Ted, Francis and Julio were enjoying a quick break during their shift at the Rust Ban campaign headquarters.
Francis was going on and on about the despicable effects rust has on fine surfaces like metal and tin, and Julio griped petulantly about how rust had ruined his favorite patio recliner. "Ruined! I paid ninety bolts for that fine piece of luxury furnishing and now if I want to pop a squat, I have to settle for the wicker chaise my wife bought with the money she gets from her ex-husband. No thanks."
Ted’s face became so hot with anger that he could have sizzled a shrapnel sausage on it.
It was then that the friend Francis and Julio knew, or thought they knew, for the past three years revealed a side of him that no one expected.
"I like rust. Sometimes I let well-concealed areas of my body collect a small circumference of rust so I can pick at it before falling asleep, pick at it like a patch of eczema. I like rust. Sometimes I stroke the coarse badges of rouge defect and it calms me down when I’m stressed out about bills and my cheating whore of a wife." He twiddled with his antenna. "When I scratch it real hard, I like watching clouds of rust shavings float down to the ground, like dandruff." He toed the gravel beneath him. "I like rust!"
Francis and Julio, totally agog, backed away in silence.
No one talked to Ted after that, which is a shame because he really hoped he’d help make strides in the war against rust-hate.