The Journal of Ephemeral Inspiration

The Journal of Ephemeral Inspiration promises a neverending spew of pointless minutae, brilliant yet useless ideas, troublingly cruel commentary and emphatic musings on whatever shiny object happens to catch our collective eye. Always remember, hate the game, not the playa.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Watercooler: Pot Yuck

Here at the J.E.I. compound, one of out guiltiest pleasures is intercepting "private" AOL Instant Messenger® conversations between our hard-working employees. So dedicated to the J.E.I. cause are our nameless minions that the hateful humor continues to flow even when they're under the false assumption that the watchful eye of Sauron is no longer upon them. Silly hobbits...

J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:05 PM):I'm back, by the way...
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:05 PM):Ah. Nice to see you.
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:06 PM):Had to attend a pot luck, of all things.
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:07 PM):Right there at work?
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:08 PM):Smack dab in the middle.
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:10 PM):Mm. Home-made fun.
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:11 PM):Makes you long for the sterile facelessness of fast food.
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:13 PM):Yeah, I don't mind my food being assembled by some filthy ass-picking migrant worker as long as I never have to look at his face.
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:14 PM):Everything tastes a little nasty when you know your co-workers made it themselves, and only because they had to for pot luck day.
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:15 PM):With their strange spatulas...
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:18 PM):And their foil-wrapped little culinary tragedies.
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:19 PM):Their scratched and hazy Pyrex dishes.
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:20 PM):Their crusty pressure cookers and mis-matched cutlery.
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:22 PM):Their speck-flecked Crock-Pots and stained pot holders.
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:23 PM):Everyone quietly dropping their sad little casseroles onto wobbly card tables, and trying not to overhear the cruel "Who made this?" comments in reference to their half-hearted offering.
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:23 PM):Secretaries nearly come to blows as the party begins and there's still a line four-deep at the greasy communal microwave in the kitchenette.
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:34 PM):Of course, the office air, usually pleasantly musty and sour, is filled with the stink of "family recipes" that should've died generations ago.
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:34 PM):Larry, the sullen system administrator, is nearly reduced to tears when Carla, the gawky receptionist both bring two-litre bottles of Fresca and generic-brand cola.
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:36 PM):The stiff smiles between sporkfuls of pudding that tastes "not-quite-right" foretells of the gas and diarrhea-induced grimaces that will soon follow in bathrooms all over the building.
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:38 PM):Everyone pretends not to notice the sudden influx of once-distant employees who bring their recently-found empty-handed chumminess to the feed.
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:41 PM):And then the inevitable looks of repulsion at the aftermath, the half empty containers reflecting the gesture at bringing virtual strangers together for some trumped up social function.
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:42 PM):The sad three-bean salad sits untouched...
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:43 PM):After eating the expected 1.5 paper plates worth of cold potato salad and stringy beef stew, every step back to your desk recasts your face into the lifeless masque that no pot luck day could ever truly shatter.
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:46 PM):Consuela of the housekeeping staff mutters Spanish curses at the lazy white people as she gets down on her knees to clean her 23rd Saran-wrapped plate of abandoned leftovers out of the mini-fridge.
J.E.I. Employee #2 (2:50 PM):That night, everyone is forced to recall the afternoon as they gather the soiled cookery that they had fully expected never to have to show another living soul outside of their homes. The walk to the Metro with half the food they brought to work, feeling the loneliness that one can only feel after discovering that no one likes their goddamned carrot cake after all.
J.E.I. Employee #1 (2:52 PM):Little Timmy cries the tears only a child can as he's forced to eat night after night of reheated seven-layer dip and limp macaroni salad.