Lefty, the gremlin on Michael Lansbury’s left shoulder, was neither good nor evil, unlike most traditional specimens. In fact, this particular gremlin was mostly indifferent, putting in his time so he could move on, from passing advice, to other, more interesting, things.
This created havoc in two ways. The first was the Lansbury was only getting good advice, which was making his life incredibly boring, and the second was that all the winning was going to Righty’s head.
“Should I cut the circles on the plastic rings from my six-pack?” Lansbury wondered.
Righty spoke first. “Yes, you should always do that. You’ll be a better person, and it saves dolphins and sea turtles.”
There was no reply from the other side.
Righty coughed loudly and Lefty woke up from a nap.
“What? Yeah, sure. Whatever. Or not,” he mumbled before slumping down against Lansbury’s neck.
Despite such a convincing counter-argument, Lansbury did the good deed.
“Ha!” said Righty. “Another one for me!” He sidled up to Lansbury’s ear and added another tiny hash mark to his tally under the lobe. “That’s 399,917 to 4!”
Lefty yawned. “How much more time have we got?”
Righty looked at his watch. “If we were close, probably another 30, maybe 40, years of me sticking it to you. But it doesn’t matter, because I’m going to win it all.”
Lefty jerked his head up. “Win?”
“Didn’t you read the contract? It’s not just about time-served. You can also get out if you have 400,000 match-ups go your way, like I’m going to have,” said Righty haughtily. He added another piece of information with a kind of glee that was altogether too sinister for a good-gremlin. “And you might want to read the fine print, too, because any employee with less than 200,000 when the other one wins…,” Righty trailed off and moved his hand past his neck with a slashing motion.
Lefty was alert now. He waggled his fingers and a copy of his contract appeared with a tiny puff of orange smoke. He scanned it quickly. It confirmed Righty’s revelation. He dropped the paper and swallowed hard. He would need to take almost every decision for the next 20 years if he were to have any chance of saving his own hide.
Michael Lansbury’s life was about to get a lot more interesting.