Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Instant Karma 

Ivan the Terribly Thorough whirlwinds through the building with a J-cloth in one hand and a hoover in the other, unsettling the dust and all the ladies’ hormones.

He’s got The Flintstones as his ringtone, and was either savvy or foolish enough to tell one of the girls - guess who? - his number in the strictest confidence, who promptly circulated it to all the women at Company X, and Karl as well, who was too shy to ask in person, and now he’s inundated.
They ring him while he’s standing right in front of them, polishing their surfaces, and you can chart his position around the office by the joyous cries of “Yabba dabba do, Ivan! Yabba dabba do!” that greet him wherever he goes. It’s pathetic and he loves it.

This afternoon Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, informed me that the way to find happiness is to do a good deed and never tell anybody about it.
“For instance,” she said, “the other day I bought this Big Issue seller a cappuccino from Starbucks. I had one as well and we just chatted outside Marks and Sparks for ten minutes. It was great. Instant karma.”
“Was he good looking?” I asked.
“He may have been.”
“But that had nothing to do with it?”
“Course not,” she said.
“Very commendable,” I said. “Did you get that from one of your books?”
“Nah. My friend Becky does stuff like that all the time. She’s introduced me to all sorts of good things.”
She drifted off as dreamy-Stella for a while, mentioning something about the Scissor Sisters and some band I’ve never heard of.
“So what about you?” she said when she came round. “Done any secret good deeds lately?”

I had a little think.
“Well, there was something the other day. Nothing major, just a small something.”
She leaned in towards me and lowered her voice. “What did you do?”
“Well,” I said in a hushed tone, moving closer. “If I told you that, it wouldn’t be a secret.”
“But that’s not fair. I told you mine,” she said.
“Yes,” I said. “And now you’ve un-karmaed yourself.”
“Oh, you’re so bloody pompous sometimes. Just tell me.”
“Tell me!”
“Hardly surprising people think you’re weird, is it?” she said, which is what she always says when she can’t have her way.

Out in the office, Mike and Terry were playing on their mobiles, flipping up the covers and giggling in girly voices.
“Beam me up, Ivan! One ready for beaming!” cackled Mike.
“You’ve yabba dabba done it again, haven’t you Ivan?” cooed Terry.

“I promise I won’t tell anyone,” she pleaded.
“Go and trip a dwarf.”
We stood and watched the pair of them for a good while, and I said that weird would be just fine, thanks all the same.

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