The Shape of Things

shape

Most of us obsess about body image – especially around the New Year resolution time of the year.  I can’t say that I ever really gave it a lot of thought although some of you might argue that I probably should have.

For most guys, our healthy egos keep us firmly planted in the the ‘Damn, I look good‘ fantasy, so we tend not to shame ourselves about our shape or about putting on a few extra pounds as much as the stronger sex does.

My Uncle would joke that his doctor tells him that if he were an inch taller, he’d be round – then we’d laugh and laugh…and eat bacon cheeseburgers.

People come in all shapes and sizes, and no matter how many tofu burgers or yoga classes they attend, they ain’t getting any taller or making their legs longer.  I really admire their tenacity and dedication though.

My overall size and shape hasn’t changed much in the past 20 or 30 years, not because of any stringent ritual of healthy diet and exercise, but probably because God figured going grey at 30 and having a bad complexion were enough of a burden for one guy.

I can pretty much always buy the same size pants off the rack – wider than long, but consistent.  I always figured my body shape was pretty normal.

That is, until I took a trip to China.

In China, I was lucky enough to have a business suit custom tailored from scratch – every measurement and seam was made just for my less than perfect body.

I picked out the style and the material, then the tailor went to work, measuring stuff that I figured he had no business measuring, but what did I know? I’ve never had a suit made just for me before.

tailored-suit

The tailor hand-delivered it to my hotel room but I didn’t get to try it on before I flew home.  When I did, the jacket was perfect – shoulders fit beautifully, buttons did up without me having to suck in a lot of air, arm length left just enough room for shirt cuffs. Perfect!

But there was something wrong with the pants.  The length was exactly what it should have been, but when I pulled them up they’d just slide right down – in fact, they wouldn’t stay up at all unless I cinched in the belt.

The tailor must have mis-measured my waist somehow.  Funny, since the waist is generally the most important measurement in pants, right?  But that really wasn’t it either – the did fit around my waist properly.  They just didn’t fit but they still fit.

I don’t wear suits a lot, but every time I’d wear this one, the pants just wouldn’t stay up on their own.  Then it finally dawned on me.  The pants were tailored to my exact shape…

old-ass

Apparently I have no ass!  The pants slide off because there’s nothing there to hold them up.  I hate that tailor!  All the pants off the rack have a built-in butt, so I never noticed this deformity until that guy in Shanghai exposed it in his own passive way.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things, a flat butt isn’t the worst body issue one could have.  Maybe if I wore high-heels, it would perk up a bit.

Twerking is definitely off my bucket list, though.

Of Course I’m Right! Just Ask Me.

smart

I carry a burden.

Sometimes, people ask for my opinion on stuff.  I can only assume that they intend to heed my advice, otherwise why would they ask?

That’s the burden.  My advice, answers, perspectives, thoughts, and even emotions can be a pretty serious contemplation – especially knowing that future generations will in some small way follow my lead.  That’s a lot for one man to carry.

On the upside, I always know I’m right, so there’s comfort in that.

Now, you might be saying ‘Wow – what an ego on that guy!‘, but that’s not true. In fact, I pride myself on my humility.

The thing is, if I thought I was wrong, I wouldn’t offer advice.  None of us would, unless you were some sort of psychopath and deliberately gave people bad advice just to mess with them.

Your opinion is the currency of how others appreciate your wisdom and intelligence.

There are times of course, that I may have no opinion at all.  If I was asked if I preferred knitting or crocheting, I would have no clue, since I neither knit nor crochet. In this case, I would be confident in saying ‘I have no opinion on that topic.  You should ask someone else’.

Even in saying that, I’m showing that I’m correct in my advice…to not take my advice.

See how that works?  But it’s not always that simple.  Sometimes, I will be asked for my advice then have it questioned.  I don’t know why.  If someone wanted my opinion, why then would they choose not to take it?

Let me give you a hypothetical example that in no way reflects any actual events.  Let’s pretend that my lovely wife is picking out a dress for a party.  She holds up 2 outfits and says; “The red dress, or the blue one?”  She’s asking my opinion, presumably because she understands that I have some fashion credibility and she clearly wants to look her best standing next to me.  I need all the help I can get.

I tell her “The blue one”.  That should be it, right?  Asked and answered.  Conversation over, decision made, I’ll be waiting in the car.  You’re welcome.

Really?”, she’ll then say.  What?  Why is she questioning my decision?  Even if I was’t paying attention or watching TV when she asked, I’d have at least a 50/50 shot at getting it right – pretty good odds.

