Earlier today, I walked by an acquaintance at work as he was standing at the copier machine in the hallway. “Hey, Steve, makin’ cop-ies,” I said, trying to imitate Rob Schneider’s Richmeister character from the old Saturday Night Live skits (“Steeeeve. Steve-o-rama. Baron von Stevenheimer. Makin’ cop-ies. Ste-e-e-ve.”) Either my impression was so bad as to be unrecognizable, or Steve had never seen those skits before. He was like, “Yeah, I just fixed a paper jam.”
As I turned the corner and proceeded to the place where I do my best work (third stall from the left), Steve must have been marveling at my exceptionally keen powers of observation. I have the amazing ability to tell, just by somebody’s juxtaposition to the copier machine, whether or not they happen to be making copies. I can just see what people are doing, like John Edward from “Crossing Over,” but with alive people.
After almost five years of working as a semi-productive professional something-or-other, I can’t help but wonder if everyone else in my office has the same stupid kinds of thoughts that I do. Like, does anyone else play MacGyver with the microwave? When I put my tea in the microwave, I set the timer for one minute, and then I go look out the window. Then I try to time it, without looking back, so that I get back to the microwave and open the door with one second left, just before it detonates and the beeper goes off. The funny thing is that it didn’t seem pathetic at all until I wrote it down just now.
Plus, everybody always remembers MacGyver for building cool things, like when he made a Gatling gun using only a paper clip and a bag of kitty litter, but nobody ever talks about the last seasons of the show, when they ran out of things for MacGyver to make, and all he did every episode was disarm bombs and make volcanoes out of vinegar and baking soda.
Anyway, the other day I passed someone in the hall who asked, “How you doin’?” Ordinarily, this would be a pretty easy one to answer, but this time I choked. “Just trying to stay out of trouble,” I said.
I tried to stop the words before they came out, but it was too late. Only a person who’s been wholly institutionalized, whose soul has been completely entombed in a cubicle with no door hole, would ever utter that phrase.
Nobody exercising their own free will ever says, “Just trying to stay out of trouble.” What exactly is this statement trying to imply, anyway? Oh yes, I get in trouble at work all the time. I’m such a bad boy, it’s nearly impossible for me to stay out of trouble. I roll packs of cigarettes into the sleeves of my Polo shirts. When a higher-up is giving a PowerPoint presentation about our organizational strategy, I’m like, “Whatever, Dude. Don’t get your wrinkle-free khakis in a bunch about it.” That’s right. When you’re a rebel like me, trouble knows where to find you. That’s why I have to try so hard to stay out of it.
Also, if you come to work earlier in the morning than some people, it is your paramount duty to alert everyone else to this fact. You must say things like, “I stopped by your office at 7am, but I guess you weren’t here yet.” Otherwise, you might as well just sleep in. Not mentioning your early arrival time would be like emptying the dishwasher at home without clanking the dishes together. If you don’t make a lot of noise, you might never get credit for it.
After you build an email for Mike Todd using only keystrokes and electrons, you can send it to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.