Monday, May 19, 2008

Brandon, you're shameful

It was the end of a long and tiresome day of PowerPoint presentations, team building exercises and whatnot when we all gathered for a happy hour of sorts in a bare banquet hall under fluorescent lighting. We milled about and greedily clutched dark beer bottles in our mits. Everyone unbuttoned their top button and loosened their necktie, took big satisfying gulps of beer and released long hissing exhalations between exhausted headshakes and bobbing, deflated shoulders. A communal sense of being human once again began creeping over our group, and we slowly began to recapture our individual identity by sharing college stories and quoting Office Space and high-fiving when the occasion called for it. With more full gulps of beer, the enthusiastic clicking of toasted beer bottles and an increased joviality, I decided to take my pants off, because I simply couldn’t be bothered with them any longer. Minutes later the doors swung open and in strutted – poised and dutiful – the former and current President Bush, flanked by the former and current First Lady and a stoic team of trained killers and bodyguards eyeing us each distrustfully. The mood quickly shifted, and we all began buttoning our top buttons and tightening our neckties and beaming toothy grins. I looked around frantically for my pants, which were nowhere to be found, and a line formed and we all made our way single file, as if through a receiving line, to introduce ourselves to our startling guests. Pantsless, I tried to blend in. I first introduced myself to the former President and apologized for not having my pants on. I didn’t know you were coming, I explained. It’s ok, he said, and on down the line I was shuffled, not being permitted to say hello to the First Ladies. I then introduced myself to the current President. We shook hands, and he repeated my name back to me, mispronouncing it. I respectfully corrected him, but he seemed unconcerned and unapologetic. I was, after all, not wearing any pants. I remembered this dream this morning while reading Jack Kerouac on a heated toilet seat and had to write it down at once.

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