Category: Bad Days

Jun
7
2009

Too Much Drama for Your Mama

Do you have any friends who seem to be a lot of drama? Or have a lot of drama in their lives? Or seem to attract a lot of drama?

Sure you do. Everyone does. Drama is what makes the world go round. Everyone has some measure of drama in their lives – and if they don’t, they’ll seek it out from TV soap operas or create it with other people.

But let’s be careful here. The word “drama” is a loaded term. It means different things to different people. Let’s take a look at some of those variations.

At the basis of drama is some kind of interpersonal, social, and/or emotional conflict. Everyone has elements of conflict in their lives, either of their own doing or through outside influences. It’s as unavoidable as back problems and taxes. But that’s not what we commonly consider drama.

Drama, as we typically use the term, is meant for those exaggerated cases far above the norm. It is conflict at high volume. When it is in a story, book or television, it can be very entertaining. When it is between you and family, friends or coworkers, it can be very stressful.

Let’s look at some types of drama. A few of these overlap and hybrids do exist.

Emotional Drama
This kind of drama is characterized by seemingly unwarranted, exaggerated emotions in reaction to some event. Everyone reacts to crises differently; some are even-keeled and calm, others rabbit through panic and distress. Emotional drama is the latter variant. An emotionally dramatic person will react with extreme vigor, no matter the degree of the event. House burned down? Aaaaaaa! Spilled some milk? Aaaaaa!
Passionate Drama
The cousin of emotional drama is passionate drama, which shares some of its outward appearances. People being passionately dramatic are showing excessive emotion and using intense language to convey their reactions. The difference is that emotional drama tends to originate from an underdeveloped sense of emotional intelligence, whereas passionate drama spills from an extreme emotional bond to a particular topic. Basically, these people are sooo passionate about something that they are not able to accept beliefs that are contrary to their own. Hearing such a contrarian is simply heresy. Aaaaaaa!
Invented Drama
A more insidious form of drama is invented drama, the kind that is fabricated because the person is vindictive, or sadistic and bored. You’ll spot this variant when one person attacks another person’s sensitive spots — otherwise known as “pushing one’s buttons.” The purpose is to incite the other person; the more frustrated the other person, the more satisfaction the originator feels. Even if it’s subconscious. People who invent drama may do this in the name of passionate drama, though they are really trying to hurt you, not express outrage. Aaaaaaa!
Antisocial Drama
This type of drama is characterized by a pervasive disregard of other people’s feelings and rights. Lying, cheating, stealing, bullying, and abusing with no remorse are all symptoms. At times, they can seem almost sociopathic and narcissistic by the way they callously ignore the feelings of others and only care about themselves. Some are able to hide behind superficial charm or sexual prowess, though if you cross them, they’ll pull out their claws and antisocial drama behavior. Aaaaaaa!
Identity Drama
Someone who sees the world in strict black and white terms (no shades of gray) and has identity issues may be exhibiting borderline drama. These people may also have problems maintaining friendships and general relationships. A misalignment in the way they view life and themselves, in other words. Aaaaaaa!
Narcissistic Drama
Ever call someone a “ham” or “show-off”? That person was probably exhibiting narcissistic drama, which is typically characterized by an unhealthy load of self-love. They are the center of the world and they want everyone to know it. If you don’t, you will be assaulted by non-strop drama until you do. Aaaaaaa!
Insecure Drama
Though it is a bit of a blanket term, those that are insecure may bring with them waves of insecure drama. Such drama can be manifested by obsessive-compulsive clinginess, profuse pessimism, a constant need for reassurances from others, and frequent verbalizations of their ineptitude. The stark opposite of narcissistic drama, they suck and they want everyone to know it. Aaaaaaa!
Attracted Drama
Some people unknowingly attract drama, though a handful do it consciously. They either have such plain lives that they seek out “spice” or they tend to befriend people who exhibit one or more types of drama listed here. Their own lives may not have much drama, but encircling themselves with such friends can give them an air of drama. However, since like-minded people tend to cluster together, oftentimes a drama magnet is a dramatic person too. Aaaaaaa!
Stupid Drama
There are no such things as stupid questions… only stupid people. Ha! But seriously, some people just do stupid things that happen to trigger drama. Maybe it’s out of ignorance, maybe it’s a lack of tact, maybe it’s an underdeveloped sense of social intelligence or street smarts. Whatever the case, they’ll likely do something that places them or other people in some kind of trouble and conflict. Qualifying for stupid drama isn’t doing something goofy on occasion. A person needs to be doing really stupid things fairly often. Aaaaaaa!

