Friday, July 2, 2010

Mr Otis Regrets

I had to go to the county seat the other day, and I wound up seeing a woman who thought that the county seat was a nice comfy Barcalounger, made just for her.

There were about six people already in the elevator going down in the parking garage when I got on. From the 5th floor, I would have ordinarily taken the steps down to the ground floor, back in the days before a chunk of my L-4 disc decided to wedge itself into the nerve bed of my sciatical whatsis, making steps a dicey proposition at best, and leading me onto the Otis people-moving device wherein stood a woman who is everything you've ever nightmared about when you dream of rude, loud, self-absorption.

It seemed to matter not to her that she was one of a group of six. One of the six was a County prosecutor, but - and I checked - there is no law against being a contumacious boor in a public setting, to wit, an elevator, so he was unable to bring charges against her. This glaring lack of a law forbidding asinine public behavior is exactly why Mel Gibson is out strutting around today, if you think about it.

More accurately, she was a group of one and then there was a group of five encircling her. But here is how she rolled:

She had one of those blue teeth things and she was holding a conversation with someone on the phone. I say "a conversation," when it was really more of a monologue. I almost felt sorry for the person on the other end, and sorry for myself for not being there from the very beginning of all this. But the point was to impress us all, her captive audience, with how important she is, and how powerful whatever firm she is involved with is. They were, I dunno, doing something, in charge of something, whatever. She was barking it out, boy, I wanna tell ya. On and on she went about how big a deal she is, and you know she was talking awfully fast - we only had five floors to descend, and yet we got her point.

I think it was the 4th floor when another woman got on, really packing us in tighter than the 5 o'clock express subway in Tokyo. The new arrival had one of those briefcase-on-wheels jobbies that you see wherever people tote briefcases. I mention that because when we finally got to the bottom floor and the yaws of the elevator slid open to free us from the sound of Ms Loudtalker's voice, we mere peasants on the ride with her did not get out of the elevator quickly enough for Her Majesty. The woman with the wheel thing got a wheel caught in the groove of the doorway, and of course the prosecutor and I were trying to be gentlemanly about everyone getting out and suddenly Bluetooth started hollering "Go! Go! Go! Go!" It was just like one of those World War II movies with a bomber flying overhead and a bunch of paratroopers all being sent out the door by a hard-bitten sergeant with a heart of gold played by Richard Jaeckel. To be precise, Jaeckel played the whole sergeant, not just his heart of gold.

We hopped out of there and scattered like duckpins to make a path for her. You would have thought that there would be someone darting just ahead of her, as she ankled to her destination, to strew rose petals in her path.

And had this been a real situation comedy, as opposed to just being a comical situation, when I went to my meeting, she would have been in the front of the room, all in charge and everything. Right now, whoever she is, she is somewhere, in charge of something and some someones.

And I pity them all.

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