Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Tyranny of Teeth

A couple of weeks ago, Teeth informed Princess Anne that she, Princess Anne, was expected to be in the filing room every day between 4:00 and 4:30 in order to catch up on the backlog of filing. Princess Anne, who, though an idiot, is not a slacker, replied that this was simply not possible except on Thursdays and Fridays, due to her own workload. After all, when the Cub quit in August, no-one bothered to hire a replacement temp, and there are no plans to replace Sylvester, either. We have already been told that.

Yet, despite Princess Anne's objections, Teeth told her that she was neverthless expected to be in that filing room.

Today, we learned that Teeth is not letting us go early tomorrow afternoon, as is customary, because Princess Anne has not caught up on her filing.

And I am incensed. Furious. Pissed right off.

It's not because we don't get to go home early (although that would have been nice; I have a party to prepare for the following evening). After all, I'm not entitled to that time off. I'm cross-eyed pissed off because Teeth has chosen to begin her reign of tyranny by laying the blame for all this on Princess Anne.

And Teeth has both today and tomorrow off work, the fucking buck-toothed slunt.

But if she thinks that the rest of us blame Princess Anne, she is seriously mistaken. We know this has nothing to do with filing and everything to do with Teeth power-tripping.

And if she thinks that I am just going to sit around and wait for her to come gnawing on me, then she's got another think coming, because I will take two retail jobs before I have to deal with her bullshit.

I declined to take an afternoon break today so that most of my work could be done in anticipation of being released early tomorrow. That was before I heard the news, of course. Now I don't give a rat's ass if my bills are caught up or not.

So whattaya think? Should I "sleep in" tomorrow and wander into the office around 11:00?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Dental Damn

It's official: effective January 1, 2012, Teeth is my new boss.

I confess, I am all astonishment. I have a number of questions that I would like to ask Head Office Lady, questions like,

1. "Are you serious?"

2. "Are you desperate?"

3. "Is this really the best you could do?"

4. "Have you actually met Teeth?"

So now the job hunt is on in earnest.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Occupy My Garage!!!

So, the Little Hunneydoo left the house this morning for work, only to discover that some piece of shit crackhead had broken into her vehicle overnight and stolen the dollar that we keep there for the shopping cart at the gocery store. He/She also took the garage door remote that was on her sun visor.

If the POS CH let him/herself into the garage, they neither touched my car nor made off with anything else. Nor did POS CH wreck the Little Hunneydoo's lock or smash her windows. So mostly, we are inconvenienced in that we have to reprogram the garage door opener so that the stolen one won't work. And that means borrowing a ladder that we don't have, yadda yadda. Whatever. It could have been much worse. I'm not actually complaining. Much.

But after describing the event to my co-workers (who, it seems, never pass up a chance to prove how profoundly ignorant they are), Princess Anne said, "It was probably one of those Occupy Our Town jerks."

...

Yeah, because people who are peacefully protesting the appalling corporate greed that is rampant in our consumer-based society are all about stealing, you fucking moron.

Whether you agree with the Occupy movement or not, that comment makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Last week I applied at the local humane society for the position of Administrative Assistant/Receptionist. It pays three dollars less than I am currently making with these brain dead shitheels.

And I don't care.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

That's What *He* Said!

Two Clowns is universally disliked in the office, even by the other managers, a group she has deluded herself into believing she belongs. Proof of this was amply proffered this afternoon, when Jacques (who is French Canadian) approached Princess Anne at the reception desk and indicated Two Clowns's south-facing office with a jerk of his head.

"'Ow does she stand it in dere wit' da 'eater on?" he asked, sotto voce. "It's gotta be so 'ot!"

And it's true. Perhaps because she is really a reptile cleverly disguised as a person, Two Clowns's office is always Saharan in temperature, even in August. It's a lot like gorillas in the mist, really.

Princess Anne shrugged, and Jacques shook his head in bewilderment.

"God," he said. "It's a good t'ing she doesn't wear leather pants. She'd smell like a burning clutch!"

Laughed. My. Ass. Right. Off.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Sufferin' Succotash!

One of the things that can be marginally considered a bonus where I work is that one has to work jolly hard to get fired. Possibly because no-one has received a raise in at least five years (except for the 2% cost of living increase, which is a pittance) and the fact that we get paid shittily, my employer is pretty tolerant when it comes to time off for doctor's appointments, illness or just needing to leave early and come in late. The Queen of Excuses for Goofing Off is Yvette, who will leave work because she thinks she *might* be coming down with something. And when she is there, she spends a good portion of her day on the phone. Or surfing the net looking at wedding dresses.

But when it comes down to being actually dismissed, it hardly ever happens. I mean, someone once told one of the other billers that she was a "fucking cunt" to her face in front of witnesses and didn't lose their job over it. In fact, the last people to be fired from my particular branch actually embezzled from the company. Their niece still works in dispatch.

So imagine my surprize when I discovered that Sylvester lost her job yesterday afternoon. I missed it (thankfully, I'm no fan of drama and there's been plenty of that lately) due to a doctor's appointment, but the official reason given was that her performance had deteriorated. That excuse stank of dead fish to me, and Princess Anne finally said that it had something to do with some other stuff that wouldn't look good on Sylverster's record. Remember when I told you all about how she made a play for one of the male dispatchers? Well, it seems that she would go back to his desk and massage his shoulders and pat his head (?) and just generally made him uncomfortable, to the point where he complained to Jacques.

And I guess Jacques took care of it.

Sylvester should have been more discreet, and it is good to know that my employer does have some standards. But I will also say that they are double standards. There is certainly no room in the office for sexual harrassment, but there is also the ongoing spectacle of Jacques himself bowing and saying "Ah-so" virtually every time he sees me. And Mulan sits on the other side of the wall from me, so seeing or hearing him is only a matter of time. And I have received emails from Springsteen's husband that are frankly racist and would be very embarrassing should they ever be found by Mulan or some of our Islamic drivers.

But these people are in a position of authority and responsibility, and firing them--or even disciplining them, I imagine--is beyond the pale, even if people felt they could complain and be heard.

So while Sylvester really has only herself to blame, I venture to say that she shouldn't be the only one looking for a new job.

And that really sucks.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

What's Up, Doc?

I was off work for most of this week with muscles aches and a general, overwhelming sense of ennui. Nevertheless, the office politics managed to reach me at home, making for a rather pissy convalesence. What an incredible shit-show that place is. In fact, as I have mentioned to friends, it feels more and more like I am trapped in a sitcom that is a cross between Green Acres and The Facts of Life.

None of it is even really blogworthy, therefore not worth retelling here. Just trust me when I say I clearly work with a group of rural thundercunts who haven't grasped the fact that high schoo lis years past.

None of the politics are Teeth's fault, surprisingly. In fact, this week would have ordinarily been a good one, as she is on holidays. She has gone to join her husband hunting in the bush, which cannot fail to make me think of these two:


That's all, folks!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Talk Caucasian To Me, Bitch!

Last week, work was a complete and utter shit show. I came so close to just walking out of the building that I even expressed that sentiment to Jacques, who is in charge of hiring drivers for our branch. And he responded with alacrity, calling Head Office Lady and getting her to talk me down.

The other person who actually stepped up was (get this) Teeth. You see, Mulan was scheduled to go on holidays, and, since Springsteen has already moved into her new position, Head Office Lady had to find someone to learn Mulan's tasks so that her bills would get processed in her absence. She asked me to do it and I accepted because I really didn't want to go back to the other stuff I was doing.

The difficulty was that they only gave Mulan and me one week in which to learn her stuff. And although Mulan is a very nice lady, her communication skills are hampered by a pronounced Hong Kong accent. To make things even more difficult, she wouldn't let me take notes on procedures. And when I unfortunately but inevitably made mistakes, she would say, "But I already told you that! I write it down for you!" But that doesn't help at all when I am trying to learn the billing procedure for seven or eight different clients. Eventually, my frustration reached a level at which I thought if she said, "I told you already," I was going to rip her fucking larynx out and tie in a bow around her goddamned neck.

Teeth, who was able to overhear the rising tension, stepped in to help, since she is actively promoting herself as Springsteen's inheritor. We had a long talk private talk, just the two of us, about how my brain was shutting down and at this point, it was like that scene in The Matrix where Neo is staring at all the streaming numbers; I was no longer able to take in anymore information. Teeth was supportive, attentive and sympathetic and I was starting to think that maybe I had been hasty in my dismissal of her.

And then she said, "Would this information make any more sense to you if it was explained in Caucasian?"

And if you, dear reader, are sitting there, staring at the screen with eyes that are somewhat wider than they were a moment ago, know that that is precisely the reaction that everyone has who hears this story.

My good friend D. suggested I should have replied, "No, I'm fluent enough in gook, thanks," which would have been very satisfying.

And believe me, it would have been perfectly in keeping with the attitudes in that office. It wouldn't have even really stood out as offensive. For the duration of Mulan's absence, I am sitting at her desk so that I may take advantage of the experience of the other billers who know how to do her stuff. And Mulan's desk is right outside of Jacques's office.

This afternoon, as I was getting up from my desk to collect some papers from the printer, Jacques saw me. He smiled broadly, put his palms together in front of his chest and bowed low, saying, "Ah-so!"

I was so stunned by this display of blatant racism that I stopped in my tracks and looked around to see if anyone else had heard or seen it. I caught Sylvester's glance and her eyes looked like a pair of sattelite dishes. Finally, I turned back to Jacques and in Cantonese, told him, "Good morning, how are you?"

He thought that was pretty funny, so I don't think he realized that I was actually speaking one of the main Chinese languages. I think he thinks I was playing along with him and making up words, because he did the "Ah-So!" thing later on in the day. That time, I just ignored it, but in my mind I was thinking, "Christ on a cracker, man--the Human Rights Commission would be ALL over this!!!"

