What am I getting out of this? Napoleon thought to himself. He had just come home from his fourth day of jury duty but found it a glorious waste of time because he had already made up his mind. The question, however, was more directed at the curious habit he had acquired of coughing up a hairball into his roommate Emily’s NPR tote bag whenever he passed the bag in the hallway. Emily was a softshell turtle who had studied psychology and now taught advanced assembly of Swedish furniture at the local community college. Respect, thought Napoleon, respect and recognition.

Music pairing: RESPECT by Aretha Franklin