Thursday, June 30, 2011

...Learning Spanish

I learned French in school (un peu) but, living in my neighborhood have started picking up some more Spanish. There was a fight outside my building today which was GREAT for learning the every day, conversational stuff that you don't get in a classroom. Here it is!

Gruff Voiced Man:
Stupido. Stupido. Stupido. Stupido! Stupido! Stupido! Stupido! (something) stupido...Stupido.

Quiet Man:
(something something something)

Gruff Voiced Man:
Stupido! Stupido! Que!?! Que!?! Que!?! Que!?! Que!?! Que!?! Stupido! (something) amigo stupido!

Quiet Man:

Gruff Voiced Man:
Stupido... Stupido... Stupido.. Stupido...STUPIDO!

I missed  few words here and there, but I'm pretty sure they were arguing about the debt ceiling.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

...Counselor of the Year

Last summer I worked in Italy as a counselor for a college prep program. This program has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and drugs; neither the students nor the staff was allowed to drink or be in the presence of alcohol. No problem, except OH we're in ITALY! Wine is cheaper than soda. Wine is cheaper than water! But anyone found in the presence of alcohol would be sent home at their own expense.

Like Prada clad veloceraptors, the students test the fence and every year at least one group is caught and sent home. My fellow counselors and I were determined to sufficiently warn (scare the crap out of) our kids, then patrol (the crap out of) them so as to prevent the heart break of sending anyone home.

As this group of students was particularly lazy and as we were particularly vigilant we neared the end of our tour intact. Then one night, waiting in the lobby of our hotel for dinner, I noticed a guest of the hotel talking to Kim, one of the girls in my group. It was a friendly conversation and it looked like Kim was being a good (what, ambassador?) for the group. I noticed that the hotel guest had a glass of white wine that she sipped once or twice during the conversation. "Ha!" the comedian in me cried, "That is a joke waiting to happen. This is going to be awesome!" Hotel guest and my student carried on for about 5 minutes, then Kim returned to the ladies of the "Long Island Eight".

"Now's our chance!" my shoulder comedian said. I approached the student somberly.
"Kim. I need to talk to you. You know that you're absolutely not allowed in the presence of alcohol. That woman was drinking a glass of wine. We're going to have to go talk to the director."
Kim's face dropped. The Long Island Eights' faces dropped. Kim started to tear up.
I laughed. "I'm just..." I trailed off. "kidding."
"Oh my god, that's not cool!" Kim composed herself. Long Island Four laughed and/or comforted Kim.
My laugh faded. "Oh, Kim, I'm sorry. I'm just. Oh, I thought that would be funny and it wasn't. I'm sorry, hon."

Three truths about the incident:
1. That was not cool.
2. I through a month's worth of professionalism down the toilet for one joke.
3. It was a fucking funny joke. Made me laugh just now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

...Dealing with Tina Fey

Dear Ms. Fey,

Whoa whoa whoa! This is in reference to your letter and multiple e-mails to me.

I would like to start by saying that I am, yes, very impressed by your work. I find you hilarious and yes, if you insist, a role model. 30 Rock is one of my favorite shows of all time and your Sarah Palin is one for the books.

My deification of Nia Vardalos and Kristen Wiig was a sort of personal mantra and not in any way meant to exclude you from my list of favorite comedians. I was, in fact, going to write a third prayer this evening and address it to you. With this most recent certified letter, I thought it best to address you directly.

Your lawyers have asked me to say the following:
I have been a royal asshole. My closest friends know that I love Tina Fey and even dressed as Elizabeth "Liz" Lemon for Halloween. Not only a leader in comedic writing, acting, and producing, Tina Fey serves as an exemplary autobiographer, mother and cover model. When referencing women in comedy, the first name uttered should be Tina Fey. Only then can names like Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin and Andrea Martin be mentioned. I would like to personally apologize to Ms. Fey, her family, my family and my church (lady). I am deeply sorry for my actions.