Why the blue one?, she would go on to ask.  Uh, oh.  Not only has my input been brought into question, now I’m being asked to back up my decision with facts.

“Because I like the blue one on you”…I may leave out the fact that we’re already late and the blue one looks like it doesn’t need ironing.  This is how I balance promptness and self-preservation.

“But the red one goes better with my shoes”.  Now we’re treading into deep waters.  If I rescind my original decision about the blue dress, I soil my reputation as being decisive and correct, and my currency begins to devalue.  On the other hand, if I hold fast, we may miss the hors d’oeuvres altogether.

“Okay, the red dress does look better with those shoes.  Wear the red dress.”  I reply.  This doesn’t negate my previous position on the dress.  New information was brought to my attention after the fact, which changed my position.  Good judgement still intact, and my currency stays afloat.  My reputation for promptness however, will be pocked, but sometimes you just gotta go with it, right?

“But you liked the blue one better.”  Sheesh!

“Not with those shoes.”  I should play more chess – I’m a genius!

“Maybe I should wear the blue dress and pick out another pair of shoes”.  Touche! This is no longer an opportunity to offer input, but a battle of the minds.  I wished I had grabbed a snack when I had the chance.

This hypothetical tarry could go on for hours…hypothetically.  But that’s the point of my dilemma.  If I’m asked my opinion, I offer it and expect that to be taken with the utmost consideration. That’s not always the case.  Sometimes, my opinion is nothing more than an opportunity to be an external ‘internal voice’ to be questioned, rebutted, and occasionally outright rejected.

That’s a hard pill to swallow when you’re always right.  You put real thought into offering your input.  When it’s questioned or rejected, it makes you just a bit less sure of yourself.  And that’s dangerous.  The acceptance of your opinion bolsters your currency.  If it’s discarded, it makes you less valuable, doesn’t it?

On the other hand, if you know you’re always right – like I do – maybe it’s more of a reflection on those who reject your input that on your wisdom (previous hypothetical scenario notwithstanding). But that’s just my opinion.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, my wife wore a black dress, looked beautiful in it, and we missed the hors d’oeuvres.  Hypothetically.

Mauve…And Other Things That Scare Me About Women’s Fashion

fashion

I’ve spent a lot of years living with the opposite sex, so you’d think that just through osmosis I’d learn a bit of their language.  My wife once asked me to pick up a pair of ‘taupe’ pantyhose for her – with the reinforced toe.  Right…taupe…reinforced toe.

For me, a reinforced toe meant a work boot with the green ‘steel toe’ tag on it.

Eventually I leaned that ‘taupe’ was light brown or beige…but not beige, just more of a creamy beige…but not really beige.

Then, just when I figured I knew the entire colour chart; red, blue, green, yellow, brown, black…and beige, they throw a new one at me – mauve.

I can honestly say that I can’t tell you with any certainty what colour mauve is supposed to be.  Maybe something in the green or purple spectrum?  I don’t know.  It’s all very confusing.

The other day a free fashion magazine showed up in the mail, presumably for my wife, but I’m always excited to have new reading material while I take care of business. Last year’s Ikea catalogue just doesn’t hold my attention like it used to.

After flipping through 90 pages of glossy ads and articles about ‘what’s hot this fall’, I put it down totally confused and bewildered. Barely 10 words made any sense to me. I had no idea that there were ‘25+ fall make-up ideas‘.  25!

I might not be the desired demographic for a women’s fashion magazine, but I’m not completely void of any fashion sense…am I?

I’m at least as fashion forward as the next suburban, middle-aged, beer drinking, barbecuing guy.  I know that you never wear socks with sandals, or wear a shirt that ‘peek-a-boo’s’ your big hairy gut.  At least, not to a sit-down restaurant.

Let me unpack some of what I find confusing.  In 2 different advice columns, the writers completely contradict each other.  One is telling me that overdoing style layers is akin to genocide.  Later on in a Fall Fashion spread, the author says to pile on the layers to make a bold statement.  Huh?

The whole magazine is full of these contradictions, but the advertisements are the worst! Here’s the actual tag line for a beauty cream ad:

“Conceal and treat your imperfections.  Reveal your true self.”

Did I miss something here?  How do you reveal your true self by concealing your imperfections? Isn’t your ‘true self’ all about the real you, imperfections and all?

