Saturday, March 29, 2014

True emotion

I declared my love for Lynn the other night.  Told her my love rang in my head like a bell at all hours.  Told her I wasn't worth a hill of beans if she didn't see me as such in her eyes.  "Who's this?" she said.  She turned on the porch light.  "Oh."  She scratched the place on her wrist where people wear watches.  "All right, what else?"

I'd written down a bunch of stuff I wanted to say to her but I'd left it in the car because it felt insincere.  I reached for it in my memory but it wasn't there.  I stammered something, but she cut me off and asked, "can we finish this at work tomorrow?"

I told her I was worried at the office tomorrow she'd make sure to hang around with a cluster of people all day so we could never be alone and I wouldn't be able to find the confidence I needed to really explain to her in full and true terms how she made me feel, so I was hoping to get it over with that night.

I heard her little girl crying in the house.  Lynn stepped back a bit and I took the opportunity to wedge my hand in the door to make what I thought would be a dramatic, romantic kind of gesture or move but which she misinterpreted to be a kind of threat, and she slammed the door very hard and fast right onto my fingers.  This caused the bones in my hand to be pulverized.  I grabbed my hand and fell backwards into some mulch on the side of her front porch.  I heard her lock the door and then the porch light snapped off.

The first thing I felt I needed to do was apologize, and maybe if that went well I could launch back into the declaration, but first, I knew, I NEEDED TO APOLOGIZE.  I staggered back up to the porch.  Some blood of mine was on her door.  I tried to wipe it off with my sleeve but I just smeared it, a big red slash across her lovely white door.  I shouted her name a couple times.

"What do you want from me?" she shouted from somewhere inside the house, not very close to the door.

I lost my nerve.  "I need a bandage," is all I said.  She threw some gauze down on me from an upstairs window.  I wrapped up my shattered fingers and drove home.

I went up to talk to her at her desk the next day at work.  Gina was there and gave me a nasty look when I came over.  I cleared my throat like to give the hint that privacy would be appreciated, but Gina didn't leave, so I just launched into it.  "I'm sorry for what happened last night in my passion," I said.  I showed her my fingers, which were sprouting purple from her gauze.

Gina and Lynn both looked a little sick at the sight of them.  "You should see a doctor about those," Gina said.  "You should fuck off," I told her.  That was inappropriate.  I realized immediately and I took a breath and apologized.  Gina walked off in one of her huffs for the boss's office, but I knew he was out that day so I wasn't worried.  I asked Lynn if, now that we were alone, it was a good time to talk, but she cut me off.

"I think it would be best if we kept our relationship in the workplace strictly professional," she said.  Ok, well, I didn't even disagree with that, but I reminded her that it was she who was the one last night who said that she wanted to discuss these issues in work instead of at her home in the dark.  "I don't want you coming over my house anymore," she replied.  "I never gave you permission."  I asked, wasn't that permission implied for me or anyone to visit her house anytime they wanted, by her printing her address in the publicly-available Phone Book?  "No," she said.

Gina came back carrying a pot of coffee.  "You're a pig!" she said.  Before she could come any closer with the pot I knocked it violently out of her hand, spilling the coffee on the carpet and on Gina's shoes and feet, and unfortunately Lynn was hit pretty hard with the handle of the pot on its way down.  "What's wrong with you!" people began screaming.  Couldn't they see?  It was love!  I was sick with it.

I frantically started unwinding my bandage, for Lynn.  She told me to get out of there or something to that effect.  "Shall I slash my wrists for you?" I cried, falling to my knees.  It was somewhat of a dramatic put-on, but saying the words, I was moved by the true emotion of it.  "To you I grant my blood, so that you might drink it and live two lives, and my love might find its fulfillment."  Well by this point the room had mostly cleared out, but Lynn was still sitting there with a sort of stricken look on her face, so I thought maybe I was doing all right.

We sat there for a while, staring into each others' eyes, or I was staring at her eyes and she was looking more at the floor.  "I need an answer," I said.  I tried to say it in a more low, sensual voice than the one I normally talked in.  She ran, as if for her life.

I was alone in the office now.  In fact, checking the door some time later, I realized that Lynn had locked me in from the outside.  But for now, I sat, ripped up and alone, wondering where I'd gone wrong.  Had I waited too long to express to her how I felt?  I'd allowed her to grow comfortable with the idea of knowing me only as a co-worker, and the thought of loving me, though perhaps extremely enticing, was too much of a shock for her fragile heart to bear.  I wouldn't make things so easy for the next one.  I'd force a confrontation much earlier and hope to catch her off guard that way, perhaps in a situation in which she felt especially vulnerable.  But how could I ever fall in love again?  Who could match my darling Lynn?

