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Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS

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  • PART ONE: Every shift that I worked with Roger began with him in the customers’ restroom, splashing copious amounts of oil into his hair and leaving a mess all over what had been a spic-and-span sink and floor. It was his opening volley against the customers about to abuse him. When he exited, his forehead slick and the collar of his shirt wet, he came to the break room to clock in. We held our breaths as one.

    While a fragrance can conceal a multitude of olfactory sins, they do have their limit, and he tested them on a daily basis. He bought whatever was on sale: Old Spice or Britney Spears’ Midnight Fantasy, and doused himself to cover the fact that he showered with only slightly more regularity than he did his laundry. The reason for this was that he was renting a room from an old woman who insisted that he scour the entire tub and the wall tiles after bathing, and since he didn’t want to do this, he solved the problem by limiting his exposure to the shower.

    In the tiny break room one could parse out his scents just as one diagrammed a sentence in seventh grade English grammar. The base was Old Spice or Midnight Fantasy, slapping you in the face with its strength, and an undertow of body odor as a modifier. Floating above was whatever he had had for lunch, riding out on his breath, and a subordinate clause created by his rarely laundered clothes.

    Anyone who has worked in food service can attest that it is a messy job. I never wore the same outfit two days in a row, because it was covered in stains and soaked with sweat. Roger just daubed spots with water and wore the clothes again, and again, and again. All of his money was already allocated to the man behind the counter in the liquor store, who handed over his dirty magazines in a paper sack, and so there was nothing left for the Laundromat. Just like with underwear, he had a system for socks. It consisted of wearing them twenty-four hours a day until they fell apart.

    He announced this in the tiny break room, where we crowded together folding napkins and stacking them on our large oval serving trays during the second act. I don’t remember how long he had been wearing the current pair; it was long enough that the room went silent. We peered around napkins stacked up over our heads to look at each other in horror. Then he said reflectively, “You know, when you wear a sock for that long, it stays in the shape of your foot when you take it off.”
    JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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    • PART TWO: “No, it doesn’t,” argued that brave soul.
      “Here, I’ll show you!” Roger said. He kicked off his shoe and lifted his foot into his lap, where he peeled off the sock and held it up for us to see. It was as if his foot was still in there, plumping out the filthy, natty black fabric, with several planetary rings of crust around the toe and cuff. Everyone cried out in dismay, realizing that we had just gained knowledge that we could have gone happily all our lives without knowing. Roger smiled, and then he threw that crusty, disgusting sock into our midst.

      Had a bomb gone off, it could not have caused more destruction. The sock landed in Gay Panda’s lap. All thoughts of being quiet to not disturb the show vanished; I shrieked and jumped up to get it off. The sock landed on the lap of Hairy Bob, who shouted and thrashed. He hit the tray of napkins at his side, and two hundred folded crowns went flying through the air along with the sock. The door opened and shut as Ramon fled out into the night, and the sock landed on the knee of Not Hairy Bob.

      It got no better from there. Not Hairy Bob jackknifed his knee in reflex and hit his own tray and mine. Napkins flew in every direction and utter chaos ensued of tipping trays and spilling sodas, people screaming and rushing into each other as we tried to get to the door. Roger stayed in his seat and laughed, and then our boss came in and unloaded on us for the noise. When he left, we looked about in fear for the sock. It was gone. Once the tiny break room was set back to order, the sock was still nowhere to be found. Accusing us furiously of thievery, Roger went home with only one sock that night. For the rest of that season, we all wondered what fate the Sock of Grime and Terror had met.

      Two years later, we found out. Roger had been fired by then, for helping himself to several hundred dollars in the cash register. We had a new hire that night, a guy on his first job who wanted to impress us, and he cleaned every single inch of our tiny break room. There was a cry of disgust and we went to see. He had been sweeping, and forced the broom all the way under our employee lockers. Pulling it back out, he discovered among the hairballs, utensils, and soda caps a filthy, natty black sock, crusty rings embedded around the toe and heel.

      It was still in the shape of Roger’s foot.
      JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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      • It was still in the shape of Roger’s foot.
        Awesome - simply classic!
        You should get a job writing for Chuck Lorre!
        There are two wolves fighting within a man's heart, one is Love, the other is Hate. The one that wins is the one you feed.

        My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. - Jack Layton

        The Primal Adventures of Griffin - Huzzah!

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        • That's the most disgusting story I've ever read =/ Though it made me laugh at the image of all hell breaking loose in the little break room!I've done something similar, only to my dismay, it was with some popcorn that my friend threw at me while we were in a cinema. I didn't notice her throw it, thought whatever hit me was a giant spider, screamed and batted it right into the ear of the woman 3 rows down from me. My friends found it hilarious.

          I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

          I've also chipping in with a pre-emptive YES!! to the next vote for a story. I like these stories. =D
          Bunny trainer extraordinaire!

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          • EEEEEEEEYUUUUUU! Thanks for the wonderfully disgusting tale. By the way, you can combine Netflix & the dreadmill if you use a laptop. I found a rack that I could rest on top of the side bars, and tied it down so it wouldn't get dislodged in case I accidentally bumped it. A table leaf, or a bread board might work for you. I have also combined typing, and the dreadmill too. I raise it to the highest incline, then set about 2 miles an hour. I really like the idea of dancing with Kitty. I would love to copy your idea...except doggy weighs 130 lbs....and so far I can only dead lift 110lbs.

