Office Deja Vu: A Shoeless Tuesday Ago

 

A flash of memory pops into my head, illuminating a moment I try to forget.

Sounds of summer in the office: copiers chirping, papers flapping in the breeze and the intoxicating scent of Wite-Out — always helps me through the day. I need my Wite-Out fix to escape V.P. sales hysteria, the cause of office chaos.

Six sales people, each with their own personality quirks, try to burst into my office every day of the week. They try, because I keep the door locked.

On the other side of my door, the sales staff wanders in a fog. I am the traffic controller, the manager of the office. On most days, they can’t function without direction from me.

While their heads bobble on their shoulders outside my door, I work on an excuse for locking my door today. Luckily, my silence is interpreted as hyperfocus. I know this because they yell when they talk.

SALES GUY 1
What’s Lauren doing in there?

SALES GUY 2
Hyper-focusing. She’s swamped.

I laugh. I’m playing FreeCell. But the jokes on me because I’m stuck. I study the screen, eyes glazed like a donut.

My problem-solving process ends abruptly at the shrill ring of the phone. I awaken from my FreeCell coma, hand shaking as I answer the phone.

ME
Hello.

MOIRA
Lauren, is that you?

ME
Who else would it be? This is my extension.

MOIRA
Oh, good.

ME
Why are you whispering? This is Moira, right?

MOIRA
Yes. I don’t want anyone to hear me. I’m in my car.

ME
Are the windows open?

MOIRA
No.

ME
Then how can anyone hear you?

MOIRA
No, no…It’s more of…if anyone can hear YOU talking to me.

ME
They’re yelling out there. I’m in my office with the door locked.

MOIRA
What are they yelling about?

ME
The usual — holes in pages in the magazine. Lou’s yelling about the lack of ads. It’s hell out there.

MOIRA
I’ve got problems, too.

ME
Where are you calling from?

MOIRA
The garage. I’m downstairs in the garage.

Scratching head.

ME
Why don’t you park and come upstairs?

MOIRA
I can’t!

ME
Why?

MOIRA
It’s embarrassing.

ME
Moira, please tell me. I think ten calls just went into voice mail.

MOIRA
Uh, well…The thing is…I drove to work without my shoes.

ME
I think we have a bad connection. Did you say you drove to work without your shoes?

MOIRA
Yes.

ME
How is that possible?

MOIRA
I always drive barefoot and keep a spare pair of shoes in the car. I must have left the spare at home.

ME
Jesus. It’s not like keeping a pair of bowling shoes in your car, though it would have solved your problem.

MOIRA
Christ, Lauren. I don’t bowl. It’s also why I don’t type — fingernail polish. Let’s move on. Do you have an extra pair of shoes?

ME
WTF? No. I don’t even have a pair of rain boots. We’re in the middle of a drought. I’ll check the shoe vending machine.

MOIRA
Thank God, there’s a shoe vending machine.

ME
Moira, I’m kidding. Though I’d be happy to get you a bag of chips. Hey, maybe you can eat the chips and use the empty bags as shoes.

Momentary silence. Moira likely deep in thought.

MOIRA
Sounds too messy.

ME
Maybe I can get two garbage bags from the cafe upstairs.

MOIRA
I’m not walking around with garbage bags on my feet. That’s too weird.

ME
And not having shoes isn’t?

MOIRA
Please don’t judge me. I’m having an anxiety attack.

ME
Do you have a paper bag? Put it over your head and breathe slowly. If you have two, you can use them as shoes.

MOIRA
You know how I feel about bags. I’m calming down. You obviously can’t help me. Thanks for trying. I’ll just go to the drug store and get a pair of flip-flops. No one will recognize me if I’m wearing sunglasses and a hat.

ME
Good luck! Are you coming back?

MOIRA
No, I can’t attend a meeting in flip-flops. I’ll call Lou from home.

Click

Back to FreeCell.

 

Dentist Dementia

It’s eight o’clock in the morning.The caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.

“Bite down hard,” the dentist says, referring to the temporary crown he just stuck in my mouth.

Aaargh!

“Only one more minute.”

A minute of silence, I hope, but no.

“I recently read a great book called …”

“Aaargh!”

Why didn’t I take Jim’s advice and bring the iPod. He takes his isolation seriously in the chair. He also wears sunglasses. I should have listened to him. The sunglasses would have blocked the bits of glue and tooth that struck me in the eye like shrapnel.

The monologue continued.

“It’s historical fiction. I love historical fiction.”

I love peace and quiet.

“It takes place in the middle east.”

I hear it’s lovely this time of year in the PLO district.

