1.) From a phone conversation I had with Tulane Chris tonight:
Meg: Chris, can I bear my soul to you for a second?
Meg: This has been such an incredibly hard summer.
TC: I know, right? But you know you're always welcome to come stay with me and take a break, right? I'm seeing Ex Co-Blogger Eddie tomorrow night, you should come!
Meg: Ugh. I have to work.
TC: So blow 'em off. Tell them you have diarrhea and can't come in.
Meg: I frequently do have diarrhea and come in. I don't think they're going to believe me if it just all of a sudden up and becomes debilitating.
TC: Seriously, don't go.
Meg: OK. I'm going to call my mom and ask.
TC: Meg, we got in trouble with your mom once for looking at vaginal dye on her computer. I don't think she's going to condone skipping work for three days.
Meg: You never know. She gets spicy sometimes.
TC: We got in trouble and we're both 25-years-old.
Meg: ...Point taken.
But, feeling adventurous, I decided to risk it and see what Diane would say if I blew off work for the rest of the week to eat pad thai on Chris' air mattress and talk about my emotions.
Meg: What would you say if I just up and went to Philly to stay with Chris and Eddie for a while?
Mom: I'd say you have a doctor's appointment on Friday.
Meg: Well, yeah, but I also have work and you don't see that stopping me.
Mom: Then I'd say it's pretty obvious that you can't do that. Sorry.
Meg: ...........WELL NOW YOU'RE GOING TO STAY ON THE PHONE WITH ME AND LISTEN WHILE I YOUTUBE VINTAGE 1970'S CARPENTERS PERFORMANCES AND SING ALONG FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES UNTIL I FEEL SLIGHTLY LESS EMOTIONAL!!!!!!1
And then she did. For an hour. And I gotta say: that was pretty damn therapeutic. Mostly because in that time I discovered Japanese superstar Karen Carpenter voice impersonator, Keiko Togue.
I think I'm so blown away by Keiko because when I saw her video in the suggestion links, in my own latently racist mind, I was like, "PSHHH. Asian women just giggle in high-pitched voices. She'll never be able to match the velvety rich, melodious voice of Karen Carpenter." BUT SHE TOTALLY DOES. And now my world has been rocked to the core and its 1:30 in the morning and I can't stop watching videos of her singing various Carpenters hits at across the Land of the Rising Sun's many mini-malls. It's fascinating.
After listening to Keiko cover "Superstar", all I could say to my mom was: "Keiko man; she's the shit." To which my mom responded, "No, she's a soy sauce."
And I don't know why, but that joke really hit the spot. It just completely snuck up on me. I laughed for perhaps a questionable amount of time and then finally was like, "Wooooo! OK. We can get off the phone now. I'm good. I'll live to see another day." So that's what's sustaining my life right now: Keiko man/Kikkoman, soy sauce-based wordplay. I am many things, but above all, I am an incredibly easily amused person. It's like the time at book club when someone brought up Jonathan Lethem and Laura offhandedly said, "Lethem? I hardly even knew him," and I laughed for an uncomfortable amount of time. Like, in between gasps for air, muttering about how Comedy Central should give Laura her own one-hour comedy special, long. And not to take away from Laura's comedic stylings, but "____? I hardly even knew him!" jokes aren't exactly on the cutting-edge of comedy. God forbid anyone make a "Who's on first?" joke around me while I'm eating steak. We wouldn't want to have a Story 2.0 on our hands...
2.) Speaking of racism and Asian voice impersonators, Keiko reminds me of that Japanese Louis Armstrong impersonator who went viral a few years ago:
And if you ever want to experience the most majestic thing that this planet, or any other, has to offer, I recommend you somehow get yourself to our Nation's great capital and watch Alex watch that video. Because that experience greatly outweighs the original YouTube clip in question. Because we're talking high-pitched scream/giggles, kicking the air, and a light and joy in his eyes akin only to a child descending the stairs on a snowy Christmas morn.
Not to mention how much I love Alex covering the Japanese impersonator covering Nat King Cole. It's like a photo copy of a photo copy of a photo copy that makes you piss yourself.
3.) And speaking of Alex, from our gchat conversation last night:
In other news, I've decided that when I get my pug, I'm going to name him Kikkoman or Lethem, slap a blonde wig and a pair of cowboy boots on him and just sit around vomiting out of contentness all day. So there's that.
4.) I don't know if its the heat or the humidity or what, but customers at work have been real assholes recently. And it's not just me being hyper-sensitive because I have a fledgling writing career and emotions; everyone else has noticed it too. I'm going to give you a prime example.
One of my biggest pet peeves at work is when a customer comes in with an incredibly abstract question and gets pissed off when we don't know what the fuck they're talking about.
"Do you have that thing that you used to carry three years ago? You know, that guy makes them and they go over there?"
"OH, GOOD LORD! YOU CREATIVE TYPES DON'T KNOW ANYTHING!"
That's my second biggest pet peeve, by the way; being referred to as a "creative type." There's a proper name for a "creative type"; it's called an "artist" or a "graphic designer". Because we went to art schools and colleges. We got degrees in completely useless fields that pay 8 broken dreams an hour, which is why we're here helping you find that thing that that guy makes and goes over there in the first place. So don't call us "creative types" in a tone that suggests we should all have Megan's Law signs in our yards. Christ.
SO! This woman saunters in, stands next to me looking confused for a few seconds, then looks over at me and says, "You can probably help me," while waving her hand in my general direction. Ma'am, I can probably go to the gym tomorrow. I can probably pay my cable bill on time. I can probably stop watching Keiko Touge videos online and go to bed. But that doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to do any of that. So you should probably ask for my help like a normal human being.
