Is this your card?! Is this your card?! Is this your card?!

Steve Pizazz

& The Hot Peanut Pockets

Issue 03

Illustration by:
Andrew Maruska

A transcript from the tribunal of Steven (Pizzazz)

For my next trick, I present the esteemed persons of the human resources tribunal (panel/jury of peers) the tale of an ordinary, extraordinarily clever joker and that time he definitely saved the life of a coworker who happens to be… DEATHLY ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS.

Ladies and gentlemen for your safety it is imperative that you stay within your seats for the duration of this drama. Please, refrain from turning over the giant-sized cards placed upon your desks and under no circumstances may you consume any peanuts you may have on your person. There is one among us in this conference room with the life-threatening condition of being... ALLERGIC TO THE VERY SAME AFOREMENTIONED PEANUTS.

For this trick I will need to set the stage using an ORDINARY DECK OF CARDS! Please, do not see only the physical cards in front of you, but also hold in your mind’s eye the metaphysical world they stand for. I will name the cards as I pull them from the deck and introduce our cast of characters.

One day, in a domain not-so-far-away known as The Kingdom of Break Room, the ...King of IT and the ...Queen of Sales sat for a lunch of the ...eight of cold pastramis, the ...seven of spicy mustards, the ...three of pickles, the...two of hot pockets, and nowhere to be seen is the ...two of peanuts!

Shortly, the ...Joker of the kingdom joined them in their repose. The King and Queen, not accustomed to the joker's ways, became uncomfortable with him standing over their table and asked him to leave. Thinking it over, the joker offered instead to perform an amazing magic trick.

The King and Queen both agreed, foolishly, that they would not like to see a magic trick—but the Joker insisted! Thusly, the joker spoke: “Behold, in your hand, is that there a Cheese Hot Pocket for your lunch, my lady?”

To which the queen warily responded, “Yes, Steven, it is.” The joker quickly said, “Excellent, excellent, and your excellency what kind of hot pocket is that in YOUR hand?”

To which the king cautiously responded, “It’s uh, a cheese hot pocket Steve. What we eat every Thursday for lunch. Are you, uh, going to do some magic again?” The joker's eyes sparkled and he replied, “Are you sure that’s a cheese hot pocket, from which you have not yet TAKEN a bite? Are you certain it’s not a… PEANUT and CHEESE hot pocket?!”

“It’s uh, a cheese hot pocket Steve. What we eat every Thursday for lunch.”

The king, confused, looked at his hot pocket again saying, “I’m-I’m pretty sure it’s cheese. I mean that’s what it said on the box.” The king looked at the hot pocket again, turning it over, inspecting its crust for peanuts. He then flipped it back, and took a bite, revealing a gooey, cheesy, peanutless interior. “Yeah, see? No peanuts. Do they even make peanut and cheese hot pockets?”

The joker froze. Slightly confused he started, then gingerly examined the inside of the hot pocket, a realization dawning on his face. He slowly looked over to the queen who was chewing through her second bite of hot pocket. Under the joker's quizzical gaze, she slowly stopped chewing and asked, “Steven, what’s wrong?” The joker said nothing. The queen asked again anxiously, “Steven, what did you do to my hot pocket this time?”

Our heroic joker, set back only slightly said, “Ah-ha, well, your Majesty, you seem to be the lucky one today!” The queen’s eyes widened as she said, “Steven, did you put peanuts in my hot pocket? You do know I have a very serious peanut allergy. D-Don’t you?,” she asked, spitting the unchewed hot pocket into a napkin.

Now, let it be known to this council that I, your humble narrator, have never heard of anything so outlandish as an allergy to peanuts! I was just as astonished as she—but as they say the show must go on!

The queen continued, increasingly distressed, “Steven we went over this last week! I have a peanut allergy! It means that if I so much as LOOK at a peanut I have to go to the hospital!” The valiant joker, whose concentration remained unbroken by the queen’s hysterical rant, leapt into action. Thinking quickly, he ripped the hot pocket from her limp hand, tore it in half and pulled from it a card! Triumphantly he shouted,

“IS THIS YOUR CARD!?!?”

"IS THIS YOUR CARD?!"

The queen, dumbfounded by the alacrity and quick-thinking of the courageous joker's life-saving gesture, could only gape at the astounding magical feat he had just performed! The breath-taking, awe-spiring nature of the illusion was SO potent she went to the bathroom to collect herself, taking with her the ...ace of EpiPens! For peace of mind! And as you can see in the photo on the flip-side of the giant cards on your desks, our quick-minded joker removed the two of peanuts just in time! If she had continued she would have not only eaten the card but ALSO the peanut attached to its far end! She was a mere... three and a half inches from CERTAIN DEATH!

And so, my gracious audience, you’ll see that in no uncertain terms did I SAVE our fellow co-worker from a fate worse than death itself! We must ask ourselves, should we persecute a man who has committed no crime other than exposing us to the mysteries of the universe? Does this magician-cum-senior-customer-success-associate who stands before you deserve a trial, or a medal? I have just one card left. Oh it looks to be… the three of apologies! So I must ask you my fair Queen of Sales, is THIS YOUR CARD! It’s the Five of Sorries, sorrysorrysorrysorrysorry, your majesty.