It all reminded me of something my father said to me once: "Your love will always be misunderstood."  But he was a shit, and a worthless drunk.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Thank you for your discretion in not releasing the footage of your executives going to the bathroom just because we're laying you off

Thanks for coming in, Dave.  You do a great job here.  Ever since we brought you on board to monitor the security cameras in the corporate bathroom to make sure nobody was using the toilet who wasn't supposed to, we've seen a big turnaround in complaints of unauthorized personnel in the executive wing and the corporate bathroom has been much cleaner overall.  And we're all appreciative of your professionalism in dealing with the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of hours of footage we've asked you to collect of myself and the other executives of this company using the toilet.


That's why it's so unfortunate that I have to lay you off.

First of all, I want you to know that this wasn't an easy decision, and it's in no way based on your performance.  You've monitored our toilet cams with the utmost professionalism and discretion, and it's certainly our hope that you handle this little bump in the road with the same discretion.  So while I know that you have access to archived footage of myself, Mr. Schafer, Ms. McAvoy, and the rest of the executive board urinating and defecating in a private toilet, I am completely confident that footage will remain private, even though we are quite literally powerless to stop you.

But just so we understand each other, I do want to make sure to double-check and make sure to ask that you do not release that footage, in spite of the fact that you have almost no true incentive not to, since we are laying you off and taking away your pension.

What does your pension have to do with all this?  That's a great question.  I could just as easily ask, "what does footage of the board of directors of a Fortune 500 company evacuating their bowels in private have to do with all this," so I can see we're on the same page.  The answer to YOUR question is that we're taking away your pension illegally because we don't believe you have the resources to prosecute us.  Now, obviously you DO have access to years and years of footage of the people who are stealing that pension from you using the toilet.  Fair enough.  But we hope you understand the potential damage that leaking that footage could do to us, and that you do the right thing by us here, even though we're letting you go and we will not get around to writing you a letter of recommendation.

Think of it this way.  We both want what's best for each of us.  You want a job, and we want to secure years of blurry but identifiable recordings of us sometimes noisily relieving ourselves in private.  You can't get what you want.  But you can help ME get what I want.  First, by being laid off.  Second, by doing nothing in retaliation and exercising your discretion with all the bathroom footage we commissioned you to take and monitor.  And third, we are also retroactively charging you for the past nine years of health benefits.

I'm sorryAm I interrupting?

No, sir, please.

I just wanted to very quickly stick my head in and reiterate what Tom here was saying about how we hate to let you go, not because we value your work, but because we're afraid you're going to make public the many hours of private defecation on the part of myself and the rest of our executive team that are currently in your possession.

You know, we were just discussing that.

I'm glad to know that we understand each other.  Because I think if we told you we decided not to steal your pension or your money because we didn't want footage of us going to the bathroom being shown to people, that would be an insult to your integrity.

I think integrity is really the perfect word for it.  I don't want you to think we ASSUMED you were going to release the footage.  Quite the opposite.  But we're also aware that, some people, with a grudge and nothing to lose, might act on that grudge.  But you and I and Mr. Green know that two wrongs don't make a right.

And it's not even wrong from our perspective to lay you off, so really, you'd only have one wrong, which in no WAY makes a right.

I think that's very well said and we can all agree on that, can't we?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Process of arbitration

Disputes between EMPLOYER and CONTRACTOR over the terms of this contract shall be adjudicated through the Arbitration process, as described in Section D.

(D) Should CONTRACTOR wish to challenge a provision set forward in this Contract, he/she may submit a written Complaint, which shall be examined by an Independent Arbitrator to be selected by EMPLOYER on the basis of who is EMPLOYER’s best friend.  If Independent Arbitrator finds that the Complaint lacks merit, CONTRACTOR shall be fined in the amount of $500 or one week’s pay, whichever is larger.  If one week’s pay is equal to $500, then CONTRACTOR shall be fined $500, plus an additional “Confusion Fine” in the amount of $500.

