“Well, Buster, it’s been quite a week, ain’t it?” Melvin spat around the rotten anchovy lodged under his tongue. He had traversed the land for a solid eight minutes in search of vittles. When all the trashcans and dumpsters turned up fruitless, he resorted to his hobo handbook and quickly read Chapter Eleventeen: Rannygazoo and How It Can Help YOU.
Melvin jotted down some notes and limped to a nearby trailer park, where he tried his hand at tick-tacking in hopes of luring people far enough out of their doublewides to allow him a chance at slipping inside to raid their ice boxes.
“I could really go for a fat slab of day old Spam on a wheat cracker,” Melvin thought deliriously to himself. But everyone came to their door with a shotgun hitched across their shoulder on account of the rampant infestation of colored folk who arrived from a scary state called Arkansas.
To get back to his camp, Melvin had to pass a sewage plant.
I did a really Big Girl thing today — I made my own dinner to take to work. It was a delightful entree consisting of two slices of fifty billion grain bread (jetted here directly from France; the cellophane bag promises that it’s straight from a hearty hearth and I believe it), one hearty slab of savory mozzarella, and a couple shreds (the slice kept ripping when I tried to peel it out of the deli bag) of the most ambrosial American cheese your tongue ever did molest. Picture all of this off-set by the tangiest helping of dijon-flavored soy-mayo ever to sink into those tiny pockets in bread.
It was then plated with lots of love and care in fine tupperware with a bright yellow banana to add some flair to the presentation.
When I finished, I took off my toppling chef’s hat and stood back to admire my work. I bet Bobby Flay does that too.
But halfway here I realized I left it on the dining room table. I keep texting and email Henry, begging him to bring it out to me, but he won’t reply. I was nice at first, but then I started in all caps (I WANT MY SANDWICH!) and now I’m threatening to hold the damn Girl Scout cookies I bought from one of the dayshit employees (FOR HENRY) hostage.
Collin, more Pro-Henry than ever, doesn’t seem to think Henry should risk his life driving my lost sandwich to me. Why, because it’s snowing a little? "It’s just a sandwich," he chided. But it’s MY sandwich. I nearly gave myself callouses in its preparation. I might die if I don’t get to savor the amazing craftmanship that went into building that true artisan sandwich. I’m so upset that I’m chewing on my hair.
Why do I feel like Chooch is probably eating it right now?
shiny door prizes like panini presses and a magic wand for can-opening ease,
a chocolate fountain centered around an array of fresh fruit and lady fingers in scandelous poses?
Not our department holiday party.
No, we got cold cuts drowning in a mucous-like moat, cheese slices that needed the aid of Freddy Krueger’s nails to be surgically removed from each other, a bowl of frozen fruit slices, and a giant sheet cake that had nauseating pink flowers piped precariously around the perimeter. (I deduced at once that it was going to be an offensive supermarket bakery cake, so I walked past it with my nose in the air.) We got scratch off tickets and Tina’s hair collar and a platter of bland cookies that were at least moist and not stale like I had initially suspected.
The cheese lasagna was a real treat, though.
1. A dayshifter who sits next to me. I rue the days she works late because she laughs like an engorged elephant cock is lodged in her throat and she’s trying to summon her inner Vesuvius to phlegm it back up. She handles a runny nose like your typical Teamster: loud, wet and crackly, like a bowl of exploding Rice Krispies is draining down her throat. She’s nice though.
2. Hey Tina, ever since you switched to the day shift, something really confusing and alarming has arrested me: I think I like you. Not in a ‘Hey, let’s go French in a bathroom stall’ kind of way, but in a ‘You’re over here talking to me yet I have no urge to inflict any bodily damage.’ But no, I’m not sad that I wasn’t sitting at your table. And while I imagine playing games with a bullyishly dominate personality such as your own is a dream come true for some (like perhaps a tribe of indigents who have never played games before) I’m not jealous that your table was playing Taboo, as rousing and scintillating as it sounded.
3. Big Bob. He stole Collin’s Hot Pockets and made him cry.
4. Non-Big Bob’s plate of meat goods were a little too close to me. I felt violated and kept imagining someone gagging me with that slab of ham.
I was happy to be seated at a table of socially capable people — Lindsay, Bill, Brandie, and (Non-Big) Bob. However, we were joined by Stanley. I am fortunate to not have to deal with him because he works during the day and sits over by Bill and Lindsay. He has no filter, kind of like a child, and random strings of rudeness spray from his mouth in fairly consistent intervals. When we were walking up to the Mezzanine, one of the more heavy and elderly employees was up ahead, taking each step with deliberate slowness. Stanley yelled up, “Hey, Donna, we need to get you an escalator.” Someone behind him called him on his rudeness, only making him justify himself. “What? It’s true! Donna needs an escalator!” If I had to deal with that brand of idiocy for eight hours a day, one of us would have lost our job by now.
Stanley spent a good fifteen minutes diligently rubbing off five scratch off tickets, and even after inspecting them closely above his head, he still found reasonable cause to have Lindsay double-check. I took a picture of his crotch from under the table. Sadly, no boners arose from the rub-off frenzy.
And Bob, poor Bob; he stared off into the distance most of the time, mourning his other half’s absence. (Collin called off.) He seemed lost in thought, and I wondered if he was thinking about all the nights he and Collin spent playing their little celebrity chain game to pass the time while braiding daisy chain crowns for each other’s heads.
One of the games everyone (and by everyone I mean the Daytime Clique) was playing consisted of taping the name of a celebrity to each player’s back, and then everyone had to take turns asking a question to find out who they were. I told Bob it would be a good game for him and Collin to play and he lit up. “You’re right! I didn’t even make that connection!” Then he smiled to himself for awhile, probably rewinding the Collin-montage in his head.
Bill spoke of foreign-sounding things for awhile before I realized he was speaking in baking-tongue, while Lindsay smiled at me like an adoring fan and laughed at all of my antics, like when I took a picture of this guy who I have never seen before in my life, but supposedly he’s part of our department and works upstairs (if you want to take Bill’s word for it) and then ten minutes later I blurted out, “Oh shit, I think I made myself have a crush on that guy!” Lindsay giggled. In my head, I dubbed her my new work BFF. I’m not sure who the old one was. Bill perhaps, even though working opposing shifts has really driven a wrench in our rapport.
He doesn’t even bring me brownies anymore. I bet he brings some for Tina, in tiny baskets lined with rich Italian linen. Well, they can have each other.
Kim approached our table and asked why we weren’t playing games. Maybe it was just me, but I thought it was pretty obvious that our table was way too cool for parlor games, at least the ones that didn’t involve heavy betting and liquor. “We’re playing our own game,” I said. “It’s where everyone tells me how cool I am.” I smirked appropriately and Kim acted like she was about to be sick.
Since I pitched in a devastating twenty dollars to this elitist shindig, I gave myself a goal of “eat more than you paid for,” but the party started at 11AM and I just really wasn’t hungry. So in the end, I probably only ate $5 worth, which jacks me right off. (However, later on that evening, I had a piece of leftover lasagna for dinner. This is how it was made possible: “Tina, you know how you’re always looking for a reason to leave your desk?” Tina looks at me, slightly frightened, before cautiously saying, “……yes?” I jump in for the kill. “Will you get me lasagna?” What? I didn’t want to lift that big pan-y thing out of the fridge! So Tina did. And it was decent.)
Then it was time to go back to work. Most people offered to help clean up, but I just got up and left.