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Squid #278
(published May 11, 2006)
Ask the Giant Squid: Trapped within the Cubicle Farm, Stewing in My Self-Same Juices
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid,

I was just wondering, how do squids empty waste in their body? Please help!

Siddege Salla

Dear Siddege,

I sit here now, typing these letters on a poorly-made Dell keyed-board, on a "break" from the new routine I have entered voluntarily into. I have three breaks in my day, one in the morning, of 15-minutes in length, one at the noon hour, of 25-minutes, and one in the afternoon, of 10-minutes. The long, noon break is called the "lunch break," and is intended for the eating of the mid-day meal. The other two breaks are called the "smoking breaks." Their purpose is unclear; for most of the office staff, the evacuate to the outside of the building during these "smoking breaks." I have observed no smoke precipitating or following said breaks. I am aware that in several Indo-Germanic, Slavic and Romance languages, "smoking" does refer to the tuxedo evening wear. I have observed no evening-wear, either. Much in the customs of this place is mysterious to me. Lacking proper evening ear and seeing neither smoke nor fire, I reserve my breaks for the casual perusal of the myspecious weblogs, the answering of my personal e-mails, and the penning of columns, such as this, which you now read.

As you may have read in the weeks past, monetary issues have drifted to the forefront of my relationship with Lovely and Loved Hazel. This, along with the serendipitous advice of Mrs. MacPherson and the job offer from her son Donny the Games Master, has led me unerringly into the jobs market.

Fortune is a fickle and filpscious Lady: Yesterweek I was unemployed, rooting amongst the dregs of the Dequindre road Mobile Park—which is oddly stationary, I admit, though I fully expect one day to return to my home and find it fled on chicken feet into the urban wilds of Detroit Town, not unlike the domicile-cum-conveyance of our dear Baba Yaga—for sustenance physical, psycho-emotional and spiritual. And PresentWeek I find myself steeped in so much new-ness and input and experience as to barely reach the Gardenentationing shed behind Hazel's Living Unit before my optically perfect eyes drift shut and I sleep the rare and dreamless sleep of the Employed and Exhausted.

How do squids empty their bodily waste?

Ten-hours daily do I spend in the cubicled workplace of Michener, Messner & Loebs, Incorporated, a "telemarketing provider" as the doorway glass reads. The glass, I should warn you, is not of the same variety—three inches thick and strong as transparent aluminum—that encased me in my previous domicile high atop the clouds of Detroit. It is also not of the type commonly installed in automobiles, which can take a great amount of pressure before even cracking the slightliest. No. This is glass as delicate as the fine-spun sugardreams of a little pinafored girl in the sunshine; it is the glass that—like illusions and dreams of lifetime presidential grandeur—shatters and stars the steps with even the slightest nudge of an armored tentacle. Beware, dear readers, should you find yourselves outside the Michener, Messner & Loebs, Incorporated offices on the Nine Mile Street; there are much and many shards strewn about. Much and many. These are the shards of my broken dreams, and also of Michener, Messner & Loabs, Incorporated's broken door's windows' glass.

My title is trainee. This is emblazoned on a ridiculously small vest that is clumsily taped to the rear of my velocitational suit. Trainee. I rankle at the noxious squeal of this insultish gruntchimp "word." Trainee. Would I were a pair of raggˇd claws scuttling at the bottom of the ocean rather than be a trainee. Once I was the President of the City-State of Washingtonian Deca and Emperor of all that I beheld with mine eyes, and now I am a trainee, beholden to all. It is a word synonymous with pledge, novice, newbie, punk, fresh fish or freshman. The moniker is in and of itself shameful, and suggestive of unnatural sex acts, and the loathsome "Thank you, sir; may I have another?" Being trained, no less, by Ivan, my current dungeons-or-dragons guildmate, and former cubicle serf. Oh, how we mighty have fallen.

