fists at him. "Don't you have respect for the dead?"

"It's ok; I'm perfect," Jimmy explained, but the people gasped, and their mouths just fell open like how un-perfect people's did when they were shocked or something. He didn't have the inclination to sit around and explain how he was allowed to do things that they weren't; having to co-exist with the very same un-perfect folk was bad enough. Besides, he was sure the man would understand, the lucky soul was in perfect heaven already, he was sure.

He took off down the road with a mob of un-perfect people behind him.

"The jealous pigs," said the voice in his head.

"Couldn't agree more."

It took Jimmy a little over five minutes to finally get to his destination; he would have gotten there sooner if he hadn't gotten into an argument with an armed mugger about knowing who and what he was allowed to mug, which ended in a lot of tears and suicidal gashes. He parked the bicycle, yes that's right; his bicycle deserved a parking space. And then he perused his surroundings, trying to spot the rest of his perfect friends. But then he realized, there were no perfect folk there, no, just plain old common folk.

He smacked himself on the head for being so stupid, but not too hard lest he ruin his perfect bone structure. Times Square was only perfect at night, but in the day it was packed with those puny un-perfect people. He shivered and turned to his bicycle, but on his way there, and young girl bumped into him and sneezed. He froze, standing there just trying to comprehend what could have possessed that little brat into thinking he was a tissue.

And now, Jimmy Hendricks is down with the flu.

A/N: Those of you reading Funny Business, don't worry I'm still working on it (I actually just finished its epilogue--had the perfect idea that I didn't want to lose...its great). As to this, and what it is, "Jimmy Hendricks is" will be a collection of one shots about the character you read above. Whenever I'm writing a story and I need a break from it, I'll write one of these, instead of creating a whole new story and feeling compelled to continue it, and then end up not finishing it.