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Monday, 28 June
And He Was

Hello from the other side of the Birthday Weekend. All went well; and surprising things happened, which is not always nice, but in this case, was.

Thursday night found me and the wife at our favorite tapas restaurant, gorging ourselves on favorites like golden beet salad in vinaigrette (which have lost none of their "So good they make everything else in the world taste like old pants" charm), various coo-worthy cheeses, and of course, some bad-ass Rioja. It's basically impossible to go wrong at this place; it always leaves you feeling sort of breathless and euphoric, like surviving a rabid dog attack.

"Did you fucking see that? Those beets went right for my throat! I thought it was all over!"

"But you survived, baby. They were all like 'RAR! You can't handle this flavor!' And you were all like 'Fuck you!' And they were all like 'This guy is totally eating us!'

"Yeah! I owned those delicious punk-ass beets!"

Beet triumph is often hard-won. But it wasn't the most surprising thing to happen.

Friday, we did up the late birthday thing by going out bowling with friends. The turnout was nice, and allayed suspicions at least for a little while that Everyone Thinks I Suck, which was even nicer. B. showed up, ever the fan of all things sport, armed with his custom ball, his own shoes, and a complicated-looking forearm brace thingy. His first game was a real dog, however, and he amused me after one particularly disastrous frame by saying, "See, you can't show up in all this," he explained, waving his gear around (be quiet, Mr. Graham, I hear you snickering), "And throw like that. Because then you just look like an idiot."

Which is true. But then most people in a bowling alley look like idiots. Granted, mostly because they're drunk and haven't bowled for four years, like me. But B. also explained the Booze Effect re: bowling, which is, the more you have, the better you do. Which I initially doubted, but by the third game, I had scored a not-horrifying 145, so here I bow to the expert.

And then of course by the end of the night, a chocolate bunny had been thrown on some outdoor heating coals, and I had suffered head trauma from being hit by a beach ball thrown by K., and so that was all in its own way, typical, at least for my friends, who, unchecked, tend to behave like raving Huns anyway.

So that wasn't really surprising either.

Saturday, the wife and I went to the closing night of a show that the wife had actually had a hand in bringing to life. Called Are We Scared?, the piece was adapted from the actual everyday jabberings of pre-school-aged kids and then massaged into a very weird, wonderful whole. (The kids in question are under the charge of the wife, who works at the pre-school in question, and hence her involvement: she did some of the adaption.)

I was initially worried about the project when I heard of it, thinking, "Oh, Jesus, what if it just turns into Kids Say the Darnedest Things?" But it certainly did not, and in fact, it was utterly delightful and hilarious (because let's face it, sometimes the nippers are pretty fucking funny) and, most unexpectedly, oddly moving, as with the ending piece, adapted into song, which encouraged everyone to "Be careful in the gorgeous tunnel"--which isn't the stupidest metaphor for life that I've ever heard.

And I just have to point this out, even if it's only so I can search my archives and remember them: Here is one of the funniest lines I have ever heard onstage (my friend K. will back me up on this, because we just about came out of our chairs):

[Actor, at the encouragement of the other "kids," has been making mighty hops across the stage. Upon reaching the other "kids," the actor turns and yells proudly at the audience:]

"This hopper's name . . . is Noise-Boy!"

But even that wasn't the most surprising thing I heard all week. Although I may never recover from it. I couldn't even see for a while through the tears of laughter.

No, the most surprising thing I heard all week (last week, technically, but it didn't get finalized until today) was at work. I'll paraphrase several different conversations here, but this was the surprising thing I heard:

"Skot, we want to offer you a promotion. After your years of indifferent and desultory work, we are perplexingly interested in having you join the management team, and we hereby offer you this bunch of luckless revenants to boss around. If their spirits weren't broken before, they are now, because we already told them that you were going to be their supervisor, and those who didn't immediately drink poison have only shattered souls and sunken, twitchy eyes, and await your addled, perverse guidance."

