Saturday, September 17, 2011

3 Things I Didn’t Understand Last Week

Why does your body attack you with a sudden pain? Then by the time the hypochondriac in you is convinced you’ve somehow picked up a fang-toothed, tape worm-like parasite from the Amazonian rain forest that’s eating your nerve fibers like cotton candy and carrying diseases heretofore only found in science fiction novels, it just as suddenly goes away. On my way to work the other day the inside of my right ear began to throb as if the Norse god Thor were in there pounding on my eardrum with his hammer Mjolnir. I’m pretty sure he was playing the solo from Zeppelin’s Moby Dick and much like Robert Plant I was about ready to shriek in a high-pitched voice. And then it was gone. I have no idea why the pain started, what caused it or why it stopped. Do our bodies contain gremlins? Are their little green creatures slithering through our veins, popping out occasionally to pinch a muscle or punch a kidney? This needs to be studied. I propose a telethon to raise money for research, hosted by Rob Schneider and Kathy Griffin and shown on cable access channels the world over. Wait, that would actually CAUSE pain. Forget it

This one is about the men’s room so if you are faint of heart, step away from the computer now. For those of you who remain, what is wrong with you? You like reading stories about the men’s room? I didn’t even like writing it. Anyway, on with the story! I was in stall #1 the other day at work, taking care of business and wondering what a cheese puff is exactly. I mean, it’s light and crunchy and cheesy and delicious, but WHAT is it? My important work was interrupted by whoever was in stall #2 tearing off what sounded like a full yard of paper. A few seconds passed and again I could hear the roll being maneuvered and A LOT more toilet paper being torn off. Another few seconds passed and MORE paper was unfurled. What in the hell was he doing with all that paper? Finally the toilet flushed and I thought all was well so I went back to pondering the provenance of cheese-based snacks. To my horror the roll of toilet paper began moving again: Foot after foot of thin, cheap paper being gathered for some nefarious purpose. There were sounds I couldn’t place which made me queasy, and then . . . more paper was unrolled. I audibly gasped. Did this man pass a ground hog? Was his rectum being used to test experimental suppositories? Did he clean out his cupboards over the weekend and find a 20 year old bag of olestra chips and figure ‘what the hell’? I put my head in my hands and wept as I knew I was going to die that day. I just wanted it to stop. I prayed and asked God what punishment he had wrought on this man. I was answered with spin after spin of the toilet paper roll. I watched the paper spool on the floor like a coiling snake. Then I heard the tear and saw the top of the paper mound peeking over the walls of the stall. Thirty seconds passed and the paper slowly disappeared, accompanied by sounds NASA scientists have yet to identify, followed by a second flush. When the man exited the stall I averted my eyes so as not to catch a glimpse between the stall door for fear I would turn to stone or worse yet, into a roll of Quilted Northern.

I work in a casual business environment. My department was recently moved to another of the company’s office buildings and we are now in the middle of a “cubicle farm” with members of another department. What I don’t understand is why they believe a cubicle provides privacy. They put up three metal and cloth “walls” and you’re supposed to be comfortable talking to your doctor to get the results of that test you drove three states away to get. There is someone in my office whose niece got married the other weekend. How do I know this? Because on Monday morning it was the first topic of conversation in every phone call she had and I can HEAR EVERY WORD SHE SAYS. I’m waiting for the day I get to hear about someone’s goiter or their step-son’s arrest for urinating on a cow. I think we should all get our own personal “hamster ball”. The plastic could be tinted so no one can see inside, it would be soundproofed so no one can hear your phone conversations and you could roll your way around the office in comfort.

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