I. As I began to finally regain feeling in my right hand, the blood gingerly creeping back into its veins after having made a hasty retreat from the arctic winter air, I could finally focus my attention on the ridiculous page of copy sitting on my lap.
"WRITER: CONVERSATIONAL IN TONE"
Conversational? When has anyone in the history of humankind ever attempted an at least half-serious conversation entirely in disclaimers?
"You want another cigarette, Fred? Oh, and by the way, cigarettes increase your chances of getting cancer."
"Hey, sorry I shot my load directly into your eyeball. Use as directed."
"I'd love to go to the Dane Cook concert! Possible side effects include nausea and intense hemorrhaging."
It was at this moment in my amusing myself that the attractive woman next to me asked, "excuse me, how long have you been waiting?"
"Oh, I don't know. About ten minutes. Then again, I have a poor sense of time and space."
The weak smile that had had the audacity to appear on my lips met her blank stare with the awkwardness of two incestuous brothers offering each other hot dogs at the family reunion.
"Do you want mustard...?"
It reminds me why I don't often attempt to be charming and personable. And that reminds me:
II. Coming home from Germany, I caused a slight stir at the airport with my hastily packaged bundle of souvenirs. However one is supposed to prepare his trinkets, I neglected to follow suit, opting instead for the crisp, studied packing technique of a half-asleep stroke victim. As a punishment, British Airways condemned my gifts to a giant plastic bag with a zipper and floral print, the colors of which would make a gay man slap that cock right out of his mouth and never pick another one up again. This bag looked like it belonged on the floor next to P.T. Barnum while he was getting blown by a clown. Needless to say, it was designed to be ostentatious so that the Heathrow's finest could keep an eye on you.
Imagine my surprise when, waiting in the Customs line, a fellow strolled up behind me with the same bag. I was so pleased that I wasn't the only fool to be burdened with this bulky atrocity that I eschewed my normal paranoid contempt for a genuine stab at solidarity. After turning around and lifting the hideous bag in the air, I said with a laughing smirk:
The gentleman, who turned out to be German, stared into my eyes with piercing condescension and let out a curt, "yeah." After assessing that I was no better than a pile of shit, ol' Happy German Face made a big deal of ignoring me.
This, in short, is why I dislike small talk.
III. Two short conversations with my increasingly senile boss:
HIM: Cammy told me about the Xonax boxes that need to be integrated into that shipment we're sending out.
ME: Xonax? No, you're talking about that other collection we looked at. Not Xonax.
HIM: (as if this whole mistake came from me) Xonax?! Of course not!
HIM: I identified those boxes and put them in order. I'm going to ask Timmy to do the labels.
ME: So Timmy's doing the labels?
HIM: No. No no no. And someone needs to put those boxes in order.
ME: I pray that you will die in your sleep.