The Story of Geoff Franks - Senior Accountant and Sin of Gluttony by braindeadhead In a rundown part of town, in an unassuming church, in a nearly unused basement, six people gather. They unstack chairs from the rows along the back wall and arrange them in disorganized circle. They perform their well-worn dance with small sad steps. Each somehow looks worse than the person next to them. They ooze hopelessness and failure. “Where is, what is he going by now?” A middle-aged man with a buzzcut and short sleeve shirt asks the room. “Sam, he calls himself Sam.” A woman slathered in make-up, wearing worn-out six-inch heels and a faded black skirt replies. “Oh yeah,” the man sets up a seventh chair, “Where is Sam?” “Late,” a balding, slightly overweight man setting out doughnuts explains, “He’s late, like always. And when he gets here, he’ll make a joke like, ‘What did you expect? I’m lazy!’” “That shit wasn’t funny 100 years ago.” A black man in thread-bare suit snorts. “When was the last time anything ‘funny’ happened here?” the man with the doughnuts answers, staring at the untouched box, a look of defeat painted across his face. “No one touched the doughnuts.” He mumbles. “Jesus,” a woman holding an old iPhone trying to take a selfie exclaims. She marches over to the treats and slams her hands into the box. “They’ve been touched! Are you happy? Wouldn’t have mattered if we ate them all and begged for more. Our reverence is worthless to one another. You know that.” “I know,” the man stares at his shoes. “I just thought… It doesn’t matter I guess.” He throws the box in the trash and joins the others in the circle. “Who wants to start?” The black man asks. “I’ll go first.” Replies the woman in the heels. “What about Sam?” Ask the man with the buzzcut. “Fuck him. I’m tired of waiting… always waiting.” The woman explains as she stands up. The woman stands up and address the room, “My name, currently, is Luna Love.” The other’s groan at her current moniker. “Oh, like you guys thought of anything better.” She spits at them; the anger fills her mouth. The man with the buzzcut shoulders seems to swell for a second before he deflates back into his chair. “As I was saying, I’m currently going by Luna Love. I guess the good news is I got a job this week, dancing.” That news draws a few half-hearted claps from the others. “It’s at a club down by the docks,” she continues, “It is the sleaziest, nastiest club I have ever had to work at, and the manager said I was ‘already on thin ice’ when he hired me.” Luna takes a deep breath and continues. “Last night I was on stage doing my thing for this piece of shit seating near the stage. I’m thinking he’s into it so I’m working it as hard as I can in front of him. You know, hoping it might lead to some reverence or at least a complement. Something… anything really…” Luna pauses and sighs. “I try to sort of slide my head into his lap and that’s when I see it. He’s watching porn on his phone!” The room groans and commiserates with her. “How the fuck am I supposed to compete with that?” Luna’s eyes moisten and her thick mascara starts to run. “What I wouldn’t give for a good old fashion Inquisition! You know, something that made sex and lust taboo again. What good is the personification of Lust in a world with a constant boner?” “That sucks.” The balding man replies. “Remember during the 1st Crusade!” Luna can feel herself getting worked up, “I literally got my dick sucked by the pope in St. Peter’s! It was an amazing party. Gluttony was there!” The bald man nods and Luna continues, “Everyone was so repressed! Even showing a nipple was enough to bring adoration and reverence pouring down on me. Now I can’t get a slime bag longshore man to look up from his phone.” Luna wipes the tears from her eyes as she sits down. “Whose next?” Asks the black man. “I’ll go,” the portly middle-aged man stands, “I’m currently Geoff Franks. I’m still at Initech in the accounting office. It sucks and I hate it, but I can afford rent so… hooray I guess.” Franks gives a half-assed fist pump. As he does the seventh man enters the basement. He looks like a hipster douche bag with sleepy eyes and bad morning breath. “Sorry, I overslept.” He explains, “But, hey, what can you expect! I’m like a sloth sometimes!” No one laughs. “You interrupted Mark,” Luna stares at Sam. “I’m Geoff.” Geoff answers. “Anyways, so I still have my job and I hate it. I have resorted to bringing treats to the office and then standing near them so someone might thank me for them. It’s so pathetic.” Geoff shakes his head. Buzzcuts pats Geoff’s hand and says, “It’s a good idea. It could work.” “It MIGHT HAVE worked,” Geoff continues, “But that bitch, Sherri from software came by and threw them in the trash, right in front of me. Five minutes later HR sends around an email asking people not to bring unhealthy snacks to the office except for special occasions like birthdays. Fucking bitch!” Geoff takes a few breaths to settle himself while the rest of the room chatters about what a bitch Sherri is. “What happened to everything?” Geoff continues. “Remember when rich people were proud to be fat? Now rich people are thin and poor people are fat and they hate it. I wish Sultan Ahmed the Second was still around, that glorious fat fuck. Oh, how he loved to over indulged.” The room agrees. The Sultan had been popular with all the Sins. He somehow managed to be violent and lazy at the same time. Lustful and gluttonous in the same breath. He had been a great source of reverence and praise when he lived, but that was a long time ago. “Everyone has so much now.” Geoff continued, “No one knows the pleasure, the guilt, of taking too much. Back when most people starved, and you stuck that extra bit of bread. Nothing has ever tasted better than that. I miss it so much. I just want to find one person who understands the pleasure of excess.” And with his speech done Geoff slumped back into his chair, nearly despondent. After Geoff, the woman with the old iPhone stood up, “First off, Geoff I’m sorry I ruined your doughnuts. It was a dick move.” “It’s okay,” Geoff replied with his best impression of a smile. “Okay, so I’m currently known as Valerie Masters.” The woman explained before making a “duck face” pose and clicking a selfie. “I’m a social influencer, or at least I want to be.” Valerie explained. “I currently have seven followers…” Valerie’s phone makes a buzz sound that distracted her for a second. She checked her phone with a sour expression, “So I have six followers. I don’t understand any of this shit. I’m Vanity, this should be my time to shine and I’m rusting. Self-love used to be so taboo, only dicked head artist who actually made great works of art felt comfortable bragging. Well, them and my people. Now the ‘Catch Me Outside’ girl gets an album and TV show. What happened to shame? Without shame, the sin of Vanity is worthless.” And so on and so on. One after another the Seven Deadly Sins of old stand and tell their sob stories. Wrath couldn’t generate reverence because, despite everyone being angry, they mostly funneled that rage at 4-chan and Reddit. They take no risk with it. Pride couldn’t gain a foothold with anyone because everyone has grown up thinking they deserve to feel pride constantly. Each Sin found themselves sliding toward total irrelevance with no way to stop it.