While I appreciate Larry's gallant efforts to serve my relaxation needs (read: never have to massage my feet again)--particularly during this stressful holiday season--I have to admit I thought the "relaxing, therapeutic, massage slippers" he got me were a bit suspect.
They looked harmless enough--just a homely pair of pink house slippers--until I inserted the battery power pack into each heel.
Then things started to get exciting.
I climbed into bed with a Sue Grafton novel in my hand and the slippers on my feet. Larry, who had already settled in for a long winter's nap, stirred.
"I'm going to try out the slippers you got me," I whispered, trying to keep an open mind.
He gave me a thumbs up.
Then, utilizing the "convenient toggle feature" (known in some circles as the "on/off switch"), I turned those bad boys on. And proceeded to wake the nation.
It sounded like I'd slipped my feet into matching lawnmowers. The bed shook violently. My toes vibrated in their sockets.
Larry cocked one eye.
Me: Wow. This is really relaxing.
Larry: But how do your feet feel?>
Me: Well, I'd ask them ... but I don't think they'd be able to hear me.
I gave birth to this wrinkled little baby named Gus, who instantly started waving his fists and demanding things. Expensive things, like food. And diapers. And a six-thousand-square-foot cottage in the Hamptons, equipped with an oceanfront view and a shetland pony called Trinket. And as much as I enjoyed writing about country music fans and their Totally Original and Amazing encounters with celebrities (I waited on line in the rain for three hours, and then it was finally my turn, and <Rodney/Radney/Willie/Trace/Dierks> said, “hey,” and then I said “hey,” and then he signed my autograph, and my hands were shaking so bad, I thought I’d die!)—the salary* just wasn’t getting it done.
So I quit, and did what I swore I’d never ever do.
I took a job in corporate America.
Next thing I know, I’m shacked up in a Holiday Inn Express just off the Interstate, snuggling up to the most gorgeous PowerPoint presentation I’ve ever laid eyes on. It is irresistible in the way it succinctly makes a case for the product at hand, seamlessly transitioning from one slide to the next. I am bewitched. I want to read it again and again.
And the corporate phantom follows me home.
The other morning when Gus attempted to put on his jacket while clutching a mixed berry fruit and cereal bar:
Me: How about you put down the fruitbar.
Me: That way I can put your hand through the sleeve.
Me: Please do as I say.
Gus: (Glares and swats his lion paw at me) ROAR!
Weird Corporate Ghost Who Inhabits My Body: Gus. I am trying to position you to be successful. With your cooperation we can both achieve our objectives more quickly. Please, put the fruitbar down.
Watch out, toddlers. The boss is taking names.
And when our housekeeper Sherry (after an unexplained two-week absence) left a message on the answering machine saying she had just been released from jail and would be there to clean our house the next day, Larry groaned and gave me that “how many felons have our housekey now” look. To which I haughtily replied, ‘If you are so displeased with the vendors I’ve chosen to do business with, I suggest you take a more proactive role in the selection process.”
Take that, mister.
Don’t mess with corporate.
*Salary (n.): Snack-size bag of salted peanuts direct-deposited into your bank account in lieu of U.S. dollars
Amanda O'Brien is the author and sole proprietress of Blabbermouse, a blog she launched in February of 2005.