only…” —A sign in Walnut Creek. Punctuation faithful to the original.
I gather this is fairly common, to see a coworker’s cubicle is covered in something. Some people seem to love to choose a common theme. It might be pictures of cute polar bears tacked to the gray walls, with some beanie baby teddy bears perched on top of the big old CRT monitor and a stained coffee mug emblazoned I LOVE YOU BEARY MUCH. Or the same sort of things with penguins, or Cathy cartoons, or political candidates, or children. Whatever. We don’t see this quite as much because it’s a newsroom and we’re generally either much younger or much older and in either case more cynical than your average officeperson, at least as far as I can tell.
So today during a staff meeting I was leaning near a cubicle belonging to someone I haven’t met yet and I was surprised to see a cutesy theme. But something about it shocked me. Allow me to paint you a mental picture.
The theme here is monkeys: Photos cut from the paper of monkeys, a bowl in the shape of a monkey, bobblehead monkeys, Curious George merchandise boxes, a couple of those little cymbal-clapping mechanical monkeys, and so on. Amid all this, I saw one thing that stood out: a Shaquille O’Neill bobblehead.
Postcards from yo Momma is the BEST.
what did you do to celebrate? anything cool?
well, happy 4/20
Hi, Well I complained about the bonus crossword in the Tribune being made smaller. I want to thank you for listening, but it’s too big now. The way it was originally was perfect. It’s so big now, it almost makes me dizzy. Thanks for listening. I really appreciate your response, hope you can go back to the original size.
Okay, remember the guy who asked if he could leave his bag here for a minute and told me it wasn’t a bomb? Yeah, he also talked at length about the new stamps with superheroes on them and told me that he could hook me up with some for my niece or nephew. Guy is cuckoo. Comes back in here and says “What’s up, Cochise?” and keeps doing that thing where someone starts talking as if you were just in the middle of a conversation. Like he says “What’s up, Cochise? Yeah, I used to know this boat captain at the Salvation Army. He and his wife were at Ground Zero and now they have lots of lung problems” or “I used to be the manager of a Days Inn in Manchester, Indiana and there was a raccoon that would get into the garbage everyday….but then it was a bear.” No context or anything. He brought me a stamp with the Thing on it and he got one with the Sub-Mariner. Said he has two kids of his own and married a woman with eight and they divorced like two years to the day after their marriage. But that’s cool because he’s a reporter. He asked me “What’s black and white but never red?” I didn’t know and he said “That’s the kind of stuff I write.” He had a jumbled drawing with him that included, among other things, the CBS logo and sheet music with a trombone next to it. Also, he told me he was going to have a castle. A castle with knights, but like real knights though and defenders. Speaking of which, he’s protecting a woman who is going through a divorce of her own with an abusive prison guard who he calls the “Black Rose of Ohio.” I asked “You protect her? To what capacity?” He said all of them. He says “We could run cars on water. We don’t have to let what’s-his-ass charge four dollars a gallon for gas. All we’d have to worry about is Egypt. I’m sorry, I mean Israel. I got some Egyptian friends who told me all the secrets of the pyramids. Orion’s Belt, Stargate, Captain James T. Kirk.” Then he gave me the “live long and prosper” hand signal and told me he is voting for Hillary and Bill and wants to convince them to travel the length of the Lincoln Highway with him. He is part Indian and sometimes goes by Little Big Man. He is friends with Tommy Shaw of Styx and in 2012 will be on a boat with him outside of Easter Island. He asked if I’d ever seen Lord of the Rings and then started to smoke “pipe-weed.” He saw John Mellencamp in a high school gymnasium for a buck. He has a theatrical sword making company called White Wizard Productions. He told me that he saw a woman crying a minute ago in the parking lot and told her “Whatever your problem is, I’m praying for you.”
I had a phone call from a woman earlier with birds. She had birds and asked if she took very good care of them, could she keep them in a non-smoking room? I told her no. She said that there was a man here five minutes ago who told her she could. She said “Josh, I used to live at the Y for women, which was a low point for me, but that’s where I found Jesus. I found Jesus at the Y for women where they had a patio out back and when I say patio I mean it was really just like the backyard. Do you know what I mean, Josh? Some women at the Y would stand out back there with their babies in their arms and would blow smoke right in their babies’ faces. It was enough to make me sick.” She told me that if she was in any position of power that this country would be different. “I don’t know what’s happening to this country.” She told me she was going to pray for me and my family.
- me: ok i gotta catch my train
- talk to you later!
- bg: Ok I'm going to the butt appt
- Have fun!