There. I hope that's good enough for you. I really was going to write that prayer to you this evening. Also, will you call Pohler off? She's been throwing bricks at my window all night. They just keep hitting the ac unit, but still, they're loud. Thanks.

All the best,
Molly Thomas

Monday, June 27, 2011

...Praying Again

Most Holy Kristen Wiig
Grant me the gangliness of your limbs
And the goofiness of your voice
Teach me to turn idiosyncrasies into characters
Give me the wisdom to know how to play myself
Keep me in the perpetual sunshine of Bridesmaids

Most venerable Kristen
Keep me laughing until I cry
Focus my interviews around farts and farting
Teach me to wear tiny doll arms

May my limbs be always gangly
May my interpretive dances be literal
May my head be always in John Hamm's lap


Friday, June 24, 2011

...Praying to a Greek Goddess

Nia Vardalos, Goddess of Creation of Work for One's Self
Grant me the wisdom to write what I know. 
Strengthen me with the knowledge that where I come from is hilarious.
Fortify my ability to speak.

Holy Nia, Mother of Her Own Career
Keep me surrounded by the warmth of laughter.
Let me work with heroes and friends.
Help me make the world a funnier place.

May feta keep my tongue in salt.
May lemon keep it bright and tart.
May baklava remind me of sweetness.
May Moussaka be far away (That stuff is gross.)


Thursday, June 23, 2011

...Thinking about Babies of Color

Oh Americans, we are still so weird when it comes to race. There's an AP article featured on Yahoo right now entitled "Census shows whites lose US majority among babies" I find this title so weird, though it accurately labels the article to follow. Let me also clarify that when I say weird, I mean racist.

Essentially the article says that the 2010 US Census showed that for the first time, whites accounted for less than 50% of children under 2. This population shift is defined as the "Minority Majority".  Though single mother households are decreasing amongst African Americans, marriage is decreasing at a greater rate. So, for the first time, single mother households outnumbered married households amongst African Americans. Hispanics are reproducing faster than whites and roughly 80% of adults over 65 are white. The changes in racial and ethnic make up of our country will change legislation etc etc etc. Our culture is changing.

Here's my problem with the article. For all the signs pointing to a need for awareness and change in American culture, this article feels completely old guard. Americans are broken into Whites and People of Color even "kids of color". African Americans and Hispanics are discussed. Asians are mentioned once. No other groups are named.  It's White and Non-White. The title, too sets up this territorial battle between whites and everyone else. Not only are non-whites dealt with as Other, they are treated almost as an infestation:

"Because minority births are driving the rapid changes in the population, "any institution that touches or is impacted by children will be the first to feel the impact," Johnson said, citing as an example child and maternal health care that will have to be attentive to minorities' needs."

The article points out a rapidly changing racial and ethnic environment which, granted, has a huge impact on our society, but instead of feeling like a statement of facts, it reads as a sort of Tornado warning for whites.

Check it out. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

...Wondering Which Newscaster is the Evil Twin

"Tired of the same old news? ...So are we" One poster for Pix 11 News at 10 reads. Pix 11, a local New York station is changing things up and they're telling us about it with these print adds on the subway.

This one says: An old white man will sit in a chair and stare into space while Lolita Lopez looks sexy, Lisa Mateo remains  bravely tight lipped, Kaity Tong will look on to the old man while Jodi Applegate looks confident and sexy. Oh and the old man? We'll call him Mr. G! It'll be like a Charlie's Angels where Mr. G and the News Angels do things their way! Throwing newspapers on the ground, using books as footrests... This crew is tired of the same old news!

Part of the same poster tells me: We're tired of the sterility of other news rooms. Desks? Moniters? Where's the sex? This show is going to be like Grey's Anatomy, but with Newscasters!!! More sexy women (Debra Alfarone might turn out to be a lesbian in season 3). There's a black guy. Marvin Scott might have it in for Mr. G... Foreshadowing for tons of action. The season will be fraught with drama.

