Couple of things here. Work reputation + Christmas music weirdness.
To begin, I do not have the most fantastic reputation at my place of business. I am seen as “that yellow-eyed booze hound of a guy who I think DJs or does professional keg-stands or something, but definitely smells like Vodka in the cafeteria line.” Not that this is completely untrue, but I do believe there has been some undue embellishment (of my nightlife), swirling about the water cooler at my work-joint.
That being understood by me, I try to be on my best behavior when making “small talk” with people at an adjacent urinal, or when passing through the pack of smokers that surround the main entrance. They all look at me with a knowing eye, fully aware that they have some “information” on me. And I don’t even know their names. I’m cool with them feeling somewhat superior in this regard, as long as two things occur: 1) they are never able to use any mis”information” on me as a weapon against me, and 2) I maintain my ability to be somewhat aloof, jovial, and even mildly entertaining during times when we do interract. That last one requires that all “small talk” be very courteous, confident, and sprinkled with witty banter. Most important of all: no one can begin to assemble the absolutely awful idea that Craig is some sort of booze-infused moron who thinks he’s better than all the married-with-kidlets folks that occupy every other cubicle in this piece. That would be both untrue, and disastrous for all those whom I owe wheelbarrows of money.
With that as a long-winded background, I must confess the possible beginning of the end of my previously perfect “sure he has a crazy reputation, but he seems like such a nice chap when I greet him in the halls” persona.
I was leaving work yesterday in a huff, racing against the dropping sun, in order to get a quick run before the moon took over. Waiting for the elevator, I was preoccupied with how dehydrated I was, and how friggin’ cold it was going to be while I ran in my mesh shorts along the lake. This is a real concern, as the cold weather pushes my legs to cramp, and with nothing but Amstel Light running through my system to stem said cramps, they will be victorious, and I will fold like the French. And I will have to crawl the wooded trails of the lake like an invalid. Crying like a wet kitten and peeing myself to keep from freezing to death.
But I regress.
So, the elevator arrived and I jumped in. There was a nice fellow in there who knows my name, and has used it to greet me on a number of occasions. I have no idea who he is, what department he works for, or his potential status as a possible leader of a Taliban splinter cell here in Texas. I don’t know this dude from Adam. And he knows my name. I don’t know what else he may know of me, and I don’t really care. I just wanted to maintain my cheery work persona. So, fella is all, “you look concentrated Craig, you got something going on after work?” To which I replied, all smiles, “Yup, I’m gonna try and squeeze my jog in before the sun calls it quits.”
Here is where the trap was set.
He quickly responds with, “well, you’re a better man than me! Heh-heh-heh!”
Now this sounds innocuous enough, doesn’t it? Just a harmless, self-effacing compliment extended to a coworker. There is an almost unlimited number of possible responses on my part, which accept this compliment and in an appropriate act of reciprocated kindness, also reverse his self-effacement.
“Yep….” Done. A half-assed affirmative reply.
And then blanket silence as my eyes trailed to the industrial carpet, followed by his obligatory “don’t you know it! Heh-heh-heh!” Which, by the way, was obviously loaded and ready to fire back at me, AFTER I had thrown up a witty reply for him aim it at. I failed to give him a decent target.
“Yep”? Is that it? What the fuck? Someone says to you: “you are looking really good these days! And I’m just a fat slug with the sex life of Big Bird: all fiction no friction!” and you respond with an affirmative “hell yes I am looking tight and fine, and you are indeed a fat fuck with no chance in hell of even convincing yourself to fuck you without the aide of date-rape drugs!”… Not good at all. Not. Good. At all.
I realized this, and was trying to hurdle over my self pity for being so dehydrated, making an effort to quickly construct a comeback, such as:
The easy-going: “Yeah, but I NEED to run, you look good without it!”
Senseless praise: “I’m just trying to appease the gods of health, but you? You’re golden man, GOLDEN.”
Name dropping wit: “That’s like Jenna Jameson commending Jeanine Garofalo for taking blow-job classes. Patting my back is totally beneath you man!”
But my mind tripped, went sideways on itself, and resulted in little more than heavier breathing as the elevator stopped at dude’s parking floor. He exited with little fanfare. Not even a “take it easy”, a “good luck on the trails” or even “I hope you get eaten by machete-wielding bears out there you pompous prick.” Nothing but crickets. I think my cover here is blown. Fuck it. The jig is up, and that was bound to happen sooner rather than later. We had a good run, the job and I. We really did…
On to the second note. At my work, Christmas tunes blare out of the sound system in the bathroom, so I get to crap to sounds of Nat King Cole and all seventy-three renditions of Frosty the (pedophile) Snowman. Needless to say, it is doing wonders to speed up my pooing process this holiday season.
Two Christmas songs that get to me:
Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer
For those of you who swear by this song, you obviously aren’t listening to it. To begin, the song is little more than a step-by-step about how his drunken grandmother, who forgot to take her pills, trudges out into the snow and is mauled by the North American equivalent of a wildebeest, and they find her dead body on Christmas Day. If that weren’t fucked up enough, he then goes on to hypothesize that it was one of Santa’s reindeer, and that his Grandmother’s untimely death by way of an unidentified cloven-hoofed animal is proof that St. Nick exists, and that Christmas really is all good and full of merry love.
Okay. This is jacked up on so many levels, but the obvious ones are: 1) reindeer are real. It could have been any one of the thousands of non-flying variety of reindeer that kicked his grandmother’s ass. If Santa’s sleigh were pulled by a team of goddamn pegasuses (that word just DOES NOT look right to me), and he had some sort of proof that they tramped his granny (feathers AND hooves perhaps? Fairy dust at the scene?), then he might have a hot lead on the existence of Santa. Just because some woodsy creature killed your bourbon-bent grandmother is proof of nothing beyond a potential that you are genetically predisposed to the same fate. 2) If this were indeed the work of Santa and his sleigh-bearers, then good ol’ St. Nick would be wanted for some weird-ass version of vehicular manslaughter. He would probably be convicted in absentia, and now be classified as a Class C Felon by Federal court (considered a “habitual offender” given the multitude of burglaries, attempted burglaries, operation of a toy factory without proper documentation, and failure to declare and pay property/duty taxes on goods imported into the US). Now that’s just downright wrong to put Santa into such a twisted and sick plot to kill old ladies, or sell records, whichever is sicker.
But it has a catchy melody, and the idea of some bumpkin’s granny getting trampled by Bambi’s distant cousin is somehow entertaining (but on a “Faces of Death” level-type sickness).
Baby It’s Cold Outside
This has to be the creepiest date-rape song ever written. And it's a Christmas tune? Whaaaa?
Some lady is dropping in on a fellow during some bad weather, he's all horn-doggin', she’s playing hard-to-get, and the dude is having none of it. This dude is totally going to ball this chick, with the aide of alcohol and possibly Rohypnol, and they made it into a Christmas song. I bet a more modern version will come out during my lifetime that will end with her getting reamed and the dude being a basketball star from “early in the millennium”. Jesus Christ. The things that will pass for holiday cheer almost astound me. What happened to mistletoe? Am I just old fashioned here? Fuck it.
My all your reamings be merry this season.
Damn you pegasuseseseses!