Sunday, July 19, 2009

Oh no! Gawd-zeera!

So since Tuesday I have been working the phones at work and am starting to get a bit of a feel for the deal. It feels especially fulfilling when I ask to be granted access to their desktop and I am given a resounding “Yes, take me!” Honestly, they never say no. I rummage around for a bit on their computer, address the dilemma, and then ask if they would like to upgrade to premium service for a small monthly fee.

“Just make that check out to Wesley King, yep, $15 please.”

“Hey, Leslie?”


From the time when I used to check out library books as a timid young homeschooler, many have asked “Leslie?” after I say Wesley. The librarians demanded that I whisper, and they misunderstood quite frequently. I fail to correct, and this may someday be my downfall.


On Thursday, I was shadowed by an awesome Jamaican guy who is looking to buy a home in the area. We traded war stories, as the calls were coming in quite frequently, and it was a good time. My second favorite call was from Italy, where I could hardly make out what the man was saying. At the end of the call, the man said “Thanks Leslie, Ciao!” When Mr. Jamaica busted out laughing and asked what the Italian had called me, I said “Chow.” He thought this was the funniest thing in the world and started referring to me as a little doggie treat (Haha, chow) and he probably thinks my name is Leslie. I don’t mind, I like people with accents.

On Thursday night we went out to celebrate Andy’s birthday, an engineer who has been here for a year. Before I went over to join the festivities, I went to an elementary school to see if I could pick up any little kids. When I realized that I had mistimed my abduction (it was 5 PM,) I kept on rolling to the playground, where I got out and went to the basketball court for a “New Hire” event that Summertime Susan had coordinated. It ended up being only I, Candlewick, Summer, and Man U., due in no small part to the fetal and skittish nature of Interns and the fact that many people went over to celebrate Andy’s b-day after work. We four disbanded, after consoling Summertime, and I headed over to join the birthday festivities.

At the point in the evening when the celebrations and libations were winding down and we began to dread the next planned event, going to see “I love you, Beth Cooper,” we found ourselves shoved in the stuffy corner of a place called “Brixx.” Despite the two x’s, there were no scantily clad Midnight Cowgirls – we were only there having a drink. We made Andy order the most womanly drink possible – a maithai – and he asked the waitress for as many umbrellas to put in the drink as she could carry. She refused, citing some faux prose about their being out of umbrellas, so Andy requested tiny plastic swords. While she was away getting them, Zhang it! said something along the lines of “Did you guys see something outside?” and I immediately turned to him and said “Gawd-zeera!” in a perfectly flowing Asian accent. This joked worked quite well on many levels; everyone had been making fun of him the rest of the night for being Japanese even though he is decidedly Chinese. Countless times he had said “I’m not Japanese, bro.” What could he do when I brought up the most fearful monster ever to walk the streets of Japan? Hang his head and chuckle, while everyone else enjoyed my joke. After tossing out another line, “Four swords and seven beers ago…” I had done a sufficient night’s work of hooking the crowd and convincing them that you don’t mess with the best – especially when the best is Wes.

I’m not even going to mention how bad the movie was (13% approval rating). That might have counted as a mention.

On Friday, Michigan Mike and I convinced some people to come up and enjoy the pleasantries of Chapel Hill. I got to show off my Duck Crossing sign, and had enough “social juice” in me to go up to a group of peoples at the bar and start the conversation of how dominant the Big Ten is. One girl was from Penn State, her boyfriend from New York, and we had quite a good time talking to them. However, on the other side of the table sat a guy from Fort Bragg and his Flossie, and we had a hard time getting them to smile. Apparently he had his civvies in a knot.