"If you're thinking it they're saying it." This poster reads.
You're thinking you hate old tvs? The men of Pix11 will smash tvs! Do you find newspapers too covered with words? They will throw more newspapers around and not even care! One of these men doesn't  and even have a last name! Lionel! That's all you need when you're showing media who's boss!

Lest you think this show is all violence and no empathy Pix 11 leaves us with this:
"Do the other stations really listen...or do they just wait for their turn to talk? Welcome to the conversation. Every night at 10." So ladies, if you're headed to bed and your regular newsman just isn't listening, turn on Pix 11. They'll inform you just the way you like to be informed. Then they'll roll you over, spoon you, and ask about your day.

I cannot wait to watch the news.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

...Psyching Myself Out

With the birth of My Precious Roommate came a new favorite activity. I love the shoots and creating the posts. I love planning discussions with Mick and today we made our first MPR purchases: a pair of pink sunglasses, construction paper and Walgreens brand adult diapers. What I have become addicted to, however, are the sweet, sweet Stats. I sit for embarrassing long amounts of time staring at the number of people who have visited the blog this week, today, this hour... I refresh and see that 4 new people have just viewed. Then I switch to the Audience section and see what country they're from. Today, someone from Egypt looked at My Precious Roommate!

It is thus that I am temporarily... gets the shaftola. Like a toddler staring into a basinet at a newborn I am temporarily... wonders when it stopped being cute. This is so typical of me to get distracted by the new shiny thing. God's honest truth is that I'm scared. With the following of My Precious Roommate- I get completely caught up in tone and subject. Instead of thinking about what I want to write about I ask what people expect and want to read. What people want to read is important, but the point of this blog (at least so far) is to get me writing with the idea that I will, given the chance, write about some pretty interesting stuff.

So, in the hopes that writing this confessional will cleanse my fear and the thought that perhaps some of you have felt this way too I hit Publish Post

Monday, June 20, 2011

...One of the Guys

I had an Advanced Study Class improv show tonight and a bunch of us went out after for a drink. So, we were talking about movies and the show we just did and class and tv and Ryan Dunn dying and twitter and joking that Jon from class is dating his mother and natural disasters. It was fun. About an hour in, with 6 of us left, we got on the subject of movies that we are embarrassed to admit that we've seen.

I fessed up to recently watching the first 30 minutes of Jennifer's Body (which was actually way better than I thought it would be). Nate Min relinquished Space Jam which was a nice try, but as he was a kid when he watched it- doesn't count. Then the gentleman sitting next to me offered: "I masturbated to Crossroads once. The movie came on and I thought, 'Well, I have to do something.' It was back when Britney Spears was hot."

Like Eve and 5 Adams sitting around a beer sopped table in McManus, I was instantly hyper aware of the fact that I am a woman and these dudes are dudes. It was like someone unplugged the jukebox as someone else yelled "Molly's a chick and everyone else over there's a guy!" It was as if my uterus started glowing through my skin. We were all of a sudden playing "Dick, Dick, Molly." It was akin to gym coach throwing jerseys on everyone but me saying "Let's form a boys' baseball team." A miniature cast of Sex and the City was sitting on my shoulders like 3 well dressed angels and one older devil. Even Devil Samantha edited the part of herself that was going to prod me into joining the conversation.

What the hell do I say? The only answer is zippo. Classic lose, lose situation. Now, fortunately, each one of these guys is cool and hilarious and we made a couple jokes and moved on to the next topic. It was a hilarious confession. I didn't feel threatened or offended. It wasn't a big deal. It was barely even a thing except that it was this weird thing where gender really mattered or maybe it mattered to me and not to the guys...? Finding it hard to articulate...maybe I should use another analogy. Yes? I was a Macintosh amongst Oranges talking about their navels. Does that clarify?

