My friend Bayou as asking this morning if there was a "Take Your Squid to Work Day." Certainly you would know that answer. If there isn't such a day, do you think there should be?
Dear Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four-feet-ten in one sock,
I was intrigued by this idea and somewhat saddened for I had no squid to take to work but myself, and the prospect of a "Take Your Self to Working Day" feels hollow. I feared I may be missing some cultural reference, which I have been notified happens all too often. I read your Internets and watch your televisual channels, I peruse your magazines and fold and refold your newspapers, yet still there are aspects of your dry and sun-scorched culture that mystify me.
I turned to my assistant, Rob, for clarification. I have considered appointing him my official Human-Architeuthian liaison, but upon consultation with Molly (our lab's director) have decided against it, as the promotion would require both a pay increase and the hiring of a new janitor.
"Hey-hey Lord A.; Molly says you've gotta question." Rob was soaked in sweat. Deep rings of moisture darkened his armpits and legpits. Droplets formed on his brow and leapt away, seeking the sea.
I projected your question, dear Lo, upon the wall of my tank and Rob produced a merry chuckle. "I think she's messing with you, big guy. Y'see, in America we have this, like, weird holiday in November where parents take their kids to work for the day. Little Johnny and Susie or whatever get to come and see what their folks do. It sounds like your usual fuckin' get gung-ho about being a productive little cog in the American machine thing, but it can be pretty sweet."
I noticed that Rob was smiling now and ambient readings indicated no trace of alcohol or the marijuana smoke. He was also wearing short pants and running shoes.
"I figure it gives the schools a break from the kids. And it gives the parents a break from work, 'cause it's pretty hard to get anything done when everyone's kids are all over getting sticky prints on the copier and shit." Rob paused and gazed off into space in an uncharacteristically thoughtful manner. "Maybe it goes back to, like, the 1950s? When you had a more gender-segregated workforce. Maybe it was a way to force dads to hang with their munchkins."
"BUT ROB," I intoned, "WHAT ABOUT THE TEACHERS? DO THEIR CHILDREN SIT ALONE IN THE EMPTY CLASSROOM? WHAT ABOUT THOSE WITH JOBS SO VITAL THAT INDUSTRY DEPENDS ON THEM? THE EXECUTIVES? THE CONGRESSPEOPLE? THE EROTIC DANCERS? THE GARBAGEMANS? DO WE FORCE THEIR CHILDREN INTO SERVITUDE FOR THE DAY?"
Rob scratched his dampened hair. "I think you're taking this way too seriously, which is normal for you I guess."
"AND WHAT OF THE ORPHANS? DO THEY SPEND THE DAY SITTING UPON THE GRAVES OF THEIR PARENTS, SILENTLY WEEPING AND WISHING THEY COULD BE IN THE KITCHEN OF A MCDONALDS, SIPPING STOLEN MILKYSHAKES AND EATING OF THE ILLICIT HAMBURGERS?" I made elucidating gestures with my fifth (id est, Fiercesome) tentacle.
"Yeah, basically, but—" Rob shook his head. "Dude, sir, Lord A., I am not even going to let you get to me today. All your negativity is like water off a duck's back." I began to speak when Rob interrupted, "And I am not even going to explain that to you. You have Wikipedia and the urban dictionary and Jarwaun will be by in a bit; look it up. I gotta get back to my workout."
At this last phrase Molly—whom had been eavesdropping nearby—laughed with an incredulity worthy of a badger in a fishmonger's cold case. It was a laugh that said, I know you are trying to be larger than yourself but I find this behavior humorous and error-ful. "Since when do you workout? You barely even work?" For emphasis Molly pointed to a row of overflowing trash bins lined up alongside a wall. Taped above the bins was a post-it note with the words "ROB'S JOB" neatly printed in her hand.
Rob waved his hand dismissively. "You're just hating, Molls. You haven't met the new me yet." He bent over and tied a shoelace, a gesture I always find incredibly threatening. Had I hackles, they would have risen. "See, ever since GM closed down most of the building, I've been using my breaktime to explore. We've got dozens of floors here they just left alone, like the Marie Celeste or Croatoa or whatever. Me and Devo found some sweet old computers and like ten boxes of calendars." Rob's eyes went wide, "Y'know, valuable shit? Anyways Down on floor twenty-seven I came across this gym. I guess it was like an executive washroom or something but it's all tricked out with treadmills and cardio machines and weights. There's a sauna and a hot tub and the power and water are still on, so it's cool." He waited, but whatever response he expected was not forthcoming. "They've even got Direct TV—" he paused, "With, like, all the pay channels."
Molly shot me a look as if to ask if I believed Rob's story. I attempted a shrug and a lightening of my mantle to what I hoped what a curious sienna.
"But I think somebody made a post about it on Craigslist, 'cause it's full of these old Polish dudes all walking around naked and hogging the sauna. And a bunch of the maintenance workers monopolize the weight room. Last week someone even stole a bunch of the doorknobs and fixtures, probably for scrap. Or to be a royal dick. Anyways," Rob began to jog in place,"I still have a few more reps to do and Mr. Gutierrez is waiting on me to spot him."
As Rob ran off I began the preparations necessary to load into my landwalking suit. Dear Lo, in our current economic arrears, there is hardly work enough in the entire state to bring your squid to. Apart from that, I imagine that bringing a squid to work would be at best dull, and at worst quite dangerous (there is naught that peeves a squid more than a deep fat frier). But perhaps there should be a day when you bring your squid (or whatever higher being you consort with) to a some place or event which you enjoy. In any case, if you will excuse me, I have a need to jog downstairs and make the look-see, for my curiosity is piqued to see a sauna room stuffed full with naked, endomorphic Poles—like a badger in the aforementioned cold case, if you should take my meaning. In any event, it is, I imagine, quite a sight.
Until then Dear Readers,
The Giant Squid
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