Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Part Four Of Our Series Of The Agonizing Pain In Which I Live Every Day

You have probably wondered how I became such a quick wit. It's probably kept you up at night. "Where does he get those wonderful zingers?" you asked yourself as you stared at the textured ceiling.

Maintaining a sharp wit is hard, constant work. I always have to be aware of my situation, simulate possible inputs, and prepare to respond to those inputs.

For example, today I ate lunch in my cubicle. (Stops typing, looks through medicine cabinet for something to dull his life's pain, only finds expired lortab, cries, drifts to sleep and dreams of a better place, starts typing again.)

Today's menu consisted of two ham and swiss sandwiches with leaf lettuce, several handfuls of raisins, cheddar-sprinkled Chex, and HyVee brand iced oatmeal cookies.

Ready for dessert, I reached for the cookies, still in their original packaging, a long plastic tray in a plastic sleeve. I took the zippered freezer bag I brought in from home and began to transfer the treats from their makeshift stay-fresh container.

I evaluated the situation:

*I was in my cubicle, moving food around to prevent it from going stale.

*Moving food around to prevent it from going stale is an activity uncommon among my coworkers.

*My coworkers are humans who both love to yap about any stupid thing and who are starved for conversation starters.

Ergo, the most probable input was simulated to be:

*A coworker could walk by at any moment to say, "You're moving generic iced oatmeal cookies from their original packaging into a new plastic bag?"

My quick-witted brain prepared a response to the most probable input:

"Iced oatmeal cookies remind me of my dead grandfather, so FUCK YOU."

[If the internet gave enough of a shit to post a photo of generic iced oatmeal cookies, the photo would go here.]

True story, people. This is how my mind works. I am always, always searching my radar for incoming would-be insults, and gauging potentially devastating comebacks. It's not great.

Also true story, people: iced oatmeal cookies do indeed remind me of grandpa Ed. His wife made a lot of great pies, but never bothered with cookies. Instead, there were boxes of Nilla wafers and those strawberry/chocolate/vanilla rectangular sugar wafers and iced oatmeals and so on. Dr. Pepper reminds me of Grandpa Ed. Back when it came in a glass bottle. And bologna. The man once said to me, "Sometimes you just need a good bologna sandwich". He was right. Why else would I keep swearing off bologna sandwiches, only to crawl back a few months later? Bologna can hold a spell over a man, especially if that man shares much of his DNA with another bologna-loving man named Edwin, who died of a probably-not-totally-unrelated-to-bologna heart attack.

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