Of course, he would never dream of doing this to Mulan's face. Not like Teeth, who I overheard mocking Mulan's accent last week while they were both in the lunch room. Yet despite this appalling lack of cultural and personal sensitivity, Teeth still thinks she's manager material.

I gotta find another job.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Society for Complete Assholes



Some of you may be aware that I belong (marginally) to an organization called the Society for Creative Anachronism, or the SCA. This is a worldwide organization that purports to celebrate the Middle Ages "they way they should have been."

Now, I can find many nice things to say about the SCA: some people who play do absolutely amazing things. For example, I know a woman who, in the name of authenticity, raises her own period sheep, shears them, washes the wool, combs and cards it, spins it (with a drop spindle and not a wheel), dyes it (using only mineral and plant dyes available to the Norse in period) and weaves it into historically accurate clothing for her and her partner. What this woman is doing, essentially, is creating medieval Norse artifacts in the modern age. It is awe-inspiring.

And she is just one (albeit extraordinary) example of such persons in the SCA. Whatever the craft or science from the medieval period, there is probably someone in one of the Known Kingdoms who is recreating it, whether it be the making of armour, brewing, needlecraft, costuming, woodworking, glassblowing or the making of musical instruments. The collective talent and knowledge available in the SCA is absolutely mind-blowing.

However, one of the very big problems with the SCA (other than the lack of minimum standards for authenticity, which is something I don't have time or space to get into right now) is the behaviour of certain groups and individuals. Because of its potential for highly academic and intellectual pursuits, the SCA attracts a fair number of persons who are socially awkward. Not surprisingly, the membership of the SCA is made up of men and women who play D&D, or Live Action Role Playing games, or just gett their freak on with their own geekery (i.e. science, computers, theatre, etc). In many ways, the SCA offers a safe harbour for people who are considered "weird" by society in general.

The problem with that is that the SCA doesn't just offer a safe harbour, which would be fine in and of itself. The difficulty is that it gives some of the more dysfunctional personalities a place to indulge their dysfunction and then rewards them for it. I knew a psychiatric nurse once who attended an SCA event in my area, and when he left, his assessment was that in that room, he had seen an example of almost every social disorder known to humankind. Needless to say, he never came back.


The more devoted one is to service to the SCA, the more committed one is to "the Dream", the more one can expect to rise through the ranks and find a modicum of success in ways that are meaningful to persons who are otherwise marginalized. Imagine the signficance a burger flipper or a retail clerk finds in being made a "lord" or "lady" in one's local shire/barony, when the rest of the world calls one weird and a freak.

Now all of this is a rather long-winded introduction to my latest rant, which is about the self-indulgent, neurotic and ultimately hurtful and selfish behaviour exhibited by certain members of the SCA at a recent funeral that I attended.

Two weeks ago, a young man within my social circle (R) passed away from pancreatic cancer, leaving behind a son, who is not quite three, and a widow (M), who is pregnant with his daughter, due in November. The Little Hunneydoo and I met these wonderful people through the SCA, where both of them were rapier combatants of some repute. But due to the obnoxious politics and the dysfunctional personalities, they left the SCA about seven or eight years ago, never to return. Despite not having the rapier combat and the medieval pursuits in common, our friendship with R and M continued to flourish and we would see them whenever we could.

When R was diagnosed, one of M's concerns was that the news would leak out to the local SCA branches and that, in addition to the stress of caring for R in his final weeks, she would have to endure the inappropriate and foolish douchebaggery that we have all come to expect from certain communities within the organization. And sure enough, it happened: a few weeks before he died, M received an email from a woman who had (years ago) been a casual partner of R's, talking about their "sweet romance".

On its own, that behaviour was unsettling enough, but sadly, it didn't end there. When R passed away a couple of weeks ago one day before his 45th birthday, funeral arrangements were made for the small mountain town where he had been born, lived and worked as a valued member of the community. Shortly before the funeral, M--the grieving widow--received a text from someone I'll call Chuckles, who considers himself a leader in the rapier community. Chuckles advised her that he and some of his comrades were planning to hold a tournament in R's memory and asked if they could attend the funeral in their medieval/Renaissance garb.

M was keen to avoid any display of SCA stupidity, and texted Chuckles back, forbidding a tournament. She reminded him that burying one's husband/father of one's children/son, brother, uncle, etc is a serious business and one that is--and should remain--wholly separate from fantasy pursuits. Which the SCA is. A fantasy. A game. So no tournament and put on some proper clothes, please.

Thankfully, the funeral was absent of any SCA-related douchebaggery (although I was APPALLED to see a member of R's family videotaping the service with his cellphone. Seriously? Dude, this is a funeral, not a Lady Gaga concert. Put the fucking phone up your ass and pay attention to what's happening here).

Unfortunately, M had to endure still more persistent bullshit from the SCA throughout the day. For example, at the interment ceremony in the cemetery, Chuckles approached a man who was helping to organize the service and said that he and the other rapiers had brought their swords: they planned to offer a "sword salute" to R at the gravesite. (Seriously? Who brings a sword to a funeral???) The man vehemently forbade such a display (imagine having to explain this to R's mother, who is elderly, frail and suffering dementia).

So Chuckles and his coterie were reduced to taking R's old fencing hat with them to the bar and recording themselves on a cellphone (fuck, I hate those fucking things), telling stories about when they sparred with R, or the wild and whacky things he did at events. All of this, of course, will be subsequently burned onto a cd for M, and will no doubt appear on YouTube for those unfortunate enough to miss the funeral.

Now, I wish I could tell you that this was the end of the douchebaggery, but it is not. Later that evening, when they had finished regaling R's hat with stories of its former owner (it has belonged to Chuckles since R sold off all of his equipment), they all trooped back to M and R's place to console the widow. Remember the twat who wrote to M when R got sick and recounted her "sweet romance" with R? Well, she showed up, hammered out of her mind, took M out on the balcony and ended up requiring the widow to console her, after going in to even greater detail about the time she spent with R (who was, you'll call, a casual partner at best). Ultimately, she and another woman found themselves on a bench outside the apartment, wailing and needing to be rescued by Chuckles.

Now, a word about Chuckles: he is one of those people, like Two Clowns, who seems to be almost physically incapable of telling a story without embellishment. Even his wife will say to him, "Oh, Chuckles, you know that didn't happen", but he goes on blabbing undeterred by any sense of reality. Chuckles has many fine qualities, but he is, sadly, one of those people who have found so much success in the SCA that it appears he is singularly incapable of approaching Life In General without first filtering it through his quasi-medieval/fantasy filter.

For example, not only did it cross his mind to attend a funeral in his garb as a tribute to a man who hadn't played the game in almost a decade, he proposed to make a sword salute at the gravesite, when the widow had already expressly forbade any SCA displays of weirdness. Thus quashed, he took the man's hat to the bar and toasted it like a friggin' relic. Furthermore, when meeting other people at the party at M's who have never been to the SCA, he introduced himself with his medieval name, not the one with which he was born. Whilst in life, he performs some kind of honest but menial physical labour, in the SCA he is a brave and honourable Lord, the head of a large household,who are, to varying degrees, as dysfunctional and self-indulgent as he is.

Much of this household is a coterie of young and nubile young women, ranging in age from late teens to mid-twenties, who I refer to as the Children of Chuckles. One of these women--who had never even met R--approached M that night, and told her that she, as a representative of the Children of Chuckles, had been charged with the sacred task of bring M a solemn vow: that should M EVER need ANYTHING, she need only ask, and the Children of Chuckles were sworn to provide that service.

Now throughout all of this idiocy, M remained calm, poised and respectful, which I find absolutely amazing, given that she should never have had to deal with any of this on a day when she was returning her soul-mate to the earth. On top of all the other stressors of the day--family drama, concern for her son, and the overwhelming enormity of life without a man who she deeply adores and who was as devoted to her as a man could be--she had to deal with the theatrics of a bunch of drama llamas who have apparently forgotten what it is to be an adult in general society. She--and the people around her--were forced to console people whose relationship with R was either non-existent, tangential or fictional, and babysit others who wanted to turn this solemn and tragic event into a fucking Ren Faire.

To those of you who would defend this behaviour: I realize that Chuckles and his Children think that their motivations were of the highest kind: I realize that they THINK their intention was to offer a tribute to R and the relationship they USED to have with him: I realize they think their hearts were in the right place.

But to my mind, whether they realize it consciously or not, this whole debacle was a selfish and insensitive attempt to make this entire thing all about THEM. I find it disturbing that adults feel the need to attend a funeral in costume. I realize that some SCA-dians are okay with that, but when the widow tells you "No fuckin' way" from the outset, you should maybe get the hint. Leave your fucking sword at home; we are there to pay our respects to a man who was witty and warm and brooked no foolishness, who served his community (they are naming a school after him), whose every thought and concern was for his children and his wife. We stood in the cold and the rain, weeping unashamedly for the loss of a life that was lived in laughter and hope and was taken inexplicably by a disease that leaves us all terrified and heartbroken, that leaves a widow to try and make sense of a world that must seem suddenly and horrifically empty, that leaves two children who will never know or remember the father who loved them so much.

This is not about false titles or honour or a code of chivalry that was mostly a myth even during the period in which is was supposed to have flourished. However much this fantasy may enrich YOUR life, R found it distasteful and childish, and there was no room for your self-indulgence and theatrics at his funeral. You want to offer this man a lasting tribute? Dig into your pockets: find a few bucks and donate it to the palliative centre of the hospital where he spent his last days in M's arms. Write letters to your MLA, telling them that you want to see changes in the health care system, so we have more specific blood markers and tests to detect this insidious disease in its earlier stages. Volunteeer at hospitals to drive the family members of cancer victims to their own appointments, so that they can take care of the day-to-day things that still need to happen while their loved one wastes away in a bed.

