Thursday, September 27, 2001

Just a couple of notes here from the kafkaesque world that is Kafkaesque's job.

I have worked at my current job for about two years now. There's a woman who works there who, every time I pass her in the hall, does the EXACT same thing. She raises her eyebrows in this little faux-surprise sort of way, and says "helloooo!" That's weird enough......but the kicker is that she doesn't actually speak the word "helloooo!". She just mouths it. Every time I walk down the hall by her cube I am filled with an abiding, gnawing fear that she'll notice me and be forced to give me The Silent Helloooo. I think she is probably under a lot of pressure. I mean keeping up the exact same salutation for two years, virtually every day? It's enough to make the strongest of us crack.

I see it as a struggle of wills. One day she will be unable to keep up the string of identical Silent Helloooos and just snap. All of a sudden it'll become a Barely Audible Helloooo! or even a "Hi there!". But maybe it will be me that gives in. Her silent, inspiringly insincere greeting will force me over the edge and I will scream (either silently or at the top of my lungs, as the mood strikes me): "Can't you do something else, for Christ's sake!" Then I'll storm off and probably get crushed to death trying to rock a free soda out of the Coke machine.

There is another guy in my office who likes to use the nonexistent word "Attaboy!" Now don't get me wrong here. If you are, say, at your son's little league game and he gets a single instead of just whacking lamely at the tee like usual, or if you are an extra in a 1940s madcap musical romp, "attaboy!" as a spontaneous outburst of encouragement is perfectly legitimate. This guy likes to use it as a noun, like this "The boss is gonna give me some 'attaboys' for this!", an expression of childlike mirth and spreading across his strangely dough-like face.

I like to pretend that every time I hear this guy (who I'll call "Bob" because that's his real name) say "Attaboy" I get to punch him in the face. Every time my fist connects with his doughy noggin, Bob will smile and say "That's an 'attaboy'!", forcing the whole twisted cycle to endlessly repeat until we are both left, bereft of hope, sobbing on the scratchy blue carpet, among the teetering cube walls that are our destiny.

"Attaboy!" kind of sounds like it should be the name of a mascot, like the Little Dutch Boy on the paint cans, or maybe a perky Pancake House slogan. "I'll have the Attaboy Stack O' Flapjacks, Mabel!" you might say as you lean back against the maroon vinyl of the booth's bench seat, wondering in a vague and diffuse sort of way if you shouldn't maybe have gone for the Belgian Waffle.

THIS JUST IN: Attaboy Entertainment, featuring Rocky the Leprechaun, Leroy the Leprechaun, Jingles the Holiday Elf, and Ric Rampage, the Wacky Reporter on Stilts.

Attaboy magic trick thingy.

Attaboy, Terry, now you're acting like a herper.


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