March 01, 2003

Not ONE Kernel of Truth in the Accusation

Good news: I found work! Two jobs, no less: one at a preschool and another at a middle school. Admittedly, they're each about four hours per day, so it's more like one real job with a nice long lunch in the middle. Except that when you go back to work, the children HAVE AGED TEN YEARS! I know, freaky.

I've already pissed off a teacher at the middle school, and in the most confusing and surreal way I've ever pissed anybody off (which is never): I walk into the teacher's lounge and open up the seemingly unoccupied microwave to heat up some water, only to discover that is not in fact unoccupied but is in fact a super-special non-whirring microwave of the future that only appears unoccupied but in fact holds an insane woman's popcorn in its belly. "Whoops," I said while closing the door in the same fluid, almost cat-like motion that opened it in the first place. Half a second later, I locate the start button on this Microwavo-Galaxy-Future3000Tron and press it with the grace of a god, and the popcorn is once again doing what it was put on this earth to do. Within that two-and-a-half second span, the woman freaks out, then finds the strength to carry on, then shows that she's been harboring resentment since the start of the whole mess by sucking loudly at her teeth. THEN, waiting around for my water to heat in the other microwave (it whirs--they must've got it at an old curiosity store), she comes up to MicroWAVE-OF-THE-FUTURE and looks at it before saying to me, "What did you do to my popcorn? It's not popping?" I laugh pleasantly, assuming she's kidding around to apologize for initially freaking out. She goes back to discussing the work of Keith Haring with the other dude in the room (seriously) and presumably forgets all about me. Her kernels start popping in the Don't-Whirrr-y-Be-Happy3000 immediately afterwards and, satisfied, I take my cup out of The-Way-We-Whirrr1000 and walk off, unsure if I was laughing at a joke or a pissed strumpet. THEN on the other side of the gym where I earn my daily bread, separated by an entire wall (which is really cool, by the way, because it squishes into a little accordion at the push of a button) from this woman, she comes all the way over five minutes later, opens the door with a steaming bag of crapcorn in her hand and says, "Look what you did to my popcorn!" Good Jesus, woman! I had no hand in it, I promise you! But that's not the end. THEN, when I was relating this tale to the custodian (who is really cool, and whose glamorous duty it is to push the button that manipulates the fate of the accordion wall), he says, "Oh, yeah, that was Mrs. So-and-So. She told me all about it." The goddamned woman is spreading our business all over the school! I'm pretty sure that this means war--a very one-sided war where she keeps bugging me out of spite and I just laugh at how funny she looks when she's mad. She's already retaliated: the next day, she told me that the door of the copy room had to be kept closed because the cold air needs to stay in the room for the copier to be under the most favorable conditions (she even addressed me as "Sir"). Considering that my predecessor said she kept the door open every single day and that the temperatures of the copy room and the gym are perhaps 67 and 68 degrees, respectively, I think I've got an all out feud on my hands. On one side of the gym stands Jason: honest, misunderstood, tea-drinking. On the other stands Confusing Evil: insane, technologically superior, would-be popcorn eater. All that stands between us is one flimsy but really cool accordion wall, the position of which is determined solely by the fickle finger of Cool Custodian. And with him on my side, her bizarre accusation days are numbered.

Posted by jason at March 1, 2003 01:06 PM

Your description of you're immeidate reaction to finding something inside the not as empty as you thought microwave really reminded me of the reaction to walking in on someone in the bathroom, that "quickly as possible" closing of the door and mumbled apologies.

Posted by: gene at March 1, 2003 03:18 PM

Oh yes, don't think I don't know we've all been there, whether it's a bathroom or a microwave or a celebrity's zipper.

Posted by: jason at March 1, 2003 03:48 PM

"The-Way-We-Whirrr1000" caught me off guard and i had to reread it like 2 times just to make sure that it really was as freaking brilliant as i thought it was. you can walk in on my bathroom any time, SIR.

Posted by: michele at March 1, 2003 03:55 PM

Aren't those accordian walls greeeit? We had them at UPS on the second floor of Howarth. Many times the cast of the Vagina Monologues rehearsed with nothing but an accordian wall separating us from the Elementary Education Classes. We didn't mind... but I'm told that the orgasmic, moaning noises posed a bit of a distraction for the students from time to time.

Posted by: Jolie at March 1, 2003 05:40 PM

If the custodian's on your side, I think you should advise him to actively freak her out. You should line your entire class up RIGHT on the other side of the closed curtain facing her class, with you standing behind them. Then have the custodian get her attention and slowly and deliberately press the opening-button.

Thus, as the curtain ominously opens, she'll be faced with an entire class eerily staring her down, while you loom behind them with a smug but menacing look on your face.

Of course, once the curtain is open, the custodian can very deliberately close it again. But make sure that no one moves (or even blinks!) until the curtain is fully closed.

Posted by: Jacob at March 1, 2003 07:15 PM

Brilliant idea! Maybe I'll even have them all dye their hair white. I'll make it a craft project.

Posted by: jason at March 2, 2003 04:52 AM

oh, god, jason, this is most excellent. o God Jason, this is too much a boon. i thank you and go back to my magnifying glass, in the old curiosity store, that is the world wide web B.J. (before the advent of Jason).
Anno jason, the web will be a blessed place, as people gather to the stained-glass Windows, ears filled with the rare and sacred music napster angels make, and behold the work of Jason, and live only to perform good works on earth as he has done.

i know you're not xian, but ain't nothing shameful in a little second-hand mythology. so it whirs a little, big deal...

Posted by: kt at March 2, 2003 02:23 PM

What a sad little boring existence she lives. You are now the thing that she has to complain about. I think you should be extra kind to her. Buy her a bag of popcorn and wrap a red bow around it. Give it to her in front of everyone.

Posted by: tracy at March 4, 2003 09:45 AM