Q.R. took the day off from his job and spent the entire day shopping for his son’s first vacuum.

To the compact DustBusters he said, “Storage would be no problem at all, but your power just isn’t up to snuff. No thank you.”

The wet vacs were packaged in large boxes and required so much assembly and routine maintenance, but they could suck the living hell out of any deranged sofa. He looked at a Craftsman inside a warehouse showroom and said, “Now that's what I call power, and solid as a rock, but we don't have the space.”

The Hoover caught Q.R.’s eye and he said, “Elegant, built to last, but certainly out of my price range...”

After driving around for several hours, he stopped inside a convenience store for latex gloves and some vacuum filters, the irony of which did not escape him. “It’s so funny,” he said to the cashier from across the store. “It’s so funny, I’ve been shopping around all day for my son’s first vacuum, and here I am buying supplies for my third.”

“Gosh, they grow up so fast,” Q.R. said five minutes later in his car, eyeing a Dunbar armored vehicle tailgating him. “If I could rob that scumbag, I would," he said to his reflection in the rearview mirror. “I’m in the market for a vacuum, sure, but the Dow has never been lower. People are spitting all over Wall Street. It’s a grisly sight, and I'll tell you...”

And so he went on into the night. Q.R. drove and drove and ran out of gas next to a small swamp but continued to rant about the dollar. A school bus carrying a marching band drove past him. Some clouds covered the moon. A little brown bat urinated on his fender.