Posted by Jenn Thorson at 7:00 AM Labels: douglas adams, hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, office humor, satire, spoof
Monday was "Towel Day" in honor of humorist, Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. But I'm afraid I'm only getting around to celebrating it today...
Oh, it's not that I'm late, per se. It's just that the anomaly in the space-time continuum only dropped me off here now, two-days off schedule.
And it's funny, because the week had started out pretty much like any other.
I woke to the smell of coffee and struggled out of bed, per usual....
And I blessed my automatic-timed coffeemaker, set to deliver mind-clearing, bean-based Life, like any other day...
That's when I noticed the maker of java was there, levitating, four feet away in a bright green glow.
Strange, I thought. I'd had this coffeemaker for years and it had never levitated to my bedroom before. But that's what you get when you don't read the whole manual.
So I reached for the small appliance, hoping to guide it toward some mugs, as even a half-awake Me knows a handful of coffee is less tasty.
And that's when I ended up in a bright entirely white office kitchenette, standing by a giant coffeemaker with a large, hairy man peering down on me.
"Ah, you're here!" boomed the man. "Let's get cracking!"
"Here? Where's here?" I said, blinking at the room that was not my bedroom.
He raised an eyebrow that looked like a wooly-bear caterpillar on steroids. "Er... your workplace?" he prompted, bewildered. "Place of employment? The office? The 9-5? Grind? Biz? Firm? HQ?... The ad agency?" he added for extra clarification.
I glanced around at the piles of nondescript garbage piled around the kitchenette. Some of it was small and granular, some of it large and chunky, some in broken boxes, some just balled up on the floor. All of it, like the rest of the room, was white. "Funny. I don't remember it quite like this."
"Well, it's probably because of the Blob that went through here this morning," he said simply.
"Heh..." He glanced red-faced at his shoes and shuffled his giant feet, like a mountainous child who had something for his more mountainous parents to sign. "Er... we kind of made a Blob in the space-time continuum."
"You see, we got a project to do, but the moment it was assigned, it already needed to be done yesterday. So in order to meet the deadline and get it done before we received it, we had to jigger things around a bit, space-time-continuum-wise. You know, blot out the day we signed the agreement, so we could go back and get the job done before it happened. And now there's this Blob over it. "
"A Blob," I said again, and it didn't improve for saying it thrice. I grabbed the pot of white coffee and poured myself a white mug, and took a deep revitalizing swig.
I looked around.
No, I was still here.
"It's little like working with correction fluid," the man went on affably, warming to the topic. "You can try to write back over it, but it's never quite the same, is it? It gets... lumpy."
I wiped the coffee from my mouth with the back of my hand. "Who are you?"
"I'm your coworker, Kitty," he said, with an injured astonishment. "Don't you recognize me?"
I peered up, up, up at the man. "Last I saw Kitty, she was female, 5-foot-nine, married, and had a new baby."
Kitty shrugged. "I'm Kitty 2.0."
"Where's the baby?"
"Teacup poodle. Named Rocco."
"And her husband, 'The Dude'?"
Kitty beamed. "He abides. We had a lovely barbecue last night."
"Great," I said. "My best girlfriend at work is now a six-foot-four, male, gay dog-lover, and I'm supposed to repair a Blob in the space-time continuum."
"Oh no," said Kitty quickly. "We don't need you for the repairs. We need you for some data cleaning. See all of this stuff?" Kitty motioned to the broken boxes and piles of sand-like dust and crumpled up balls of whatevers.
"Er, yeah..." I said hesitantly.
"Well, when you blot out a day with the space-time correction fluid, and then you brush off a bit of the excess Happenings, well, this is what you get."
I frowned at it. "Don't we hire a service for this?"
"These are all the extra occurrences that would have gone on during the day we had to overwrite," he explained, folding his arms and surveying the landscape. "So what I need you to do is some serious data scrubbing."
"That's not really my area of expertise," I said. Then I noticed I was still wearing my pajamas. "I'm also not dressed for it."
But Kitty just went on unconcerned, "Stack the Epiphanies, Revelations and Major Life Events here..." He patted the kitchenette countertop, "we'll want to sort through those and figure out where to tuck them in going forward.... And sweep up the Minor Annoyances, Watercooler Discussions, Mindless Television Watching and Sandwich Breaks over there into bags, for disposal."
"We're disposing of parts of peoples' days?"
Kitty waved it away. "Aw, they won't miss 'em. Especially since, technically, they never really happened. Good luck." And at this, Kitty thrust a broom and dustpan into my hand and vanished in a blip of light.
I recalled Kitty used to be more helpful than this.
Well, anyway, I swept up some Messy Confrontations, and was just reaching for a towel to sop up some Brainstorms, when, as soon as I touched that towel--
Poof! I ended up back here.
So, I apologize if I'm running a little behind. And as for celebrating Douglas Adams' holiday, I'm not entirely certain what to do for it. Perhaps I'll have a sandwich and a bath.
I think Doug would have really liked that.