The only (and I mean only) thing I miss about my old job is how much I used to laugh every day.
There was a core group of five of us and together we formed a dynamic, dysfunctional work family held together by a complex webbing of in-jokes, proclivity for Mexican food within walking distance of the office and shared torment at the hands of the Tribal Elders (a.k.a the bosses).
And there were pranks.
They ranged from the ridiculous:
Realizing halfway through writing a memo that your keyboard was not attached to your computer at all.
To the ironic:
The high-strung French intern sits on an eclair during the holiday party. (Perp still at large to this day.)
To the sublime:
As one of us drove the group to lunch one day, another complained loudly about the restaurant we were going to, saying that that the last time he dropped his car off there, the valet guys reset his stereo buttons to all-Hispanic stations. Then, while the driver stopped to get cash at the ATM, we frantically reset his stereo buttons to all-Hispanic stations and turned the radio off.
After lunch, he got his car back and we suggested that he check to make sure his buttons hadn't been messed with. I'll never forget the look on his face when - after pitching a fit on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant - the valets pointed at the car full of his friends who were howling and wetting themselves with laughter.
See what I mean? Good times.
When Jokes Go Wrong.
It's a particularly giggly day at the office (well, for the five of us, anyway) and, after my sixteenth cup of coffee, I go down the hall to the ladies' room and ensconce myself in what I like to think of as my office annex: stall #1.
I hear the door squeak open and, moments later, a pair of feet pass my stall door. The feet are clad in sassy little Mary Janes with tiny leather flowers on the straps and shiny patent cap toes. These are the very shoes my work buddy "Darla" (name changed to protect, well, myself) is sporting today.
Since we'd just been doubled over in laughter listening to our 20-year-old Armenian receptionist release her trademark stream of international obscenities at the copying machine, I figure why not continue the hilarity in the bathroom? Right?
[Note: this was a long time ago and I had not yet become the pillar of maturity you all know today.]
So - how to maximize the comedy potential of the moment? Right - I have it!
"Pllbbbttt!" I say, making a giant, echoing raspberry with my mouth (something at which, if I may say, I excel). Then, to stifle my giggles, I clamp my hands over my mouth and wait for Darla to burst out laughing.
Well, that's weird, I think.
Oh, wait - I get it: she's playing hard to get.
"Pllllbbbbttttt!" I repeat, louder and longer than before, my eyes tearing up with effort, then gnaw my knuckle to keep from laughing out loud.
A creeping uneasiness causes me to lean down and take another look at those shoes. Yep, they're Darla's all right.
But wait! Darla is wearing a skirt that day and these shoes are topped with [gasp!] plaid slacks!
I recoil in horror, reeling from two shocking thoughts:
- I was raspberrying a COMPLETE STRANGER - in the BATHROOM.
- Who would wear plaid pants with those shoes?