THAT'S a proper tribute. Examine your behaviour and grow the fuck up.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Benefit Plan

Well, as I have been so slack in blogging lately, it will come as news to most of you that I was hired on as a permanent full-time employee on September 1st.

And things have only gotten weirder.

To begin with, Two Clowns isn't talking to me because I gave her some attitude last week. We--the billers--were all in the board room discussing some issues pertinent to the execution of our duties when Two Clowns busted in to announce, "The sausage and beef jerky guy is here."

The sausage and beef jerky guy is this old Ukrainian fella who stops by the office every three weeks or so to take our orders for various nitrate-laden flesh products. Usually, his visits are avidly anticipated, but we were all in the midst of actually discussing some important issues (see below), and Two Clowns's interuption was initially met with a confused and profound silence.

"Oh," I said, at last, "that must be very exciting for you."

The room--including Springsteen--erupted into laughter, which Two Clowns did not appreciate. She narrowed her eyes and said coldly, "Watch it."

"Does it do tricks?" I replied, at which point she stormed from the room and told the sausage and beef jerky guy to return in an hour or so.

She hasn't spoken to me since, which is fucking awesome. I wish I'd thought of being rude sooner. I should, perhaps, take the advice of my readers more to heart, as I believe rudeness was advocated at least once or twice.

Anyway, we are facing a potential calamity at the office, and by "we" I mean me specifically, but possibly the billing department in general. It all depends on what the company decides to do. Springsteen announced at the meeting that she will shortly be taking another position in the company, so while she will still work at our branch, she will no longer be our Boss. And while I'm happy for her and hope she does well, because I have an excellent relationship with Springsteen and am genuinely fond of her, what terrifies me is the fact that her replacement might very well be

Teeth.

Nothing is official, but she was being groomed for Springsteen's job before Springsteen got it and she's been walking around the office for the past week looking like the cat that swallowed the canary. It's a cat with really huge teeth, mind you--in the immortal words of Greg Giraldo, "(S)he's got a mouth full of two-by-fours. Everytime she smiles, I'm reminded I need to refinish my deck."

Anyway, nothing has been announced officially, but that's the latest tension. I harbour a small but determined hope that the company will recognize how disastrous Teeth would be in a position of authority, and will pass her over again.

So, given that at least three of us (Yvette, Princess Anne and myself) will seriously consider leaving should Teeth take the braces of power in the office, the hilarity that crossed my desk today was much appreciated, if completely incomprehensible.

It's incomprehensible in the sense that I simply cannot understand how or why people consistently complicate their lives and put themselves into compromsing situations, when it is significantly easier NOT to.

Today, I learned through Yvette (who is, despite her earlier remarks on the death of Osama bin Laden, one of the more functional personalities in the office) that Sylvester has been up to certain, inexplicable hijinks. I knew from Sylvester herself that her long-time partner is an adult baby, a particular fetish that I cannot claim to understand myself. Most of us successfully make the adjustment away from soothers and diapers. And even if we retain a whimsical longing for the carefree days of infancy when all of our needs were seen to by doting and adoring parents (if we were lucky), we still don't find it sexy to shit our pants.

Sylvester herself doesn't get off on the adult baby stuff, which might be why she approached one of the new dispatchers with an offer to be "a co-worker with benefits".

Now first off, I realize that it might seem convenient to approach someone at work with such an offer because we're all thrown into a common place for several hours a week, but by the same token, think it through: we're all thrown into a common place for several hours a week! If things go south (as they invariably do), AWKWARD doesn't begin to describe the atmosphere.

Yet, having been politely but firmly declined, retain a hold on your dignity: thank the man/woman/office machine for their courtesy and walk the hell away. It is not necessary to half-assed explain your advances with a description of your live-in partner's infantile activities involving sleepers, rattles and diapers.

But even if you think that IS necessary somehow (perhaps in a ploy for sympathy), I can guarantee that it is wholly damaging to your reputation in the office to explain to ANYONE that you have a porn site they can visit if they change their minds or are even remotely curious.

*insert the sound of a needle scratching across a record here*

"Waitaminnut, waitaminnut," I said to Yvette. "Porn site? What do you mean a porn site? You mean where she posts a list of her favourite turn ons and kinks, or..."

"No,"said Yvette, "where she demonstrates them!"

And thus was my mind blown, gentle readers, because except for a very select niche market, I'm relatively certain that NO-ONE is interested in watching a five-foot-one, three hundred pound woman built like a mailbox speaking in a lisp like Sylvester the Cat do ANYTHING remotely sexual. Most of us look away squeamishly when she peels her banana at break; I can't imagine anyone getting off on watching her...gah, I can't/won't go there.

But if that is your thing, that's perfectly fine (in private): but that information probably shouldn't be making the rounds at work, and if you thought it wouldn't get out, then you're even more naive than I am regarding Teeth and her chances for promotion.

What.

The fuck.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

WTF Twice In One Week

Last week was a bad one for piss-offs. Yes, the paycheque debacle ended happily, but hard on the heels of that bullshit was some more crap that made me scratch my head in friggin' wonder at what people think they can get away with. I mean, seriously: do people push the envelope with everyone they meet? Or is it just my own peculair karmic burden?

For example:

Across the road from us are three rental properties. I understand why home owners hate these fuckin' things. God knows I understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to own their own property (which is shit), but for the love of everything that is holy, people, take some pride in your environment. Clean up, fer chissakes. I understand that you're not invested in the property because it's not yours, and I'm not asking you to become members of the Horticultural Club (most of you can't even fucking spell it), but come on.

Directly across the street in the basement of one of these joints is an Islamic family of three. I refer to him as Mohammed and her as Fatima because, well, statistically my odds are good. I don't care for Mohammed very much because

a) he spits. I don't give a good goddam what your excuse is, don't fuckin' spit. Keep your fluids inside yourself. Hork all over the interior of your home if you must, but do not hock a lugee on the roads and sidewalks that I have to share with you, asswipe.

b) he dresses very badly. I have actually seen him outside the house wearing a plaid diaper flannel sarong. Now, I have no problem whatsoever with cultural or traditional costume, and I certainly--as one of the Enchanted People--do not have an issue with men in skirts. But seriously, plaid diaper flannel? Fatima actually lets you outside looking like that? Sheesh.

c) he has three vehicles.

This latter point is the true crux of the matter. He has an little red truck, a silver SUV and a little red car. The red truck and the SUV are used quite regularly although they are very often parked in front of other people's houses, to the point where our neighbours complain to him. The little red car, however, had, up until recently sat on the front street for a month and a half due to the driver's side front tire being deflated. Finally, I put a note on the windshield of the car that said, "Move this car or it will be towed," and the tire was inflated, but it still continues to sit out front.

Last week, I said to Mohammed, "Do you really need to take up three spaces on the street?"

"I use all of these cars!" he said to me. "The SUV belongs to my wife. I drive the truck to work."

"And the red car?"

"I drive it to work also."

"You drive both of them to work? That's quite a trick."

"No, the car I drive to work from three am until six. Then I come home and take the truck."

"You mean the car with the flat tire?"

Dead silence as he realized he'd been caught in a lie.

"Cuz here's the thing: I frequently can't use the space in front of my house because two of your three vehicles (which includes one that isn't being used) are parked right there."

"You have a garage, ya?"

"Yeah, and you have a garage, and I have a second vehicle that doesn't fit inside mine. So find somewhere else to park. Got it?"

I thought about telling him to keep his saliva in his mouth, but figured I'd start with something simple. We can move on to personal hygeine later on.

This exchange occurred on Wednesday or Thursday (I can't remember; all the incidences of fresh hell just kind of blend together after awhile). On Saturday morning at 5:00, I was awoken by the sound of car doors slamming over and over again. I had to get up to whiz (I have the world's smallest bladder, I think my one-year-old niece's is bigger), so while I was up, I looked out front.

Mohammed and Fatima were packing up the SUV and putting their toddler in the car seat, probably to go somewhere relaxing for the long weekend (not camping though--my impression is that immigrants don't camp). Anyway, I watched them fart around for awhile but when they drove off, I noticed that they had left a pile of crap right in front of our house. They had obviously emptied out the garbage from the back seat or whatever and just dumped it onto the street.

Fuck, was I furious. What kind of passive aggressive shit is that anyway? And even if (on the outside chance) it's not about me (and sometimes it's not), you don't just go dumping your crap on the street because you can't be arsed to find a garbage can, you fucking ditch pig. I managed to go back to sleep, but when I dragged my ass out of bed around 10:00, I stepped into my shoes, gathered up the garbage (broken cds, empty drink cups, adverts for halal meats, paperwork from the registry office for the red car, etc) and dumped it on their front step.

There has been no reaction (nor had there better be), other than none of Mohammed's vehicles has been parked in front of our house since.

So that was Episode One of WTF. The second one involves Two Clowns.

It was Friday afternoon, a Friday afternoon before a long holiday. Hitler's mother had died on Wednesday, which meant that I had to leave my favourite work to take up the Bullshit I Hate in her absence. I was making good headway, but not having done it in a few weeks, I was having to concentrate and make sure that I wasn't screwing up royally.

In a characteristic display of epic cluelessness, Two Clowns comes by my desk and spends twenty--count 'em, twenty--minutes, talking to me about recent upgrades to her fucking bedroom. She began by complaining to me about how the ex-Mr. Tw- Clowns would never let her have sheer draperies in the conjugal bedroom because he needed black-out blinds (probably to obscure her face, is my thought). Yet, since childhood, Two Clowns has yearned for a girly-girl room and constantly been denied.

