Tuesday, September 9, 2008


ure i may have had a few “accidents” involving some mild “fire damage” and a little bit of “litigation,” and to be honest, I can’t promise it won’t happen again, but that doesn’t mean you need to bandy about words like “instant termination.” Don’t you think that’s a little harsh?

I mean, come on, we’re talking about one little mistake. One little mistake in a string of much larger mistakes, but still, it’s just one mistake! Haven’t you ever made a mistake? Not even in your private life? Like when you didn’t tell your wife about the whole second-family-in-Des-Moines thing. Oh, and once again I’m deeply sorry for bringing that up at the Christmas Party in front of your children. But hey—as a fellow mistake-maker, you can appreciate my situation, and you yourself know that even dark clouds like these have a silver lining. I mean, you get to live full time in a Motel 6! A motel! Woah, watch out for Mr. Rockefeller here!

Eh? Eh?

And to be honest the whole thing was in no way my fault. Well it kind of was. But if borrowing the occasional AA battery from the occasional smoke alarm makes me “irresponsible” then you may as well just call me “Mr. Irresponsible.”

If borrowing the occasional AA battery from the occasional smoke alarm makes me “irresponsible” then you may as well just call me “Mr. Irresponsible.”

No, please don’t, I was bluffing. People have just stopped talking about that incident with the paper jam and how Rosie Connors on the fourth floor got her black eye. There’s no need to give them anything new.

But yeah, just because the alarms didn’t go off doesn’t necessarily have to do with the fact that they didn’t have any batteries in them. I mean, how often do you check those things?

Monthly, huh? Well even so I bet they’re totally unreliable even in the best of circumstances. Everyone knows that the Japanese can’t build decent smoke alarms, they’re always too busy taking photos! Am I right?

I am so sorry. I had no idea that Nakatama was a Japanese name. Taken out of context that must have sounded racially insensitive. I would like to point out that I have nothing but respect for your people, and your nifty way of presenting food. I mean, conveyor belts? Wow! No wonder you’re so good at math!

Look, I’m not saying I didn’t do anything wrong here. What would be the point in that? Most of the staff saw me being carried out of the smoldering break room by that gruff firefighter. I’m not going to deny any guilt. Mea culpa. There, I said it. My bad, Mr. Nakatama, my bad.

Of all the days to accidentally cause a fire it had to be Bring Your Daughter To Work Day.

There’s no need to dismiss me, though. One day we’ll look back on all this and laugh. I’m laughing already! Of all the days to accidentally cause a dangerous fire it had to be Bring Your Daughter To Work Day, huh. And the look on Frank from accounts face? Priceless. Smoke inhalation? Since when is that a real medical condition? Sounds like somebody’s child is crying out for attention. Maybe Frank should spend a bit more time at home and a bit less time being all critical like that.

Mr. Nakatama, please, I worked good and hard to get the position of Safety Inspector. All I want is another chance. It’ll be different this time. I swear.

So we’re cool, right?

Mike lives in Melbourne, Australia, and manages his local pub—a fine use for a liberal arts education. He doesn’t have anything else published. This is it. He likes breakfast as more than a friend and owns at least four books. There is a collection of other words and so forth at http://ownthisbookstore.tumblr.com.

Remember the Children Our once-beautiful airship, the Frau Fenstermacher, is doomed, crippled by a combination of albatross collisions and sabotage. Captain Hofstadter is dead, impaled on his own cane-sword, taking with him the secret location of Isla de Pelucas Perdidos. We are losing altitude as I speak, and will soon plunge into the shark-infested waters of the Caribbean.
Back to School (tergum ut schola) A (week-late) roundup of Y.P.R.'s articles, spanning the elementary through collegiate levels.

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