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            • Originally posted by PixieKitten View Post
              That's the most disgusting story I've ever read =/ Though it made me laugh at the image of all hell breaking loose in the little break room!I've done something similar, only to my dismay, it was with some popcorn that my friend threw at me while we were in a cinema. I didn't notice her throw it, thought whatever hit me was a giant spider, screamed and batted it right into the ear of the woman 3 rows down from me.
              Love the popcorn story!

              And just think, Roger handled the food of many thousands of people!
              JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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              • i'll tell you, if i wasn't already taken..... that roger sounds like a catch
                beautiful
                yeah you are

                Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
                lol

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                • Well, when your non-MDA writings turn into gold in the real world - after you do a speed run past Poo Hurler to get a manuscript into the lucky publisher's hands - maybe you can treat yourself to this:

                  The Walkstation from Details, a Steelcase Company

                  Primal: going sane.
                  "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results."
                  - Rita Mae Brown, though frequently attributed to Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, or Benjamin Franklin...

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                  • Originally posted by bloodorchid View Post
                    i'll tell you, if i wasn't already taken..... that roger sounds like a catch
                    He'll always be the one who got away.

                    What never made sense to me was how Roger believed that one of us had stolen his Sock of Grime and Terror that night. Sometimes I wish that I could have spent a few minutes in his head, just to learn how he thought. Why would we have stolen his sock? As a memento of our working relationship? To wear it ourselves?
                    JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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                    • Aah hahahahaha! I can only imagine what the chaos sounded like in the theatre!
                      coincidentally, Modern Paleo Warfare just posted a warning on their blog "Never send food back. NEVER" and now I'm afraid to eat out...
                      Cooking Primal with Otter - Journal
                      Otter's (Defunct) Primal Log
                      "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick

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                      • Originally posted by newlifejourney View Post
                        I enjoy these stories as well. I have had a bad few days and reading this journal has been the only thing to bring me out of my crappy mood. Thank you

                        ps, Roger is disgusting!
                        Roger was hands-down the most disgusting person that I have ever met. The only thing he did not do was pick his nose in public. He just picked other things.

                        I'm so sorry that you've had a bad few days! I assume that it's all school-related. Hope today was better for you--
                        JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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                        • Yes, it is due to school. I am now only going to be in school 3 days per week, rather than 5 and will have to make up the missing classes starting in January. At least I get a long weekend every week now. I did have a MUCH better day today though, thank you.

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                          • Last April, Lady Friend bought me a bulk supply of Cadbury Eggs. I filled up my Halloween candy bowl with them, running my fingers happily through the bounty of fifty hard, colorful foil forms, and dreamed of the (totally innocent) pleasure that lay before me*. Two days later, I went primal.

                            Instead of running out of Eggs by May, I have made it to the end of September. One remains, and I can’t bring myself to unwrap it. There is a possibility that this may be the last one I ever enjoy, seeing as I already sacrificed curly fries on the primal pyre. Next spring, I may take a bite of a Cadbury Egg and find it too sweet, and wonder why I ever liked them. So I’ve been rolling this egg around the bowl in the pantry, unable to eat it, and unable to forget that it is there.

                            An era may be passing. I think that I should earn this last Egg, in honor of a lifelong infatuation, and because I have nothing better to do anyway. So this Egg will be delivered unto the acidic grave of my gullet on November 1st, provided that I complete the Trials By Fire, listed below.

                            A: Read the most boring book known to humanity. A friend loaned it to me months ago and she wants it back, and she’ll also want to talk about it. The book is on an interesting topic, but the writing is so dull and thick that Gay Panda can’t get to the second paragraph. For months now, I have been putting the book in places where I will notice it, in the hopes that guilt will compel me to try again, but instead, I put magazines on top of it and forget that it’s there until I clean.

                            B: Exercise every other day, both on the primal treadmill and heavy lifting the kitty. Because Lady Friend shall one day read this, and she nags all the time not to neglect my stretches, I will tack on that exercise only counts if I stretch afterwards. Just thinking ‘stretches’, like I did today, will not count.

                            C: I have spent the last four-and-a-half years crafting this series, and I am far more proud of it than my bachelor’s degree. I have never had so much fun writing, even when the plotting needed intricate work, and when the research sent me after obscure books. It’s hard to keep slogging after publication, especially after the last one blew up in my face, but for this month I will respect all the research and plotting and hours upon hours that went into this work, and send out query letters to agents, one a week, instead of avoiding the whole matter entirely.

                            D: Floss. On alternating days with exercise, since I hate flossing like other people hate running from armed IRS audit agents with grudges and bad hair days. The creepy sensation of rubbing thread against my gums makes me want to howl. Gay Panda refuses to leave this earthly existence until some scientist, no matter how crackpot, declares that flossing causes cancer. Then I can die vindicated.

                            So it’s a 30-Day Challenge, Panda Style. We’ve already started off on the wrong foot, since October has 31 days, but since Gay Panda has a contrary streak, this suits me perfectly.
                            Last edited by Gay Panda; 01-05-2012, 12:26 PM.
                            JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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                            • UPDATE: (in explanation of *) F%$@ you, Rod. F%$@ you for making me look at my favorite candy that way. I hope that you and your nasty girlfriend get yeast infections. If I can’t have that, then I hope a malevolent spirit possesses the Egg you two are about to defile, and punishes you for all the evil things that you have done in your pervy lives. I hope that after the Egg is inserted, it explodes.
                              JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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                              • I hope that after the Egg is inserted, it explodes.
                                I don't remember that spell from Harry Potter!
                                There are two wolves fighting within a man's heart, one is Love, the other is Hate. The one that wins is the one you feed.

                                My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. - Jack Layton

                                The Primal Adventures of Griffin - Huzzah!

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