Yes, there are many types of drama and dramatic people in this world. Know your drama and be wary of it. In small doses, it may be entertaining. But a constant deluge can drown you.


Mar
8
2009

We Were Almost Hit by an Asteroid This Week

Categories: Bad Days, Fate, Life, Q & A

Did you know that the Earth was almost struck by an asteroid this week? Unless you follow science news closely, you may have missed it.

The asteroid, designated 2009 DD45, is less than a third of a football field in diameter (approximately 20-30 yards). After watching movies like Armageddon and Deep Impact, that seems pretty small, doesn’t it? It’s no Texas-sized Global Killer like in Armageddon.

The impact of 2009 DD45 would still have been disastrous. “The force of multi-megaton nuclear blast,” wrote one reporter. Striking a city would have leveled it and killed millions. Striking the ocean would have caused a horrible tsunami that devastated coastlines.

Yikes!

To be fair, our planet is struck by asteroids all the time. Most burn up in the atmosphere. Few make it to the ground in the size of basketballs, baseballs, or smaller.

However, in 1908 a large asteroid struck Siberia, near the Tunguska River, with a force 1,000 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped in Hiroshima, Japan. It is believed that this asteroid may have been a few tens of meters in diameter.

Scary stuff. While it doesn’t do any good to sit here worrying about asteroid impacts, the idea of one certainly puts life into perspective.

What if the world were to end tomorrow?

It is a question commonly asked by thinkers and philosophers, usually as a way to guide our actions throughout our current life.

The question is invariably followed by the assertion that every day should be lived like it is one’s last. However, doing that is unrealistic. If the world really were to end tomorrow, most people would be out there, having raging orgies, eating fatty foods, or generally doing all sorts of selfish, indulgent activities they normally wouldn’t do. Perhaps people really shouldn’t live each day like it is their last.

Another answer is to live life without regrets. Unfortunately, that is not a satisfactory answer for many. Living without regrets means there will be a tomorrow with which to feel regret. If the world ended tomorrow, that would be moot.

I believe the answer is somewhere in between each of these. The contentment of living each day like it is your last should be in sync with having no regrets because you’ve done so with honor and integrity. Every time you go to sleep, you should do so with a smile and a clear conscience, no matter your religious and spiritual beliefs.

Why should you live life that way? How about spiritual satisfaction? Honorable livelihood? Or that well-worn cliché: A life of virtue is its own reward.

It may not sound easy to live life this way, but once you do, you will find it easy to. You will not only be ready for the end of the world, but you will be ready for potential judgment in the afterlife too, if such a thing exists.

The end of the world may not be that far off either. Asteroid 99942 Apophis is due to pass by our planet in 2029, most probably missing us. Then it will circle around and come near us again in 2036. The second visit may not be a miss.

99942 Apophis is somewhere between 210 to 330 meters wide – much bigger than 2009 DD45, but fortunately much smaller than Texas. An impact with this asteroid would cause untold destruction around its unlucky impact point.

Fortunately, it wouldn’t cause an end to the world. Pardon my earlier exaggeration. It would most certainly cause an end for some people though. Scientists have already been working on solutions though, a la Deep Impact. From solar sails to adding mass (to alter its trajectory), solutions are being modeled and perfected. With roughly twenty-seven years to plan and build, hopefully they will come up with a viable answer in time.

Let’s go back to the end-of-the-world question again. An assumption it makes is that we wouldn’t have much time to prepare for the world’s end. It would just be upon us suddenly, as a real-life Global Killer probably would do.

