Category Archives: work

Bunny Killer

The other day at the vet’s office, I ran into a woman I used to work with at a college. I was in line with my newly toothless dog* and she was at the register, waiting to check out.

“Oh, Amy? Amy my former colleague?” I asked, knowing full well that it was indeed Amy my former colleague.

“Hi…” she said HELLA tentatively, very clearly not remembering who I was.

“Amy!” I admonished. “I get that I’m 3.5 years older than the last time I saw you, and many, many pounds heavier, and my face has not quite held up to the past year’s emotions, but YA KNOW ME. I took photos of you for the alumni magazine! I endangered two of your children by taking them off-roading in a golf cart! I helped your husband, the staff farmer, wrangle sheeps!”

She still ain’t recognize me, but she tried to be friendly.

“Yes, right. How are you?” she asked.

“Great,” I answered. “The vet just pulled a bloody broken tooth out of me dog’s smelly head. What’s good with you?” As I asked, I noticed a very petite cat carrier at her feet and deduced there had to be a very petite cat within. I bent down and confirmed it.

“YOU’VE AN ADORABLE KITTEN!” I screamed.

“I do!” she nodded, now friendly for real. “Eight weeks old. She’s a bunny killer.”

Chico, my dog, was sniffing the cage and the kitten hissed at him. I pulled him back like, holy shit, that is a goddamn bunny killer in there. I’d never heard of such a thing.

(Note: Most of the previous dialogue was made up, but the following conversation is verbatim.)

“A bunny killer?” I asked. “That’s crazy! How many bunnies has she killed?”

Amy looked at me but didn’t respond, then turned back to the woman behind the counter to finish checking out. I waited a few moments for a lull in their exchange before continuing my interrogation.

“Like, full-grown bunnies or baby bunnies? How does she get to them?”

Again, Amy just looked at me. She seemed confused and I realized that I’d misunderstood her. I was acting as if it was a bad thing, this bunny-killing kitten of hers, but she and her husband were farmers. Bunnies were a nuisance in their world. They probably got this cat specifically to kill bunnies, so they could eat them or something.

“Oooh, did you get this cat specifically to kill bunnies?” I asked.

Again, she looked at me. At this point—maybe three minutes into my questioning—I could tell she definitely didn’t feel like talking about it. BUT THEN WHY BRING IT UP AT ALL, AMY?!?!?

“Wait, so, has she even killed any rabbits yet?” (This time I used “rabbits” instead of “bunnies,” to sound more professional.)

Finally, she answered me.  “You… you keep talking about killing bunnies. But all I said was ‘she’s an itty bitty kitten.’”

“OoOoOoOoOohhhhhhhhhhh,” I said, very embarrassed. “Yes, she is a small cat.”

She finished paying her bill and nodded goodbye and left.

*Here’s a picture of Chico’s mouth.

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A tragic tale of self-employment

I started working for myself this past March. Despite the abysmal pay and lack of traditional employer benefits, it’s the flyest gig ever. I may not get health insurance or paid vacation days, but my boss sure is understanding. She’s like Ja Rule’s dream girl, a certified down ass bitch. Because she’s myself, and I treat me like my number one.

I am at once the best employer and best employee that ever existed. The synergy between me and myself is outrageous. We are so, so synergetic. That means we’ve synchronized our energies. (We’ve also synchronized our cycles—a convenient side effect of being the same lady.)

For instance, let’s say I want to take a long lunch break. Maybe I want to go on a half-hour bike ride to the rock gym, climb a while, go to Wendy’s for a baked potato and a frosty, and bike the half hour back to the office. My boss is 100% cool with it, because she also wants me to spend the majority of the workday playing and eating.

Or perhaps I want to take a little rest on the office couch and cruise Craigslist for kayaks and kittens—two things I have no intention of actually buying.* My boss encourages it! She too enjoys perusing the catalog of kayaks and kittens available along the Eastern seaboard.

