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.



27 January 2008

Positively Tripping Balls

Scrunchy The Bear, ShopRite's cereal mascot and
CEO of Scrunchy's Bunch Kids Club which purports
to be the "Coolest Club Around" (much to the chagrin
of the Lankershim Crips of LA's San Fernando
Valley). Members of Scrunchy's Bunch are afforded
such expense-free premiums as downloadable
activity books that will show you how you can just
fuck shit up and totally blow the lid off your family's
Hanukkah celebration.
Give up the dreidl, bitches! I
fidda take all y'alls snap!


I'm feasting on a positively baroque delight right now, a concoction that I cobbled out of Rice Dream, bananas, and Scrunchy's Cocoa Bombs, a chocolaty breakfast staple that can be found for 87 cents a box at the local Ghetto Mart. This means that in no time at all I'll be positively tripping balls, running around the house screaming, trying to avoid the Sugar Weevils that claw at my soul every time I have a wee too much of the sweet stuff before bedtime. That also means that tomorrow sometime around 2PM, my head will slam into my desk and I will not be roused by either lemon juice to the eyes nor repeated applications of the whip to the tender, tender flesh of my nape.

Speaking of desks and tender napes, I have a new job! I alluded to this in my last post, but now I am allowed to speak freely (although not too freely, as I have not yet received my last check from my old employer). I'm inclined to do some mourning on behalf of my former colleagues - really good people caught in an untenable and utterly dysfunctional situation - and some lambasting of my former keepers, viz., anything VP or above in that organization. However, I will not engage in the latter because it's pointless, not to mention bad manners, to air one's bile-covered laundry in public. I already said anything that I needed to say during my exit interview, much to the disbelief of the interviewer. ("That incompetent?" "Yes, that incompetent." "Should not be..." "...be managing let alone exposed to humans; right - that's what I said. Write it down.") Not that RealNetworks is going to make any sweeping changes based on the peevish ranting of a departing employee. Let me just say that I really miss my former colleagues. But thanks to the magic of email, I can still badger them from afar. And I do. Lovingly.


How would I best describe my new position? Lemme put it this way. At the end of a 13-hour day, when you can walk out of a five hour meeting that adjourns at 9:30PM and say, "THAT'S THE STUFF, LAD! TEAR ME OFF ANOTHER PIECE OF THAT!" without a hint of irony (but with a thick Glaswegian brogue), then you know you're in the right place. How can I make this claim? Because I did it. Ask anyone who was driving on 1st Avenue South last Tuesday night. Or simply Google the headline "Crazy Fuckin' Scottish Guy Has Excellent Day At New Job". I think it'll take you to a video link on CNN.com. I told my former boss this and she said, "They must be doing something right. I was hard pressed to keep you from falling asleep during a ten minute conversation, fer crissakes!"

Diversion: the oil change notification sticker from my local Jiffy Lube says "have a excelant day" on it. They have openings. Valedictorians need not apply.

The sun peeked out for more than ten minutes today, so I seized (Soze? -Ed.) upon the opportunity to ride my bike. I rode 200 blocks. That's about 12 miles, but it sounds more impressive as blocks, dunnit? The map of Seattle is diced with bike trails, and there's one - the Interurban Trail - that starts a block from my house and runs...hell, I think it runs all the way to Canada or something now. I just rode it up to the county line, then stopped and wistfully pondered what suburban wonders must lie beyond before heading back. The best part of the ride was when I saw a guy reading the Sunday paper in his living room. Not too unusual except for the fact that he had an 80-pound tabby cat lounging on the back of his neck. He seemed not to notice, although the cat looked pretty goddamn smug.

It's getting late. I should probably wind this up before - The Weevils! The Weevils! Quick, someone hand me a Shoggoth!