“It’s a fascinating book about…”

I’m pretty sure a minute has passed though I did lose track of time when I nodded off, possibly from inhaling dental glue. I had a lovely dream about lying on a beach by the Sea of Galilee.

“Almost done.”

With the faux crown or your fucking story?

“Read the book in two days…”

I pray it doesn’t take him that long to talk about it. I have to go to work tomorrow. What if he plans to keep me here as a captive audience? What if I never leave the chair? I can’t even call 911 with my limited vocabulary.

911. What’s your emergency?

Aaargh!!

“I love all the James Michener books. Did you read…”

I had planned to until now.

“I just don’t know how much of the book is true.”

Dude, it’s historical fiction. It doesn’t have to be true.

He checks his watch. “I think it’s done.”

The tooth or monologue?

He sticks his hairy knuckles in my mouth to tinker with the temporary crown. It passes the wiggle test.

“You’re good to go.”

I bolt from the chair, jump into my car and back into a stone wall. Noooooo! I inspect the bumper that now sports a lovely stone dent etching. Can my day get any worse?

I arrive home and sit down at the computer to work on my book. An hour later, I sense an unidentified moving object in my mouth. I remove it.

“Nooooooo!” I stare at the temporary crown sitting in my hand when it should be sitting in my mouth.

I call the dentist. He’s out to lunch, literally and figuratively. I leave a message. Thirty minutes later, his assistant calls me back.

“Can you come over here now?”

So, I go over there now.

It’s two o’clock and I’m back in the chair, teeth clenched on my very temporary crown.

“I recently read a great book called…”

He starts telling me about the same damn book from the morning.

“Aarrgh!!!!!”

The dude’s got dentist dementia from sniffing too much dental redo glue.

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Parlez-vous French Toast?

 

Oui! Oui!

Now, put zee caramelized apples on top of zee French toast and voilà! Ve have a breakfast treat that will send you waddling out the door or collapsing to the floor.

Baguette french toast with bacon, caramelised apples and apple syrup

Zee recommended French toast prep:

First, add a slab of butter and copious amounts of syrup.

Note: the butter should float in zee syrup, like a rubber ducky, and perhaps if you’re lucky, zee butter and French toast will set sail for Paris, docking at a café in time for lunch.

Second, zee French toast should spring back when prodded with a finger. Fluffy and stuffy and mucho fattening, exceeding the national carb count allowed for breakfast. An easy fix if you bump up zee French toast to lunch.

Afterward, a siesta is in order, to sleep off the free-fall sugar plunge and carb meltdown from the fatty acid butter blast.

Ah, such a treat. Zee veins play games with chunks of plaque that speed through the arteries, toward zee heart, like a sled on a luge track.

Game over once you cross the finish line, but oh, what a ride! Such a tasty thrill-seeker’s treat before zee plaque hits the coroner’s target on the coronary wall.

I see the light!

No, you don’t!

It’s dark in the otherworldly waiting room. No candles allowed.

That’s why the next step is highly recommended.

Third, put zee French toast back on zee plate and flambé it.

Now, you can see the light.

Parlez-vous French toast?

Endnote: I’ve always felt like a dumbass because I couldn’t speak French. But the realization of my language deficit didn’t hit center stage until after I saw the play, Les Misérables, and couldn’t pronounce it. This post is dedicated to my pathetic French language skills. With that said, “Yo hablo poquito Espanol.”

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Like There Was No Tomorrow End of Days Rap

I’m following Linda’s lead @ The Good, The Bad, The Worse and reposting my rapture rap for Day 22 of 30 days of Writing, the brainchild (or shock therapist) of the catering staff @ We Work for Cheese.

Written on MAY 21, 2011

Revised on JUNE 22, 2012

Rapping the Rapture

Image via Wikipedia

 

When I stepped outside to get some air,
I got the fire and brimstone in my hair
The sky was dark as midnight, as dirty as coal
Then, a swarm of Locusts flew up my nose
My sinuses throbbed, thought they might explode
I couldn’t find a tissue and that really blows

I’m enraptured with the rapture, the end of days
Got a pile of bills I don’t have to pay
My credit cards melted in volcanic flames
But the fire’ll be doused in the tidal wave

Fighting my way through a crush of bugs
According to Anderson 360, they’re more to come
A gang of badass gangster six-legged thugs
Knocked me down to the ground face first in the mud
With my wrists stuck together with a pest strip rope
I can’t photograph the rapture on my new iPhone

I’m enraptured with the rapture, the end of days
Got a pile of bills I don’t have to pay
My credit cards melted in volcanic flames
But the fire’ll be doused in the tidal wave

Before my cell phone dies, please help me, God,
Just one text message is all I want.
Got to post the rapture photos now to my blog
‘Cause the only cell service is in Hades or Prague
Once he dragged the world to a hotspot inside his domain,
Satan posted, “Now You’re Fucked!” to his Facebook page

I’m enraptured with the rapture, the end of days
Got a pile of bills I don’t have to pay
My credit cards melted in volcanic flames
But the fire’ll be doused in the tidal wave

Got the rapture
Got the rapture
Woosh! Tidal wave.
Still hot down under
Here after the end of days
Snap!
That’s a rap.

