I recently received the gift-of-the-magi in the form of some additional office help at my job. The sinister part of it, the part in which I tragically trade my hair for a now-useless porcelain comb, is the fact that the new co-worker drives me crazy. She is not a native Oregonian and only moved here days before receiving the job. Now that she has found an apartment in the outskirts of NW she ceaselessly spends her weekends meandering the city of roses like Bolivar jaunting through South America; pretentiously crafting an ethnography solely for the purpose of controlling everything she circumscribes. My fabulous luck has it that she shares this newfound knowledge in an ostentatious monologue that never ends, 8:30 to 5 pm, every work day. The sound of her affected voice only drowns out when the steely and overbearing imagined narration of O. Henry didactically expresses how my worldly desires are proved petty and simultaneously noble through some form of depressing human universality. Meanwhile I get to hear about this great part of town. It’s called the “Pearl District.” And in this “Pearl District,” they have all kinds of shops. They even have this one shop full of books. It’s probably the biggest book store in the world. They sell new books and used books and they have a coffee shop and oh my god I think I really am going to put this ball point pen through my eardrum right now.
As my depression grew, in came the realization that this was the tone of voice I frequently copped when talking to bored onlookers about the Blazers. About three or four years ago the average inebriates leaning on the bar at Blackwell’s didn’t know a thing about the Blazers or care to know a thing about them. They didn’t go to the games. They didn’t look at the box scores or recaps in the paper. And had Bassy himself wandered into the bar and opened fire they would have had no way of knowing a millionaire NBA draft bust was trying to kill them, and not just your average nutcase.
This lead to the kind of tone of voice I get now from my coworker. Well, attendance is really low right now but we have a couple players we’re developing and some of them don’t look too bad, so there’s some hope for the future &c., &c. The bored looks on the faces of my fellow drinkers never inhibited me from going on for hours, just as my pained expression and the sound of my teeth grinding never seems to stop my coworker. Certainly the two acts are not perfectly congruous, but the poetic justice is pretty thick.
So what have we learned? As usual for me, very little. I still think O. Henry is a crap writer and the only version of "The Gift of the Magi" I enjoy is the one where they copped the idea for Sesame Street. Bert traded his paper clip collection for a soap dish for Ernie’s rubber ducky and Ernie traded his rubber ducky for a cigar box for Bert’s paper clip collection. Oh the pathos! Luckily in this version, mister Hooper showed up at the ninth hour to return their sacrificed treasures as a Christmas present. God bless Deus Ex Machina!
So, pretty much, I hope KP and Mr. Hooper package my coworker in a sign and trade for Calderon.
The luckiest girl in the world