Does it surprise you that you didn’t hear about 2009 DD45 until just recently? Such an event ought to make a fair bit of news, right? Sure, the media could have been sitting quietly on this story for months, resisting the urge to break it for the sake of the public.

I’ll wait while you ROFL.

No, clearly the media would do no such thing, whether or not it would be in the public’s best interest. The simple truth is that scientists didn’t know about 2009 DD45 until two days before its apparent impact. Prolific asteroid hunter Robert McNaught of Siding Spring Observatory in Australia spotted it when it was only 1.5 million miles away. Then Timothy Spahr of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics determined that it wouldn’t be a threat within an hour of its discovery.

In other words, they spotted it then quickly realized it wasn’t going to cause untold destruction. The media probably picked up the story and figured it wasn’t important enough to turn into a major headline.

Perhaps that is a good thing. Who knows how the public would have reacted if they misinterpreted the news as the actual end of the world? Maybe with raging orgies, eating fatty foods, or all sorts of selfish, indulgent activities. Or maybe they would be at peace, having already lived each day like it was their last, with honor, integrity, and contentment. Which would you rather do?

(I know, I know… orgy vs honorable contentment. I really haven’t made a convincing argument, have I?)


Feb
22
2009

Ode to Commode

Here I sit,
broken-hearted.

Came to shit,
only farted.

Shouldn’t have had
that Taco Bell.
Now my butt
is burning hell.

Pushing with
a mighty clench.
Yet nothing drops
down the trench.

Sweat upon
my furrowed brow.
This room smells
like nasty cow.

Been a while;
my butt’s gone numb.
Would it help
to stick my thumb?

Teeth I grit,
my hands I wrench.
Emitting noise,
and quite a stench!

Time ticking,
I’m running late.
She’ll be pissed,
my waiting date.

Been feelin’ fine,
when it hit me – pow!
Oh all days,
why now, why now?

Here it comes,
just a dribble.
Not enough,
still too little.

Frustrated,
and full of gas.
Push push push,
still, no mass.

What to do,
But sit and wait?
Oh Taco Bell,
you I hate!


Jan
25
2009

Mr. Cornne in Brazil

Background:
A series of vignettes of Mr. Cornne, a young American high school teacher working in a small town in Brazil. Based on a true story. All dialogue is in Portuguese.

Scene One: The Street

Setting:
A street in a small town somewhere in Brazil. Several female high school students walk past the camera. The camera pans to reveal Mr. Cornne walking towards them. He smiles and recognizes them as students from his class.
Students:
Mr. Cornne! Mr. Cornne!
Mr. Cornne:
Good afternoon, my friends.
Students:
We love you Mr. Cornne!
Mr. Cornne:
Blushes and smiles in response.
Students:
Each one leans over on the tips of her toes and kisses him on the cheek.
Mr. Cornne:
Thank you, thank you.
Silvia (one of the students):
Mr. Cornne, you are so handsome today.
Mr. Cornne:
Still blushing. Um, thank you.
Students:
Walking away from Mr. Cornne. Bye Mr. Cornne! We love you! See you in class!
Mr. Cornne:
Looks at camera and smiles. This is why I love teaching in this country so much. The people are so friendly and familial. All students treat their teachers like this, not just me. With such passion. It is their custom. But still, I love it. Though… it seems one may have formed a crush on me. Blushes.

Scene Two: The Classroom

Setting:
Mr. Cornne’s classroom. It is the start of class. Students are arriving and taking their seats.
Mr. Cornne:
Everyone, please take your seats. Waits a moment until all are seated quietly. Thank you. Now take out your English textbooks and turn to page 125. Please read that story. When you are done, we will discuss it.
Students:
They flip open their textbooks and begin reading.
Silvia:
Gets up from desk and pulls chair over to Mr. Cornne’s desk. Positions herself right next to him. Her textbook is in her hands. He looks over curiously as she leans against him and starts reading quietly.
Mr. Cornne:
Looks at camera and shrugs. Silently mouths the words, “She does this all the time. Sometimes other students do it too.”

