It’s 8:41 and Doug had already been on the road nearly 45 minutes, for what’s normally a 25-minute commute. And with traffic as it was, he couldn’t see making the office before 9:10, maybe 9:15. Maybe later.

On most any other day the accident, the rubber-necking, the roadwork—none of it would have been that big a deal. On any other day it would have been annoying—sure. An inconvenience—certainly. But today, of all days, it could well end up calamitous for Douglas Croton.

All this shit had to happen today, didn’t it? Had to be the day we’re closing the goddamn Collins deal!!! he thought to himself, as the pocket-sized goats pranced along his arm, from shoulder to fingers, and back again.doug