Saturday I got an eye exam, glasses, and contacts that added up to more expensive than my car and my sense of accomplishment combined. Though my line of “Hey babe, I got vision insurance” didn’t quite have the potent effect that I’d hoped for, it did significantly lower my expense. I find it a bit nauseating that the only time I can knock $400 dollars of a bill is when I am gainfully employed; makes me feel a bit guilty. Well maybe someday I can write a book on the psychological damage inflicted on 22-year-olds with no fear and no emotions that for the first time in their lives find themselves with insurance… but probably not. I guess for now I’ll just grin and bare it. Har har.

At one point when I was picking out my glasses I had six ladies surrounding me, judging my looks and sightlines. Four were employed by the vision center, one was picking out her own pair before I came in, and one looked homeless. Well, this is America, and her opinion counted two (speeling?). I had narrowed it down to about ten pairs, and these ladies helped me get to two, and then there ensued a striking debate between several ladies about which pair I would take home with me. Deciding factors included but weren’t limited to: local female preference (southern wedding belles?), fashion trends, my strong cheekbones, my “native” complexion (what?), dress style at my workplace, weather patterns, and my penchant for skipping causation and going straight to effect. It was an orgy of opinions, and after it was over I had to go home and check myself for visualizational diseases.

This is how I will look when I put them on:

At 1 PM, Michigan Mike and I checked out a cute little piece of a place within walking distance of downtown Chapel Hill. As we were leaving, the realtor of record, maybe a few years older than us, looked at the floor and said in a whisper “There is one other interested party.” This was spoken with so little passion and such obvious acquiescence that I had to stop myself from laughing in his face. If no other places pique our interest over the next few days, we will probably end up there, unless that “other interested party” swoops in like a bird afowl.

Chilled at Lily Pad’s for the rest of the day, at another infamous southern Barbie-queue, thus leading us to an eventless Sunday afternoon. Well, there was the library trip.

I decided to walk, since I had about 100 pages left to read in my book, and I found myself with about ten left when I got there, so I sat down to finish in the lobby. It was there that I encountered my first legitimate OCD sufferer. A man with a bike helmet on was on his way out, but had to perform a specific task first. He would walk almost all the way to the sliding doors, and then walk back and stand on top of one particular tile, circle it, and walk back toward the door. He must have done this 7-10 times before he left. I was quite somber afterward, and had trouble finishing the last few pages of my read. I can’t imagine a life with such a burning need to ignore all else and only replicate movements; a life replete with repeat. As I finished reading, I looked up to see a tiny Asian boy bouncing on the bathroom door. He was looking and me and giggling; bouncing over and over again, and opening the door a little more with each bounce. He finally pushed too hard and fell all the way through, with a look of shock etched on his face that reminded me of how I feel when I think there is one more step at the top of a dark stairway and my foot hits the flat floor instead. There was a crash from in the bathroom, and then he bust out with a huge smile directed at me. It made me feel a bit better about watching the guy with OCD, but no less guilty.

In brighter news, I found the other book my Elliot Perlman, the author of Seven Types of Ambiguity, which is my favorite book. The guy is a barrister in Australia and has only written two books, so this was quite a pick-up, at least for me. After the library, went down to work to play some bball with Zhang it! and Wisconsin, and a few frolicking others. I’m quite spent, like a vial of tadpole spit after a pond frog drinking contest. Now I sit, getting ready to read, getting ready for a new work week, and looking forward to a trip home after this next weekend.


  1. Dearest Les, I love it that there seems to others to share your time with on a regular basis. Bravo on the new glasses! Maybe a picture?????

  2. i have been saying midnight cowgirl for years, i am glad i'm not alone.

    also, ive used "hey babe, ive got vision insurance" before. it worked, for me at least. i apologize it doesn't provide the same successful outcomes as it affords me. maybe try it with some more Zhang It-type enthusiasm.

    see you in a few brah-da.

  3. What happened to my post?--It was a classic (though I don't think I can duplicate it)...did you read it last night?

  4. Guess I needed to click "Post Comment" a second time...just like now.

    Anyway, I signed off: "Dog bisquit, Dad-zeera" as I recall.