Now, looking to me for sympathy is a little like going to Canadian Tire to get groceries. Yet, Two Clowns remains utterly oblivious to the fact that I am

a) trying to work,

b) concentrating like mad on a complex task, and

c) don't give a fucking shit sideways about her goddamned bedroom.

So oblivious is she, in fact, that when she finally leaves my desk, she goes back to her own and sends me an email that contains pictures of the bedroom, complete with lace curtains and microfibre chair. (Don't click there, it's not a link. If I don't wanto to see it, I can't imagine you do either.)

And it doesn't end there, either. About half an hour after the email, she came by my desk again and said reproachfully, "You didn't answer my email."

"I'm trying to get this shit done," I said drily, "but it looks very nice."

"You didn't even open it," she said and walked off.

Now I ask you, people: is there a karmic lesson I'm supposed to be learning here? I have heard it suggested that I am to learn patience through these interactions, but I remain unconvinced. My very humble opinion is that patience from other people is what has permitted these giant tools to get away with their douchebaggery thus far. But not with me. Nuh-uh. My thought is that my job in these cases is to correct these behaviours, at least where they intersect with me, so that they might just start to get the idea that there are consequences attached to being a self-indulgent asshole.

Thoughts???

Friday, 26 August 2011

A Pineapple In the Ass

And no lube in sight!

So the temp agency that employs me on behalf of the transportation company does not have direct deposit. Therefore, if I do not pick up my cheques, they are mailed to my house. Ordinarily, this is not a problem. For almost a year now, the cheques have arrived promptly in my mailbox once a week.

Then in August, I realized that I hadn't seen a paycheque in a few weeks. So I went through my records and saw that I hadn't yet received my cheque from July 30, nor a couple in August, either. A week earlier, I had been told that they were 'in the mail".

On Wednesday, the one from the end of July arrived. I called the agency and was told the other two were still in the office. I told the woman to hold on to them and I would pick them up (as I had done a few times in the past) after work.

Yet when I arrived, the office was locked up and there were no cheques on the door (which is the usual procedure). Infuriated, I went home and called the agency to advise her that I would be there Friday morning around 9:00 to get my pay and would advise the transporation company that I would be late as a consequence.

I then wrote to Teeth, Big Head Office Lady and Springsteen (who is on holidays this week). I told them that I hadn't been paid and that if I didn't, for whatever reason, receive my cheques Friday morning, I would not be in to work because I'm not a volunteer.

So this morning, I dropped The Little Hunnydoo off at work and by 8:45 I was at the agency. Locked up, no cheques. I went and had some breakfast and was back at the agency by 9:15. Still locked, still no cheques and the office is supposed to be open by 8:30.

I came home. No message from the agency, but a nice email from Head Office Lady saying that if I still haven't received my pay, the transportation company will not pay the temp agency and steps will be taken to compensate me directly. So I called and left a message on her voice mail, describing my morning's adventures. I have yet to hear back from anyone.

And the thing is, Springsteen is away this week until the 30th. Head Office Lady and her boss were in the office from Monday until Wednesday and neither one of them called me in to give me an offer letter or anything. I mean Springsteen, keeps saying, "We're working on it," and "When it happens you won't have to wait three months for benefits," but I'm not seeing any forward movement here.

Yanno?

And boy, am I pissed off.

UPDATE: Less pissed off. Called the employment agency at 10:30 a.m. to find the woman just getting in. She said she would courier the cheques to my house, but as the conversation progressed, this changed to her dropping the cheques off after work and her not knowing what time that would be. I started to suspect it wouldn't happen (again), so I volunteered to go down to the office onr more time to pick the cheques up. I was successful in my quest and within ten minutes of getting them, they were deposited into my account.

I went into work after that, but Teeth said she was under the impression that I wouldn't be in at all today, so they had cancelled my veggie pizza (it's Pizza Day today) and ordered another meat one. (Apparently, they're all carnivores there. Go figure). So given that it was 11:30 and I could expect no lunch and Wolf Woman offered to do what few bills I had in my queue, I took the rest of the day off.

So anyway, I'm paid. 

And the other news is that Head Office lady assures me that she is 99% finished the hiring process from her end and hopefully by September 1st, I will be working for them instead of the temp agency.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Handicap Is Not Necessarily Physical

Yesterday, I was extremely confrontive with a woman at the bank. I'd had a productive, but slightly frustrating day at work and I was in no mood to deal with anymore self-indulgence or senses of entitlement (other people's, that is).

So when this fucking douchecanoe in an SUV pulled into the handicapped stall without a stucker permitting her this privilege, I was already primed for her. I watched her get out of the SUV and give a bowl of something to her friend in the SUV parked next to her, before she came into the bank and took her place in line behind me in front of the ATMs.

I looked at her and said, "You know that's a handicapped stall."

"Yes," she said.

"You don't have a sticker," I observed. 

She avoided eye contact. "It's inside (the car)," she replied.

Normally, I would have left it at that, allowing her to wallow in her shame and the knowledge that she had been caught in a lie.

But yesterday, I just couldn't.

So I said

"You are so full of shit."

She clicked her tongue, sighed and rolled her eyes. But she didn't argue with me. And that's key.

Stupid yuppie bitch. God forbid you should ever actually need to use one of those parking stalls legitimately, you twunt.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Never Volunteer For Anything

Months ago at a staff meeting, Springsteen and Head Office Lady indicated that they were looking for volunteers to take over one of the billing tasks currently assigned to the biller known informally as Hitler, because she was being trained on other things. I foolishly raised my hand. I naively thought that this would indicate my willingness to invest in the company and make it more likely for them to hire me on permanent full-time. (And we all know how THAT has panned out, don't we?)

I started training for the new task (which I shall refer to as The Bullshit) in June and realized very quickly why all of the other billers sat on their hands and avoided making eye contact with Head Office Lady. At one point last week, I went into Springsteen's office and said, "I don't think I can do This Bullshit anymore." I almost left the building. Honest to Gawd, it's too complex to get into in detail here: let's just say that we better be making a metric fuck-ton of money off of these customers, because the process for invoicing these bills is fucking ridiculous. All That Bullshit is in the top five reasons why I am seeking employment elsewhere. It's complicated, it's boring, it's an unweildy process and I've had to do it all myself because Hitler is working from home so she can care for her terminally ill mother ("I have to wipe her bum." Actual quote. Again, what is it with this office and the lack of boundaries surrounding personal information???)

Furthermore, it was a little galling to see my old task go to The Cub.

But you know, sometimes when you want something badly enough, your prayers are answered.

On Sunday, the Cub was in a car accident. She's not badly hurt at all, but her doctor has ordered her to be off work for the next ten days. And then she starts school to upgrade her high school. (She wants to be a NURSE!) Convenient, huh? Not hurt, no whiplash, but off work for ten days and then school! Hmmmm...well, I smell something rotten in the state of Denmark, but I'm NOT COMPLAINING.

Because it means I get my old work back.

And Hitler has to take The Bullshit back, at least for the forseeable future.

I confess, I am a little disappointed that I won't be seeing The Cub again any time soon. Not that I enjoyed her vapid conversation, her constant fucking the dog or her loud hiccupping several times a day (followed invariably by juvenile sniggering. Srsly).

It's just that recently, I learned that if one scratches a message into the surface of a banana with a toothpick, overnight the wounds darken to reveal the message. I was hoping to start leaving messages on her fruit like

YOU'RE NEXT

and

I SEE YOU

as well as

BIMBO

or

SLUNT

Of course, although The Cub is gone, Teeth and Two Clowns remain to plague my days, and I am very happy to accept suggestions from you, dear readers, regarding messages that could be scratched into THEIR fruit.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Email Hijinks

Lately at work, The Cub has been driving everyone absolutely nuts. Just turned eighteen, this is her first "real" job, and her age shows. She's constantly booking off time to go to concerts, comes in late four mornings out of five, dicks around texting when she should be working and is the object of much male attention. There is always at least one, sometimes two, young guys buzzing around her desk like hopeful bees waiting for the flower to nod in their direction.

One of the dispatchers is especially sweet on her. In typical high school flirty fashion, he opened Word on her screen earlier this week and wrote, "LOSER" in 72 point Ariel.

She screamed at him in that faux-indigantion tone girls her age use and stalked off. When the coast was clear, I walked over to her desk and added, "BUTTMUNCH" to the page.

When she discovered that, she ripped the dispatcher a new one. But she didn't close the program.

So when she wandered off to check her hair in the washroom or file something incorrectly, I went to her desk again and added, "BACK ALLEY CRAP MUFFIN."

It didn't matter what the dispatcher said, she was convinced it was him. I had a really good time at work that day.

For the past week and a half, she's been obsessing over the tattoo that she plans to get  on her foot this weekend. She's been asking a lot of questions, like "Can I go drinking afterwards?", "Will they tie my foot down so it doesn't jump around?" and "Will it bleed?"

We've heard about as much about that fucking tattoo as we can stand. So this afternoon, when she went for lunch (for which she was missing for an hour and a half, when the rest of us get half an hour), I pulled up her email and sent this to all the billers and Springsteen:

Subject: Available Now!

Okay, so like in order to help pay for my wikked new tattoo, I've had to start a little job on the side. For a limited time only, I will be selling and intalling inflatable nuns! Perfect for the home, garden or work, inflatable nuns make a perfect gift for that hard-to-by-for someone in your life!



Please contact me for rates and prices!


Thanks, like, a lot, 'kay?

