In general I have a three-track mind that predominantly thinks about food, sex and scribbling. On this particular morning while riding the subway into work I had a small feast of crap dominating my thoughts. Elsbeth, my boss, sprang for Girl Scout cookies for my colleagues, my sidekick, Greg, (not) Under Ling (anymore) and me.
I was also carrying a new nosh of my own, a package of Pub Mix.
Of course, Pub Mix solo leaves something to be desired. What immediately comes to mind is it being washed down with a few pints of frothy suds. This is not something I’m inclined to do with my lord and master sitting in an office approximately ten feet away from my desk. Hm, maybe I should live on the edge and relocate my desk? We have plenty of empty space in the back of the room. My fantasy exchange with my superior:
Elsbeth: Why did you move your desk?
Me: Now that I’m noshing on Pub Mix, I want to drink beer while I’m here.
Elsbeth: Should I install a TV for you so you can also watch sports?
Me: That would be so considerate of you, Boss!
(not) Under Ling (anymore): Can I sit back there, too? I love beer!
Elsbeth: Sure, why not?
Greg: What’s going on? What are we doing?
Me: Move your desk back here. Elsbeth has given us the okay to get drunk! Have some Pub Mix with me, gang!
Back to the reality of riding the subway, I’m distracted from thinking about cookies, Pub Mix and beer by a middle aged bloke who stands next to me with his fist pressed against the pole. Pictured below is a Lame Adventures re-enactment of this chap’s unique style of pole handling featuring Greg’s fist and a shiny metal pole in our workplace environment.
On the train I had the following exchange with the Pole Presser:
Me: Excuse me, may I ask why you’re pressing your fist into the pole that way?
Pole Presser: I forgot my hand sanitizer.
As soon as I arrive at my destination, whenever possible, I simply wash the subway off my hands, but hey, to each germaphobe his own.
As Greg and I were preparing our re-enactment ever helpful Greg suggested:
Greg: Do you want me to spit and piss on it, too?
Me: No, but thanks for offering to share your precious bodily fluids.
I told my sidekick about my dialogue with the Pole Presser.
Greg: Doesn’t that guy ever rub his nose?
Me: Apparently not.
Greg absorbs this possibility.
Greg (in his best running for dog catcher voice): Get pink eye like a real man!
I’d vote for Greg.
You have a pole in your office? Does that mean you work in a strip club?
Yes, my company sells tile and peep shows.
The whole pole-presser thing sounds strangely sexual. No wonder you think about it so often. Hmmm–now I’m off to find some pub mix—————–and to move my desk!
Geez Louise, that Pole Pressing observation is bringing out the best in you guys! My mind has predominantly been on Pub Mix!
Hmmm, pole pressing. Sounds like a vaguely dirty act done in eastern Europe.
Thank you for raising the bar on Pole Pressing musings yet another notch Jeremy.
This one was good. Something about surrealistic subversion of the workplace hierarchy always works. And the second act shifting to the fist & pole is hilarious and Lynchian.
I’d like to say, “Oh yes, I planned that”, but considering that you actually know me, I won’t. I’m very glad that you were amused, Miguel. I’m very flattered that you would think of me in connection to the Father of Blue Velvet. That kinda makes my day!
Actually, the pole thing is more “Mulholland Dr.” than “Blue Velvet.” I don’t know. What do you think?
Good question. I’m not sure. My life is definitely more Mulholland Drive than Blue Velvet these days. I like to think that I still have a ways to go before I need to huff whatever gas Dennis Hopper was huffing.
The pole fist press is completely useless, though! One lurch of the train and he’s a goner. He’s on the floor, where the really disgusting germs are and he’s covered with them. I would have advised him to at least grasp the pole in the crook of his elbow. What a doofus. He deserves germs.
The best place for standing is at the doors, leaning against the seat rails. Angled correctly and with proper foot placement, no train movement (barring a derailment) can dislodge a person. And, no need to touch any poles or handles.
It was the morning rush hour so the highly coveted blocking the door space was already occupied.
One would hope that natural reflex, which may have eluded this guy, would have compelled him to quickly grasp the pole in the event of a sudden stop. The train was crowded enough that if he fell, he would have likely fallen into me giving me a free pass to loudly declare him a [insert popular slang for sexual intercourse-ing here] tool. Fortunately, nothing averse occurred and civility ruled.
“The Pole Presser.” Sounds like a good title for a movie about an Eastern European immigrant who works at a dry cleaner’s.
Ah! That term for my fellow subway rider has also compelled you to deliver yet another inspired observation, too. If only he knew … If I was thinking I should have given him my Lame Adventures card!