Break at work today was the usual circus. I was staring out the window, looking at the pretty, pretty birds, when suddenly—in the corner of my eye—I saw a hand and heard an awful racket. It was Phil, and he was sitting on the other side of his cublet aisle, raising his hand to get my attention. Raising his hand and snapping his fingers.
And Phil may have been stupid but Phil sure could snap like a motherfucker.
At first I was going to pretend to not notice but my headphones weren’t on and, as stated before, Phil’s shaking hands made his snapping look like a signal for some sort of emergency going on in his body. I’d be runner-up for a Sociopath Hall of Fame nomination if I got away with “not noticing” this palsied spectacle.
“The birds, Phillip,” I called out from over the row of cublets, pointing out the window as I stood up to make eye contact with him from over the tiny desk-spaces. He was in his chair, hunched over his desk and looking at his hands while rubbing them together like a person only kind of trying to keep warm. Instead of business-casual attire, the chap is dressed in a red oversized t-shirt and dog shit covered jeans.
“Phil, you look like you just got fired from Target.”
Phil continued to rub his lousy hands together but he finally moved his head and made pathetic eye contact with me.
“How was the show, man?” he said.
The show? My mind started racing. This toothless motherfucker.What was he talking about? I want to go back to staring out the window. What frivolity.
“What show?” I asked.
“The Frank Black one on Friday,” he practically hurled out of his disgusting fucking mouth.
“No man,” I said, “that show is this Friday. I told you that last Friday after I got trashed at the Coach House last Thursday, Phil. On Thursday you told me the show was that night. And it wasn’t.”
“91.5 said it was that night,” he slurped back up into his mouth hole.
“No one listens to the radio, Phil,” I didn’t say. My God, this fucking savage. Radio? And what’s even worse is 91.5 is the local Classical music station. They would never advertise a Frank Black show on their station.
“Check this out,” Phil said. He pulled out a dark blue torpedo-shaped object about the size and shape of an electric toothbrush out one of the many holes in his pants. My first thought was, Is this something you smoke out of under a bridge or something? followed by Oh my God, that’s a Justin Beiber electric toothbrush. Holy shit, Phil,
I mean come on man.
Phil told me how he had obtained it. “I was over at my kid and his mom’s place and I found it under their couch when they left for LegoLand,” said, standing up to give me a closer look at the apparent breakthrough in science.
“Phil, your son is 16 years old. That wasn’t his,” I calmly asserted him. He pressed a button on the device and it start to emit, fittingly, a Justin Beiber song. And grinning like a toothless guttersnipe he was, Phil started to sing along with the electric toothbrush.
I pulled out a pen and started writing down what was happening on a sticky note so I wouldn’t forget—in case, somehow, I found the holy grail that would let me.
“What’re you writin’ downsh?” Phil seized at me.
“Phil, I came on a sock today. It was my last sock so I had to wear it into work. I did my laundry yesterday, too, Phil. It’s pathetic. Can I have a moment, please?”
I believe today was my second day in a row of McDonald’s. The ante was upped today, too—I ordered two Spicy McChickens, a McDouble with no onions and pickles, and I found a fry at the bottom of my bag. I smoked it like a cigarette because I was out of cigarettes but I had a free fry.
And they’re not serving the Shamrock Shake anymore. It’s a real shame. You don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Until next year, Shamrock Shake. We’re all lost without you.
I mean, I’m “home-sick” for my girlfriend but I also wish I could be Shamrock Shake sick.