01 November 2007

Celebrating My Birthday in Crazy Land

"Fly free and happy beyond birthdays and across forever, and we'll meet now and then when we wish, in the midst of the one celebration that never can end." ~ Richard Bach

My birthday is Saturday, so we're celebrating today in Crazy Land. The birthday person gets to choose a restaurant, then everyone else gets to pick their entree from the menu. We're having Italian food today. I've lost a lot of weight since my surgery 8 weeks ago, so I thought fettucine alfredo would be a good choice. My arteries probably wouldn't agree, but if I have a stroke in the middle of lunch, at least I'll die happy. My birthday cake is chocolate Italian wedding cake.

The best thing about Crazy Land birthday parties, of course, is the fun of watching everyone interact with each other. Mutual dislike runs rampant through the ranks and you know how I love a tension filled get-together. As you know, I make an effort to avoid most of my co-workers, but when they're all in one room together I'm usually ready to have fun. It's Crazy Land at it's best when everyone is jammed into a little conference room.

There will be the usual jockeying for seats. I'm very popular to sit by, as is the Information Superhighway. Unfortunately for everyone else, Superhighway and I tend to sit together because we actually like each other. No one wants to sit by Loathsome, Mr. Money Bags, The Foot Lady or Owner. None of them (except Owner) wants to sit by each other, either. I don't mind sitting by Owner; he's an old friend, remember.

Owner loves to use these opportunities to harass people. He makes extremely far-left political comments to Mr. Moneybags, who's both a Rush Limbaugh devotee and who hates virtually everything. Moneybags doesn't present much of a challenge to Owner, but that doesn't diminish his enjoyment.

Owner pokes fun at Loathsome's taste in clothing or food. Loathsome prides himself on impeccable taste in both the sartorial and culinary arenas. It's hard for Owner to make much of a dent in Loathsome's self-absorbed armor, but I get the joke and that's enough for me. One year, Loathsome chose as his birthday confection a praline cheesecake that had a caramel topping with pecan pieces on top. Owner spent the entire lunch speculating about whether some of those "nuts" weren't bugs. That got under Loathsome's skin a bit. I love it when that happens.

The Hemorrhoid Guy is always singled out, too, but I can't recall the nature of his soft spots that Owner likes to poke. H.G. gets every bit as enraged as Mr. Moneybags, though, which is always a surprise to me. He has an exuberant sense of humor, along with his obsession with his hemorrhoids. I'm sure that will come up at lunch today. Owner loves to yammer on about topics I'm certain his mother told him not to discuss while people are eating.

Foot Lady is usually home free. Her contribution is to unintentionally annoy everyone else. When we're all in a group, we're generally able to restrain her from talking about her feet. I've never known her to try to put her foot up on the conference room table. She has other ways, though, of making people want to stab her with their plastic forks. Owner doesn't seem to find any fun in picking on her. Maybe he can't figure out what gets on her nerves or maybe it's too much trouble.

When he wants to annoy all of us, Owner launches into a litany of the many contributions Golf Pro has made and continues to make to Crazy Land. I don't think I've introduced you to Golf Pro before. I'm making a note to devote a post to him very soon. Since my breast cancer ordeal, I've developed a sense of humor about the Pro, so I'm now immune to that form of Owner's torture.

Best of all, Owner does not pick on me. We share the jokes, he and I. I used to get irritated with him for consistently, without fail, being disgusting or morose or fatalistic. Generally, he was all of those things in the short space of time it takes to mow through an entree and some birthday cake. I'd have to step in and make him stop it (since I'm the only one who can do that). I don't care about that anymore, either. That's not such good news for the rest of Crazy Land. Now they're at his mercy.

You know, writing about all of this has put me in a great mood already. If you find yourself in the vicinity of some cake (or other verboten sugar-laden food), have some on me. If you find yourself hankering for Italian food or some other artery-clogging death food, do not deny yourself. If you have some crazy co-workers, go hang out with them and be entertained. It's my birthday (almost). Celebrate with me.

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