Work, man. It saps the creative juices right out of your veins. It sands you flat, reducing you to a chromed nihility. It sucks the emotional marrow right out of your bones. It plows you over with salt so no life will ever rise forth again. That's why you need home cooking. Sustenance. Fuel for your tank. Vince'll show you how. See him there, eating some of Kristanne's special vittles? That's how you stay strong for another day. That's how you beat the man.
I had a long row to hoe before I would see any of Kristanne's home-cooking for myself, though. I had set out an ambitious schedule for my stay in the Bay Area -- one help file per day, feature-complete, and compiled error-free. A help file per day keeps the unemployment line away, as I always like to say. So far, so good -- the first day's help file was completed no problem. Today, however, might pose a bit of a problem -- the application I was using to write my help files (RoboHelp!) had suddenly and unexplainedly gone south on me the night before. Could I get it working today?
I decided to give myself an extra minute's worth of sleep to think about it, waking up at 5:53 today instead of my customary 5:52. It paid off. I had brainstorms galore during that one minute, hitting upon stroke after stroke of genius guaranteed to solve all my problems. And not just my problems, either! The UPS strike? No problem. Fire 'em all and hire the air traffic controllers Reagan fired way back in '81 or '82, whenever that was. They're probably ready to work now. World peace? Peace through strength, brother! Bomb Kazakhstan back to the stone age, pave it over, and put up some McDonalds! Brilliant Clausewitzian strategy, I tell you. Seize the day! Mustn't let the spineless bedwetting pantywaists influence foreign policy! Realpolitik shall carry the day! Single mothers? Make 'em work. Everyone has to carry their weight in my America. Give 'em jobs logging off the rain forest, that oughta keep 'em busy. NEA? Who needs it? Let some corporations fund the arts. Besides, aren't TV commercials plenty arty for people, anyway? Like those Coca-Cola polar bears...they get me every time! Fire school teachers! Bloodsucking pigs at the public trough, I tell you! We'll balance this budget, yet! Bring me three dozen Egg McMuffins and the head of Alan Greenspan on a plate!
I woke up sweating, Kristanne kneeling on top of me, slapping my cheeks back and forth, back and forth. "Snap out of it, Heaton!" she shouted and shouted. "It was just a dream! Just a dream!"
Just a dream? Maybe. But what could've caused such a dream? What dastardly influence could make me think of such monstrosities?
It was the McDonald's Gift Certificates. Right underneath my very pillow. How the very script of Satan made its way to my bed I'll never know, but there they were. Five dollars worth of sin. A pocket full of blasphemy. Was that cackle I heard my Aunt Jan laughing somewhere in the distance? Her engagement present, so clever at the time, had now unleashed a maelstrom of fast-food terror in my dreams. I'll never sleep soundly again.
Once again, I made it to work by 7:00, missing the rush-hour traffic that plagues the Bay Area in much the same way that Andrew Lloyd Webber plagues our nation's theaters. Exactly like that, in fact. My first solution to my problems with my help-writing application -- time -- had not done the trick. Robohelp was still all messed up, refusing to work. Hmmm? Time to reinstall the software? Impossible -- that would mean a journey to the dark hall of the MIS Department, requiring food, supplies, small arms, and ammo. I wasn't ready for that. How about downloading the latest virus definitions for my virus-checking program off the web?
Cool. It turned out that I had contracted a nasty case of the CAP virus, a Microsoft Word Macro virus that can infect document files. My virus-checker cleaned it up nicely and soon I was off and running, writing help files at the speed of a Tom Arnold comedy going down the drain. Before I knew it, it was 8:00 again and time to go home.
Kristanne had gone Full Tilt Domestic while I was gone, cleaning, laundering, and cooking up a delicious dinner for me and Vince. Unfortunately, once I ate it, my energy was spent and I pretty much collapsed in bed, eager as heck to start the whole thing anew in the morrow.
See you next time on the Odyssey for a no-holds-barred peek into the Secret Home Life of Kristanne while I'm at the office!
Total Miles for 8/19 = 82
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