Monday, March 02, 2009

All the Muck that's Fit to Rake

"Morning Ralph" those were the first words spoken to me by another human being today. The human doing the speaking was the owner/operator of my local news stand, a elderly fellow by the name of Sam. I thought his greeting rather odd, since my name is not Ralph, but I put it down to his old age, and bad eyesight. "Morning Sam" I grunted as I bought the local rag to read on my leisurely stroll into work. Apparently I was in no particular hurry today, and I chatted for a few minutes with the old dodger about sports, politics, and of course the weather. Speaking of which, when did it get so cloudy? Was it this foreboding when I staggered out of my house without either my raincoat or umbrella? Years of watching my father obsess over the weather, and determined not to be like the old man, had lead me to generally ignore the weather forecast based on the theory that I can not change it so why bother? Well, as the wind picked up, and the cloud begin to roll in I realized that I might not be able to change it, but surely I could at least pay enough attention to prepare for it. Clearly my 20 minute stroll to work might be a little wetter than I had planned. Living in a town with a dearth of public transportation, and realizing that the newspaper I just bought had exhausted my supply of actual money, I had little choice but to wrap up my small talk with Sam, and toddle off to work. As I begin my stroll, I passed a friend of mine (with his umbrella the cheeky bastard) who greeted me, and queried whether I had read the paper. "Not yet, is there something earth shattering in there?" He laughed, and said "not earth shattering, but you made the paper. "Near the back of course" and off he went on his merry way chuckling. "Near the back" I muttered. If the bastard only knew his wife was rogering the postman he might not be so cheerful. Puzzled as to why I would be in the paper except as a misprint, I paused to open up the damn thing to take a gander. As I did cursing a bit as the ink smudged my hands (how can they not invent an ink that does not smudge? Man on the Moon, and all that shit, but I still have to have ink on my hands from reading the daily news?). About the time I shuffle the pages to "near the back" the skies decide to finally ruin my (so far, brief) day by opening up, and begin pissing straight down on me. Blast! It appears I have bought my only protection from the rain, and I quickly placed the newspaper over my head as I ran for the nearest shelter. Luckily it was not too far away, but the rain had ruined my newspaper. Oh well, I guess at least the water cleaned the ink off my hands. I threw the soggy paper into the nearest trash can, and waited for the rain to stop thinking that at least my last seventy five cents managed to keep me dry so not a bad return after all. Eventually after a few minutes the rain slackened to a drizzle that I figured I would just have to endure, and I continued on my way to work. Making to my building not quite soaked to the skin, but still rather damp, I was greeted by a co-worker from across the foyer with a "hey, you made it into the paper!" "I am aware" I replied, but before I could ask to see his paper, neatly and dryly tucked under his arm, he flounced onto the elevator, and was gone. I shook what water I could off myself, and trudged to the bank of elevators to make my up to the floor on which my office, or rather cube, was located. I stepped onto the elevator and pushed my floor, and as the car begin to fill up I noticed a woman reading her paper just a bit in front of and to the right of me. I craned my neck to see if perhaps she had made it to the big article about me, but she seemed to be reading the results from the local dog track. I had, of course, checked the coin operated paper stand in my building's lobby, but as usual it was full of yesterday's newspapers. Jeez who knew it would be so hard to find a current newspaper. It is not like there is some "Dewey defeats Truman" headline that would cause a idiotic public to begin hoarding copies like canned goods before a nuclear holocaust. Getting off the elevator on my floor I walked into my office hoping that at least the online edition would be available for me to see what news I had made. As I waited the 7 to 10 minutes for my computer to boot up, I begin to wonder exactly what it was I could have done (clearly without knowing it) to get my fool name in the paper. I had not, to my knowledge, robbed any banks, or saved any children or cats (both of whom I detest) from burning buildings, foiled any terrorist attacks, or been caught with my pants down in a public park. After a little grinding noise, my computer finally made it to the point that I could access the internet, but as I clicked on the proper icon all I got was a blue line, and a connecting, connecting message. Motherfucker! Those guys in IT are depriving a perfectly good village of an idiot! Of course, they will not stagger into work for another hour at the earliest. Must have had a rough night at the X Men convention, or perhaps they had to alphabetize their Battle Star Galactica playing cards till the wee hours of the morning. Well now not only can I not solve the mystery of my paper appearance, I can not do any actual work. Well, the boss is not around either, those wild nights at the "country club" where they have pole dancing assures me that he will not be in for at least two hours. I suppose I might as well make the best of it, and take an early morning siesta. I lean back in my rickety ass chair, put my feet up, and begin to nod off. Just as I was beginning to get good and asleep a co-worker comes to the corner of my cube pale as a ghost, and clearly shocked about something. Before I could get fully awake to ask what she backs out of my cube like she had seen Hitler's ghost dropping her newspaper. Well she always was a bit weird, I can sort out her issues later, but for now at least I have the paper. Looking down I see the article she had folded her paper over to. A little chill started to run down my spine as I saw she was reading the obituaries (I said she was odd), the intercom on my phone begins to buzz, buzz, buzz, as I read with absolute horror why she was acting as if she had seen a ghost. It seems that she had. The obit she was reading was mine. Funny, I don't feel dead. Is this why my news seller called me the wrong name. Will somebody stop that damn buzzing!!!! I collapsed back into my chair paper gripped tightly in my hands as I read the news of my demise. What the fuck? Then I feel a sharp jab in my ribs. Turning expecting to see some guy in a black robe with a sickle in his hands, I gasp half in relief, half in surprise, to find it is just my girlfriend muttering for me to turn off "that bloody alarm, and go to work." "Oh" she mutters as she rolls over to go back to sleep (the bitch) "you might want to take your umbrella, it is supposed to rain today."

For Cynnie loyal reader, and one nice lady. I hope this piss poor attempt has honoured your request for a post about newspapers. It stinks, but I did the best I could.


Cynnie said...

aww..its wonderful ..
Thank you ..
like i said , your pissy-est poor-est post is better than most peoples best efforts ..

tideliar said...

excellent. Bravo!