In one page, there were tag lines that promote ‘clean and fresh’ and then go right into ‘conceal and hide’.  Why are we concealing and hiding if we’re clean and fresh?  Shouldn’t we be revealing if we’re clean and fresh?

This code language is totally beyond me.  I get that. Like I said, I’m not the target demographic, but I suspect there are more than a few women out there who are as confused as I am.

No wonder young girls are so perplexed with the whole mess that they run out and spend hundreds of college tuition dollars on cosmetics, take them home and end up looking like this…

eyebrow

This strange and foreign magazine is as difficult to understand as a 1985 VCR owners manual. But even with that, I figured out how to make the clock stop flashing 12:00:00 all the time.

It’s not just the contradictions, but the price of the stuff in these fashion magazines that really kills me!  While a model sits in a cow field on a bail of hay, looking all serious and sullen, the text below her talks about her clever way of layering a ‘SNOOD’ over her $595 dress.

First of all, what the heck is a ‘snood’? Is it a new colour? Like mauve?  No, based on the picture, it looks like some sort of….blanket, coat, poncho? And why would anyone put one over a dress that cost more than a month’s worth of groceries?

She’s also wearing ‘fun’ wedge shoes – only $750!  If a pair of those landed in my house, well…there’d probably be one less car in the driveway to pay for them.  Try walking to work in those ‘fun’ $750 shoes,and see how much ‘fun’ they still are.

I’m pretty sure a lot of the stuff in these magazines is just made up by the fashion and cosmetics industry to keep men in the dark about what women need or want in their closets and makeup bags.

I just saw a neck cream ad that boasts the active ingredient, ‘Gravitite-CF’ to lift and tighten skin.  Graveitite? It’s been years since high school chemistry class, but I don’t recall learning about the element ‘Gravitite’.

Men would never fall for such thinly veiled attempts at making us think a catchy name will make us buy something.

We’ll stick to our tried and true power tools – the cordless ones with the 20V XR MAX Lithium Ion compact quick trigger battery packs…only $243!drill

My Insensitivity

insensitive

I can’t be the only one who suffers from this.

How many times have you been in a conversation with someone and you’re totally fixated on a huge mole, or a piece of food in their teeth or a big zit that looks like a school volcano project?

There’s no way you can concentrate on what they’re talking about.  They’re going on and on about their vacation in the Mediterranean, and all that’s running through your head is ‘That thing’s gonna blow!‘…

I’m gonna assume you’re all yelling, ‘Yes!  I do that all the time’.  At least, I hope you are – that way I won’t feel like the only oaf in the world.

It’s one thing to giggle like school children when someone has toilet paper stuck to their shoe at a swanky event, but what if it’s not toilet paper, but something a little more….permanent?

You’ll probably still stare and be transfixed, but it’s a lot different than a zit or food in their teeth when it’s something they have no control over.  You try your hardest not to look, and act all casual and cool, but deep down, it’s all you can think about.

“OMG – does that guy really have no ears?”  I need to look, but I don’t want to get caught looking.

Case in point:  I was waiting (appropriately enough) in a waiting room recently.  It was very narrow, with two rows of chairs facing each other.  Only enough room between them for one person to walk through.

I sat down across from a lady who was deeply focused on whatever was happening on her cell phone.  She was wearing sandals and had her legs crossed so that one foot jutted out into the narrow walkway.  No problem – although with me doing the same directly across from her, the magical and invisible ‘personal space’ zone was seriously violated.

That’s when I saw it.  Open-toed, strappy sandals, horrible yellow, chipped and cracked nails…and 9 toes.  9 little piggies staring at me without nail polish or any reasonable pedicurial effort. 9 of them….no big toe on one foot.

Maybe she had a terrible lawn mower accident, or lost it in a bet or something; I don’t know, but all my self-control and strength could not keep me from looking down at her foot regularly.  I tried my best to focus on the artwork behind her, but the draw was too strong. This 4 digit foot was my Kryptonite.

Trying to focus on the artwork behind her was like staring at the sun too long.  My pupils burned, my hands shook and a bead of sweat appeared on my forehead.  No painting is that interesting.

Like a reflex action, my eyes would dart down and I prayed I wouldn’t get caught staring at this small but distinctive abnormality.

Then I got to thinking;   Why would she wear an open-toed shoe and dangle it right in front of me unless she was either proud of it, was was trying to evoke some sort of reaction? Why should I be the one to be all ‘avert your eyes’ and embarrassed?  Is she deliberately taunting me?