The irony is not lost on him, but having seen the way I consume and masticate the flesh of the Pit Bull and the Rottweiler, he is in no hurry to offend me. My training at his hands has been as gentle, delicate and sensuous as the sea's foam. No, the battering and butchering of the training, which renders it so flagellating, comes at the hands of disembodied voices flaying my soul through the telephonic communication lines that are piped into the communicatory unit of my decaying and imprisoning Velocitational Suit. Are their hands also disembodied? Do voices have hands? As is clear, the stresses, both psychological and environmental, do take their toll. It is a subtle torture that the Mr.s Michener, Messner and Loebs (Incorporated) do practice. What this hazing lacks in naked-ass-pyramids, it does compensate for in sudden, incomprehensible declarations, ever-changing directives, and a system for calculating the accrual of "comp days," "personal hours" and "sick intervals" that is both byzantine and draconian, in addition to being non-Euclidian (and possibly fluctious) in its mathematics. Yes, like gold-bearing ore cooked in the crucible, I am becoming purer, better, further, more, but at what cost? All which does not kill me, will it make me stronger, or merely render me weak as a pussy cat, wobbling on the very brink of destruction, and open to any semantic attack or otherwise harmless virus?

I have not met Mssrs. Michener, Messner and Loebs, as of yet. Frankly, dear Siddege, I am beginning to doubt they exist. Like the many front companies and false blinds that Sang—treacherous Sang—created when he was my lab manager and business advisor, I believe them to be fictional. I am employed by fiction, but the money is quite real.

The saving grace of this employ, considering the severity of my current economic arrears, is that we are paid nightly, at the terminus of our shifts. I earn seven dollars per hour worked. Ivan earns eight. The incongruity chafes me as surely as the leather support straps in my Suit, and the cancerous vines of jealousy find root in the firmament of my soul.

But, how do squids empty their bodily waste?

I have a 40 minute commute to this "gig" of mine. I attempted the first day to ride an autobus, as that is the method employed by the Eminem in his Eight Miles movie. Perhaps, I fantasized, I could also write of the Dope Rhymes and Develop A Flow such as Rabbit Jimmy the Eminem did in his film? I would become the first ever President to leave office and be-come the successful Hipping and Hopping star! But alas, the entryway of the autobus was narrow and its center of gravity impractically high. After tipping two of the buses like drunken cow-bulls, I resigned myself to walking on the battered legs of my VelocitoSuit.

Once at the office of the fictitious partners M, M & L, I "Punch the Clock." Though, I have learned, this is another euphemism and if carried out in a literal manner results in the destruction of the Work Property and one is then "written up." When I was informed of this, at first elation lifted my spirits as thoroughly as the nitrogen narcosis, "Up is commonly associated with good," I did reason, "Even though 'up' is where the vacuous surface is' as such, being 'written up' must be akin to receiving a commendation! Perhaps the clock was old and needed destroying?" I was high-hopeful that this recognition and writing up might lead, as naturally as the night follows the day, to greater nightly remuneration. Alas, I was mistaken, and did get the "chewed out" over the speakering phone by either the Mr. Michener or the Mr. Loabs Incorporated, while Ivan did shake woefully of his head. So now, when I utter the phrase "Punch the Clock" I actually mean "fill in the paper timesheet and have Ivan initial it for this one."

For ten hours of the day, I make of the telephonic calling to customers. This I shall speak of more, at great length, some other time, dear Siddege, for my break is nearly over and Ivan is pacing behind me.

But, you are certainly wondering, how do squids empty their bodily waste? And I shall answer you: we generally void it into the water, where the countless waters of the sea dilute it into purity. Unless you, a Giant Squid of the order Architeuthis Rex Mundi, happen to be imprisoned in a badly failing robo-mechanical suit. Then you merely void your waste into the very water that you breath, slowly poisoning yourself with your own bodily excrescences. As the environment you are encased within becomes more and more like unto the contents of your bowels—and therefore more like unto yourself—it becomes toxic. You poison yourself with yourself. As the divide between body and environ grows porous and fades, so do you. Poetic, really, in a slightly moribund tact.

It is time to return to work.

Farewell, dear readers, and Siddege.

I Remain,
The Exhausted And Employed
Giant Squid

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