If Independent Arbitrator upholds the Complaint, EMPLOYER shall visit Independent Arbitrator with a gift.  EMPLOYER may the choose to withhold the gift at his discretion.  If Independent Arbitrator cries at the withholding of the gift, the case shall be thrown out immediately.  If Independent Arbitrator still upholds the Complaint, CONTRACTOR shall select a second Independent Arbitrator (henceforth “Independent Arbitrator #2”), who shall be summarily blackballed from future Arbitration hearings (subject to appeal only in cases where Independent Arbitrator #2 is the best or next-best friend of EMPLOYER and CONTRACTOR has chosen him/her as a trick).  EMPLOYER shall then select a third Independent Arbitrator (henceforth “Independent Arbitrator #3”), who shall be EMPLOYER’s wife, or, if EMPLOYER’s wife is unavailable, EMPLOYER dressed in a wig and sundress.  If Independent Arbitrator #3 rolls a “1” on a 36-sided die, he/she will receive an additional opportunity to roll the die, and will be granted permission to try and do a trick roll so that the die does not land on “1” again.  If the die fails to land on “1” on either the first or second roll, the Complaint shall be thrown out and CONTRACTOR shall be fined in the amount of $500 or $750, whichever is larger.

If the die lands on “1” on two consecutive rolls (excepting “bad” rolls [See Section B]), then the Complaint shall be copied onto a scroll, rolled into a Conch and tossed into the sea.  If the Complaint is not returned in a timely manner, or if it is returned but the Conch is damaged, the Complaint shall be thrown out and CONTRACTOR must reimburse EMPLOYER for the cost of the Conch, or be fined in the amount of $500, whichever is larger.  If the Conch is returned by a Winged Sea Bird (excepting the Gull [see Section A]) within forty days, the Complaint shall proceed to the next stage of Arbitration.

After the return of the Conch, the Complaint shall be thrown out, but CONTRACTOR will have twenty seconds to make a persuasive counter-argument and convince EMPLOYER of his error.  This appeal shall take place on a telephone call made by EMPLOYER to CONTRACTOR, at a time when CONTRACTOR is known to be unavailable.  If CONTRACTOR does not answer his phone, the Complaint shall be thrown out.  If EMPLOYER accidentally dials the wrong number, then that is not EMPLOYER’s fault and the twenty-second Appeal Window will be considered closed, and CONTRACTOR shall reimburse EMPLOYER for the cost of the phone call.

If the counter-argument is found to be persuasive and all of the above conditions are met, then the contract shall be amended according to the Complaint.  NOT!!!!!!!  LOL.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lemonade recipe

INGRADIANTS

Lemonds
Water
Shugar
Glue
Iceys
Cup
Denim

RECIPE

Beat up the lemonds.  Mix the lemonds, water, shugar, glue, iceys, cup and denim in a large bowl.  Drink from the bowl.

RATE MY RECIPE

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Neighbors

Every time the dog next door barks I ring a large bell.  I keep it on the end table next to my couch so it's always right there.  I think it's an old railroad conductor's bell -- it's pretty big and it's loud.  The dog barks and I ring the bell a few times.  Every time I ring the bell my neighbors on the other side pound on the wall and shout at me.  They can't hear the dog but they can sure as hell hear my bell.

Pounding on the wall and shouting doesn't do anything though.  I know firsthand.  I tried it with the people with the dog next door and nothing ever happened except they gave me dirty looks when I carried my laundry past their door.  The bell doesn't work either, at least if you define "working" as "make the dog stop barking," but they have stopped giving me dirty looks.  They don't bother anymore.  They look groggy all the time because they don't sleep well, with all my bell ringing.

Every time I ring the large bell when the dog next door barks the dog upstairs barks.  It's usually a pretty quiet dog.  I only hear it bark when I ring the bell.  The upstairs dog doesn't bother me that much.  The ceilings and floors seem to be sound-proofed better than the walls and it isn't such a loud dog anyway.  But the dog next door hears the barking and that makes it bark again and so I have to ring my bell again until it stops.  The people upstairs stomp on their floor sometimes when I'm ringing my bell and their dog is barking but they're not home a lot and when they are home they're usually having enough trouble shutting up their own dog that they don't even have the luxury of worrying about the bell.

My shower leaks.  When I take a shower it leaks black, mold-smelling water down into the bathroom of my downstairs neighbor.  My downstairs neighbor spends most of my showers in his bathroom mopping up water (I imagine) and pounding on his ceiling with a broomstick until I turn the water off.  The leak is on my end so they'd have to come in my apartment to fix it but whenever the maintenance guy knocks I turn everything off and pretend I'm not home.  For a while now.  So now every time I take a shower my downstairs neighbor leaves his trash bags outside my door.

