Monday, November 8, 2010

Not My Best Moment

A Disturbing And True Story

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:
  1. I was raspberrying a COMPLETE STRANGER - in the BATHROOM.
  2. Who would wear plaid pants with those shoes?
Although I was never able to pin it on her, I know in my heart that I was set up by the French intern. (But how did she find out about the eclair?)


Beth Kephart said...

Wish we'd have been office pals.


Kathy said...

Laughing and crying here. Thank you for a most excellent Monday morning fit of giggles. Also, I would have killed to work with you.

B. Freret said...

What a nice way to start the week. I can't tell if I'm Team Beth or Team Kathy. Either way, I'm pretty sure that arrests would have been made.

Lori @ In Pursuit of It All said...

It's always so tragic when a prank turns on its owner like that.

You read the leaflets, but you always figure that YOUR pranks are loyal and well-trained and know where their loyalties lie.

But, really, it can happen to anyone.

Fragrant Liar said...

That complete stranger in the bathroom? Her name was Karma.



La Belette Rouge said...

You make office work sound fun---almost.;-) There aren't enough hijinks in the world to make 9-5 and pantsuits sound attractive. xo

Vikki said...

Too funny! Sometimes practical jokes have hilarious backfire potential. You probably made her day!

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

This is way way too awesome! I think I would have died and gone to laughter Heaven if I'd been in the office annex that day.

Ann Imig said...

I'm so glad that you've constructed this elaborate fantasy to cope with one gassy day at the office.

More power to ya! PFFFGGFFFLLLTT!

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Oh my. All of my work situations have been LAME-O in comparison.

K A B L O O E Y said...

Suuuuuuure you were making farty noises on your hand. If you believe it, it's not really a lie.

Alexandra said...

Oh my gosh...only one thing could make that post better...and that would be if it were me hearing it told live.

The visual of you biting your knuckles to keep from laughing is hysterical..and you thinking no response is "playing hard to get?" b/c of course it was all hell funny!

I love this kind of stuff, love it. Whew, wiping the tears of laughter out of my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of my first real job after leaving school. It was only warehouse work for a mobile phone company but it was the best group of people I have ever met, more like a brotherhood than workmates

lisahgolden said...

I would totally blame the French intern. You know how those French are with their pastries and skinny butts.

The Retired One said...

Hilarious! Reminds me of some of the crazy things we did at work. I miss the people too, but not the job or the work (and most of all not the bullsh** or the bosses) muahahaaaaa.

Pearl said...

The cornerstone of any job worth having is the laughs had while on the clock.

Great post.


Joanie said...

Oh that is funny!!!!


HermanTurnip said...


At work we use our iPhones for very similar bathroom pranks. Need a good raspberry? Apple has an app for that!

Unknown said...

Office pranks keep corporate America running. A prank culminating in my fellow intern walking into the HR office with pee in his own cup... probably one of the funniest moments of my life.

Helena said...

You made me laugh so hard, my office mates just started staring. I have to go and try some of these ideas now...

Rick said...

I've always wondered how to spell "Pllllbbbbttttt!" Thanks.

Bethany said...

LOL! Oh my gosh, this is making me laugh! I played some small jokes on my old co-workers...good times, good times!

MOLLYC said...

I have the feeling that I would love working with you. However, that would involve being in pjs in my pantry, no pay whatsoever, and vacuuming. Can you start Monday? xo molly

Unknown said...

LOL... HHa

Anonymous said...

I love the picture with Ronald. I'll have nightmares though.

Check my blog if you like... also humor/satire.

Thanks! - Wally J

Ghetto_Owl said...

:) Awesome! I lost my job last year and I miss the girls at the office so much!

I would not have worn those socks with those shoes - but I hate socks!

Also, fake raspberries to a stranger are much easier to swallow than the real thing (especially after that great mexican food!)