By Zachary Roman
It’s 7:55 a.m. on a Monday. With a one-day-past-expiry bagel topped with one-day-before-expiry cream cheese in my hand, I’m shuffling out of the Student Campus Centre (SCC) with all the energy my burnt-out self can muster. A voice calls out to me. It sounds friendly, but I know it’s not a friend. “Want some free coffee?” asks the credit card sales rep from the Canadian Tire attached to the Ted Rogers School of Management building.
Her name tag reads “Susan,” but it may as well say “I’m Paid to Try and Fuck You Over With Debt.” Still regretting drinking that seventh beer last night, I reluctantly say, “Sure, why not.” For a brief moment, I swear I can see Susan’s eyes roll back into her head as she smiles and the ground trembles beneath her. “All you have to do is defeat me in a game of Jenga, spin this obnoxiously loud Wheel of Fortune and tag us in a post on Instagram.” The crowd of students around me don’t notice a thing. As I stare into the whites of her eyes and notice her fangs, I wonder, “am I still drunk?”
Susan smiles. “Just sign your name and email here,” she says, pointing to a list of other names and emails written in red pen. I think I see a pentagram on the other side of the paper, but I’m not sure. The moment my pen touches the page, I feel a stabbing pain. With each letter I write, I feel increasingly lightheaded until I realize that the names on the sheet aren’t written in red pen at all—they’re written in blood. And now, so is mine.
Susan pours me a coffee. It looks mustier than a Kerr Hall classroom and smells like the gas tank of a 1984 Toyota Corolla. I look at my bleeding hand and wonder if it was worth it.
It wasn’t. Then, I get an Instagram post notification from 6ixBuzzTV.
There were three photos in the post. The first photo was a pentagram made out of five Canadian Tire logos.
The caption read: “Since the start of the semester, over 100 Ryerson students have gone missing after signing their names and emails away to companies on campus, in exchange for things like free coffee, cheap cell phone plans and BeaverTails. Some prominent religious scholars and conspiracy theorists think that demons might be tricking people into signing away their souls to the devil in disguise as campus promoters for companies like Canadian Tire and Fido.”
I freeze up and goosebumps break out all over my body. I swipe right and the second photo was, in fact, a news clip of Phil Tire, CEO of Canadian Tire.
“We have not sent any employees to promote our credit cards at Ryerson this year,” said Tire. “Anyone you see there trying to sell our credit cards is an imposter and should be avoided at all costs, considering the recent string of disappearances.”
I look up from my phone and see Susan—or what used to be Susan. She is engulfed in flames with horns protruding from each side of her head. She starts to float toward me. I try to run, but I’m unable to move my legs.
Shaking, but desperate to know the truth, I swipe to the third and final photo. It was text on a black screen that read: “Fido, on the other hand, did say they sent promoters to work at Ryerson outside of the SCC.”
When I look up from my phone again, another demon is in front of me. It was holding a cute dog on the end of a bejeweled pink leash.
“My name is Dee Muhnn, CEO of Fido,” it says, handing me a branded fidget spinner.
“All cellphone companies are actually run by demons. I’m surprised people haven’t caught on by now. We have no interest in killing humans because torturing them emotionally and economically for their whole lives is way more fun.”
Dee Muhnn and Susan start blasting firebolts at each other, completely and utterly decimating the first floor of the SCC. I use the opportunity to escape, but it’s already too late. Canadian Tire owns my soul. At least I stole some lip balm from their promotional table.
Ever since Canadian Tire—may Satan bless their profits for all eternity—gained ownership of my soul, I’ve been unable to say anything negative about Canadian Tire, the best company on the face of this earth.
There are killer sales on snowblowers right now, so be sure to check that out as soon as you can, and tell them Zach sent you. Fuck, it happened again. It’s just that I can’t help myself from always thinking about how awesome Canadian Tire is. I mean, I get 3.25 per cent cashback on all purchases that I make with my Tire Rewards credit card. I have already bought seventeen fishing rods and four tackle boxes with the money I saved. Somebody please free me from this flesh prison. Please go to Canadian Tire.