I went to see my boss in his office, because I noticed that there was a new deduction on my paycheck for health care. I said, hey, I thought that was one of my benefits?
He looked up from the brochure he was studying, said yeah, sorry about that, von Borax, but the cost increased by like 21 percent this year, so we had to roll some of those costs over to the employees, or we would have had to make some staffing cuts. What could we do?
I said, wow, 21 percent. Well, that’s a shame, and went back to work. When I got home I canceled my cable TV.
The next day when I got into work, there was this huge pile of papers on my desk and Sophie was gone. I went in to see my boss, but he was in Bermuda, so I called him on my cellphone and said, hey, where’s Sophie?
He said, hang on, this band is too loud in here…okay, look, von Borax, I had to let Sophie and Carlos and Wilhelmina go yesterday. The competition took one of our clients, so we had to downsize a little.
I said oh, darn that mean competition. And I worked through lunch and two hours past quitting time. The call to Bermuda cost me $46.70.
When I received my check the following Friday, the overtime wasn’t on it. I went in to see my boss, who’d just got back from Bermuda. I said, I think you guys got my hours wrong.
He looked up from the massage table, and Helga stepped back, with her hands dripping golden fragrant oil on the new purple carpet. He said, The thing is, von Borax, with the economy in its current state, we can’t afford to pay overtime anymore…we’ve just all got to pitch in and put our shoulders to the grindstone.
I said, yeah, I heard there was some trouble with the economy. and I went back to work and totally blasted through a ton of stuff because I want our company to ride this economic storm out. I came in Saturday to finish a few things up.
Monday when I got to the office they’d replaced my desk with a cardboard box. The phone was ringing. I picked it up, and it was one of our clients, yelling that the widget we sold him had disintegrated when exposed to sunlight.
I went in to see my boss, and had to interrupt the poker game he was playing with other important leaders of industry. The naked woman on the table stopped dancing and lit a cigarette while I told my boss about the sunlight problem.
He said, listen, von Borax, so maybe our clients have to keep the widgets in slightly darkened rooms or something. Those widgets are being produced at a 40 percent discounted rate! That’s a tremendous cost savings.
I said, 40 percent! That’s almost half off! Boy, that should help the company. And I told the Mariachi band to start up again and went back to work.
I called the client back and explained the darkened room thing to him, but he just hung up in me.
The next day when I got to work, there were several cows grazing on new grass springing up from the carpet. They kept knocking my coffee cup off my cardboard box and one of them ate the bag of dry beans I’d brought for my lunch. I think the phone was ringing, but I couldn’t understand the client on the other end because they’d replaced the phone with a dixie cup attached to a piece of yarn. It kept ringing, but it might have just been that the bird that rang the bell had an itch.
I went to see my boss about it, but he was at the yacht club. I had to climb the twelve foot wall to get in, and I cut my leg a little in the broken glass embedded in the top of it. My boss looked up from the two pedicurists and two manicurists and the large Swedish man carefully trimming my boss’s pubic hair into a dollar sign, and said, how the hell did you get in here, Von Borax?
I said, hey, what’s with the cows and the dixie cups?
He sighed and said, look, von Borax, we had to rent out part of the office as a pasture to raise a little more money. And the dixie cups are much cheaper than real phones. I had to pay some income taxes.
I said, I thought I read that taxes for people in your income bracket had been cut by 37 percent?
He said, well, I still have SOME taxes. Now get back to work, and don’t forget to clock out for the time you’ve been away from the office.
I thought, wow. That poor guy. He has to pay taxes. That reminded me that my own taxes were due. I cashed out my 401k account to pay them. Did you know there’s a big penalty for early withdrawal on those?
The next day I got to the office an hour early, and there was a memo on my desk that said that I might have to start providing certain sexual favors to some of my boss’s friends on my lunch hour, and then washing their cars. I went in to explain that I hadn’t actually had a lunch hour for weeks. My boss looked as concerned as a man could look, lolling in a fountain of warm champagne with six shaved lambs dressed as British schoolgirls.
He said, well, you’ve got to fit the sexual favors in somewhere, von Borax. Can you answer the phone with your mouth full? I said I’d sure give it the old couldn’t-afford-to-go-to-college try, for the sake of the company. It was nice washing the cars, anyway, as the water was recently cut off at my house and I could sometimes get a mouthful of soapy water now. It sure beat the coffee I’d been making out of sand.
The next day I got to work and there was a guy in a white coat standing there with a big hypodermic. He said, please roll up your sleeve, I need blood. I said, I need blood too! He said, I’ll leave you a little.
I was pretty faint when I went to see my boss. He wasn’t in his office so I went to his house, an enormous tudor-style house on the West side. He wasn’t there either, so I went to his other house, a large pink Moorish castle. He wasn’t there either, so I went to his other house, a Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie house he’d had moved into the hills. He wasn’t there, either, so I went to his other house, a Victorian mansion with a rollercoaster and a private Go-Go club. He wasn’t there, either, so I went to his other house, a geodesic dome made of Austrian crystal, surrounded by a moat of emeralds and rubies. He wasn’t there either, so I went to his other house, a converted football stadium with a roof of pure human bones. I found him at a mahogany table on his lawn, where two golden robots were feeding him live monkey brains and squeezing his caviar directly from a tank full of Siberian sturgeon.
I said, look, I’m the only employee you have left at the office now, since you outsourced Melvin and Melinda’s stuff to those Congolese children, and sold Brenda to the Beef Jerky factory. It’s hard for me to perform at peak levels without most of my blood.
He said, I understand how you feel, von Borax, and delicately speared the screaming monkey in the eye. He chewed it thoughtfully and said, I hear Wilhelmina wants her job back because she doesn’t like her new job, which has been no job. Wilhelmina had lots of blood, as I recall…
I told him nevermind, and I went back to work. Boy, was I looking forward to retirement. By which I mean death. But I had to appreciate the way my boss kept me around, with all the other sacrifices he’s had to make.
I called my wife on the dixie cup to tell her that I’d be home late. When I got home, she was barbequing in the backyard, which surprised me, because all we’ve had to eat recently is spiders, and they always fall through the grill. Boy, was I amazed when she gave me a big plateful of ribs. I said, where’d you get this?
She said, well, you know, with all he’s done for us, eventually we had to have your boss over for dinner.