I wished I was a little kid – they can get away with anything; “Hey lady, what happened to your toe?  Does it hurt?  Can I touch it?”.  No fear, no inhibitions, just pure innocent curiosity.

I remember knowing a guy who was born with only one arm.  It didn’t stop him from doing anything. One day though, at a local store, a little girl looked up at him and asked point blank; ‘Where is your arm?‘.  I think he told her it was at home doing the dishes.  ‘Oh‘ was all she replied and went along with what she was doing.

You and I would never get away with that!  I think I might even get blackballed for sharing this personal limitation, but it’s what we all think – right?

I’m no worse than the next guy.  I can sympathize with those who aren’t made the same way I am, or have had some tragedy befall them so that their look is altered in some way.

It doesn’t mean they are any different inside, does it?  I can embrace the person and see beyond that nasty, yellow, crooked 4-toed foot.

Okay, maybe I still have a bit of work to do…

Man’s Greatest Mystery

Throughout the ages, great mysteries have captured the hearts and minds of man and spawned exhaustive and dangerous expeditions, deep scientific debate, wild conspiracy theories and legendary folklore.

Even today, television shows are crowded with wild ideas about how the pyramids or Stonehenge were created, including such outlandish theories as alien intervention.

The Easter Island ‘Men’, the Loch Ness Monster, The Holy Grail, Big Foot, even crop circles keep us intrigued and in search of definitive conclusion.  I suppose it is our natural curiosity that drives us to solve these questions once and for all.

The truly greatest mystery ever faced by man, however, isn’t any of these.  No, the greatest mystery of all, in reality is something so confusing that it has silenced half of the world’s population.  They refuse to discuss it, investigate it or research it, and have resigned themselves to gleeful ignorance.

What’s truly amazing about this mystery, is that the answers are readily available to us, but we refuse to seek the truth.  Why is that?  Even the legendary Knights Templar, carefully guarding secrets of the Holy Grail and the lineage of Jesus of Nazareth dare not tread into these murky waters.

I’m talking, of course, not about life on Mars, or the spoilage-defying lifespan of a fruit cake, but of the one true mystery of mankind:  Purses!

This innocuous little fashion accessory has defied logic, physics and has created paralyzing fear in the bravest of men. In it’s simplest form, the purse is nothing more than a bag with a handle on it, but has launched some into the fashion stratosphere and others into bankruptcy.

Once on the shoulder of any woman, the purse conjures magical powers.  It can make a lady’s knees quiver with its beauty, or make a lady’s knees buckle with its weight.  Girls swoon in high-end fashion boutiques at purses that cost more than a mini-van.

As delicate and beautiful as they may be, given to a man to  hold, they take on the properties of a sack of anthrax.  Men perspire, and use only the extreme ends of their finger-tips, desperately attempting to limit physical contact with the bag.

Just observe the look on any guys face as his wife/girlfriend/mother hands them their purse and says ‘hold this while I try on this dress’.  Sheer panic.  He holds the purse awkwardly, keeping it a good distance from his body as if to try to convince everyone else in the store that it isn’t his.

Hand a purse to a girl, and the reaction is completely different.  They immediately size it up, turn it around and around, check the handle and clasps, then cozy it up close, snugly to their shoulder, and rush over to the nearest mirror to see how it looks on them.

The outward properties of the purse may indeed be a great mystery to most men, but it pales in comparison to the truly enigmatic features of the inside of the hand bag.

What deep secrets lie beneath the zippers, clasps, or snaps is the stuff of legends.  For men, the contents of the average purse are and always will be as taboo as walking in on your parents having sex.  You must never peer into it, or like Medusa’s spell, you’d immediately turn to stone, or worse, uncover a secret about your sweetie that can’t be undone.  Once you know, it’s like trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube.

Even for the owner of the purse, it’s contents are often a puzzlement, and items placed in it seem to disappear into a vast black hole, and can only be recovered with significant effort, and usually in a really inappropriate time and place, like when standing in a rainstorm, locked out of your car or house.

I was at the grocery store the other day, and I watched as woman after woman, knowing that they’d have to find their credit card to pay for the groceries, didn’t start the frantic search until the amount appeared on the little screen.  It’s not like they had other financial means if the amount was less.  I don’t get it.  Then, despite the amount of time they take carefully putting things back in the purse, it takes 10 minutes to retrieve it again. ‘Now, where did I put that debit card?’, while a very long line builds up behind them.

