Jun 27 2005


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“Another long day slaving over a hot word processor, eh?” Brigid said. “Scandalous, the sweatshop conditions you work under.”

Greg, stiffly lying on the sofa, lifted a corner of the washcloth that covered the top half of his face to peek at her with one bloodshot eye. “Thank you so much for the words of consolation,” he said. “It’s comforting to know that no matter what sacrifices I go through, I can always depend on you to rally ’round.”

“What sacrifices did you go through?” she asked, noticing for the first time that his chair was on its back, his monitor was askew, and papers had been scattered around the room. “You’re not engaged in Yog-Sothothery again, I hope?”

“If only that were the case,” he said, replacing the washcloth over his eyes. “At least there you’re expecting madness. No, instead, I’ve been subject to a harrying experience.”

“You ran out of coffee?”

“All right,” he said, pulling off the washcloth and sitting up. “You remember Yvonne, the woman across the hall? Dark hair, midriff?”

Brigid chuckled. “Nice description.”

“Well, she called up and asked if she could come over and get some sugar or some such, I don’t even remember what the pretext was now. I told her to wait about half an hour, because I was nearing the end of a chapter, but that I would leave the door unlocked for her.”

“…And somebody broke in and ransacked your desk.”

“In a manner of speaking. I was typing away, Mozart on the headphones, not a care in the world, and I got lost in what I was doing and forgot the time. Apparently, Yvonne across the hall is one of these literary-fetish types one hears about, because I happened to look up at the end of a paragraph and she was standing there, in ‘Hello Kitty’ print underwear and precious little else, with a copy of Retrograde Maneuvers in her hands and stars in her eyes.”

Brigid blinked several times. “Are you telling me that this mess is because the two of you–”

“The two of us nothing, it was the one of us, more like! I was so startled at her sudden, adult-rated materialization that I jumped backwards a foot and the chair went south, taking me with it. Banged my head on the floor and my knees on the desk, unplugged the power strip with my foot and lost half a chapter in the process. It was a nightmare!”

For a long moment, Brigid didn’t say a word, just looked down at him as if trying to determine if he was a real person or a space alien. Finally she said, “Let me get this straight. The dark-haired, pouty-lipped, midriffed seductress from across the hall comes up with a cheesy double-entendrĂ© like coming over for some sugar, does her best to recreate a scene from a bad porn flick, and you launch into a Three Stooges routine?”

“Some people object to being unexpectedly confronted with underwear!” Greg snapped. “It’s a lot to throw at a man when he’s working.”

Brigid, trying valiantly to stifle her snickering, said “So what happened next?”

Greg sighed, lying back “Well, thankfully she fled, taking the book and hopefully her cup of sugar too, and I gave up the afternoon as a loss and decided to lie down. I’ve been here ever since.”

Brigid shook her head. “No wonder you’re a writer,” she said. “You could have at least autographed her copy.”

-The Gneech

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