Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cats & Windchimes

Thursday was a day like any other day. There was a wind-aided chill in the air, cigarettes on the sidewalk and clouds in the sky. Making this day stand out was a sweatshirt worn by my coworker Barb.

Like any office in America, mine has many cubicles, lots of gossip, and a slight cloud of despair hanging overhead. Barb is a senior member of our department, having worked in the same job for almost 20 years. She loves her job and loves to talk about her job. She hops from cube to cube, from ear to ear talking about how she doesn’t have any time to get all her work done. She has a creepy way of being able to segue from talking about work to talking about her latest diet that is making her "doo-doo" green.

This particular Thursday wasn't one of those days, but it was the day I learned all I ever needed to know about my coworker Barb.

Barb was wearing a sweatshirt. The main color of the sweatshirt was light blue. Blue is a very popular color and I like blue just fine, but this blue somehow offended my senses with its blueness. It was as if a rainbow and a kitty had a baby and then that baby threw up all over her sweatshirt, it was just too light and too blue. However, the blueness was not the best part of the sweatshirt, for the front of it pictured a small kitten swatting at a wind chime. As Barb was walking within earshot of my cubical, a familiar older female coworker stopped her. You know the one, the lady with the raspy voice from 40 years of smoking, with eight oversized rings on her fingers, and a name that nobody has used to name a baby since 1940.

She stopped Barb and complimented her on her "great" sweatshirt to which Barb replied, "The second I saw it, I knew I had to have it. It has 2 of my favorite things in the world; Cats and wind chimes."

A little bit of me died that day.

Below is a reproduction of the sweatshirt, not an actual photo of the sweatshirt:

The Man With ill-Fitting Pants

You know how slacks sometimes "tent" in the crotch area when the person wearing them sits down? Some pants tent more than others, while some don't tent at all. Some jeans tent too. Some people call this a "jean penis" or maybe even a "jeanis".

I know this guy, who I have to deal with 3-4 times a week, and he wears wicked ill-fitting pants that tent something fierce. Yeah, he has the usual tenting that occurs in the center, his faux-rection, if you will, but his tenting goes all the way across his lap from pocket to pocket. It appears as though his pants are being inflated with air. Or as if he's hiding a huge salami lengthwise across his lap.
He's a great guy, he deserves to have pants that fit him properly, and I hope that someone close to him helps him rectify the situation.

In a totally unrelated note: Is there anything wrong with a heterosexual man noticing and/or being disturbed by another man's pants tenting?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Slacker at a Staff Meeting

Department meetings have long been the bane of any good slacker’s existence. Take a quiet room, add all the bosses and coworkers, and nothing good can come of that.

What do I usually think about during staff meetings?

Revenue attainment? No.

Attendance policies? No.

Department goals? Hell no.

I usually start by going around the room and guessing who is gay, straight or bisexual. That usually burns about 5 minutes, then it’s on to what I’m going to eat for lunch; will it be a burger, or maybe a slice of pizza? By the time I get done daydreaming about the Three Musketeers bar that I’ll be eating to follow up lunch, 15 minutes are burned up. Only 45 minutes left.

I then usually tune into the meeting for a minute or so just in time to hear, “...and this time we mean it, only one tardy per month, and then its right to the written warning.”

Then my eyes wander around the room again, trying to picture what the older ladies looked like when they were my age. That always leads the gross out portion of the meeting where I think about the old ladies getting it on with their old husbands. After throwing up in my mouth a little, I rinse with some water and move on to the age-old time-waster doodling. On a good day, I can doodle for almost 10 minutes without really trying, and then the meeting is damn near half over. At this point, I’ll think to myself “If they only knew that I had sex in this very conference room…” It was with my wife, but before we were married, so not only should they have fire me, but if the Catholics are right, I’m also going to hell, unless God turns out to be a swinger.

Down to the home stretch I usually start thinking about it is emptying my bladder, so I start tapping my leg and wondering if they plan to upgrade any of the bathrooms on our floor with the automatic flushers like they have in the bathroom across from the CEO’s office. I even think about asking it aloud, but I never do.

At some point during the meeting, clapping will break out because of some award or guest speaker. It’s easy to join in once I hear it, so the bosses think I’m paying attention, but sometimes it breaks me out of a good sex and/or murder fantasy.

