I was minding my own business, walking down the hall at work, squinting at the person approaching me in case it was one of the very few people at work I have met. It's always awkward to be greeted by someone I can't see and not be able to return the greeting - indeed, not even know about the greeting - until I am only two feet away from him. I could wear glasses all the time, but really, there isn't that much that I want to see and I can't use my distance glasses for working on the computer so I would just be switching glasses out and that's a pain in the neck. It's easier just to be blind.
Where was I?
So I was walking down the hall when, even in my state of blindness, I saw a man approaching me carrying a huge potted palm.
Of course you know what I had to say.
Of course you do.
You do, right?
I asked him if he was bringing me a shrubbery.
He just said, "Hi!" and continued walking.
He did not stop in amazement at my amazement-causing wit.He did not tell me to run away! run away! He did not say, in a bad French accent, that he farted in my general direction.
What is the world coming to that in a place where I regularly hear men talking about role-playing games that someone had no idea what I was talking about?
I sighed, went into the bathroom, and looked in the mirror for wrinkles. Not a lot of wrinkles - sagging, yes, wrinkles, no. Sunblock gets you only so far.
Then I thought, "It is not I! I had the bad luck to run into another immigrant engineer, like my boss, who grew up in another culture and does not understand this very specific Anglo-American reference!"
I walked down the hall and stuck my head in Dave's office. "Dave," I said, says I, "if I asked you - while you were carrying a huge potted plant if you were bringing me a shrubbery, what would you say?"
He cocked his head to the side and furrowed his forehead. "What?" he asked politely.
"A shrubbery!" I said. "If you were bringing me a shrubbery!"
He smiled politely, the smile you give to crazy people who work in a cubicle and aren't even engineers. "Sorry," he said. "I'm not sure what you are getting at."
"Monty Python!" I said in frustration.
"Oh! Yeah, I think I saw one of their movies a long time ago." He shook his head and returned to his computer.
I wanted to scream. Who were these engineers and who was responsible for their complete and total lack of education?
I went back into the bathroom.
This time, I found wrinkles.