My friend Shannon tells me that gender is just a social construct. She learned this in her fancy school. I am interested in thinking about this more. Huh, so is Shoulder Angel Miranda. What do you know?

For you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

...Thinking about Weiners (who isn't)

If you've ever looked at a subway map and not thought a diagram of male reproductive organs than you either...well, sincerely needed to figure out where you're going OR didn't pay good enough attention in health class.

Looking at the 2 maps above, you'll note that Anthony Weiner's district covered the Cowper's gland, rectum, epididymis and testes. Now, those are crucial parts of the male anatomy, but when it comes to a mayoral race, we all know where the big guy lives, in the penis.

President Obama was the first presidential candidate who took advantage of social media. Twitter kept him connected to the young vote and his facebook page kept us in serious like. Rep. Weiner was just trying something innovative with this new model. Obama had "Yes We Can"  and Rep Weiner, in aiming for the mayoral seat, used the best pointer he had, and how perfect! To have the area you want to govern, represented by a part of your own body. It is a shame that his campaign was so grossly misunderstood, especially when his "We Can Make a Vas Deferens" campaign was such a success in '08.

Puns not used in this posting:
Prostrate bland
climbing the political bladder
Terrance McNally's controversial play Corpus Cavernosum

All other puns not represented were used in either The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and/or The Colbert Report.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

...Celebrating a Birth

Recipe for a new blog: My Precious Roommate

-4 artsy newborn baby pictures posted by a friend on facebook
-1 willing roommate
-1 digital camera
-1 costume trunk
-the internet

Let newborn pictures marinate for a day or two. Share them with roommate and come up with outlandish idea. Collect laundry, now dry, from laundromat. Dump in room. Mix roommate and costumes. Capture with camera. Post on internet. Serves at least 2.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

...Having a New York Moment

My roommate posted on facebook at 3:45 am that he was having a "New York moment". This tight lipped post incited a list of comments, the first of which was "That could be a really good or really bad thing."

For those of you who don't know, a New York moment is one of three things:
1. running into someone on the street whom you either haven't seen in 8 years and didn't know was in New York
2. something involving celebrities and/or getting the royal treatment
3. an utterly disgusting incident, the vast majority of which occur in the subway
Triple Quadruple bonus points for being able to combine any of these elements.

Now I've witnessed oral sex between two homeless people. I've served chicken to Doctor Ruth, had champagne at a film premiere at the Ziegfeld and run into a friend from college who was just in town to see 2 plays and killing time before grabbing the Megabus back to Baltimore. I've see Mark Cuban at a college bar in Murray Hill, run into an ex-boyfriend's roommate on the Metro North after a kid's Halloween party in Milford Connecticut, felt the cool sprinkle of a man's urine as he peed off the subway mezzanine, 8 feet above my head. I've had my share of New York moments. This one is my favorite.

I was waiting tables at O'Flaherty's Irish Pub on restaurant row in Hell's Kitchen. It was fall which meant that it was nice enough to have the patio open, but only until 10. There was a strict "Patio closes at 10" policy which was a-ok by me because it shrunk my already unwieldy section of 15 tables. However, I had to be the enforcer of this rule. Shutting the patio down and keeping it closed, that was a little tricky.

One night, the cast of Translations came in. Eve Best, Colm Meany (most famous for Star Trek: Next Generation) and others shot right for the patio which was just about to be closed. I informed them of this and they asked that they have their first drink outside. When I relayed their orders to Nelson, the senior bartender (and when I say senior, I mean it. At 73, he was like an angry Leslie Nielsen) he told me they had to come inside. Once reported to Mr. Meany, he snarled then charged inside to convince Nelson otherwise.

I served the first round outside and about 10 minutes later went back out to reseat the group. Again there was grumbling! Come on, yo. This is me, asking you to do something pretty painless, after granting you extra time outside...just have your drink at the GD bar! I was markedly meeker in those days and I granted them another couple minutes while I cleared some glasses. Feeling rather mistreated I schlepped inside only to recieve more harsh words from Nelson. (This was before the days of FML! "Good grief" was all I had at my disposal.)

