Thursday, July 29, 2010

Notes I'll Never Leave

I like leaving notes. However, leaving notes is passive-aggressive and doesn't solve the problem.

What this means is that I'm left with a lot of notes I'd like to leave, but never will. These hypothetical missives range from one liners like "You shouldn't be allowed to breed" all the way to treatises on common good vis a vis using a damn turn signal like you're something other than Chi Chi the wonder chimp who learned to drive from a mail order class.

Here's one I'd like to post in the men's bathroom at my office:
Okay, look.

Someone has suffered an obvious failure of both intestinal fortitude and etiquette. To put it simply, this is a disaster. Look at this. No, really look at it. I know you have the same urge I did to stumble backwards and bring your hands up to ward it away, like you might with an evil spirit. Fight that urge. Stare deeply into the abyss.

What is this?

Whatever it is, it was done by a grown man with responsibilities, probably a mortgage; is this his pressure valve from the world of adult obligations and stress - leaving a massive dookie once a week then running away, giggling like a carnie on helium during his rapid egress? Has he fallen so far in his own estimation that his corprocentric coping mechanism is justified?

Don't tell me it's the cleaning staff. Despite what people say, the office isn't cleaned by a tribe of merry Guatemalans that live in the walls. (That is where the coffee comes from, though.) Aside from rearranging the trash cans willy-nilly and readjusting everyone's chairs, the cleaning staff are serious minded, decent folk. Theirs is a hospitality culture, and this blasphemy would chill them to their hard working bones.

Failing the argument from culture, we find the dark gift on different days, at different times. Logic dictates that we must lay this crime at the foot of a man we work with. He is someone we've passed in the halls; we've supped with him at the table of birthday delights, never suspecting his true nature, his poo proclivities; we've asked about his kids and/or pets, and traded the accepted quips about the days of the week. In short, we've been willing participants in the liturgy of office work with this man, and he has sinned against us all.

It's also possible he's spreading disease. Did you notice, as I did, the grey color of his unholy presence? What can you possibly eat such that it emerges a greyscale, monochrome mass? Is this where the missing newspapers have gone? The Wall Street Journal would be so ashamed if they knew.

Alternately, perhaps this man is homo superior, and his digestive system fully robs food of nutrition. Perhaps we should seek him out, and the epidemics that might be pre-emptively cured would that we could analyze his magic blood.

Lacking a sufferer of pica or a man barreling down the road to a stress aneurysm, we are left with Occam's razor - whoever does this is a filthy, lazy thing, a man who regards us the way we regard roaches, or Scientologists.

So let us join together in a citizen's watch. If you see something, report it! Together we will find this man and drive him out with fire.

Who's with me?

How to Drive Someone Insane with Fear

It's pretty easy. You can:
  1. Pour bees in their ear.
  2. Let it drop that there's a real, live bear in the next room.
  3. Tell them you need to talk about something, but not right now.
  4. Casually mention you're going to punch them in the crotch.
Thankfully, I can prevent numbers one and four at the same time by wearing apiarist gear with a cup.

With number two I can opt not to go in the bear room - or any room - until the threat is over, and hope real hard the bear doesn't decide to bust through the wall like a furry Kool-Aid man and eat me screaming in an unholy cacophony of murder.

As of July 29th, 2010, there is no way to prevent number three. At any point, anyone I know can ambush me with a "We need to talk, but not now" and I'm powerless, like the Green Lantern locked in a yellow room. (Bet you thought I was going to a Superman/Kryptonite place, didn't you?) When someone says they need to talk without additional info, my brain tries to answer these questions:
  1. What do they need to talk about?
  2. What's gone wrong?
  3. How can I fix this?
Does anyone else see the problem? Answering number three is predicated upon having a solid answer to numbers one and two, which is exactly what I don't have. Until I talk to that person, all I do is imagine different scenarios for the first two questions. This is my Kryptonite. (Ha! Worked it in anyway.)

I don't need any help imagining horrible things. There's a reason I still need Google Maps for a city I've spent eight years in; instead of memorizing streets when I'm in a car, like most adult humans, I'm busy thinking about attacks by robots, zombies, and a combined force of zombies, robots, and robo-zombies. Also, sharks.

what is this I don't even

I've been avoiding the monotony of everyday existence by imagining space wars since I was nine, and that's not going to change. As such, not giving me details is like stabbing me in the face with terror. What could be so awful they wouldn't even mention it? Is Voldemort on the loose again? Are the Cylons on their way? Did someone murder happiness? It can't be anything good or they'd just say it!

No one ever schedules in advance to talk about pizza toppings. Our take home lesson for today is, when you need to talk to anyone about anything, but not right now, tell them what it is. Right up front. Be descriptive. Rent a billboard and point to it..

Here are some helpful examples:
"I broke your favorite thing and am sorry."
"You're fired for that time what you put your bottom on the copier."
"I accidentally bought a penguin instead of groceries."
"I'm sorry Charlie, but I'm sexing your brother up."
See how easy that is? If you're in a relationship, this is a golden rule. For the guys I know, hearing "We need to talk" sounds like, "Christmas is cancelled this year. Oh, and they wanted me to tell you there's no more beer, forever."

Just...just say something.