Friday, February 6, 2015

The Interview

As we grow older, we realize we'll never be an astronaut or a screenwriter or a good person. We realize that we have limitations. By middle age, I finally realized I would never make it to the NBA's slamdunk contest. Because I have no talent. And I can't jump. And I have a cleft chin. And for many, many other reasons. But I still fantasize about showing up there someday and throwing down a sick jam in Spud Webb's stunned face. Yes.... Someday I'll show up in my headband and short shorts ready to show those dogs how it's done yo.

My late thirties--growing spurt here I come!!

But fantasies should be confined to your Trapper Keeper, or your secret diary, or your webcam show. When we let our fantasies out, bad things happen. Painful, hilarious things.

So my coworker Kitty has cerebral palsy. It's great to be cerebral, but the palsy part is a bit of a damper. Because of her disability, she can't be an astronaut or give Spud Webb a facial or tell stories to a roomful of little children without making them cry. She's just like me!

We've been interviewing candidates for a 10 hour job at the library, and the job mostly consists of doing storytimes, putting on clown makeup, and performing modern jazz dance. Kitty is in no way qualified for any of these things. But, damnit, no disability is going to keep her down. SHE'S A HERO.

Me and my manager Carol and another librarian had to pretend to be the kids while Kitty did her storytime atrocity. It was very important that we performed our roles convincingly. But it turned out I have a disability, too: I'm a jackass.

Kitty has a loud, moany voice with plenty of juice in it. Over the last months she's been scratching herself: scratching her wrists, her face, her head, her neck--bringing down an abundant harvest of white flakes on her keyboard and on her coworkers ha ha. It's like a living snow globe of putridness! At least she hasn't coughed up a hairball. Yet. To hide her alarming baldness, she wears sundry Josie and the Pussycat hats, big and poofy and groovy. She squints and pushes out her lower lip and walks in a herky jerky motion and wears a fanny pack and relentlessly, remorselessly eats four million potato chips from fertilizer-sized bags and she bangs on her big special keyboard with her pudgy, red, nerveless fingers that hang like deflated alien tubers off her flakey psoriasistic Golem hands. I've asked her out, but she keeps turning me down. :(

After the painful interview, Kitty then launched into her storytime. We sat before her as she shouted out the words on each page of her book--something about dinosaurs trying to keep their evil in check while following all local and national building codes.

The book shook in her hands, and each page was paper-clipped for ease of turning. I sat in astonishment, trying to put on my best childish wonder face. My chin cleft got a cramp.

"Dig dig dig, goes the truck," Kitty blithered.

"Ooooh," Carol said.

"Mm," I said. Tears formed.

"And what are they digging?"


"WHAT ARE THEY DIGGING?" Kitty shouted again.

"Err... Their own grave?"


I had picked a bad day to stop free basing. Kitty waved the dinosaur book in my face and wanted more audience participation out of me.

"Clatter clatter," I whispered, stegosaurus-sized tears now streaming down my face.


"Splash... uh... splash..."

"DIG DIG!..."

"Dig... uh-huh..."


"Rumble, yes..."


I couldn't breathe.


Dear God Dear God JUST MAKE IT END

"A swimming pool! Yesh!"

"Yea!" Carol clapped and hooted. (She's a very convincing three-year-old.)

"Now my next book is Why Baby Is Scared--"

"No, no," Carol said, jumping up and becoming a grown-ass adult in an instant. "That's all we need. Thank you!"

I wiped my drenched face. I think I'm going to go out for that slamdunk contest after all....

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