"So what do you think, Skot? Will you do us the honor of filling this position with the same unnerving verve that we've come to expect from you, like that one time a few years ago, when you were disciplined for screaming 'FUCK!' down the hallway so loudly that the head of the whole organization heard you?"

Dimly, I heard myself accept the new job, thinking, I guess I can kiss all my former friends good-bye, but then conveniently remembered that I never really made a point of being friendly to anyone, so that was easy. Starting July 1, I am some very nervous peoples' supervisor. The higher-ups asked me, and even (mostly) kept straight faces.

That was definitely the most surprising thing I heard all week.


Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

I look forward to all of the forthcoming tales of your firm but gentle management style, the hallmark of which is, no doubt, stomping through the office, waving your gear around and bellowing, "Keep on whackin' it, shitheels!"

Comment number: 004899   Posted by: TheBrad on June 28, 2004 10:51 PM from IP: 66.143.144.78

*snickers*

Comment number: 004900   Posted by: TheBrad on June 28, 2004 10:51 PM from IP: 66.143.144.78

1) Why don't you tell us of the birthday party beforehand? Why not allow your stalkers the chance to come harass you in person? Keep in mind that, while I am a stalker, you write Izzle pfaff. And I have read Izzle pfaff, so I know of the evils of which I speak. Surely I have much more right to be scared of you than you have to be scared of me.

2) Is the Tapas place Tango Tapas? Or is it that more expensive place downtown? Errr... because, you know, I've been looking for a good Tapas place. Yeah... that's it.

Comment number: 004901   Posted by: alexs on June 29, 2004 02:30 AM from IP: 216.231.38.123

mmm, that's grrrreat, Skot. How're those reports coming?

Comment number: 004902   Posted by: mike on June 29, 2004 06:22 AM from IP: 216.173.212.234

Why not allow your stalkers the chance to come harass you in person?

What a great idea! For too long, nobody has thought of the stalkers.

Is the Tapas place Tango Tapas?

Nope; we tried to go there once, and they were full up and frankly kind of snotty. The place in question is the Harvest Vine on Madison.

Comment number: 004903   Posted by: Skot on June 29, 2004 07:48 AM from IP: 66.150.9.2

Give 'em hell, Noise Boy. And, if you ever do throw a stalker party, count me in.

Comment number: 004904   Posted by: rachel on June 29, 2004 10:19 AM from IP: 198.81.26.45

It's my own birthday on Friday--I hope my bosses decide to give me such a great prezzie too.

Congratulations.

Comment number: 004905   Posted by: bikeboy on June 29, 2004 03:08 PM from IP: 151.200.215.194

I'm another stalker-lurker kind but luckily for you i'm down here in Australia, so you have nothing to fear from me but subscriptions to Rabid Ninja Midget porn.

Just thought i'd drop in and give you some hearty congratulations on the jump to management status, i dedicate my next beer to your newfound power!
That said, I await the stories detailing your abuse of said power with unhealthy glee. :)

Comment number: 004906   Posted by: Lara on June 29, 2004 03:14 PM from IP: 203.220.235.197

Well, congratulations, noise boy!

Comment number: 004907   Posted by: Bernice on June 29, 2004 05:27 PM from IP: 210.89.128.21

Congrats on the status bump. Have fun abusing the power!

Is there any way to get my hands on a copy of your wife's play? Sounds like it'd be an interesting read. For that matter, is there a written copy of that play you did a while back (aw, crap, I forget the title, the dark comedy about Santa and his reindeer...) available to the masses? That sounded positively brilliant.

Comment number: 004908   Posted by: CG on June 29, 2004 05:48 PM from IP: 68.160.210.117

This is what you want, CG:

http://store.bakersplays.com/eiremo.html

Comment number: 004909   Posted by: TheBrad on June 29, 2004 07:07 PM from IP: 208.190.215.65

Major thanks, TheBrad! I owe you.

Comment number: 004910   Posted by: CG on June 30, 2004 01:30 PM from IP: 68.160.210.117

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