31 January 2008

There Are Things I Simply Must Do

It's the least I could do. Out of horror over
the roiling, bombastic stench that my alimentary
canal produces and out of pity for my new co-
workers, I've resorted to taking DA's Gas Defense.
It's the least I could do, considering that I no
longer have an office to keep the evil sealed within.
The upside is that it works. The downside is
that it makes your viscera glow with almost
phosphorescent splendor (as accurately pictured
on the box).


I've found what it possibly the only drawback of my new job, and it is this: I cannot pick my nose. RealNetworks, for all its faults, was good enough to provide me with an office. And that office came with a door. A door that closed. The door was also opaque, as all good wooden doors are. That means that I was free to carry out all manner of disgusting but oh-so-necessary grooming activities in complete privacy. All I had to do was to put a series of Post-Its on my door that read "ON THE PHONE...INTERVIEWING...IRON MAIDEN". (This is an almost entirely inside joke that perhaps only my former co-worker Edwin Sprague will get. Ed Sprague, by the way, was on the editorial team of my favorite mystery novel, the MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Sciences. I would not crap you about a thing like that.)

At my new gig, (T. Gunn, Senior Copywriter, MRM Worldwide, damn glad to meet ya) I am out on the open floor in a cube farm. Did I say "cube farm"? I meant "cube prairie".They're nice cubes, mind you. Made of very attractive blonde wood veneer and frosted glass. Not those things that are covered with The Grey Upholstery of Mind-Numbing Death that are designed to dampen the shrillness of your screams. But they are cubes nonetheless, so they are extremely challenged on the "privacy" vector. As fate would have it, mine sits right next to the door of our foremost conference room. And as fate would have it, I had my index finger buried to the knuckle as though I was trying to self-lobotomize, when lo, half the staff exited its door and filed past my desk with looks of mingled puzzlement and horror on their faces.

In my defense, I must say that Baby Jesus cursed me with rather diminutive nostrils, and in the dry air season, they tend to fill up with gravel, salamanders, and all manner of real estate that must be dislodged if I am to breathe at all. God, not man, decides when you should breathe. If you don't believe me, hold a pillow over your face. God will make you breathe. Therefore, it was the machina of deus that drove my index finger into my nose in plain view of 50% of the MRM staff. T'was not my will, nor my practically genetic inclination toward the uncouth.

And speaking of diminutive nostrils, the second joke that Baby Jesus played on me was to make them hirsute. Half the time, it is as if I am trying to breathe through a fir tree - without the piney fresh scent. So again, if I am to breathe at all, that damn pelt inside my snout must be rent and ripped free. There's not other way to do it. Grip it and rip it. (And don't make that face like you've never done that before. Everyone on the planet has pulled a nosehair or two, even if it was only to fake weeping.) So now, instead of being able to rip to my heart's content inside the protection of my office, I must excuse myself to the men's room and hunker down in a stall with a jumbo binder clip in one hand and a sock to stuff in my mouth, lest I cry out in pain. O, the indiginty!

And finally - not to be crude but these things simply must be addressed - I used to be able blast a pretty good pants-ripping poot in my old office without fear of offending anyone or setting anything on fire. (The main sprinkler stand pipe ran right through my office.) But here, if my ass were to make any of its usual clapping, shouting, alpenhorn-tooting, whip-cracking, duck-squashing onamatopaeia, at least thirty sets of eyes would snap away from their monitors in shock. So I have become adept at suppressing several dirigibles worth of flammable gas during my workday. The downside is that I am becoming quite round, and have devloped a fear of even the smallest sharp object.




Patrick said...

this all falls into the category of TMI, man, TMI

luke said...

ah mate. that doesn't bode well at all does it? storing up the methane and expressing it at a later date can lead to internal putredisation, and gastric witherings.
what you need is an externally mounted vacuum cleaner, with a long hose that you can slip down the back of your pants at the appropriate moment.
All you do then is shout out some motivational encouragement "we're the best ya! Come on!" at the moment of quack down, then you're good to go!
Get the company to pay it

as to the snot picking, use a hankie and even your mother wouldn't begrudge you!

ELS said...

Re the rhinotillexis exhibitionism: your coworkers will soon avoid looking inside your cube as reliably as they avoid looking directly at the sun. This subconscious adaptation will actually be more effective than any physical door. A similar phenomenon amongst my new neighbors saved me the cost and labor of installing proper window treatments.

Re the MITECS and Iron Maiden: A recent adaptation of your Iron Maiden campaign in university restrooms has not resulted in any perceptible change to MITECS sales, but did generate three SuperPass POS signups. I think you may need to add some complexity to the program before you can justify calling yourself the Carleton Sheets of bathroom graffiti.