Breaking Banana News: The Awkward Banana Insecurity Crisis


Based on the article “The Awkwardness of the Common Banana” by Lynn Plantain.

"Stop reading over my shoulder!" sai...

“Stop reading over my shoulder!” said the orange. “You don’t have a shoulder,” answered the banana, “cause you’re an orange!” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Often referred to as the “leathery berry” or “elbow of the bract,” the common banana has undergone many changes in cultural perception over the years.

First popularized in slapstick comedy with a near-sighted fool slipping on a banana peel, today the banana is widely known as a healthy monkey snack and tasty alcoholic mixer, resulting in a poor self-image and awkwardness for many bananas.

Continue reading

I Got Snaked by a Plumber.

Barker at the grounds at the Vermont state fai...Image via Wikipedia

A Real Story w/ Real People.  Really!

In a community far, far away, a streaming thought video broadcasts from my brain.

 
INT. HEAD – MORNING
A water pipe breaks. The drips are less than a second apart. 

Water leaks beneath the kitchen sink and seeps below to the garage. 
I call a plumber while worrying about my dog’s 8:30 a.m. appointment with a canine orthopedist to assess her knee. 
The plumber says, “I can be there by 10:00.” 
All brainwave function ceases. I forget about asking questions and about the importance of quotes – an estimated cost, not a favorite phrase.
I respond with unoxygenated words, “Great! See you then.” I continue obsessing on my dog’s ligament health. A knee-jerk reaction.
The appointment with the mutt orthopedist goes well. The dog doc says, “Her knee is strong.”  
My dog bounds left then right, sniffing a package on the shelf, a cat in a carrier, a dog’s butt on the way out. “The knee is strong.”
Back to the house to check its plumbing.
9:35. Drip, drip, drip. Did I hear a gush? No. Just an extended trickle.
I start cleaning the house for the plumber.
Drip, drip, drip.
Ten o’clock goes out like a surge through a downspout. 
No plumber or plumber phone call. No brain activity or quantitative thought on a possible drain to our bank account.
Onto 10:30 then 11:00 and the big 11:30. The dogs bark. A truck idles in the driveway; the motor speaks its last words and then dies. 
A man stands at the door. He puts on waterproof booties before trudging through the hall.  
He doesn’t want to get his shoes dirty.
He opens two cabinet doors beneath the kitchen sink. “You’ve got a bad leak here.”
Wow! He’s good.
“Do you have a well?”
Well … partial brain activity. “Yes, we do.”
“I’m going to shut it down.” 
Like Chef Ramsey! 
I lead him down the basement steps to the utility room, the engine room of a house. 
“She can’t take much more of this captain.” – Scotty, Star Trek. 
He turns off the water. 
I think I have to pee. Just a passing thought.
“Where’s the garage?” 
Dude, this is the basement. One plus one equals two. 
“This way.”  I show him through the door that opens to the garage.
Drip, drip, drip.
“Where’s the leak?” 
Dude, can’t you hear that sound or is it just in my head? 
“Over here.” We swing through a wooden gate to a dog ramp soaked with H20.
He gauges the problem.
“It’s a bad leak.”
I know that, Dude.
We walk toward the back of his truck. 
Is this going to be a hostage situation?
“You need a new faucet,” he says, then jumps into the truck and picks up two boxes. “Which one do you want – Box #1 or Box #2? They’re Moen” – Not Moët.
The one without the goose neck.
“I’ll take Box #1.” I hope I made the right choice.
Still no brain function.
He installs the new faucet and hands me the bill. “This is my quote.” 
Synapses activity detected – Shouldn’t quotes be given over the phone?
I read the bill. My heart takes a breather and then skips a beat. “$515?”
“That’s the total cost which includes parts and labor.” 
Dude, I know about labor and this is way worse than that.
A hostage situation unfolds. I pay the ransom with a check. A credit card costs an extra 40%. 
Maybe the check will bounce. 
He hands me his card. “We also take care of boilers and water tanks.” 
I bet you do. 
He cleans up the mess and leaves, which jump starts my brain.
$515? That’s several weeks of groceries or a couple nights at an inn.
He wasn’t a plumber. He was a sideshow barker selling snake oil and I got snaked.

Do you have a plumbing horror story?

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