Joe Junkman #2: Birth of a Salesman

Hate to break it to you folks, but my entry into the wasteland isn’t nearly as interesting as you might have guessed. I know it’s a pretty popular rumor, but I can assure you, I was NOT found in a junkyard as a baby. I’m a business man, not a trash messiah. Truth is, I was a traveling salesman in the old days. I’d go knocking door to door, hawking milkshake machines, toys, shower curtain rings, you name it. If I didn’t sell, I didn’t eat; so I became really good at talking to people and perfecting the art of the pitch.Salesman-Clipart

When things started going south all over the world (and especially south of the border), I kept doing what I always did, selling. When we really started losing the war, when the the food lines and rationing were in full swing, I became a sort of national icon while selling ties to a California state senator. The news people said I was proof that the American Dream could weather the toughest storms.

None of that matters now.

I was hitchhiking my way to Vegas when the nukes hit. Unfortunately, I didn’t get vaporized in the blast, instead got stranded in this radioactive dustbowl called “The Mo-Javi.” The Army abandoned this patch of dirt months before the end, leaving the valley as a lawless hellhole for all but the most heavily armed.

When I first arrived in the place we now call “The BLVD,” I spent two whole days with my back literally pressed up against a crumbling wall, desperately trying to avoid gunfire from across the street. We all know what happened after that. ARE General Morris Kass and his legion came storming onto the BLVD, “pacified” the area (he always used that word in his speeches), built the famous wall of trash, installed a government, and appointed The Judge, yadda yadda yadda.

The important thing is what pacifying the BLVD did. As the 47th Legion purged the shelled city, room by room and hall by hall, they left behind a mountain of bodies and weapons. I was never far behind those elite soldiers, stuffing all I could into my bags before scurrying off toward the nearest campfire.

The age of the milkshake machine had passed. The age of canned food and bullets had begun.

-Joe Junkman

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