Scene Three: Chocolate

Setting:
Mr. Cornne’s classroom. The class is over and students are walking out. Silvia lingers after everyone has left and approaches Mr. Cornne. Don’t worry, this isn’t a porn, this is a PG story.
Silvia:
I love you, Mr. Cornne.
Mr. Cornne:
Oh, um, thank you.
Silvia:
Why don’t you love me?
Mr. Cornne:
Uh, well, it’s complicated, you see. First, there’s the age difference. I am much older than you and you are still very young. Then, I’m also your teacher, so…
Silvia:
So what do you love?
Mr. Cornne:
Um. Chocolate. I love chocolate.
Silvia:
I am chocolate. Love me.
Mr. Cornne:
Blushes. Um, that is very sweet of you. Class is over now. You need to get to your next class before you’re late.
Silvia:
Pouts. Bye, Mr. Cornne. I love you! Runs out of the classroom.
Mr. Cornne:
Looks at camera. What did I say about the people here being very, uh, passionate? You should hear some of the things they say to me off camera. My gosh! Blushes and shakes head.

Scene Four: Back in America

Setting:
Back in America. Mr. Cornne is walking down a street in his hometown. He passes by some of his former students. All dialogue here is in English.
Mr. Cornne:
Smiling. Good afternoon!
Former Students:
Cast him a scowl and scurry past him without saying a word. As they walk away, they turn their heads and giggle. Ohmigod, do you know who that is? Mr. Cornne! Didn’t he leave the county and like, get deported or something? What’s he doing back here?
Mr. Cornne:
Looking at camera. Shakes his head with a sigh. I miss Brazil.

Nov
30
2008

What Would You Do If the World Was Full of Zombies?

I think we can all agree that sometimes, it’s important to prepare for the worst. Part of any good preparation plan includes scenario building. From those various scenarios can come any number of solutions.

So it was with this judicious safety research in mind that my cousins and I embarked on the critical scenario building of what we’d do if the world was full of zombies. Such are the in-depth discussions that brew out of a belly full of Thanksgiving turkey.

Assumptions

First, we needed to lay out some assumptions. What kind of zombies are these? Slow, lumbering Night of the Living Dead zombies? Or fast, vicious 28 Days Later zombies?

We determined they were the latter kind. The most frightening kind. You can’t survive by just outrunning them, because they can run as fast as you can.

Second, how intelligent are they? We decided they’re not dumb, mindless creatures. They’re semi-intelligent, like the vampires of I Am Legend. They’re not about to drive cars and develop websites, but they can learn at the pace of a young child.

Next, are the zombies after you, or just walking around, minding their own business? We said they’d be coming after you specifically. They can smell your blood and are hungry for it. So you’re constantly on the run.

Finally, we were the only ones still alive. Everyone else was a fast, vicious, semi-intelligent zombie coming after you. Who said life was easy, right? However, we could use whatever we found, such as cars, supplies within grocery stores, and guns from weapon stores.

With those set of scenario assumptions, we played out various solutions.

Scenario One: 28 Days Later Penthouse Solution

We could hole up in the penthouse of a skyscraper, just like the father and daughter team from 28 Days Later. However, as we thought through the logistics, lots of problems emerged. There wouldn’t be enough power to last forever. That’s a major problem, especially since power is needed to run a refrigerator and possibly heat.

Being in a skyscraper means we’re well above the nasty zombie-infested world. But the semi-intelligent zombies would eventually climb up the stairs and hammer down our door. Being holed up anywhere meant they’d eventually break in – especially a simple penthouse room.

Food and water would be another huge problem. Even by raiding a supermarket for all the canned goods we could carry wouldn’t be enough. It would run out over time. Water especially. Also, what if the zombies happened to tamper with the power and water lines? They may not be intelligent enough to break them on purpose, but certainly could do it on accident.

The 28 Days Later penthouse solution would definitely not work.

Scenario Two: I Am Legend Offense Solution

We could hole up in a townhouse in the city, just like the hero of I Am Legend. We’d arm ourselves with weapons of all sorts, a trusty dog, and actively go hunting the zombies. The best defense is a strong offense, right?

