Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Company Barbecue, Part 1

Dear Diary,

Today was our company barbecue. It was held at lunchtime in our parking lot with all the combined companies from our building invited. For days now, I've begged Sheila, our boss, to let me man all three propane barbecues. I need to show to all the accountants in this office that I am way more than just the guy they hired to photocopy and collate. I am a man, not a boy, but no one seems to notice. Now they will. Another thing no one knows: I am a modified vegetarian and have not eaten red meat since 1993, and I've never prepared it.

The barbecue kicked off at 10am with office Olympics held between all the companies. The games included track and field, shot put and the javelin throw. I sat out the two-hour games, telling Sheila I needed to prepare for the barbecue. I got out a big jar of ketchup, then mustard and lastly relish and placed all three on the condiment table. I then sat in my lawn chair and took a breather as everyone continued their stupid games and Derek, the guy I hate the most in our office, won everything. Everyone was cheering, "Derek! Derek! Derek!" My eyes squinted in anger, increasing in squint as the Olympics wore on. When the games were finally over, my squint was pretty much just two opened slits that you could barely squeeze a dime through.

Everyone then gathered before a stage as Derek and his jazz quartet performed. Derek was all sweaty and gross, strumming a large bass and singing all the vocals while sporting all six of his office Olympic gold medals. All the women rushed up close and swooned over him. I grabbed three canned colas from one of the coolers, popping them open and downing them one after the other. I hate Derek. My squint came back.

In the middle of a song, Derek set up a hat and sign at the front of the stage. He was collecting donations for his favorite charity, "Old People Are People Too." I shoved my way through all the women, right up to the stage and booed through the entire next song. Charisse and her friends told me to shut it. I then yelled out to everyone, trying to get a chant going, "Old people are old and that's why we hate them! Old people are old and that's why we hate them! They smell like moth balls, and some like sardines! Old people are old..." That's when Sheila pulled me away.

"You should be barbecuing the burgers," she hissed. "Everyone's hungry."

"I'm on it," I replied, but on my way over to the three barbecues, I couldn't help but jump on stage and join Derek. I pulled one gold medal over his head and wore it myself, throwing my hands up high, running in circles and shouting, "Yeah! I'm number one!"

After one of Derek's quartet members pinned me down, I got up to my knees and begged Derek to let me wear the one medal for the rest of the day. "You have five others, for Pete's sake..." When he quickly nodded, I ran off stage, raising my arms again and hollering, "I'm the best! I'm the best!"

When everyone began to form three long lines toward the barbecues, I looked down intently at the three contraptions.

"What's wrong?" Sheila asked.

"How do you turn these things on?" I questioned her.

Shaking her head, Sheila turned on all three for me.

I pushed her out of the way then. This was now my show. And I looked awesome with my gold medal.

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