Monday, March 8, 2010

M: "Look at this!" (She points down to the back of her shoe.) I have CANCER on my ankle!"

She drags her foot across the floor as though it's lifeless.

M: "It's getting worse by the second which means it's 60 times worse by the minute!"

She sits in her chair and twirls in a slow, painful circle, dragging her foot on its side. I laugh hysterically.

J: "Be careful, M. We read what's going to happen in your horoscope..."

M: "What?"

J: "After noon, you're going to get Oyced, Faced, and Moted no matter what you say."

After noon,

M: "Jake... here." (She places something in the palm of my hand.)

J: "What is this?"

M: "Skin from my finger. HA HA HA!"

It's true. She placed a tiny peeling from the edge of her index finger onto my unsuspecting hand. I look at it for a few seconds, somewhat disgusted. It's a tough-looking inch of her skin. As I sit there gazing over her epidermis, hearing her laughter echo down our aisle, I knew I couldn't let her have the last laugh...

So I moved my hand slowly up to my mouth and placed the tough piece of skin between my teeth and chewed on it. I really did. Then I swallowed it.

M.'s Cube Mate: "Ewwwwwww! I'm going to be sick. JAKE, TURN AROUND AND DO SOMETHING!"


M: "I am going to karate chop your chair in half, Jake!"

J: "I'd like to see you try." (I roll my chair toward her cubicle and await her reaction.)

M: "OK." (She hesitates.) Well, I would karate chop your chair, but it's against the company policy so I can't do it."

J: "If you karate chop my chair in half I will take full responsibility."

M: "No you won't!"

J: "Yes, I will."

M: "Give it to me in writing, sign and date it."

J: "OK." (Picking up a post it note.) "What do you want it to say?"

M: "I, Jake Cordova, take full responsibility if M. karate chops my office chair in half. Sign it and date it."

I follow her instructions and hand the paper to her.

J: "There you go. Now let's see this happen!"

M: (Hesitating.) "OK, you want me to do this? OK... I need a running start."

She runs down the aisle and pumps out her fists and legs as though she's getting ready for boxing. Suddenly, she runs really fast down the aisle towards my chair and stops just before reaching it.

M: "That was just a practice run. Now I'll do it for reals."

J: "OK."

She walks back down the aisle, pumping her arms and revving herself up.

M: "Are you ready?"

J: "Yeah. Let's see it."

She runs really fast up to the chair again and stops. Laughing, she sits down in her seat and looks up at me.

M: "Jake, what if I really can't karate chop your chair in half?"

J: "Write it down."

M: "What?"

J: "I want it in writing. I, M., cannot karate chop Jake's chair in half. Sign it and date it."

She reluctantly does.

M: "What would you have done if I really did karate chop your chair?"

J: "I would have been like, WOW, M! You are superhuman! OMG!! I was wrong and you were right. You really COULD do it. WOW!! I am so impressed."

She beams.

M: "I'm going to look up how to karate chop a chair in half online and learn how to do it."

J: "OK."

In her search for a karate chopping lesson, M. stumbles upon a strange website devoted to overcoming anxiety attacks my poking yourself with your finger all over your face, chest, and fingertips known as 'EFT.' She tries the technique by chanting a mantra aloud and poking herself all over her face, chest and armpit.

M: "What a bunch of crap."

I give it a try.

J: "Wow! I feel energized!! Do you know why? Because I feel like someone has been poking me with their finger and it's got me all riled up! I'm not going to stand for that. I'm empowered! I want a raise!!"


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