The Cub

In the meantime, her mother (NOT in on the joke), told the Biller I Like that she feels bad for The Cub, cuz she's "trying really hard" (srsly?) and was chagrined because "now I'm gonna hafta buy one."

When The Cub sauntered in from her extended lunch, she was initially unaware of the email, until Springsteen called her into her office and said, "You're kidding, right?"

So, The Cub naturally blamed the dispatcher who has been hitting on her for two weeks now, but after he vociferously denied any involvement, she sent out this response (and this is copied directly from her email):

Soo guys, please disregard this email, this was NOT ME. Im not sure who was messing around with my email, but its NOT TRUE .



Thank you ,

The Cub.

Confusion? Mayhem? Disorder?

My work here is done.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

At the Water Cooler

Springsteen and I, alone in the staff room Thursday morning last week.

Me: So, is Two Clowns a manager here?
Springsteen: She sure likes to think so.
Me: Well, what does she do?
Springsteen: She enters the rates into the system so you know what to pay the drivers and charge the customers.
Me: And she helps to establish those rates as well?
Springsteen: No, she just enters them.
Me: So, are you telling me that Two Clowns is nothing better than a glorified data entry clerk?
Springsteen: (gives me a meaningful look, but stays silent)
Me: Wow.
Springsteen: Why?
Me: I was just curious. Cuz she said some things to me last week about another biller, things that were really personal and inappropriate, so I just wanted to know--if it happens again--if I could just tell her to fuck off.
Springsteen: I've got your back.

I've fallen way behind in my blogging for which I apologize to all y'all, because I've got some adventures to relate. We've just been so busy; I haven't even had time to work on my novel in a week. I swear, the minute I have a chance I will get to Long Island Lake Retreat: The Revenge of Jack Fish and Quad War: Now With Less Douchebaggery.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

DONE!

No, seriously--I'm still working there, but I've already started applying at other places. I'm done.

I decided yesterday, after the usual Tuesday afternoon deadline panic, that I was fed up with being thrown to the lions with inadequate training and still being expected to give a shit about anything. Let alone put up with any number of dysfunctional personalities. So I put a resume in at some other place last night.

And after this morning, I am even more convinced that my time with my current assignment is extremely limited.

Most mornings, one of the other billers (a recent hire)brings a Timmy Horton's coffee in for Teeth. I don't know why, but when she doesn't, one of the managers (the guy who hires all of our drivers) does. As a result, yesterday Teeth ended up with two coffees. Not surprisingly, this morning, she failed to receive even one. Did she laugh?

NO.

Teeth actually blew a hype so big that the manager left the office and fetched her a coffee from Timmy's at 9:00 a.m. And let's review: not only is there free coffee in the lunch room, the stupid bitch passes a Timmy's on the way to work every morning.

This brings to mind an incident that occured about three weeks ago. I pulled into the parking lot to discover that Teeth's spot was empty. I never know if she is going to be absent or whatever, so I pulled in. Mulan was being dropped off at the same time.

She said to me, "You cannot pahk dere!"

"Why not?"

"Dat's Teeth's spot."

"Her name's not on it, Mulan."

Mulan's response was to click her tongue and shake her head. Inside, in front of the Biller I Like and Princess Anne, she pursued the topic.

"You haf to move yo cah," she said.

"I'm not doin' it," I replied.

"One time, Sylvester pahked in her spot and Teeth made her move."

"Well, she can try it," I said.

But she didn't, because Teeth has hopefully learned by now that it will be a frosty Friday before I indulge her in any of the crap she so liberally dishes out to other people.

And at this point, I can't even blame Teeth anymore. Sure, she's a douchecanoe of the first order, but other people let her get away with this bullshit. I don't know what they think will happen if they tell her to get stuffed, but my experience was: NOTHING.

Which is about as much loyalty I have to this place anymore. It's not just Teeth and Two Clowns; it's the lack of organization and a bunch of other small things that add up to a general sense of dissattisfaction.

So I'm looking around.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Swingin' From the Rafters

First off, let me start by saying that although Springsteen assures me that plans to hire me full-time permanently are in the works, they haven't done so yet. It's been eight months on August 6, and I am still not getting benefits, vacation time or sick days. And yet, they give me challenging new tasks and responsibilities, so I know my job is secure.

But today, I am starting to wonder if I shouldn't ask the temp agency for another assignment.

You've all read the stories of Teeth and the WalMart Girls. You know they're a unique bunch. In the past, I have found Teeth's neuroses intrusive enough to change my break times in order to socialize with the other pod. Teeth seems to have forgiven me my defection and last Thursday appeared at my cubicle to bond with me over health issues. I applaud her efforts to take care of herself and was quite willing to listen to her recount the success she's had bringing her blood pressure down (here's a hint, my little polo pony: stop worrying about where you park, your ass OR your car) and resolving her digestive issues.

I was less enthusiastic to learn about the diarrhea she had over the weekend, the constipation that followed and her haemmorhoids. Yes, Teeth actually stood there and told me about the varicose veins in her anus.

Fucking awesome.

I wish I could say that this was the most inappropriate thing to happen at the office last week, but I'd be lying. At least Teeth is more or less my peer. It was, in her own warped, controlling and over-sharing way, an attempt to make contact with me (which is essential, because I remain aloof and have stolen her thunder as the "funny one").

But that was nothing compared to the tarot reading I gave to Two Clowns on Friday afternoon.

Two Clowns has told me in the past that her grandmother was married to Bailey (of Barnum and Bailey's Circus) and when he died, gypsies taught her how to read playing cards. And of all her grandchildren, Two Clowns was the only one to inherit "the Gift." (Insert wanking motions here.)

So when she suggested I do a reading for her, I was reluctant, but what the hell, right? It's $40.00 I wouldn't otherwise have and I thought I might glean some comic gold. I even considered calling her on her shit by throwing down the spread and saying, "Well, you're the one with the Gift; go for it. I'll be in my pod if you need me."

But, no, I was professional about it, which is more than I can say for Two Clowns. I can't divulge what her reading was about, but what I can say is that at the end of a tortorous thirty minutes, Two Clowns went off on a tangent about this other biller in my pod.

Now, this biller has never appeared on this blog because, out of all of them, she's probably the most "normal". She hardly ever says things that are retarded. She has never said anything racist. She has what appear to be nice, positive, healthy relationships with her friends and children. She's bright and a good conversationalist. She pulls her weight at work. I rather like her. She invited us to go camping with her and a group of her friends and, had the weather co-operated, we would have gone, which is not something I can say about anyone else in that office.

The only thing out of the ordinary about this biller is that she belongs to a swinger's club. She does not talk about this at work, although it is something well-known about her. But she knows that work is not the place to discuss such things, and so we find other topics. Appropriate, right? Professional. Mature. Adult. Well-adjusted. All things that Two Clowns is not.

Because guess who else frequents this club? Mr. Ex-Two Clowns!!! And although they have been divorced for three years, Two Clowns can't get past it. It's apparently eating her up inside. She went into quite a bit of detail (that I didn't need or want) about how the club is furnished, what happens with whom, right down to various positions.

It is, as far as I'm concerned, grossly inappropriate for a manager to be giving someone like me (not even a permanent employee, a temp!!!) such deeply personal information like this about one of my colleagues (one who I like and respect, even). This is proof that Two Clowns is unhinged in some significant way.

She said to me, "I don't know if you've sensed it, but I can't bear to be in the same room as (the other biller)."

Well, no, Two Clowns, I haven't sensed it, because you still take your breaks with us. When I had an issue with someone, I changed my break time. I think you just like to pick at the scab. And you need to grow up.

So between Two Clowns's revolting display of immaturity, Teeth's haemorrhoids, Princess Anne saying "Paki" all the time, and racist emails going out from one of the other managers (emails that would be deeply embarrassing should one of our Islamic drivers see them), I am considering requesting another assignment.

Because I don't think Springsteen can do anything about Two Clowns (I mean, that woman needs counselling) and I don't really want to put up with too much more of this weirdness. Besides, I can't say anything to Springsteen without violating the confidentiality of the tarot reading.

What do you guys think?

(PS: I had a totally blogworthy weekend and will write about it over the next couple of days, but I need to download the photos first, so stay tuned. I had to get this off my chest first).

Friday, 8 July 2011

The Return of Two Clowns

This blog has been almost eerily quiet because there has been so little going on at work. Teeth has been extraordinarily well behaved and Two Clowns has been very busy working on negotiations with some drivers that were on strike. I don't think she was in charge of the negotiations, since she can barely navigate the four corners of her own office, but she has been noticeably absent from breaks and lunch hours.

But now that the strike has been resolved, Two Clowns has unfortunately reappeared. With her usual elan, she showed up at Yvette's cubicle yesterday to offer her support following Yvette's mother's death on Sunday. Yvette, who was very close to her mom, naturally looked wan and pale; her eyes were puffy and it was amazing to me that she was in the office at all.

Two Clowns poked her head over the cubicle wall and asked, "How're you doing?"

Yvette shrugged. "I'm alright," she said unconvincingly.

"Jeez, Yvette, you look like shit," said Two Clowns and walked off.

Nice going, bitch. I'm sure she needed to hear that.

That was just mean-spirited and thoughtless, but the other story regarding Two Clowns illustrates how fucking clueless she is about life in general.

Apparently, she received an email from some guy in the UK, telling her that she has won several hundreds of thousands of pounds in a lottery run by one of the banks. She has been directed to send a certain amount of her own money to Western Union in order for the guy to post the money to her account.

Two Clowns sent all of this correspondence to the RCMP and Scotland Yard, and the RCMP are looking into it. Despite their warnings, she has spoken to the alleged fraudster, who she says has a strong Middle Eastern accent. The cops have told her that these people can be very dangerous and that she should avoid contact with them.