As I headed out again, I walked past a man building up the courage to go talk to the esteemed actor on the patio. Good grief! I need to get them out of there and now I had an additional obstacle, an adoring fan, no less! The man just beat me to Meany, and said nervously; "Sorry to interrupt. I just had to tell you I think you're fantastic, so talented! I loved you in Chicago."

Colm Mean...
Colm Meany
Star of Star Trek: Next Generation
John C. Reilly
star of Chicago
The patio cleared out shortly after.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

...Seeing the Impossible Made Possible

Some of my favorite moments of live performance were seeing the impossible made possible. There is little else in the world that makes me happier to be alive.

Chris Korte. Wizard of Oz. Planet Ant Theatre. Hamtramck, Michigan. 2004 This was a new production of Wizard of Oz with a small ensemble/writer/director created script in a black box theatre that probably sat 45. The stage was set up like a runway with 2 rows of audience on either side. The entire show was fantastic, but there was one moment in particular. The Wicked Witch had come out with a giant garbage bag full of poppies and covered the stage. When Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion began to walk through the space they froze, all except for the Scarecrow (Korte) As he begins a monologue, Chris removed the straw from inside his costume and lay down on the floor. He began pushing himself through the space, kind of swimming, gathering flowers and shoving them down his plaid shirt as he swam. "Ok, he's collecting flowers." my brain thought, "Well, he can't get them all." This was a fact. He couldn't get them all. It was physically impossible. As Chris swam, he collected the flowers, every single one. The audience was rapt. When he prepared to stand up an audience member across from me noticed a single flower by his foot. I had seen it too. I'm sure about 60% of the audience had. We were all routing for that Scarecrow and the man covered the flower with his foot and slid it under his chair. Every poppy had disappeared. Dorothy, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion awoke and continued their journey that was now that much more magical.

Brian Letscher. Bus Stop. The Purple Rose Theatre Company. 2005.  (This time I got to witness the impossible from onstage) Brian is a former football player and was very believably the golden boy/bull in a china shop cowboy Beau. His size was just surprising, especially on the small stage of PRTC. At one point Beau orders an impossibly large meal including a quart of milk. Every day, sometimes twice a day, Jean Lepard would put that food in front of him. He'd shovel some bites in then pick up the quart of milk and down the entire thing all at once. You could hear the audience gasp. It was really simple and really amazing.

The cast of ( ). UCB Theatre. Tonight. This is a 600 level class with 27 students and no structure. The show ended up being members of the class announcing something that they've actually always wanted to do, getting coached by another team member, and then attempting that feat. One dude tried (unsuccessfully) to do a back flip. (I have never been so terrified watching improv) Two guys got into a physical fight. Nicole Drespel (my team, Astronaut Union's coach) nearly made herself cry singing "Don't Rain on My Parade" All other 26 team members joined a woman as she danced sexily to Britney Spears. An audience member flew a fighter jet. A lesbian pushed the girl who outed her down a flight of human stairs. To end the show, the entire class lifted the back flip guy in his wheelchair (which was only needed for comedy's sake) helping him to complete a back flip. The FEAR was tangible in this show and the COURAGE and JOY were so immediate. It was a dozen impossibles made possible for the audience and for the individual performers.  Love love love.

Got an Impossible made possible story? I'd love to hear it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

...Posting a Lost and Found Notice

Lost and Found Board:
Smith Barn
Peabody, MA
Post Davies/Mancus Wedding

Lost: the last name Davies
Owner: a Miss Shannon E.
Last seen: Sunday 6/12 at 4:25 pm
Found: immediately between her first name and the name Mancus

Lost: sobriety
Owner: the wedding party
Last seen: Sunday 6/12 at 5:10 pm
Found: ?

