Sunday, June 24, 2012

Home office

Now that I am ungainfully employed by the Corporation of Cyclical Chores – a completely imaginary Subchapter S corporation -- I am forcing myself to get dressed each morning and face the day (and the school bus driver) at 8 a.m. wearing something other than a bathrobe and fuzzy, pink slippers.

Free of my windowless cubicle, my days are spent milling around the Home Office checking in on the various departments that make CCC (as I like to call my imaginary firm) run like a top … the wobbly kind.

As chief exective of CCC, I wear many hats.

For example, as head of appropriations I usually stare blindly into the shopping cart, wondering what I can throw in there that will magically prepare itself once I get it home. Raw meat during BBQ season seems to be the best option. The head chef is as protective of his grill as the laundry czar is of keeping red items from infultrating the white. All it will cost me is a beer.

More worrisome is how to handle the dishwasher. Sure … he shows up to work consistently (being built-in and all) but he tends to leave everything he washes crusty and unappealing, causing me to have to redo everything by hand.

I'd fire him, but I've asked around. My problem isn't unique. He's just a hollow shell and replacing him would not only be labor intensive and costly, but also unlikely to solve the problem. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Then there's the three-foot-tall house elf who speaks in riddles and is always on some secret mission to empty and redistribute any and all prefolded garments produced by the laundry department, which, turns out, operates at a daily albeit at an inconsistent capacity.

I don't even want to think about the cleaning crew. They are about as organized as a pack of rabid squirrels and only half as tidy. I tend to try and pull that hat over my eyes.

Perhaps, though, the most surprising of the hats I wear fits only loosely and has a wide brim offering a surprising amount of revelation and protection.


Frankly, it's a job that, in my previous life, I had likened to sewer cleaning or carrion removal: Knee deep in dirt, breathing in the rancid smell of defeat.

Whatever I attempted to grow either failed to germinate or choked the life out of every other lifeform around it.

The thought had occurred to me that now, with my hours expanded, my duties varied and my compensation greatly devalued, the only way I could balance the inequity for myself was to grow something with value added.


Cabbage instead of Cosmos. Tomatoes taking the place of trillium. Peppers where once peeped peonies.

Even the shareholders of my fictitious firm … the people who clamored for pancakes and bacon as I poured yogurt on granola … were sneering at my plans to turn around the company. They beggged me to reconsider.

“What will the other imaginary companies say? What if there's a hostile takeover?”

Sure … it looks out of place – an imaginary corporate headquarters landscaping its entryway with edibles, protruding akimbo, where ornamentals had once appeared orderly.

But I press on. When the greedy shareholders get their hands on the fruits of this labor, they'll be glad they invested. …

Of course, that's my plan. Get them hooked now because next year we're going co-op.

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