The Grass Ain't Always Greener

March 31, 1998
  Today hasn't exactly been my day.

It started last night as I was getting ready to go to bed, when a siren came blaring from my office. "What the hell?" I mumble to myself and shuffle in to see who parked a firetruck in the house. No fire, no emergency vehicles, nothing but a warning flashing on my monitor that I had a virus on my computer. Oh, lovely.

Further investigation revealed that it wasn't a virus, it was the new version of Cleansweep that I'd installed over the old. The virus checker was hitting the .exe files and seeing that, because they were from a newer version, they were a different size from what it had on file. No virus, no problem. But just try telling Thunderbyte that. Go ahead, try. I'll wait. Couldn't do it, could you? Me neither. I fiddled with that thing for half an hour before I thought I'd fixed it and headed for bed. But just to be safe, I turned the speakers down before I left.

2:30 a.m. rolls around. 45 precious minutes of sleep-time left. I wake up to the mellifluous tones of a hysterically crying baby...and a firetruck in the office. Grab a bottle for Zoe, pull up a chair at my desk, light up a cigarette butt, and spend the next fifteen minutes convincing Thunderbyte that, really, honest and true, IT'S NOT A VIRUS. Oh yes it is, sez Thunderbyte. No it ain't, sez me. Is so. Ain't. Is so. Ain't. Is so. Fuck you. Turn the speakers off, go back to bed.

Back in bed, I'm just dropping off when Zoe starts up again. Plaintive wail: "Daddy, cover." Get up, cover her, back to bed. Start dropping off again, plaintive wail: "Daddy, more ba-ba." Get up, give her another bottle, back to bed. Start to drop off, the alarm goes off. So much for sleeping.

Now, since yesterday my left contact lens was giving me fits, I grabbed a bottle of rewetting drops to take to work with me. All morning long the lens is giving me grief again, but I locked the drops in my locker. I get them out at lunch and as I'm on my way in to clock back in I make a detour to the men's room. I tilt my head back, bring bottle to eye, squeeze...and start cursing in pain. This ain't rewetting drops, it's cleaning solution. In my eye. Ow. Flush my eye out and rinse the lens with tap water, then pop the lens back in and get back to my desk seconds before I'm late.

Take two or three calls from morons who can't figure out that you shouldn't replace a password you've never seen before with one that you think sounds better. By now my eye is on fire. I ask around about: "Hey, I'm going blind here, I've got to go home. Can I?" The answers I get all amount to saying it'd be easier to raise the Titanic with the Kon Tiki, so I decide to just suffer through the rest of my shift. Make mental note to pack a tourniquet in case I ever lose a limb at lunch.

My eight hours up, I head for home. We've had some rain here lately and the streets are flooded. I love this, because I drive a big ol' truck that barely flinches when I barrel through a flooded intersection. I love doing this next to a wimpy little Miata or the like and swamping it with huge sheets of water. So I'm tooling home, doing my tsunami bit on the Matchbox cars, and I've got my driver-side window cracked about 1/3 open so I can flick ashes. I go through a flooded intersection with a minivan on my left...and he blasts me through the open window with about 78,000 gallons of water. Payback's a bitch.

When I finally get home I spend the next several hours on pins and needles, waiting for my agent to return my call returning his call returning my call returning his..., etc. We've been playing phone tag for a week now and I'm getting more tense about what he wants as each day goes by. So now it's 9:15 and he hasn't called yet. I guess we're still playing. Lovely.

So you can see I haven't had the best of days. But I'm okay, I'm not really bothered by it. I can compare my plight to the next guy and laugh at him. The next guy is Tim, my friend from work. Tim just bought a rabbit for his kids and that rabbit opened up a can of whup-ass on him last night. Put a major hurting on him. He came in this morning with scabs and scratches and gashes all over his face, looking like he'd been through 12 rounds with Mike Tyson while Mike was wearing Lee Press-On nails.

It seems the rabbit escaped from its cage and got under the bed and Tim went after it...and the rabbit went after him. Wedged half under the bed as he was, Tim was semi-immobilized. He couldn't defend himself and couldn't retreat with anything near the speed the situation required. So the rabbit was all over him, tooth and nail, for the entire time it took him to wriggle backwards to relative safety, and by the time he was out the rabbit was the clear victor.

So I don't feel too badly about my lousy day. At least I don't have to tell everyone that a fuzzy widdle bunny rabbit kicked my ass.

Copyright © 1998
Chuck Atkins