Our company is the best employer in the country. Dogs are allowed, pajama casual dress is worn, and snack breaks are mandated every seven minutes.

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All right, that’s enough. You get it. I LIKE WORKING FOR MESELF.

I gots a little office in the downstairs of the Weight Watchers center where my mom works. It’s huge and cement and empty, but my space is cordoned off with a bunch of hanged-up sheer curtains. It’s kind of like being inside of a shower all the time. I have a couch and a mini-fridge and a desk Curtis bought me for Christmas where I do freelance work.

I don’t have any coworkers—a sad reality of working for yourself, since coworkers are good—but I at least have my mom upstairs. She’s even better than a coworker because she grew me and gave birth to me and is thus required to love me unconditionally and sometimes buy me lunch and drive me to work.

If I walk outside through my downstairs exit, my mom’s office windows are right above mine. Now that the weather’s nice, I’ll sometimes go outside to peel oranges. If I feel like having a chat, all I have to do is chuck a couple of orange peels at my mom’s window and wait for her to open up. She gets pissed but only because she thinks it’s a bird flying into the glass. And boy, nothing gets my mom madder than a bird’s death. That’s one of my most vivid memories as a child—my mom losing it whenever a bird flew into her car’s windshield.

“GODDAMMIT BIRD SHIT I KILLED YOU GODDAMMIT MOTHERFUCKER I DIDN’T MEAN TO BASTARD ASS UNLCEFUCKER GODDAMMIT TO HELL.”

She likes birds.

Anyway, two weeks ago I went outside and felt like having a chat. I didn’t have any orange peels but I needed something to throw at my mom’s window. They always use pebbles in the movies but that seems dangerous. The only thing my mom hates worse than an innocent bird’s death is the prospect of getting showered with shards of broken glass because a rock smashed through her office window. So in lieu of rocks, I decided to throw pieces of mulch.

This may be news to you, as it was to me, but individual pieces of mulch are hella hard to throw. It’s almost impossible. They’re not at all aerodynamic and they don’t have enough heft for heaving purposes. They suck. It’s like trying to throw, I don’t know, a single corn husk. A wadded piece of dry toilet paper. The top to a tube of chapstick. Anything light and stupid, you name it.

So I threw pieces of mulch at her window and none of them would reach. They’d get really close but they’d never quite make it. I could have given up—could have walked 100 feet and just gone to her office, or I could have called or texted or emailed her—but I didn’t want to. I wanted to throw a piece of goddamn mulch at her window and have a chat.

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I tried a million different ways. Overhand, underhand, super forceful, less forceful (in case the force was too much and was actually slowing down the mulch’s velocity—logic that makes no sense to anyone except me). I tried curving it left, curving it right. It’d come within inches of her window but would never reach. (Know that this was all done in sight of many, many motorists—the Weight Watchers building is on the corner of a busy intersection.)

After four minutes of trying every mulch-throwing technique I could think of, I still wasn’t ready to give up. I picked up a new piece of mulch and gave it my most powerful hurl yet. So powerful I probably would have thrown out my shoulder had I not instead violently twisted my ankle and crashed to the ground in a cloud of dirt and mulch.

I sprained my ankle and, worst of all, the mulch didn’t even make it to the window.

There are two lessons to be learned from this:

  1. If you want to get a person’s attention by throwing something at their window, DO NOT USE MULCH. It simply don’t work. Go for orange peels or, if you’re brave, a pebble. An apple core or banana would likely work too.
  2. If I ever offer you a job, do not take it. I am a stupid boss.

P.S. My mom did hear pieces of mulch hitting below the window, I’ve just desensitized her to it. I consider this my most shameful accomplishment.

P.P.S. I went outside to get a picture of the mulch for this post and couldn’t resist throwing a piece at the window again. I got it on the first try.

*I did buy a kayak. I couldn’t help myself, and I don’t even like kayaking that much.