The power, food and water problems of Scenario One are similar in this one. Not to mention the overwhelming number of zombies determined to eat our brains. All the guns in the world wouldn’t be enough to hold off millions of fast, vicious zombies. We’d either run out of bullets or get tired of swinging our axes. Plus, we need sleep and zombies don’t.

The I Am Legend offense solution would definitely not work.

Scenario Three: Lost Island Solution

Let’s get away from hiding in a building of some kind. How about we hole up on a deserted island somewhere? Sort of like Lost, except without the black smoke monster, genetic experiments, and civil war between shadowy scientists and enigmatic natives?

We’d choose an island where we could be self-sufficient: abundant food sources, fresh water, and materials for shelter. Without a way for the semi-intelligent zombies to get to us, we’d be safe indefinitely. Sure, we’d be living like cavemen again, but at least we could survive.

Sounds like a winner! There aren’t many ways to foil this solution.

Well, there’s very one small chance of failure. What if a ship full of zombies happened to crash onto the island? Sure, that would assume that a bunch of zombies wandered onto a ship and happened to kick it into motion and happened to aim it at our island. It’s a miniscule chance, but it’s still a chance.

It’s a chance we’d take though. The key seems to be removing ourselves from any large land mass full of zombies. If the zombies can get to us by feet, then we’re dead. But if we were someplace they couldn’t get to, then we’d have a good chance of survival.

After this intense discussion, we moved on to other vital matters, such as vampires and werewolves. It’s important to prepare for the worst. And what better way than to do so with a belly full of Thanksgiving turkey? I hope Janet Napolitano is taking notes.


Nov
2
2008

That Chocolate Egg Doesn’t Taste Right

I thought it kind of my friend to leave those chocolate eggs in my fridge. She had needed a place to crash for a while. Since I was out of town, I offered up my place, provided she didn’t go around snooping through my porn stash or crack needles. (I kid, I kid!)

So one day, after she departed and I returned, I poked through my kitchen for something to eat. I had an attack of Mr. Munchie and his cohorts. My appetite didn’t call for anything substantial though. Just a morsel of pepperoni would have sufficed.

Then I discovered the tray of chocolate eggs in my fridge. Six in total, two columns, three rows, neatly arranged.

I pulled the tray forward. They were light brown with tiny brown specs. Looked yummy! My tummy growled. I picked one up and popped it in.

As I rolled it around in my mouth, I grabbed the milk. I always like milk with my chocolate. To me, they go together like leather and spice, summer and ice, ebony and ivory, living together in perfect harmony.

With the milk in my hand, I slowly bit down on the chocolate egg. It was hard, probably frozen from being in the fridge for so long. My mastication muscles carefully exerted strength. I squeezed tighter. Finally, the hard shell broke.

A cool, oily, viscous liquid poured into my mouth. I thought to myself, “that chocolate egg doesn’t taste right…”

I stopped in mid-bite. The liquid sloshed around, rolling under my tongue. It hit all the wrong taste centers. Especially the salty ones. The shell also crumbled into brittle bits.

My eyes suddenly popped like balloons exploding with too much oxygen.

I ran to the sink and spit out the slimy chocolate egg. Tiny chips of light brown followed a pool of clear fluid. Also, out came a bright yellow yolk.

I stared at the yolk for a moment. It floated around the bottom of my sink. Staring back up at me with equal shock.

Hacking and coughing and spitting out every drop of saliva in my mouth, I forcefully voided my cheeks of every spectacle of that awful taste. Bleeech!

I gargled water and swished it violently to and fro. My fingers scraped my tongue ’till it was a slab of tender raw beef. But still, that taste lingered, both in my mouth and in my mind.

Into the bathroom I dashed. I whipped up a slab of toothpaste and scrubbed my tongue good. The stiff bristles ripped without mercy. It hurt, but it was a necessary hurt.

After several minutes, I relaxed. The taste was gone. So were my taste buds.

Sweaty and defeated, I retreated to the phone and dialed my friend. “Um, you know those chocolate eggs you left in my fridge?”

“What chocolate eggs?” she asked. “I didn’t leave you any chocolate. I gave you some quail eggs though.”

