Blamed for Everything, I Soldier On

We at Amalgamated Salmon had our annual office party on Friday. I have no idea what I said to offend everybody, but as usual, I'm on everyone's enemies list again.

It was weird. We were all just sitting around enjoying our punch, and Reggie from Accounts Payable was talking about how depressing it was that soon it was going to get really hot and muggy again, and Blanche from Receiving/Intake said it was depressing that all the good TV shows were going into re-runs, and I just happened to mention something I sort of found depressing, which was that when you die, the last people to touch you in your home will be two total strangers: the guys who come and put your body into the body bag. These people who never knew you will lift you up, one guy at the head, the other at the feet, and place you inside the bag. And then you're gone, with their fingerprints still warm on your skin. You'll never even see them, these strangers who will touch you in that way.

Well, after I said this, there was a weird moment of quiet and everyone looked at me real funny. Soon Maury from Late Debits got the talk going in another direction. He started saying how he was sort of bummed out that the Nationals were such a bad team this year, and Cecile from Maintenance said she found it sad that games were so expensive to go to nowadays. Just trying to help out the conversation, I mentioned that what I found even worse was how a person slowly going blind due to illness probably experiences a little less sight each day. This probably goes on and on for months, even years, with the final outcome being irrevocable. Then, one day, that person must wake up and realize that the last little bit of light is finally gone. And that's it. Their vision is lost forever. What a morning that must be, I told the office gang, when their eyes open and they realize that there's simply nothing there.

And wow, did that innocent little comment rub them the wrong way. They actually said I should just clock out and go home! Touchy people! On the subject of clocking in and clocking out, Dave said it was a little sad because we never had to do that as kids, and Susan mentioned how all her favorite old toys weren't being made anymore, which got her in the dumps sometimes, and just to be a team player I threw in something I found a little bit sad, which was that if you multiply three by three, and then multiply that result by three, and then do it again, and again, and again, you can go on forever multiplying by three until the results become numbers of four digits, eight digits, sixteen digits, fifty digits; you could be given as many reams of paper as there are in the world, but if you kept multiplying, you could never stop getting new, bigger numbers. Meanwhile, though, your human lifespan would eventually draw to a close as the numbers took longer and longer to transcribe. In your later years, you would barely finish writing down a new result when another birthday would have passed. And finally, you would pass on, but the crude, cold numbers would again be waiting to be multiplied by three, producing a new number bigger than any human had ever transcribed. I just kind of pointed out how this shows that it's simply impossible for humankind to ever put a finite stamp on even the simplest knowledge we ourselves created, and that even something as insignificant as a string of numbers on a piece of paper has an immortal life, which we brought to it with our natural sense of invention; we, meanwhile, can only extend our own life spans by a few years, perhaps maybe even meaningless decades. It was kind of a spirit-crusher, if you thought about it.

My so-called office buddies just gawked at me when I explained this. Then, one by one, they fell over dead from catastrophic depression, "because of you" they said as the dropped to the floor. With their dying breaths they wished aloud that their cold corpses would serve "as a testament to your lousy attitude", they said. Well, fine. I went home even before Mr. Von Board came over the loudspeaker to dismiss me. I took the sheetcake with me.

I am all about sheetcake.