Thursday, September 24, 2009M: "Jake, do you want some gum? Jake? Gum? Would you like a piece of gum? Have some gum? Jake? Gum? Jake!"
J: "No thanks."
M: "What? You don't want any gum?"
J: "Not really, but thank you."
M: "Jake! Have some gum."
She tosses a square pack of Doublemint at me. It lands on the floor. I lean down and pick it up and realize the pack is empty. Plus, it's taped closed with Scotch Tape.
J: "There's no gum in here."
M: "Yes there is."
I toss the pack back to her.
J: "No there isn't. Why did you tape it closed?"
M: "Fine. You don't want a piece of gum? I don't care."
She drops the box into her desk drawer.
M: "It doesn't matter to me if you want gum or not."
J: "Why did you tape it closed?"
M: "I didn't."
J: "Yes you did. There's not any gum in there anyway."
M: "Jake, I don't want it to be so easy for you. The gum is more rewarding if you have to work for it. There is one piece of gum in there. Open the box."
She throws it at me.
J: "Why did you tape the box shut?"
M: "I didn't tape it shut."
I chuck the box in her direction. It falls on the floor and M.'s cube mate picks it up. She examines the box closely, then smiles.
Cube Mate: "M., you can see the tape."
M: "It's more rewarding if it's not easy."
J: "You just say that because you're a girl."
M. checks the messages she's received from a dating website. One message reads: "I hope you're not pissed because I've been deployed to Iraq." It's the first message M. has received from this guy, and she responds, "Of course I am pissed!"
M: "I don't know anything about him, but yeah, I'm really pissed that he's been deployed. I am so pissed off. What the hell?" (She laughs.)
Another message reads: "I've been staring at your picture for hours and I finally got the nerve to write. I joined this website just to send you this message. You look really cute and I'd like to get to know you better."
M. doesn't have a photo uploaded on her profile.
She responds to his message, "Don't send me any counterfeit checks. I'm not interested."
M: "Those crazy Nigerian scam artists. JAKE! How do I get messenger?"
She burps. It doesn't sound much like a burp. It sounds more like a very small exhaled breath with a little morsel of noise behind it. She looks at me and smiles.
J: "That was the weakest burp I've ever heard in my life."
M: "I know, but it wasn't a burp." (She moves her hand down by her butt and fans it really fast. She busts up laughing.)
M: "Do you want some gum now?"
J: "Fine, I'll have a piece of gum."
She chucks the box at me and I tear it open.
J: "It's empty."
M: "No, look inside."
There is one piece of gum in the box, but it feels very light.
J: "Oh, there IS a piece of gum in here."
M: "See? I told you so."
J: "I'll eat it later."
When M. leaves, I pick the piece of gum up and examine it. I slowly peel back the foil to reveal what looks like a stick of pink bubblegum. Then I realize it's a sticky-note M. has folded in disguise. On it, she's written by hand, "No, really. This is gum."