By the time we get close to the end, I start tuning in a little to see where we are on the official agenda sitting on the table in front of me, then I show my friend my doodles and like magic, the meeting is over and I didn’t learn or hear a damn thing. Then it’s off to the bathroom.

Estranged Wife Contacts Former Pothead

My estranged wife emailed me after 3+ months of radio silence. She says she graduated from basic training and has lots of "navy stories" to share with me. I believe she is under the impression that after leaving me, breaking my heart and leaving my life in emotional and financial ruins, that we're still going to be best friends. How odd. I'm not sure if she's really delusional, or if she is just lonely and has no friends. I have a hard time believing that she can go through boot camp and not meet other raw-food-eating, Bush-hating, liberal artists trying to become US Navy fighting machines.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Former Pothead Locks Keys In Car

This story, besides being long, makes me look like a real moron, now that I'm not a pothead anymore, but I feel like I want to share it anyway.

Yesterday I left my apartment at 7:45am and headed to my favorite gas station for a package of smokes. I got my smokes, walked out of the store and felt for my keys on my belt, alas, they were not there. I raced over to my locked car, and my keys were sitting on the seat taunting me in the morning sun, while my cell phone sat sad and lonely on the armrest.

I hoofed it to my apartment where I had an extra remote opener, planning on how to break into my apartment the entire way. I live on the 2nd floor of a 4-plex. The building has a front and back door, both locked, a 2-tiered balcony on the front, and each apartment had a back and front door with separate stair access for each. I always thought of myself as a resourceful person, and a fan of MacGyver, so my first thought was that my back door to my apartment does not have a deadbolt and I might be able to pick it. I rang my downstairs neighbor, who let me in the back door of the building and I went to work with my credit card and an old hanger I found in the basement. Half hour later...the door was still locked and now I was officially late for work.

Next, I ventured outside to see how I could get to my 2nd floor window. The roof under my back window angles down to a reasonable height. I did not have a ladder, so I grabbed a gas grill from the backyard and set it up next to the building. This is one of those grills with the rounded top, and as it turns out, is much harder to climb onto than one would think. After 2 failed tries to mount the grill, I finally succeeded and stood there on a grill with my hands steadying myself on the roof. At this point, to get on the roof, I would still need to do a wicked pull-up with nothing to hang on to except a shingled slanted roof and considering the recovering alcoholic physique I have going, I saw no future in that, so I aborted the mission.

My next thought was the balcony. If I was on the top balcony, I could easily climb into my window. I walked out front, looked at it, and immediately knew there was no chance I was going to climb that thing, so that was out. I buzzed the only other apartment that had top balcony access, but they were not home. At this point, I caved in and buzzed my downstairs neighbor again. I asked to use the phone and if he had our landlord’s number, to which he luckily answered yes on both accounts. My landlord said he’d be over in half an hour.

He showed up. I got in. I grabbed my extra remote opener and headed back to my car. I curiously pushed the button on the remote just to check it out, and the little red light didn’t light up. Without panic, I kept walking, faster and faster, hoping the light was burned out. When I got there, I realized the light was not burned out and the battery was in fact dead. I went into the gas station, tried to explain to him my situation, and asked him to please not tow my car. He had trouble understanding me, since English was not his first language. He kept pointing to the other side of the store and saying something I did not understand. Of course, they did not sell the 3 Volt button-type battery I needed, so off I went further on down Lake Street.

On this part of Lake Street, there are hundreds of places to get a taco, but not one place to purchase batteries. So I kept walking. About 3 blocks later I remembered something my estranged wife told me a few months ago. “Eric, I put a new battery in the remote opener and it still doesn’t work…”

I kept walking until I got to the Target at Lake and Hwy 55.

I purchased the battery. I put the battery in and pushed the button…the light lit up! I praised my God, walked back to my car, and got to work 3.5 hours late.

Here is an awesome drawing of me climbing on the grill:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Straight-Up Mentally Ill

How lazy and/or depressed are you?

Well, I am this much lazy and/or depressed:

Yesterday while at my father's house, I remembered I was out of toothpaste. 100% out. Not even enough to cut the tube open and scrape out. The thought of stopping at Target or Walgreens and spending 5 minutes getting toothpaste made me hurt, so I grabbed a plastic sandwich bag and squirted into it some of my father's toothpaste, and pocketed it. Of course I did this without my father knowing. Now I have at least a weeks worth of toothpaste smeared inside a little plastic bag!
Here is an exquisite drawing of a tube of toothpaste: