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Me & Mr Wealth

The obnoxious Xmas spirit reached a crescendo at work today, as even the most arrogant and unthinking idiots from the buyers’ offices came by with brownies and chocolate whiskeys and big dumb grins on their stupid faces. “Merry Christmas!” they shouted. One of them said, “Ho ho ho.” 

You’ve never seen me so stone-faced. These are the dumbest people in the building, brainless boobs who do everything wrong, and depend on Kallie and Carlotta, Jennifer, Peter, and me to fix their mistakes, all year round. They never say please. They never say thank you. I’m not even sure they’re half-aware how often we save their asses from getting scorched. They’re never nice, or even indifferent like me. They’re demanding, and they’re rude about it, and the brownies don’t subtract any of that.

Come Monday, Xmas will be over, and they’ll be their ordinary asshole selves. Thank Christ Christmas only comes once a year.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

I’d told her I don’t do Christmas, but still Kallie had a gift for me — a genuine bootleg copy of the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge album. Sigh, thank you.

Approximating the ‘Christmas spirit’ I’ve heard so much about, I went home at lunch and brought back a cool t-shirt someone had sent in trade for the zine. I like the shirt — a cartoon picture of a riot grrrl rioting — but it’s only XL, which is not nearly enough X's for me. It’ll probably fit Kallie. 

Also got another Stones tape, Their Satanic Majesties Request, from Stanley. It's not a Christmas present, though. Just another of the things he finds in the trash, and stashes in my file cabinet. With two Stones tapes, my headphones were rockin’ today.

♦ ♦ ♦

The sickness continues, with employees dropping like DC-10s. Babs Almighty was out sick today, blow-drying petrified puke chunks out of her long blonde tresses, I hope. More execs were missing than present, but they might have been working in the stores.

Among the workers and temps, everyone was present, but it was obvious that Peter and at least two of the temps were miserable. Me? Why, how nice of you to ask. I felt a touch of a fever, but a fever’s been coming and going since last month’s tooth extractions, and the subsequent infection that got locked inside of me.

♦ ♦ ♦

Since I’m disgusting, I've probably mentioned that there’s a gorgeous Hispanic woman who works on the other side of the eighth floor. I snap to attention every time I see her in the hallway — especially on ‘Casual Fridays’, when clothing standards and sometimes the clothes get a little looser.

Today was her best outfit ever: red slacks, white t-shirt, red vest, big smile, and a red Santa cap with a white fluffball on top. If Playboy did a “Girls of the North Pole” spread, she’d be on the cover. 

Always this woman makes my motor rev, but today she looked so heartstoppingly beautiful I literally tripped over my own feet as I walked by. And for this, she smiled at me. For one brief moment I was glad to be alive, and then she was gone, and everything sucked again.

I don’t even know her name. What would be the point of asking?

♦ ♦ ♦

It's the day before Christmas Eve, which means shoppers, shoppers, everywhere, but like a fool I left the building to run an errand at lunch (getting that t-shirt for Kallie). The sidewalks were jammed like 1950s teenagers into a phone booth, but for blocks and blocks.

Wish I had the courage to stand at the corner like one of the street preachers, shouting good tidings of bah-humbug to all. To all the shoppers I’d say, if you need a big phony holiday and a credit card to say ‘love’, the love is probably as fake as the holiday.

I’d like to sit on Santa’s lap and leave a long loose bowel movement. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, whatever — I defecate on all your holy days.

I lack the gonads to say any of this out loud, of course. Some Christian would kill me.

I was brave enough to talk back to some Republicans, though. After my errand, I jostled through the throngs in the store, waited for an elevator up, and rode with a family of three — Mom, Dad, and a little girl who looked about 9 or 10, and wore a mink or mock-mink jacket. I hated them all before the door whooshed shut, and they were talking, of course, so I knew they were going to see Santa on the seventh floor.

Then Mr and Mrs Wealth started talking about how awful it was to see all the beggars on the sidewalk. Not, how awful that there are beggars, only how awful it was to see the beggars. Mr Wealth said firmly, “That’s all going to change, now that Newt Gingrich is in charge in Congress,” and I couldn’t stand it any more.

To Mr Wealth I said, with my best imitation-drunk slobber, “Why don’t you shut up before I barf on your daughter’s mink?”

And cripes, saying that was stupid. He could’ve punched me. I’m a wimp, unlikely to win a fight with anyone, but I’d correctly assessed him as even wimpier than me.

He pulled his wife and kid close, more to protect him than to protect them, I think, and when the elevator dinged at ‘7’ and the doors opened on Santa’s workshop, they hurried off without another word.

Store employees have to wear name tags, but regional employees aren’t. I’m regional, so they’ll never know I work there. The elevator ride thoroughly brightened my spirits, and I was chuckling by the time I got back to my desk.

♦ ♦ ♦

After work, I went to the mailbox, and among several zines and a few envelopes with three dollars cash, there was also a small package from Jeff Koyen of Crank, in Philly.

Can you imagine my joy when I opened it on my walk back to the rez hotel, and discovered a live cockroach crawling in an otherwise empty cassette tape box? This was clearly an homage to the roach I captured in a cassette box (11/28), and it’s just what I needed. No, not the roach; I have a room full of roaches already. What I needed was reassurance that there are people out there even sicker than me. Thanks for that, Jeff!

This last Sunday, I spied the enclosed bug making a beeline for my Chinese food. I quickly flattened him w/ a clear plastic ‘glass’. Upon looking in the glass, to see the guts, I saw our friend here. The glass bottom was recessed. Please let me know if he survived.” —Jeff

I wouldn’t go so far as to say “he,” but it survived. Thought it might mate with the roach I’ve had in a jar for a month, so I could start an entirely inbred roach colony on the window sill, but instead of introducing them to each other, I found November’s roach dead. It was lying roach-tits-up in a puddle of pickle juice at the bottom of its jar. Cause of death: Who knows? Who cares? It’s a roach, fer cripes sake. 

Shook the newcomer from Pennsylvania into the same jar, where it can feed on the rigor mortissed corpse of its California cousin for all I care. I don’t like roaches, but now I have a pet roach, again.

♦ ♦ ♦

With mittens, a light blanket, and a ski mask in my backpack, I returned to the St Francis Walk-In Refrigerated Theater for Star Trek Generations.

This is the film where TV's Next Generation cast is supposed to take over the franchise from the wrinkled and withered original cast, but William Shatner as Captain Kirk owns this movie. It shines while he’s on screen at the beginning for some ordinary Kirk heroics, then nothing interesting happens for an hour, then Kirk’s back and the movie briefly sputters to life.

It’s Shatner's best performance ever, but I’m not a Shatnerd so that’s fairly faint praise. He's usually a bad actor; here he's passable. Captain Kirk, as promised, dies, and his death is rather ordinary, but his last words are fitting and appropriate. Not as good as Spock's last words, though, when he fake-died in Star Trek II.

Other than the Kirk bits, the movie plays like a bad “very special” episode of a TV show. When Data trades in his brain for an “emotion chip,” it has to be the sorriest Star Trek subplot since anything involving Q.

Is it worth your time to see the movie? Meh. You could do worse. Is it worth my time to rip into it a little more? No, but I’ll do it anyway, because what could be a more pathetic life than some fat lonely schmuck critiquing a damned Star Trek movie at length in his diary?

My main problem with Generations is, I've always loved Star Trek but I don’t care much about the Next Generation characters. Most of them aren’t characters at all. I’ve warmed up to Worf, Data, and Picard, but the rest of the cast is interchangeably bland. Mom Crusher could say Troi’s lines, Riker could say Geordy’s lines, and vice versa all around. Even as the Enterprise crashed onto the planet of cheesy special effects, twice, I was literally twiddling my mittened thumbs.

Trivia question, not specifically about this movie but about the Next Generation series: Why would any parents want to raise their children on a war ship? Answer: They wouldn’t. Every time I see kids on the Enterprise, I think of those bumper stickers that said, “Baby on board.” Slap a sticker on the hull, and that’ll keep the Borg from firing.

Another question: How many ships in this fleet are named Enterprise? Answer: I dunno, but lots. Let’s see, there are two Enterprises in this movie alone, Kirk has piloted three others, and this new cast manages to wreck their Enterprise by the end of the movie. That’s five Enterprises so far. What do you suppose their sixth ship will be called in the next movie?

 From Pathetic Life #7
Friday, December 23, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life 

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