After toiling the better part of four months over the course of eighteen primarily misspent years completing my latest screenplay, I shared my opus with a cluster of my nearest and dearest writer-friends – Milton, Albee, Lola and Coco. The guys were swift and thorough with their feedback. Lola read it quickly, too, but was inundated with work before leaving for Latin America on a business trip, so we’ll discuss it when she returns later this month. Coco, who by nature is one of the most reliable people I know of any gender, had it for more than a week before she got around to reading it. I could not understand what was taking her so long, but I think it’s misguided to pressure a friend to extend herself. Yet, on the night when she was compelled to email me a picture of her dinner, I heavily hinted at my annoyance in her taking upwards of a week to slog through my masterpiece.
I warmly emailed her back this response to her salad, “You’re dead to me.”
My pal completely redeemed herself when she proceeded to read my script not once, but twice that evening. Now with a magic number of Belvedere martinis (with olives) sloshing in her gullet, my favorite overachiever has learned to recite page 73 in its entirety both forward and back.
The other day at work we had a routine sample tile delivery. Our shipping manager, Cedric, delivered the box to my sidekick, Greg. Cedric told me that we had a tile delivery in the name of our boss, Elsbeth. Then, Greg opened the box, and removed the tile samples. I entered Greg’s warehouse to inspect the samples. My eyeballing the samples is the final step in our routine before I proceed to notify Elsbeth that samples have arrived and Greg has laid them out for her review.
Having just ingested sixteen ounces of strong black tea, I decided that I would first relieve myself before beckoning for The Boss to grace us with her presence. I enter our restroom, turn on the light and see this site:
Now, not only do I have to empty my bladder as voluminously as a racehorse, but I also have to return to my desk, get my camera and photograph this reliable annoyance. I know that all of my colleagues have both the capacity and the energy to replace both the toilet paper and the paper towels, since I have personally incorporated that function in our job descriptions. As I head back to the office cursing the evil bathroom elf, I hear Greg cursing, too. I wonder:
Me (wondering): What’s set him off?
Then, I see his reliable annoyance, but at least he has the satisfaction of knowing that it was he that accidentally created this mishap himself.
The bathroom tissue scofflaw remains on the loose. How reliably annoying.