I won't lie to you. Things are slackish around here these days. I've seen slumps before, but never like this. We're spooky lazy.
I blame summer. It's mid-August and the entire organization has been infected with slacker fever, from Luigi "Fettuccine" Alfredo, our office factotum (who, in spite of his very misleading title was not, in fact carved from a tree trunk by Native Alaskans) all the way up to, well, me. Even Gisele Alschuler, our intern from Van Nuys with loose morals but surprising upper-body strength, is too apathetic to wear her usual Wet Seal cocktail attire to the office, showing up instead in a wifebeater, bejeweled flip-flops and rolled-up sweatpants with the word "PINK" appliqued across her heinie in 4-inch letters.
I took a stroll with my Big Gulp and cherry donut down the hall yesterday toward the far end of the LJKGW complex where we keep the human resources ladies with their Grand ol' Opry hairdos, frosty white toenails and squeaky vinyl pocketbooks. (We keep the accounting folks down at that end of the building, too, but we like the accounting folks. They cut expense checks.) Apparently, even the soulless and the damned (sorry, I already said HR, didn't I?) have a summer slump in August, because I found a cluster of women parked around the break room table, each clacking away on some version of a hideous yarn afghan. Yeesh. I shuddered at the thought of the poor bastard who soon would tear through kitten-and-daisy-encrusted wrapping paper to find a fluorescent mustard and puce "throw" whose highest purpose is as a full-body exfoliation device. I hurried back to the Executive Suite with such haste that I squirted a blob of cherry filling onto the Berber carpet in the elevator lobby. (Note to self: call building maintenance and schedule carpet cleaning while subtly implicating the sales staff.)
Even with the productivity plunge, I do love deep summer. It seems to be the only time of the year when we give ourselves permission to truly unclench. There's a golden intermission before it's time to begin the official back-to-school stress-out, when we can almost convince ourselves that, yes, we can flip over in the hammock as many times as we like and keep dozing off and when we wake up, it will still be summer with its dragonfly drone and grass-clipping aroma.
Enjoy it while it lasts, because any moment now the mailman will be slipping catalogs into our mailboxes that feature snuggly hearth scenes laced with pine boughs, glowing candles and frost-kissed windowpanes and we will stagger forth, our thighs ripe with the recent imprints of webbed lawn chairs, reluctantly awakening to the fact that we are once again, somehow, behind.