Naturally, Two Clowns is undaunted.

"They can bring it!" she reportedly told the cops. "But, maybe you could give me a weapon!"

"Uh, well, we can't actually go around arming our citizens," the cops supposedly said.

"Too bad," replied Two Clowns, "cuz I'd make this guy afraid."

Yeah, I'm pretty sure these wealthy, well-connected con artists would quake in their sandals if they knew they were dealing with an assassin from Canada's navy.

I don't for a minute believe that she presented such bravado to the cops; given the consuming insecurities that cause her to be such a fucking liar in the first place, I'm sure the conversation went more like this:

"OMG! These people know how to contact me!! Can't you put me in protective custody or something??? Can't you give me a gun? Or mace??? ANYTHING!!! Hell, I'll even take a stapler at this point!"

But the fact that she tells this story around the office just makes me roll my eyes. I can't for the life of me figure out how she can be so completely unaware of how ridiculous she seems to the rest of the office. She seems blissfully unware that she is universally considered a lying asshole.

I suppose she gets away with it because we are a co-operative society, which is proof to me that this co-operation thing is very much over-rated.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted, but of course, the outcome won't bear any resemblance to reality (which is the appeal of the on-going story, of course). The cops will look into it, the guys will elude capture and/or detection and the whole incident will fade away. Except that when Two Clowns tells it, these people will visit her house to demand her money, and the whole situation will culminate in a blazing shoot-out where she appears on her roof in a wife-beater and camo pants with an AK-47 strapped to her arm for the salvation of Western civilization.

Can't fuckin' wait.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Chester the Molester

Okay, so last Friday, I was heading out of the house to pick up the Little Hunnydoo from work. As I was going towards the car, I saw a colourful local character coming towards me on his scooter.

Now, I have always hated this guy. I don't know why, but the sight of this crazy old fart on his tricked out scooter with his little dog in his lap--and the little dog wears a ridiculous hat--just drives me nuts. For one, I have to admit--and this does not make me look good, I realize--I hate those friggin' scooters. I am happy not to be in one and I generally have sympathy for those who are, but I hate 'em. (I used to work at a place full of intellectually impaired adults, and one of them lacked bladder control. I can assure you that you have probably never smelled anything as rancid as hot, rotting urine mixed with scooter battery acid in your life, unless you are prone to sticking your head into dead things.)

And it's not JUST that he drives in on the street rather than on the sidewalk which is a fucking asspain for those of us in cars THAT BELONG ON THE ROAD. No, I can't tell you why I've always hated the sight of this stupid old asshole, but I did recognize that

a) I am a bitter twat with a sizeable streak of misanthropy, and
b) some of my feelings of mistrust and disdain are unreasonable.

Therefore, when I saw the old fucker driving towards me without his tricked out little dog, I thought I would push my own boundaries, step outside my nasty, embittered, homocidal self.

So I said, "Hey, where's your little dog?"

He pulled up and said, "Oh, my scooter broke down, so I'm using this one and there's no place for him to sit. So he's at home crying."

"Oh, that's too bad," I said, and then we shot the shit for a few minutes about the weather and aren't we glad winter is finally over, blahblahblah.

A car was approaching as our conversation reached a natural conclusion, and the old fucker said, "I'll just wait for this car to go by and head off." (He lives on my block on the other side of the street, which just fucking figures).

So as we waited for the car to pass, he said, "Give me a hug."

And (yes, I can virtually see all of your eyebrows raising up into your hairlines), because I was trying to be a better, more compassionate person, because I was trying to step outside my misanthropic ways, I thought, "Aww, poor old crippled guy. He's probably lonely and without his dumb little dog to boot."

So I hugged him (oh, stop it!), and as I was pulling away, his hands groped my breasts. I couldn't fucking believe it. I straightened up and looked at him.

"They're just my hands," he said.

"They're just my breasts!" I said back, which was all I could manage due to my overwhelming shock.

What I SHOULD have said was, "Yeah, and you touch another woman with those hands like that, and I'll reverse your kneecaps so that you walk like a fucking ostrich, you old pig."

And that's what I get for trying to better myself: groped.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Thor the Bore

Okay--for the kind of movie it was, I guess it was okay. Actually, that's not true, because when you think about the kind of movie it was--which is to say, one based on a comic book--I can think of at least two others that were significantly better, being V For Vendetta and The Watchmen.

Now, to be sure, Thor the comic book makes no political or social commentary (neither did the comic, I assume, since I never read it), so the movie isn't expected to either. It can't even bring itself to accurately reflect the Norse mythos.

I went to see it because I was intrigued by the talent behind it: Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman and Kenneth Branagh (director) are all winners in my book. And I can honestly say that the individual performances were fine. In fact, Anthony Hopkins deserves some kind of award for credibly delivering lines that were less than inspired. I mean, The Lion In Winter this was not, despite the wintery frost giants and all the talk of kings and political manouvering.

On the other hand, Hopkins could read the phone book and it would sound like Shakespeare.

But the plot was utterly predictable, and so linear, so straight, that at this very minute, that plot is driving its kids to soccer practice in a mini-van.

The 3-D effects were kinda cool, but I found them occasionally distracting. I would be looking at one part of the screen thinking, "Oh, that's an interesting texture," and have to remind myself that there was a cosmic battle occurring.

The best line of the flick (in my humble opinion) is spoken when Thor's divine friends show up in their faux-Norse armour in the middle of a New Mexico town. A townsman says, "Is there a Renaissance Faire in town?"

Ha ha on the SCA.

Also, I was delighted to sit through the credits in order to catch a glimpse of the magnetic Samuel L. Jackson, setting us up for the next installation in the series. Jackson is incredible, and I would watch him read the phonebook, too, only I suspect it might sound less like Shakespeare and more like, "Albert Spechko lives at 123 Maple Lane, motherfucker! Why am I reading this fuckin' phone book? Bitch, order me a pizza!"

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

You Gotta Be Kidding!

So guess what arrived in the mailbox today?

You'll never guess, I swear.

A LETTER ADDRESSED TO FLAKE FROM FLAKE'S LAWYER!!!

No word of a lie! That crazy bitch still hasn't informed her lawyer that she is living somewhere else (probably with her rapist husband). It's been three months since we threw her out!

This time we're not even bothering to call her to tell her it's here. It's just going in the mailbox as returned mail.

Fuckin' crazy bitch. Get organized already.

Monday, 9 May 2011

THINK!

I don't know why I bother to argue/discuss things with the women at work as often as I do, which isn't very often. Most of the time, when someone (especially Two Clowns) says something stupid or which I know to be an historical or factual inaccuracy, I just sigh to myself and whisper the mantra, "Let it go."

But occasionally I think, "Here's an opportunity to educate someone!" And this almost always leads to disappointment for me.

Like the second time Princess Anne ventured to talk about the "Paki dot." This is an expression I find really offensive, smacking as it does of racism and ignorance.

But people get defensive and pissy when you attack them the way you might initially be inclined, so when she said "Paki dot," most recently, I turned to her and said as neutrally as I could manage, "Do you know what the 'Paki dot' is?"

"No," she said, to no-one's surprise.

"It's properly called a bhindi," I explained. "It is an ancient and sacred symbol of a woman's marriage to her husbnad, which in Hindu tradition, is not just for this lifetime, but for all reincarnations. It is a time-homoured symbol of a woman's maturity and represents that she is able to take her place in society with the rest of the adult females."

And I said all this because I think it is not enough to simply condemn racism and ignorance; it is necessary also to educate.

But Princess Anne wasn't impressed. She doesn't say "Paki dot" anymore, but that's because I obviously find it offensive, and not because my words had any effect on her. Alas. I can't say I didn't try.

Then on the morning of the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, a discussion broke out regarding who will be the next Queen of England. The Cub thought it would be Kate Middleton, obviously confusing a wedding with a coronation.

"The next Queen of England, will be Prince Charles's wife," I said.

"No, it won't" said a woman so despised in the office that she is referred to variously as Fucking Bitch, Cunt or Hitler, depending on who you talk to (and no, it's not Teeth). "Camilla won't be Queen because she's been divorced once before."

"So has Charles," I said. "Diana didn't die while married to him. You think they'll deny him the throne because he divorced?"

"Oh, no, he'll be King, but they won't let her become Queen," said the Villified One.

This is just bullshit and I started to get a little impatient. "According to the Ascension Act of 1759, the Heir Apparent's wife must become the Queen when the Sovereign dies. It would require the changing of the British Constitution--which is not likely--to wrangle the scenario you are suggesting."

Now, I confess, I made the year of the Ascension Act up out of the thin air because at that moment, I couldn't recall the precise year. But I do know, from my various readings on the Queen and her lot that I am right. And it effectively shut the WalMart girls up, but only because I outgeeked them. It has become rampantly and abundantly clear to me that people like the sound of their own voices (hence blogs like this one) and will happily blather on stupidly regarding topics they know nothing about.

For example:

Last Thursday in the lunch room, Yvette and Two Clowns--for reasons I can no longer recall--were discussing post-mortem disposition. Or, what happens to you after you die. This might have come up as a result of me saying I can't bear to think about being cremated (weird, I know, but I can't).

"You know," said Two Clowns, "your hair and fingernails continue to grow for three months after you die."

"I heard four," said Yvette.

"Actually," I said, "this is deceptive. It's not that the fingernails and hair are growing. What is actually happening is that the extremities--your nose, toes, fingers and scalp--are dessicating, thus giving the illusion of growth. But really, you're shrinking."

"That's not correct," said Two Clowns bluntly, and gave me this superior, condescending smile that immediately make me want to kick her in the chin.

"If you do some rudimentary research," I replied reasonably, "I think you will find it is, in fact, true. I've done a certain amount of research on this subject."