Lost: One big toenail
Owner: Miss Alison Marchese
Last seen: While swing dancing barefoot
Found: to be irreparably damaged

Lost: general maturity
Owner: Wedding guests
Last seen: before they stepped on the school bus shuttles
Found: ?

Lost: 3 bottles of beer
Last seen: on the wall with 97 other bottles of beer
Found: in song on the bus

Lost: voice
Owner: Miss Molly Thomas
Last heard: Sunday 6/13 1:30am
Found: Monday 6/13 10:30am post eggs and coffee (and potatoes and a muffin)

Friday, June 10, 2011

...Waiting for my 11:10 Megabus

10:54 Oh, OK they moved the Megabus lines. Instead of being in front of Penn Station, they now have a whole parking lot with lines chained off. An actual designated waiting area. Coolio.

10:57 Duck under the chain to get into the Providence line. Enter the Redhead. "Are you going to Providence?" Me: Yeah. Redhead: "Ugh, there are 2 lines."

10:58 Great. Riding both Megabus and Bolt Bus come with the agita of wondering if you're in the right place at the right time. Until you're on the bus, it always feels like a crap shoot. And though I payed very good attention to the signage and know that I am in the Providence line and this chick is in the Baltimore line I still feel like she thinks I cut in front of her.

10:59 There's no bus yet, which is fine because my ticket is for 11:10, but I'll just double check.

10:59:32 Shit shit shit! Shit shit! I was looking at Mick's ticket which is attached to our return ticket for Monday. Shit! That's the 11:10 in this parking lot. Shit! Is mine 11? Where am I supposed to be???

11:00 Ok, found my ticket. 11:10 same spot. Right? Am I reading that right??? Yes, ok. Whew. Now where's the bus?

11:01 Drinking my iced coffee just waiting for the bus. Realize that Redhead is on her second call since I got here. Different person. Same shitty tone. She's complaining about there being 2 lines for the bus. Anxiety meter rises.

11:10 Still no bus. No worries. My job is to stand in line and wait for a bus. Then my job is to sit on a bus. Reason beats anxiety! Oh, but the Redhead is still on the phone, complaining to a FOURTH person about the lines for the bus.

11:20 Man with the ice cart is a genius. Wonder what Tamarindo tastes like.

11:28 Redhead has now taken to complaining to the guy in front of her in line. I have changed strategies. Much as a Green Housing Complex uses methane released from tenants' garbage to power the building, I will recycle this chick's pissing and moaning into energy. If I can't reduce or reuse her vitriol, I will recycle it.

11:30 The bus pulls up but has to wait for the bus to DC to finish loading. This is driving the Redhead insane!

11:38 The Redhead decides to switch lines and ducks in behind me. The older lady behind her follows suit. Redhead snaps. "Will you back off!" The lady is puzzled. "You have been right behind me this whole time. (obnoxious, bitchy laugh) I mean God." Older lady with an Eastern European accent "I don't want to get too much sun on my face." YES! Secret smile on my face indicates power surge.

11:42 Bus loading. I find a seat on the top level as far away from the Redhead as possible. My batteries are fully recharged.

11:48 My 11:10 is moving! Leaving Hells Kitchen and heading to Providence!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

...Reminiscing with my Grandson

My very first job??? Well, that would probably be helping my father, your great granddad...yep, the one cryogenically frozen with the fishing pole, Great Grandpa Don, with his sample book. What's that? Well, I'm going to tell you if you'll just put that hoverboard down.

Great Grandpa Don worked for the Ameritech Yellow Pages. Ameritech, like "America" where we are now. Fine, silly, you can call it East China if you like, but then it was called America. So, back then there were big yellow books. I told you about paper books...right, each page was separate. Uh huh...from trees, right. So there were big yellow books that had advertisements for local businesses. Yep and you would look them up by service. So, Book store, Travel Agent, TV Repair...and then there would be ads for each of those. Yep, those were real things.