The woman then informs me that she's having a party and needs place cards for the table. Fine. I walk her over to the place card section. But she doesn't know what color cards to get. Fine. What color is the room where dinner will be? She doesn't know; it's at a restaurant where she's never been. Fine. Go with a neutral and go with God. Nope. She's got a better idea—she calls the matire'd of the restaurant, hands the phone to me (without asking if that was OK) and makes me have an in-depth conversation about the wall color so I'll know which place cards will look good. Ma'am I don't know how to tell you this in a way that doesn't result in my getting fired, but I don't give a flying fuck about your dinner, nevertheless which shade of spruce the walls are. What I care about is not channeling Saint Andre and back-slapping you from here to Pottery Barn so I can keep this job and keep helping self-entitled assholes like you to support my blog about fart jokes and emotions. That is what I care about.
But I don't say that, of course. I decide that because the walls are various shades of greens and yellows, she should go with cream or cement place cards. She finally chooses cement after 20 minutes of asking, "You think? You think? You really think?" over and over again. Yes, I really think you should go with cement place cards. I've never felt more confident about anything else in my entire life. I just had an hour long conversation with the maitre'd about everything from table size to the trim of his girlfriend's bikini wax. Just fucking pick up the cards and move on.
"Well do you have that thing I can stick it in?" Ma'am, I have plenty of things you can "stick it in." However, right now, most of the things I'm thinking of are on my physical person, so perhaps you should get more specific or we should just move on. "You know, like the things that hold the cards?" Truthfully, we don't have anything to hold place cards, so I say no. "Well, how will people know which table is which?" she asks. "Well, we have free-standing table tents that you can use to designate table numbers." "Well sweetheart, [scoffs] that's what I just asked."
First of all, don't call me "sweetheart". There is nothing sweet about my heart. My heart is bitter and tired and broken from Michael Showalter's recent engagement. Leave my heart out of this. Secondly, you did not just ask if we have table tents. Because if you had, I would have happily walked you over to the table tents and been psyched to get you the fuck out of my life that much faster. You instead asked if we have "the things that hold the cards," and I don't recall ever learning that "the things that hold the cards" = "table tents" in any of my "creative type" night classes at The Learning Annex, a-thank you very much.
"I'm sorry ma'am, I must have misunderstood you. Table tents are lovely addition to any well-dressed table and will correspond with your place cards perfectly." "Oh." And then she proceeds to grab the tents out of my hand, turn around and walk away without event a hint of a thank you. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! I just had phone sex with a maitre'd for you and took all of your shit when I don't even work on commission and you can't even muster up a simple thank you?!?!?!
All I wanted was to chase after her, grab her by the shoulders, spin her around and say this:
First of all, I realize that I don't work in the fashion industry, but I'm 99.9% sure Christian Dior doesn't actually make sunglasses with rhinestone butterflies affixed to them with hot glue. Secondly, I'm not the one who made a conscious decision to sport see-through footwear today so let's drop the "I'm a rich Georgetown housewife and you're the hired help!" act, shall we? Because I deal with rich Georgetown housewives all day and a.) they don't go out of their way to get dressed up to run errands as you embarrassingly have; they come in in tennis skirts and jaunty golf outfits because why waste energy looking good for the kind of people who are out on M street on a Monday afternoon? b.) The tacky Dooney & Burke keychain dangling from your talons clearly has a Mazda car key on it, and I'm not talking shit about Mazdas—Lord knows one was my first car—I'm just saying Ladies Who Lunch typically don't drive Protegés; c.) Again, I don't know much about fashion, but I do know that your Louis Vuitton handbag is about as real as my sentiments when I tell customers to have a great day; and d.) No real Georgetown Housewife would ever interact with me as long as you have because I have tattoos, a bad attitude and a stud in the same nose that gives me away as a big 'ole Jew. So you had your fun getting dressed up, driving into the big city and hassling the girl who straightens the place cards so you can feel important for a day, but I suggest you do one thing and one thing only: stay in your own fucking lane.
But, you know, fart jokes and emotions. That shit don't pay.
But every now and then, God hands us a little something to temporarily make things seem tolerable. Little Keiko Touges or pugs, if you will. And not 10 minutes after that woman left, I got the nicest phone call ever:
"Thank you for calling Blah Blah Blah, this is Meg speaking, how may I help you?"
"Oh! Hey Meg! My name is Mike Blah Blah Blah. You actually helped out me and my wife with DIY wedding invitations a few weeks ago? I'm sure you don't remember us, you deal with so many people everyday, but we remember you because you were so incredibly helpful and fun. The reason I'm calling today is because we want to come in to make thank you cards and we wanted to see what days you'd be around?"
I swear to god, actual tears welled up in my eyes and it took everything in my power not to be like, "YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I NEEDED TO HEAR THAT. EVERYTHING IS SO BAD RIGHT NOW, MIKE. IT'S SO BAD! I JUST WANT YOU AND YOUR WIFE TO HOLD ME IN YOUR ARMS AND ROCK ME BACK-AND-FORTH EVER SO GENTLY. EVER SO GENTLY, MIKE. EVER SO."
But, again. Fart jokes and emotions. It works both ways. So instead I told him when I'd be around and he said they'd be in in the next week or so. But before he hung up, feeling the need to somehow convey to him how much his call meant to me, I said, "MIKE...It was really, really good talking to you today." He was like, "...Yyyyyyyyeahhhhh........K. Well. Bye, Meg."
So now in addition to blatantly offering a customer a hand job last week, a certain couple in the greater DC Metropolitan area miiiiight think I want to have a 3-way with them. And truthfully, in times like these, with compliments like those, I wouldn't hate it.