This last puzzlement seems to confuse me the most.  Somehow, when a woman is looking for something in her purse, it gives her universal license to block the way of everyone behind her without any apology.

‘Honey, this person is trying to get past you’.

‘Well, he’ll have to wait.  I’m looking for my shopping list’.

Purses, like the ones Mary Poppins or Hermione Granger have, seem to be able to hold items of far greater mass than the dimensions of the purse itself.  While a deep mystery that defies the laws of nature, they sure do come in handy!

How is it that a purse barely big enough to hold a super-model’s lunch, can actually house a full set of keys, wallet, makeup bag, lip gloss, change purse, cell phone, kleenex, Tylenol, nasal spray, sticky notes and pen, address book, baby wipes, sewing kit, scarf, pocket calendar, extra panties, and crackers?  Then, when you get to the store, you hand her your wallet and keys, and she finds room for them!

Yes, the common purse is likely the greatest, and scariest mystery that any man will face, and it’s best that we simply accept the unknown magical powers that lie within these handy fashion accessories and leave well enough alone.

Like the curious cat, it may end badly if we were to dig within the silky walls of the purse and attempt to do any more than appreciate it’s special properties from afar….so next time you ask for something and your better half says ‘It’s in my purse’.  Don’t dare try to retrieve it yourself.  Gingerly and with great reverence, pass it to them to reach in and pull that rabbit out the the proverbial hat.

The humility of being humbled

There’s few things more gratifying than watching some loudmouth get put in his place.  You know the guy – usually drunk and obnoxious, bullying everyone else until he gets clocked by someone half his size, or his pants fall down, showing off his Buzz Lightyear underwear…or no underwear at all!

Mortified, he runs for cover while everyone laughs at him.  At least, that’s what you hope for.

There’s gotta be a million You Tube videos out there of karmic revenge on the annoying or stupid.  We love the modern telling of David and Goliath.  Rooting for the underdog against a jerk-faced foe is something we can all relate to.

In Hollywood movies, it’s the villain who is the most annoying, hated person and ends up with the most spectacular death scene, not only getting shot 100 times in slow motion, but falling into a pit of molten metal, while being eaten by zombies or something.

But, have you ever been that guy (or girl) who is the unwelcome star of these little vignettes?  C’mon, sure you have.

I was retelling a story the other day about something that happened to me a long time ago that kind of fits this scenario.

For the record, I wasn’t drunk, and I was just doing my job.  I’m sure, though, that the other characters in this little scene were just as pleased as those watching the bully run away with his pants down.

I had a job once where part of my duties included making sure that my customers followed some expected level of quality, since they represented our products to the world.  This could make things a bit tricky at times, seeing as I needed these customers to buy stuff from me, but I also had to act like a Mom telling her kid to clean his room….without the folded hands and tapping of the foot….you know the look.

I used to wear a suit.  Not because I had to, but because I thought it was important to look professional….what a jerk!

Anyway, I had to meet a customer who’s business was in desperate need of the ‘angry Mom’ look.  The owner was very casual and would always tease me about wearing a suit all the time, ‘Geez!  Even the Mayor doesn’t dress like that’.

Fully suited up, just to make a point, I parked a block away from the store, again making a point about giving the best parking to the paying customers, and walked into the rear entrance of the store.  Very smug and probably abusing my power, I’m quite sure they were not happy about this visit.

As I walked the store with the owner’s wife, pointing out how bad the business was, I started to notice a foul smell.

I said, ‘Another thing.  Do not smell that?  It smells like dung in here.’

She acknowledged that she too smelt it, then motioned at my shiny dress shoes.  I looked down at the same time, and saw where the smell was coming from. I guess somewhere on my pretentious strut to the store, I stepped in a steaming pile of doo-doo.

I glanced back to see the owner on his hands and knees, scrubbing the disgusting footsteps I had taken all through the place.

I turned as red as the goal light at a Leafs game!

Mortified, I carefully took off my shoe, and hopped out the back door to find a stick.  I think I just went home after that.  Any sense of superiority or authority was left on the stained carpet behind me.

Of course, I had no way of making an elegant exit from that train wreck.  I think I mumbled something about why there would be horse poop on the sidewalk outside the store in the first place, then quickly got in my car, and drove home with one shoe on.

I stopped wearing a suit after that.

The office clown

I don’t know why there isn’t more fun in the workplace.