When Great Grandpa Don would go to businesses to sell them advertising, he would pull out the sample book and it would be full of stickers marking the 5, 10, 25 and 50 year anniversaries for advertisers. These stickers were shaped like award ribbons and it must have made them look very exciting to potential advertisers. What was my job? I'm getting to it. I thought you'd like a little context. No? Cut to the chase, well aren't you darling. Come over here and sit down. No, sit. Sit down and listen to me. No, you can't have any candy, because it's illegal. Yes it is because of the high fructose corn syrup which I used to eat by the gallon. Oh yes I did. Yes, I did, it was in everything. Yep, and I'm still alive. Now sit down.

So my I'm not going to tell you more about the candy. No, I'm telling the Sample Book story. A lot of kinds, but really it was in everything. It was in ketchup. It was in peanuts. Yes it was, Planters Peanuts. I mean it. Ok, now the Sample Book..

And there he goes.... into the kitchen.

Well, I'll tell myself. Hello self. Hello, Grandma Molly. When I was a kid, I would put stickers in a book. Match the stickers in my Dad's sample book to someone else's. Hundreds and hundreds of pages and I went through each one. Kinda liked doing it, yeah, it was fun to have a job and I got paid $10. $10 was kind of a rip off? Yeah, Grandma Molly, even then, it kinda was.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

...a translator

Jobs I've had, titles translated

Santa's helper: British dialected, Renaissance reservationist
Somerset Collection Concierge: Fancy mall employee
Americast Intern: Door to door cable sales person
Disabled Student Services Van Coordinator: Disabled Student Services Van Coordinator/Snood Master
Temp: Professional smiler
Administrative/Personal Assistant: Head of Toilet Paper Purchasing
Personal Project Manager: Moving Man Babysitter

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

...Google's Lunch Guest

My new friend works at Google and is still perpetually wowed by his surroundings. Eager to share in his good fortune, he invited our mutual friend Sarah and I to lunch in their new cafeteria. All of his gushings were justified. If Willy Wonka was a computer nerd instead of a candy nerd, this would be his office. I wrote the folks back home a letter, then signed a confidentiality agreement. We'll see what makes it past the sensors.

Monday, June 6, 2011

...Fascinated by the sign in the second stall

I was a temp at a media company 2 days a week for the last 6 months. The position was wholy unremarkable with the exception of the sign clinging to the back of the second stall door in the women's bathroom. My greatest regret in life is that I never took an actual picture of the sign, but here's what it said accompanied by a brief description of the corresponding clip art:

(arrow) Please be considerate and flush. It doesn't take that much effort to push the little metal handle on the side. Do it more than once if necessary. (toilet with action/emphasis lines and plunger clip art)
(arrow) Be sure to throw all paper waste in the garbage. (woman with one squinty eye smiling throwing stuffed bag in garbage)
Thank you so very much.
Remember this is our bathroom, we all use it!!!
I love that this poster is so angry. I love that it is both condescending and subservient. I love that the janitor who posted this sign clearly did so without bothering with corporate approval. I love that there was a need for this sign! And the questions it poses: The office was perfectly tidy when I was there, what kind of war zone was it back in October? Why is this the only stall with a sign? Did the signs on the other stalls get ripped 6 months ago and if so, why does no one take this one down? Did no one else notice the sign or conversely, in an office devoid of humor, did everyone else look forward to giggling while they hovered over the toilet?
Now that I think of it, there was another brilliant, angry sign on the wall near the sinks. Can't believe that I didn't snap a photo of either one! This one had 2 pictures, both awkwardly staged: The first, a lady's hand holding a piece of toilet paper over the toilet. The other- same hand, same toilet, but with a roll of toilet paper. This one read:
One piece will do the trick
One roll will get you fired quick!
So, THAT'S why I wasn't hired. I met with my superior and the head of the company, but the janitor...I knew that interview didn't go well! Either that or because I spent a significant time in the bathroom with a paper and pencil.