I almost dropped the receiver. My tongue throbbed. Quail eggs. So that’s why the chocolate egg didn’t taste right.


Oct
12
2008

Refreshing

“It’s so hot out here,” muttered Poppy the pigeon. The fountain in the park invited him for a spell. He soared down, perched on the edge, and jabbed his tiny pigeon head into the stream. “Ahhh, refreshing.” It was. The fountain’s water was really refreshing.

Nearby, something squealed. Poppy popped up. Two boys were skateboarding down the park. They were weaving in and out of terrified pedestrians. And both weren’t wearing helmets.

Poppy leapt from the fountain. High into the sky he soared, high as a pigeon. And down towards the boys he aimed.

The boys were moving fast. Poppy had to flap frantically to catch up. “Slow down, you miscreants!” he chirped. But the boys didn’t heed him; they didn’t speak pigeon.

A young couple screamed. An elderly man teetered off his walker. A little baby started to cry. The boys skated on, laughing and jeering.

Poppy looked down at them. On their heads were target symbols. Like the ones at archery ranges. These head targets are not visible to humans. Only birds see them.

So naturally, as any good archer would do, Poppy took aim. And fired.

SPLAT. “What the?” One of the boys crashed. “Oh damn, is that bird poop in my hair?”

“Ha ha ha! You got shat on!” hollered his friend. “You got”—SPLAT—”oh no!” He jumped off his board.

“Haa! What? You got shat on too? Serves you right!” He looked up.

SPLAT. “Dude, that bird shat on me again!”

SPLAT. “Ugh! My eye!”

SPLAT SPLAT. “This bird is a fricken poop machine!”

SPLAT SPLAT. “Dude, let’s get the hell out of here!”

The boys jumped on their boards and raced out of the park. The pedestrians stared unnervingly at the pigeon, not sure if they should thank him or run for cover. Poppy hovered for a moment. “90% on target this time.” He grinned a pigeon grin. “Not bad.”

Trickles of tiny pigeon sweat gleamed between his feathers. “It’s so hot out here,” he muttered. The fountain in the park, once again, invited him for a spell. Back into the stream he jabbed his head. “Ahhh, refreshing.”


Sep
14
2008

Security Scare at the Airport

So here’s how it went down:

I’m on a Delta Song flight from JFK to SFO. The plane is mostly packed. I’m towards the rear. Although it’s around dinner time, the lights are dimmed, and most of the passengers are asleep.

Somewhere over the Mississippi River

I get up to go to the bathroom. There’s one person ahead of me, so I stand and wait. A man in the aisle seat of the last row starts shouting something.

“…can’t believe you’re doing this to me! …you guys are supposed to be helping me! …is a matter of national security!”

He seems to be shouting at the flight attendants, who watch him intently but do not answer. The man is pounding on the tiny TV screen from the seat next to him – the TV screen in front of him is off.

After I finish in the bathroom, the man is quiet but appears visibly shaken.

Somewhere over Colorado

The flight attendants are slowly bringing the drink cart down the aisle. They reach my seat.

“What is the matter with you people! Are you ignoring me?!”

It’s the man from the last row again.

“You’re taking your time with that damn drink cart! Hurry up and get to me! What is wrong with you people?!”

Several other passengers turn to look. I pass on my drink and put back on my earphones.

On the ground in San Francisco

Finally, we land. As we head towards the gate, a flight attendant gets on the loudspeaker.

“Attention, ladies and gentleman. As soon as we taxi into the gate, please remain seated. There is a security issue that we need to attend to, and we need you all to remain in your seats. Airport security personnel are going to board this plane as soon as we are at the gate. Please remain in your seats until you are told you can get up to deplane. This is a serious matter and I want you all to listen very carefully. I don’t want any of you to get up and claim you did not hear this message. You all must remain in your seats until you are told you can get up again. Thank you.”

As soon as the message is delivered, just about everyone’s heads whip backwards (including mine) to the man in the last row. The man looks at his row mates and shrugs.

The man appears to be of mixed Asian/European decent. He is dressed in business casual attire and wears thick-rimmed glasses. I can’t tell if he’s been drinking or not.