That's how the bugs got in.  From my downstairs neighbor's trash.  The whole building's got them now.  Big ugly black things that make a screaming noise when you come near them with the Raid can.  They came into my apartment through my downstairs neighbor's trash and after a few days I managed to chase them all into the vents which I then blocked up with paper towels.  So now the bugs crawl through the vents and drop down into other people's apartments and land in their hair and food and stuff.  Every once in a while a bug will get through the paper towels back into my apartment but for the most part I don't have to deal with them anymore.  The dogs don't like the bugs.  They're the cause of a lot of barking.

Someone dropped a can of paint on me yesterday when I was bringing my clothes back from the laundromat.  Not the can itself, just the paint.  I didn't see who it was.  Someone who lives on a higher floor.  Covered me and most of my clean clothes in green.  I took a nice, long, hot shower after that.

Someone said to me once, that the hurt in the world is a fixed amount, and you can't subtract from it, but you can take as much hurt as you can bear for yourself, and wrestle it to the ground and cover it up, and hold it down tight so it can't get out and no one knows it's there and it can't hurt anybody else but you.  Until you die and all the hurt you held spills out into all the people who loved you.  But fuck that, I'd rather ring my bell.  We got stuck with this shitty universe, so we should at least be able to register our complaints.  I'll ring my bell until God hears it and stomps this awful building like an anthill and snuffs this planet out between his fingers like a weak match.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Math genius

There's something I haven't told you.  I'm a math genius.  Give me two single-digit numbers and I can add them in my head WITHOUT A CALCULATOR.

Five and three?  The answer is eight.

Seven and six?  The answer is eleven.

Seven and zero?  The answer is seven.

You'll notice that I produced the answers to all of those addition problems immediately.  That is because I was able to add the numbers in my head, using only my brain.  This is a rare skill found in only approximately 2 percent of all Americans.  I don't know how many percents that leaves for the rest, but I know it is at least nine (two plus nine equals only eleven percent).

Two plus six?  Eight.

Nine plus three?  That is, uh, twelve.

Please, stop quizzing me.  I can only answer so many addition problems -- then I become exhausted.  Although my math genius looks effortless, I can assure you, it's extremely mentally draining.  Imagine the most physically taxing thing you've ever done.  Now, add nine to it.  That's how exhausting addition is for me.  Maybe that thought experiment will give you a little more perspective when you pepper me incessantly with addition questions.

Seven plus ten?  No, I can't answer that.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Songs about shooting weasels

My favorite songs are the ones about shooting weasels.  I find them the easiest to relate to out of the songs you're likely to hear on the radio or places like that.  There aren't so many of them, but that's actually one of the things I like about them: because it is not one of the trendier topics you can write a song about, usually the ones that come out about shooting weasels are pretty knowledgeable of the subject and will be able to express something about the subject from firsthand experience.

Shooting weasels is a much derided pastime, unfairly, in my estimation.  Of course you have those who believe an animal should never be harmed for sport -- but I've always felt we're never going to change each others' minds so the thing to do is just to respect each others' opinions and that's that.  But even the game hunters don't like us so much, which is a bit harder to swallow.  They think because they stalk their animals whereas we merely stick our guns into weasel holes and blast several shots without looking, that there is a distinction between our hobbies.  I don't think that's a fair assessment -- I think there's just as much sport in shooting weasels as their is in anything, because sometimes you shoot down a hole and you don't even hit anything, it's just sort of luck-of-the-hole.

The songs I like about shooting weasels are usually ones with a more upbeat tone and a dance beat, although not really "dance-y" like club music but just something with a little swing that you can dance to.  I think they most evocatively capture the real fun and family atmosphere of shooting weasels with your friends, of popping open a couple beers and ripping up someone's lawn blasting shotguns down weasel holes and pulling bloody, gutted weasel pelts out of the ground and waving them around over your head.

I'll listen to an anti-shooting weasel song, too, if it at least displays a fundamental understanding of the issue.  Which, admittedly, is rare, but you can find a couple.  Most of my friends say absolutely not, they won't listen to that kind of thing, but I like to have an open mind, if it's got a good tune and a little swing you can dance to.

I tried to write a song about shooting weasels once.  But I don't know how notes or chords work and I accidentally punched a hole through my grampa's guitar when I tried to play it.  My song sounded real bad and my friends and loved ones made fun of me for it.

We do like to listen to music while we're shooting weasels sometimes, but mostly we do it in silence.  All the better to hear the wind scraping the leaves and the trickling of a lovely brook and the scream and wheeze and deflation of a newly ripped-apart weasel.  It's what heaven sounds like, I imagine, when you make it there.  And in heaven, there are no anti-weasel shooting songs, and there are no empty holes, and every time you fire a shot, a thousand weasels die.