But the dead silence in the room suggested that neither Two Clowns--supposedly a woman of accomplishment and education--nor Yvette believed a word I said. I dunno; maybe it's more fun to think of your hair and nails growing in the casket even though it's not physically possible BECAUSE YOU'VE STOPPED METABOLIZING, and this would become obvious the second you applied any kind of logical thought to the matter.

But it's becoming increasingly obvious to me that they just see me as some kind of geek possessed of a vast wealth of esoteric and/or useless knowledge. And they're right. Most of what I appear to know isn't exactly practical knowledge. I just don't understand how or why they choose to live in ignorance.

People: I just don't get 'em.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Fuck You, Clown!

So, earlier this week, I was having an issue with a settlement that wouldn't compute. And since this was a driver pay-cut off (read time-sensitive) and since Two Clowns's sole responsibility in the office is to fix rates and shit, I had the distinct misfortune of having to work with her on this.

And I'm okay with that, since these guys work as hard as I do for a living and deserve to get paid. And the company pays me a certain amount of money to bust my hump a couple of times a month to fix these problems and meet these deadlines.

What I don't appreciate, however, is having Two Clowns approach my desk and greet me with the words, "Okay, Shorty."

On the other hand, it's the most truthful thing she's said all week, so I shouldn't complain.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Drama Mama

Since I cannot bring myself to talk about the federal election, I will vent my spleen by bitching about Teeth.

As regular readers will know, Teeth recently attended a funeral back east. She has taken every opportunity since then to describe the various hysterics that occured, from who was invited (thus incurring the widower's wrath) to the self-indulgent carrying-on of some younger members of the family who couldn't be arsed to call grandma for the last two years of her life.

And Teeth will relate these stories to anyone that will listen, from her podmates and colleagues to anyone she gets on the phone. She's gotten a lot of mileage out of this funeral, which is clearly the most dramatic and important thing to happen to her since the development of orthodontia.

So I wasn't really surprized when Yvette emailed me yesterday to tell me that Teeth posted a card in the staff room, thanking the company for the lovely flower arrangement they sent to the services. Included with the card was a photo of said arrangement alongside the mother-in-law's casket.

Some of you more forgiving types might be thinking, "What's the big deal?", but I, for one, feel that a photo of the casket is

a) over the top
b) personal and private, and
c) one more way to remind us that SHE WAS AT A FUNERAL, YANNO, AND IT WAS REALLY, REALLY SAD.

Also, Yvette announced to the staff room during our break that she doesn't believe the Americans actually killed Osama bin Laden. Her argument is that for starters, they buried him at sea which is, like, a dead-giveaway, cuz it happened so fast. And secondly, she points out, how many people "over there" look just like him? It coulda been anyone.

It does no good to point out to her that, in strict accordance with Muslim tradition, a body must be interred within twenty-four hours of death (these people live in a hot climate--this makes sense). Nor will she listen when you tell her that burying him at sea deprives his followers of a pilgrimmage site. And on top of all that, how stupid would the Americans (especially President Obama) look if next week, bin Laden were to release a "Ha! Ha! I'm over here, next to Waldo!" video?

(Thanks to Aaron for the Waldo reference.)

And Two Clowns was no help at all during this discussion. Her contribution was, "I was in the Canadian Navy for seven years. As far as I'm concerned, his burial at sea was too dignified and better than he deserved."

"It does us no good to descend to the level of our enemies," I said, reasonably, but she went off on a vitriolic rant about what a shitbag bin Laden was, blahblahblah.

And I'm sure that the burial at sea disappoints Teeth, too, because now she can't attend the funeral or post pictures of the casket.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

I'm A Handful

I admit it, I just am sometimes.

The Little Hunneydoo and I have just returned from a spectacular weekend in Jasper. Alberta, deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. It's like Banff, near Calgary, only without all the Japanese.

We spent three days shopping, eating, drinking, eating, shopping, hiking, walking around shopping and then stopping to eat and drink. And the best thing about Jasper is, it is so small, you can get absolutely shit-faced drunk anywhere in town and still be able to crawl back to your lodgings. You don't have to worry about driving! Ever!

Not that I speak from experience, mind you.

As it is, despite the non-stop beer and cider, I managed to behave myself for the most part. The only time I got up to any specific mischief was at LouLou's Breakfast and Pizzeria on Sunday morning. The Little Hunneydoo and I were seated side-by-side at the bar, as all the booths were taken up by vacationing families and these lean, earnest outdoorsy types. You know, the kind who think it's fun to cling to vertical rock walls or camp outdoors in the wintertime. That's crazy shit, yo.

Anyway, I was at the very end of the bar and happened to notice that one of the staff had started what appeared to be a grocery list. On it, in distinctive (easily forged) block letters was written

CHEESE
VEG...
PIZZA SAUCE


And to this list, I added

ADULT DIAPERS
PREP H
MUSHROOMS


The Little Hunneydoo just rolled her eyes and shook her head. But I want you to know, adding "mushrooms" was her suggestion.

And you will be proud to note that I only had one outburst this weekend as well. I managed not to get into a fist fight with a member of the Ballcap Brotherhood, nor did I trip a child or smack a granola-crunching hippy, however sorely pressed.

No, in fact, my outburst was fairly appropriate. As we were leaving Jasper National Park, we pulled over so that the Little Hunneydoo could take some shots of the mountain sheep at the side of the road. Unfortunately, she found it hard to get decent ones because of all the FUCKING JERKS WHO LEFT THEIR VEHICLES TO STAND WITHIN METRES OF THESE MAGNIFICENT ANIMALS.

Yes, this despite very large signs written in bold letters advising visitors to the park that "IT IS UNLAWFUL TO APPROACH OR FEED WILDLIFE".

So, as we were very slowly pulling away, I hollered, "What you're doing is fucking illegal! Get back in your fucking cars!!"

One twat gave me the hairy eyeball, but fuck her; it would have been poetic fucking justice to see the ram of that flock put his big, curly horn in her fucking eyesocket. Douchenozzle. Ya don't get it, do ya? The more accustomed to stupid humans like you these animals become, the more danger they are in. But who cares, right? As long as you get that picture, what happens to one or even a flock of those beasts doesn't really matter, because by the time disaster occurs, you'll be at home burning the photos onto a cd.

You can lick my ass, bitch.

Oh, and before I forget (speaking of bitches)...

The recent departure of the Princess of Wales has left a very silent and obvious void in her former pod, made up of Yvette, the Cub (Wolf Woman's daughter, who says I remind her of Napoleon Dynamite, whatever that is) and a strangely silent man named Al. Today, Yvette went into see Springsteen and told her she was lonely without the Princess of Wales.

"Who do want to move in?" Springsteen asked.

Yvette said, "Sharon Needles," and so, after lunch, I moved to the new pod with such speed, I'm sure the dust is still settling in the old one.

I walked into the staff room to fill my water bottle while Teeth was taking her lunch and she said, "Shhhh! Don't say anything: it's Sharon Needles, the defector!"

It crossed my mind to drop trow and show her my gorrilla salad (thanks, Maven!), but confined myself to explaining to her that my presence had been specifically requested.

Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

kd Does Not Stand For Kraft Dinner...




..especially if you are a dyke.

It's official: kd lang is coming to the Edmonton Folk Fest in July and the Little Hunneydoo and I are going, if we have to sell off our impressive collection of marital aids from Dildo Junction to do it.

There are two reasons for this. One, although my taste typically runs to fembots and lipstick lesbians (or even chapstick lesbians like the delicious Ellen Degeneres--HI, ELLEN! CALL ME!!), and kd is a little handsome for my liking, she nevertheless has a Voice From the Gods. Also, she will just have to say something remotely flirty (i.e. "Good evening, Edmonton,") and flash that lopsided grin and the Little Hunneydoo will bust a rib flinging herself at the stage. And if kd ventures to sing "Hallelujah" or "Constant Craving" or "Miss Chatelaine", then people, just get out of the way, cuz there'll be no stopping her.

The second reason is that, as lesbos, the Missus and I are required to attend, especially as we missed Melissa Etheridge's concert earlier this year. It is time to check in with the Mothership, because if we miss this performance, the Dyke Mafia will come and demand to see our papers. (They don't carry guns, but wield a nasty pool cue).

Naturally, attendance is required for ALL the dykes in the province and that is what concerns me about attending. I don't generally hang out with a lot of my Sapphic sisters, and my fear is that I will get caught on this hill with thousands of stocky, short-haired braless women wearing hemp shirts, wool socks and Birkenstock sandals. I, naturally, will be down in front trying to pry the Little Woman from kd's ankles, but I'm worried that I will glance backward like Lot's wife and turn to salt when I see an entire hillside of mad fanny-bashers practicing their cunning linguistics as Ms. lang takes us to the crescendo of "Two Cigarettes In An Ashtray."

See, that's the thing: boys think girl-on-girl action is hawt, but the girls they're thinking of aren't generally lesbians. Most of the women *I* know who claim to be a dyke don't resemble Samantha Fox or Helen Hunt or even my own Little Chocolate Bunny. Most of them look like Linda Hunt. And no-one wants to see that. Not even Linda Hunt.

Anyway, Teeth was back at the office today, and she wasn't at her desk fifteen minutes before she started moaning about the mess Walter made and what the hell was he doing anyway to make such a mess and blah-blah-blah. She showed me the kleenex she was using to wipe up her desk and all I did was shrug as if to say, "Just quit yer whining and get on with it."

When really what I wanted to say was, "Fer Chrissakes, someone drop an anvil on this bitch!"

