Almost two weeks ago I started a new job. As with any workplace, the most important thing is assembling a collection of characters who will be entertaining and unique while still managing to do whatever it is they are being paid to do.
This went to the extreme on me yesterday. Although it was a Friday, the day of the week most known for oddball behavior in the workplace, what I witnessed outside of the building in which I work was something I never imagined seeing in my life. Sure, I've seen and done a lot of crazy things in my life, but this was, as my friend Berhardt Goates would say, "nuts out of space."
A co-worker, who also happens to be a good friend, and who hooked me up with this job in the first place, had come into work wearing a long, flowing white dress made of some kind of magic cottony gauze type fabric. As we were enjoying the pleasures derived from the smoke brought about as a result of setting tobacco on fire, we saw an eagle flying overhead. It had caught a fish in a nearby lake and was bringing it up to its associate, who was perched on top of a telephone pole overlooking some quick vehicle lubrication business.
Now, this was quite an awesome sight in and of itself, two eagles having their lunch and the female being a very effective fisherwoman while the male looked on waiting to eat something nice and tasty. However, the female eagle dropped the fish before it could bring it up to the temporary roost and roast. The eagle decided to head back to the lake to do some more fishing, but my associate would have none of it. She wanted the eagles to get the damned fish, the one they dropped, and she was not taking any rejection of her well-intentioned efforts. So, knowing where the eagle had dropped the fish, my associate yelled at the eagles and pointed to where the fish had been dropped. She was excited and emotional, making curious demands of these two mighty birds, and they were not getting with her program.
That is not where our story ends.
My associate, filled with emotion and a true desire to make herself seen by the eagles, raced across the field where the fish had been dropped. It had been raining, so the grass was wet and there were still drizzles of rain in the air. With her long white "gown" flowing behind her, she ran towards the dropped fish, where she picked the dead fish up and showed it to the eagles, still yelling at them to come and get their dinner.
It should have been enough that she had picked up this dead fish, which was of a size most freshwater fishermen would be darned proud of. Instead, what happened next was that this woman stood in the middle of a rainswept field, her long white cape and robes blowing around her, with a large dead fish in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other, her arms outstretched towards the sky, while she called out to these birds who did not know what to make of this unusually strange human being.
As the employees of this quick lube place looked on, she danced back and forth across the field with her fish. Apparently she wanted the eagle to come down, take the fish from her and give her a nice little thank you present. The eagles were perplexed. They probably thought this crazed woman was stealing their dinner and then taunting them with it. You see, eagles do not speak English, which was the language she used to try to communicate with them, and she used some big words which likely led them to greater confusion.
The old masters would have painted this scene and called it, Crazed Woman With Fish. Mr. Horse from the Ren and Stimpy show would have scratched his chin and said, "No sir, I don't like it." Stanley Kubrick would have gone into a decade of complete seclusion were he to have been alive to witness this. It was highly unusual.
As I stood stunned, looking on as crazed woman with fish ran back and forth across that wet field, she came towards me to show me the fish. There she was, standing there, still smoking her cigarette and showing me that this fish needed to be consumed by those eagles and she would not rest until she made it happen. Eventually she came to her senses, dropped the fish in a convenient location for said eagles and went inside.
Inside the building I was then able to witness one co-worker telling someone on the telephone, "He says it is only eight inches." Some time later, the receptionist hung up the phone angrily and told me, "The one part about my job I hate is answering the phone."
Yeah, I love this planet you people have here. It is so entertaining.