Several security officers board the plane. A few remain up front while two walk to the back of the plane. They get to the man in the last row, the one who’s been shouting earlier.

“Get up,” orders one of the officers. The man gets up without any hassles.

“Turn around.” As soon as he turns around, the officers cuff him.

“Do you have any bags in the overheard bins?” one of them asks.

“Yea, yea,” the man replies with a nod. The officers open up several bins and point to each piece of luggage. The man shakes his head with each. I guess he didn’t have any bags after all…

The officers walk him out, past the surprised & suspicious stares of the passengers. Several passengers eye the overheard bins.

In my hand the whole time was my Treo. I contemplated taking a photo, but decided against it in case the man really was a terrorist or mass murderer and started shooting us all or something.

A few moments later, the flight attendants called for us to deplane. We all rushed the hell out of there.


Sep
7
2008

Nose Trouble

Barney cautiously leans over the “pad thai” and sniffs. Sniff sniff.

Suddenly, a tendril of pad thai leaps up and grips his nose. He yelps! The tendril snakes into his left nostril and out the right one.

Barney drops the plate with a sharp CRASH and starts to shake his head. Hanging from his nose is a tangle of pad thai noodles, clinging mercilessly.

His fingers claw into the noodles and tears strands away. Lifeless strings are flung all over the cafeteria. Pad thai sauce drips down his shirt.

Jimmy rushes over. He grabs a hold of the noodles and yanks. The slippery noodles slide right through his fingers, sending him sprawling backwards.

Kent grabs a fork and spears the tangled mess. Then, using both of his hands and a steadied stance, he rips right through the pad thai. Noodles and sauce sail through the air and onto Jimmy. But the bulk of the noodles remain.

Screaming now, Barney starts to choke the noodles. They ooze out of his hands but don’t loosen their grip.

Gina, in a moment of distinctive clarity, grabs a pepper shaker and sprinkles Barney’s face. “What are you doing??” he cries. Then he blinks, pauses, and… AAAACHOOOO!

Across the room go the pad thai noodles. And right onto Jimmy, who quickly covers his nose and rolls away.


Jul
6
2008

He Didn’t Wash His Hands

“Guess who I saw in the bathroom today?”

“Who?” we asked.

His eyes blazed and he jumped in his seat. We could tell he had something juicy to tell us.

“Our CEO.”

“Oh, that’s cool,” we answered. We’ve all seen our CEO from time to time around the office. This didn’t qualify as juicy at all.

“And get this—he walked out of the bathroom without washing his hands!”

“No way! What?!”

“Yea! He didn’t wash his hands!”

We laughed. Still not totally juicy, though. It was like squeezing a dry lemon. There were a few drops, but not enough to make your mouth pout.

“But wait, there’s more!”

We leaned in closer.

“Then I walked back to my desk. And there he was! Sitting in my chair!”

“What?!” We tried to imagine seeing our CEO sitting in our chair like it was his. Leaning back in the chair, feet up on the desk, lounging around like he owned the place. But it got even juicier.

“Yea! And—”

We leaned in closer.

“He was using my phone!”

“Ew, gross!” Our collective mouths dropped like a hot potato. Flies could’ve flown in easily, they were so wide. You could’ve tossed a whole lemon in there too.

“Yea! He waved a finger at me and said, ‘Is this your desk? I’m sorry, I’ll be finished in a minute.'”

“The same finger he didn’t wash?” we asked.

“Yea!”

“Ew, gross!”

“Yea!” There was a smirk in his face. The story wasn’t over yet. There was more juice to be had. A coup d’etat of juice.

“So I walked off for a bit. Got a coffee. Then came back, and there were crumbs on my desk!”

“What?” We tried to blink, but our eyelids were paralyzed. “Crumbs?”

“Yea, cookie crumbs! I think he ate a whole cookie at my desk. While he was talking on the phone. After coming from the bathroom. And not washing his hands.”

“Ewww! Groooss!” The juice of the story sheathed us with invisible slime. We shook in our seats and wiped imaginary filth from our bodies. By the time this juicy story was done, we all had to wash our hands.


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