Not smiling, suppressing laughs, and being all business around the cubicles seems to be the rule these days.  No wonder no one seems to like going to work.

It’s not like enjoying yourself at work is a productivity drain or anything.  Heck, I’ll bet that if folks had more fun at work, they might even put in longer hours.  Instead, they stand at the old time clock with their coats on, waiting for the minute hand to hit 12.

I was talking to a friend about having more fun at work, and I jokingly (sort of) suggested that they wear a clown outfit to work next week.

Think of the positive distraction that would be for the dismal, grey office environment, when your coworker shows up in a wild coloured costume, red nose, curly yellow hair, and those huge red shoes.

Unfortunately, not many of us are brave enough to try to pull off a stunt like that, but I’m not so sure it would be job-ending.

With all the political correctness and employee engagement ‘group hug’ police we call Human Resources, I’ll bet you’d actually get away with it altogether.

In fact, the longer you lounge around the office in the clown outfit, the more legitimate it becomes.  Maybe, it would even fall under one of those sacred cow categories, like a ‘lifestyle choice’ or ‘religion’.

I can just imagine the conversation your boss might be having with HR…

“Hello, Bob.  My, your shirt and tie look appropriate for the workplace, by which I am in no way implying any type of inappropriate or sexual comment on your wardrobe”

“Gee, thanks, Lisa…I think.  I’ve come to complain about Becky, who now insists I refer to her as Binky”.

“What seems to be the problem with ‘Binky’, Bob?  She shows up for work on time every day, which, considering those huge shoes she wears, is quite an accomplishment, and she has had top-notch performance reviews.  She even signs them with a big orange smiley-face stamp.  It’s very unique”.

“That’s just the problem, Lisa.  I can’t have a clown in my department – all the other supervisors are laughing at me!”

“Now Bob, we here at Catatonic Distributing don’t take kindly to discriminatory comments about those who are different than us. I have to write up an intolerance conduct report on you”.

“What?”

“We take these things very seriously here, Bob.  Everyone, regardless of race, age, creed, sexual orientation, or circus attire choice is to be treated as an equal here”.

“But she answers all incoming calls by honking one of those old bike horns.  It’s very frustrating to our customers and the coworkers.”

“You see Bob?  That’s exactly your problem.  Instead of focusing on the special uniqueness of Binky, you lash out at her differences”.  “We can’t have that here”.

“But she drives around in that little clown car all day, knocking into people”.  “She even demanded a ‘clown stall’ in the ladies room.  It’s outrageous!”

“She did?”

“Yes!  Thank goodness you finally see my point.”

“No, Bob.  I don’t see your point.”  “If Binky requires a special place to relieve herself, it’s up to us to act immediately and provide it for her”.

“Your kidding, right?”

“Do I look like I’m kidding, Bob?”

“I can’t tell.  You never smile, frown, or anything.  It’s like talking to Keanu Reeves, to be perfectly honest.”

“Well, I’m not kidding.  You need to make immediate arrangements for Binky to have equal accessibility with her little car, as you would for any other person with ‘different’ abilities.”

“How am I supposed to do that?”

“You’ll have to figure that out.  Until then, I have no choice but to send Binky home with full pay until we have accommodated her needs.  It’s a serious liability issue for us, Bob.”

“But the door to the staff washroom isn’t wide enough since she sits sideways in the little car.  Her huge shoes stick out and can’t fit through the door”.

“What about your office door, Bob?”

“What about my office door?”

“It’s much wider than the washroom door”.

“But it’s my office, not a washroom.”

“Get building maintenance to retrofit your minibar area to a private washroom stall.”

“But, its MY office.  What am I supposed to do?”

“I guess you can sit in Binky’s old cubicle.  With any luck, we won’t be sued by the ‘CLWS’.”

“What is ‘CLWS’, Lisa?”

“Clowns Living Without Shame.  They’re a radical group I just heard about from Binky.  Very powerful.”

“Are you sure she’s not just making all this up?”

“You see, Bob.  It doesn’t matter if I believe it or not. As long as Binky says it exists, we have no choice but to accommodate for it.”

“That’s ridiculous. She can just make up some crazy idea, wear a clown costume around the place, and I have to give her my office?”

“And we have to get her a helium tank so she can make religious balloon animal symbols.”

“Of course we do.”  “Is there anything else I need to do for Becky…I mean Binky?”

“Not yet, but she did put in a purchase request for a case of cream pies.”

……yup, I think you’d be safe.