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Hot Seat

Things at work have been going quite well, Two Clowns and her bullshit aside. Much of this has to do with the fact that Teeth has been absent for a week: it seems that after the lumpectomy, Teeth's mother-in-law bought the farm, making it necessary for Teeth and her pig-dog husband and the child to fly east for the funeral.

Now, I want you to know that I am--and I acknowledge that I am--a small and petty person. I cannot claim to have the milk of human kindness flowing through my veins. Nope, not me. And I say this because, when Teeth emailed the office last week to tell us that she had landed safely, but the airline lost her luggage, I laughed. Quietly to myself, mind you, but I did laugh. It also crossed my mind to wonder if she had to book an extra seat for her teeth, or if the child had to share...

See? I'm just nasty. Seriously.

But I don't--as a rule--inflict my behaiour on other people. I used to, absolutely, but that was before counselling. Now, I can share my thoughts and feelings with an individual or a group with the intention not of manipulating social situations, but rather to share what might be a common experience.

Not so much Teeth, who still managed to drive me right out of my fucking mind, even from 5000 kms away. Here's how:

The day after Teeth left for the east coast, Walter came and sat at her desk. Walter is an older fellow who is doing some light duties around the office while he recovers from some injury or whatever. Everyone calls him "Walt", but I pointedly address him as "Walter" because "Walt" is too familiar, and I don't want to give the old guy any encouragement. Believe me, he doesn't need any. He already sits next to me at lunch so closely that Yvette mentioned that he might as well sit in my lap.

Anyhoo, Walter sits in Teeth's chair and everything is going just fine until The Boss comes along to talk to Sylvester and stops dead in her tracks.

"Are you sitting in Teeth's chair?" she asks Walter in a tone of hushed horror.

"I'm sittin' in the chair that was here, yeah," says Walter.

"Omigod, did you adjust that chair?" says the Boss. (I should just call her Springsteen and get it over with).

"Well, I raised one of the arms up..." he starts, and Springsteen flips out.

"Okay, you need to get out of that chair and get another one," she tells him and ushers him out of the office chair in which he has been productively ensconced for several hours.

"If Teeth comes back and finds that someone has messed with her chair, she'll freak out."

At this point, I turn around to see Springsteen in a flap, wheeling Teeth's chair into a nearby office and returning with another.

"Sylvester, don't let anyone else sit in Teeth's chair," says Springsteen, and goes back to her office.

By this time, I am having to vitually staple myself into my own chair to resist the temptation to get up and fuck with Teeth's chair so badly, she would never get it right again. Of course, Teeth's many chairs of entitlement are a Big Red Button for me, and Springsteen's reaction was pounding on said Big Red Button with a Gigantic Hammer.

But what stunned and amazed most me was Springsteen's tolerance, and consequent tacit encouragement, of Teeth's childishness.

As a friend of mine has remarked, "Someone needs to grow a pair."

But it didn't end there, either.

The next day, Stretch (one of the dispatchers) and a driver sat at Teeth's desk to go over a routing issue or something. Somehow, Teeth's chair had migrated back into our pod, as if it couldn't bear to be separated from her desk a moment longer. Stretch sat in the alternate, and as the driver went to take the coveted Chair of Toothsomeness, Sylvester warned him away.

"You can't sit there," she said. "That's Teeth's seat."

The driver looked around for Teeth and didn't find her.

"She's not here," Sylvester said.

"And I can't sit in the chair?" he said.

I couldn't take this stupidity in silence any longer.

"No," I said, loudly enough for all three pods to overhear. "Apparently, we are held hostage by her behaviour."

This provoked much laughter, some of which I'm sure was inspired by uneasiness, but I don't care. She just has to try that kind of shit with me ONCE, and see what happens. As it is, I can't believe that Springsteen puts up with hysterics over a fucking chair from a supposed adult. Did someone adjust your chair? Then adjust it back, you fucking ditchpig. Get a fucking grip.

So, needless to say, I'm not looking forward to her return tomorrow. No doubt I will have to listen to dreary details about a funeral I care nothing about, over and over and over again. Because that's another thing Teeth does that makes me nuts: she repeats her stories endlessly. She will even call Springsteen over and read her emails that Teeth is exchanging with billers at other branches, because Teeth is convinced of her own brilliant wit as a god-given fact of life.

Anyway, that's all petty shit. I will say in my defense, however, that if Teeth returns to find the chair altered in anyway, it wasn't me who did it. I managed to maintain my dignity and self-respect.

But it doesn't stop me from hoping to Christ that someone else did it for me.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Incredible Story(ies) of Two Clowns

As previously mentioned in these electronic pages, Two Clowns is a compulsive liar.

She's not the first one I've met.

In the SCA, an organization that specializes in attracting personality disorders of the most dazzling variety (and then rewards their dysfunctionality with promotions and aggrandizement), I knew a fellow who insisted that he was a mercenary pilot who flew missions into these vague but dangerous hotspots and was shot at and even wounded. Very shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, I ran into him at a party. He told me that on the morning of the attack(s), "They" (presumably CISUS, Canada's intelligence agency) called him to ask if it was possible for amateur pilots to hijack commercial aircraft and fly them into very large, very tall stationary objects.

"Well," I said, slowly, "presumably, since it happened, it can."

I was polite, however, and did not confront him with the obvious question: does Ottawa have no-one more qualified than him to consult? Is there no-one currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces who can answer these questions?

This was only one of him many lies/exaggerations. Occasionally, when he has been caught in a lie, he admits to lying because the real truth is "classified" and "sensitive", so he has to obscure the big truth with many smaller ones.

I also knew this chick with whom I LARPed briefly, who lied all the fucking time about everything. When a friend of mine confronted her about her lying, she admitted to doing it. Her excuse, she said, was that my friend and I were such entertaining raconteurs and conversationalists that she felt compelled to lie so that she could "keep up".

(This is utter bullshit. I am not responsible for your rampant dishonesty; you are. Get the fuck out.)

Anyway, you'd think that my prior experience with compulsive liars would lend me some insight into the condition and how to deal with it. But I confess, I am at a loss. I simply do not understand the need to lie about everything all of the time.

Two Clowns is a prime example of the breed. It is very easy to see that her constant lying is a symptom of a much larger disorder, probably narcissistic personality disorder. I used to wonder why this woman chose to take her breaks and lunch hours with a bunch of billers instead of other managers; she didn't, in fact, seem to have any relationships with any of the other supervisory staff at the office. And now I know why: they don't play her reindeer games, and as mere billers, we are a captive and powerless audience.

Remember when I told you that, when we go for breaks, four of the seven women in our group pull out their phones and spend much of the fifteen minutes texting? It was revealed to me late last week that what they are doing is texting each other about Two Clowns's extraordinary bullshit. Apparently, a typical message from one of these girls to another, while Two Clowns is holding forth, is "OMG, STFU", or "Just kill me now."

In the last couple of weeks, Two Clowns has explained to me (because I don't have a phone to take sanctuary in, but let me tell you, it's looking more appealing by the day) that she

a) designed the office building in which we work, actually worked on the architectural plans and oversaw the erection of the structure (she's in a completely unrelated position with our company);

b) had a grandmother married to James Bailey of Barnum and Bailey Circus, a grandmother who, upon Bailey's death, was adopted by gypsies who taught her to read playing cards. This grandmother consequently taught Two Clowns how to read tarot, because she was the only grandchild with "the Gift";

c) was the first person in Canada--no scratch that, in North America--to buy a particular model of Fiat;

d) has an aunt Florrie who was "The Queen's Dressmaker" (now in her eighties) who has been invited to William and Kate's wedding. This last one makes me fucking insane. First off, Her Majesty does not have "dressmakers", she has British designers. And she may very well have staff to help her dress, but the reality of it is that staff do not get invited to Royal Weddings;

e) was a member of the Canadian Navy, which trained her to be an "assassin". I think the Armed Forces call them "snipers" or "sharpshooters", but in Two Clowns's mind, she's an ASSASSIN.

That's just some of the continual shit that spews out of Two Clowns's mouth at every given opportunity. And I have successfully resisted the urge to take this personally (i.e. "How stupid does she think we are?"), because this is very clearly all about her. And I suspect that, like Teeth's bullying, it comes out of a place of crippling insecurity.

But I really don't get it. I mean, seriously: why would you lie about stuff, especially when someone in the room might know something on the subject that you're lying about and confront you on the lie? Do compulsive liars rely on the fact that women, especially in polite Canada, are reluctant to confront lies and just let it pass? Or are these people incapable of embarrassment?

I know that if I ever got caught telling a whopper like some of these, I would be mortified. But these people either don't care or their need to lie is greater than their fear of social embarrassment.

I did a very little bit of research on compulsive lying on the internet (not the best source, I know, but...) and was shocked to learn that compulsive liars take comfort in lying. It becomes second nature, because telling the truth about anything is uncomfortable.

I cannot fathom this. I'm not presenting myself as a paragon of virtue or unfailing honesty--we all of us lie from time to time, and if some of my stories are entertaining, it is because I know where to embellish and how much. But my stories are all true. I simply cannot wrap my head around lying so outrageously and consistently that you are shunned by your peers and ridiculed by everyone else.

But clearly, as mentioned before, the lying is a symptom of something much deeper. The way Two Clowns talks about her children makes me feel all icky inside. She told us without apparent embarrassment how she bought personalized condoms for her boys. And she talks about the oldest one in such a way that...well, let's just say that I thought he was her husband, and I was shocked to discover that there IS no Mr. Two Clowns.

"Overbonded" is a word that applies here, I should think. Blech.

Anyway, if any of you can offer any insight into this particular dynamic, I'd be interested in hearing what you have to say.

Let me just go on record as saying, however, that I am hardly comforted by the thought that one of my managers is a complete whack-job.