Thursday, January 24, 2008

King Of Comedy 

I was talking to Terry this afternoon about the Hollywood scriptwriters' strike crisis.
Soon the shortage of imported telly will be having calamitous effects on the British TV schedules and, thus also herewith, Terry's entire way of life. The ramifications are enormous and he's getting jittery.

Neil, my former team leader, who had popped into our office to return some Post It notes he'd borrowed last year - “These are useless to me now. Some idiot's written all over them” - stopped dead in his tracks.
“When the scriptwriters are on their picket lines,” he mused, “does that mean they all walk round carrying placards with nothing written on them?”

“That's pretty funny,” I said, scribbling it down. “I'll try and remember that. Pass it off as one of my own.”
“What's funny?” he asked.
“The striking writers,” I said, as patiently as I could muster. “With their placards.”
He stared at me blankly. So did Terry, who added “One of your own what?”
“Nothing written on them?” I said. “That's quite, you know...” My voice trailed off. “...Funny. Unlikely as that sounds now.”

Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, marched into the office reading aloud from a magazine.
“Do I create a buzz whenever I walk into a room?” she asked.
We weren't sure if it was rhetorical, but then she repeated herself, in that stroppy headmistress tone she uses when she thinks we're being thick. “Come on guys, it's a simple question.”
She rolled up the magazine and clouted Neil on the back of the head with the walking stick she was holding in her other hand.
“Ouch!” he whimpered. “What was that for?”
“It's from when I broke my leg,” she replied. “I don't need it anymore so it's going back to the shop.”
He looked pitiful and stumbled out into the corridor rubbing his head. “I can hear a buzzing now, if that's what you mean,” he mumbled.

The truth of the matter is, yes, I think she probably does create something akin to a buzz, but I'm not going to admit as such to her.
You can just sense when she's in a room, you really can. It's not an aura in the mystic hippy sense, more of an inaudible whining like what only dogs can hear, except that you can hear it too.
She's like a smoke alarm that needs it's battery changing. She bleeps incessantly until you do something about it.

Stella wasn't going to let it drop so I put my phone on speaker mode and listened intently to the dialling tone for a few seconds.
“Nope,” I said. “No buzzing here, Boss.”
Silence, obviously.
Mike returned from his 3:30 wank, took one look at me and said “Are you on fucking drugs?”
“Okay,” I conceded. “Not as good my placard joke, but it might just get a laugh in New Zealand.”

“If those Hollywood scriptwriters were here now,” said Terry, thumbing through his Maplin catalogue, “they'd all be shitting themselves.”
Then everybody went back to work and I poured an apple and rhubarb yoghurt down my cardigan. Nothing, as they say, goes to waste.

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