Monday, August 30, 2004

The Meeting I Missed
If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd know the impact of OCF on ROI. If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd know why "measurables" and "objectives" are now "matrices" and "deliverables." If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd know if Thomas truly urinated in his pants or if that was just a figure of speech.

If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd have realized sooner that Anna is a dead ringer for Fred Flintstone in drag. Remember that episode where Fred and Barney dress up like strippers and pop out of cakes to raise money to get Fred's bowling ball out of hock? (Or did I dream that?) Fred in a dress and pearls: That's Anna, all right. Word is, Anna went on and on about audience development and monetization and multidirectonal postcompulsory learning opportunities and I would have sat there thinking, "We'll have a gay old time" and then imagined Dino putting Anna outside and Anna pounding on the door and shouting, "Wilma!"

If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd have found out if that new Richard guy is real or a fictional character. His résumé made him sound like a cross between Captain Ahab and that old Irish patriarch in that Steinbeck story -- what was his name? Well, that's not important now. What's important is that Richard's sturdy but kind; tough but contemplative; and bold with a nutty aftertaste that goes well with a smoky cheese and a pale ale.

If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd have seen Peter attack all of Carrie's deeply held views via PowerPoint. They say his presentation was a knockout. Software makes passive aggression SO convenient.

If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd have seen Martha turn into a bobblehead each time the Chief spoke. She always rocks back and forth and nods her head at everything he says, as if to say, "Sir, my only wish is that there were more body language options available to me to further express how I completely agree with your every utterance!"

I bet if The Chief said, "Now let's all take turns hitting Martha upside the head with a pipe wrench," she'd just bobble away in an enthusiastic endorsement of his plan. As would we all.

If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd have been tempted to make a motion to vote on which is more unattractive: Henry's under-the-belt fat or Leon's over-the-belt fat. It's a tough call. Henry pulls his pants up almost to his armpits, forcing his belly down into his trousers, where it rests like a swollen piglet. Leon lets his belly push his pants down around his hips, making his gut suitable for projecting presentations onto. Just once, I'd like to see one of them put the belt where the belt's supposed to go.

If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd have been there when everybody frantically had to tell Antonio, "When Karen said 'if you throw enough shit at the wall, something's bound to stick' she didn't mean it literally."

If I'd gone to that meeting, I would have rolled my eyes at Henry, who was wearing the "Vote YES to Marriage" button he got from the Homophobia Alliance's booth at the Kentucky State Fair. Henry is miserable in his own heterosexual marriage and finds it necessary to express his contempt for both homosexuality and marriage wherever he goes. Curiously, he also finds it necessary to play k. d. lang's "Constant Craving" practically nonstop in his cubicle.

If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd have been present at the birth of some powerful new jargon: "Prioritize Among the Priorities," "Village Incubators," "Unified Interactive System," "PANE," "Value-Added Usability."

If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd have silently mouthed the word "wanker" fifty billion times. Also, "wanky wankers of wankitude" and "wankathon." Maybe even "wankgasm." If I'd gone to that meeting, my thought balloon would have read, "Do dogs call meetings to discuss how to lick their genitals?"

You can see the tracks Henry's comb left in his hair. If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd have noticed those tracks.

If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd have averted my eyes from Todd and Ashley's constant touching. They're having an affair or a pre-affair or an extreme flirtation or perhaps a Formerly Platonic Interaction Matrix or maybe it's nothing, but they touch. They sit next to each other and graze feet or knees or shoulders. Todd will place his arm on Ashley's armrest and whisper into her ear and I don't think he's talking about Henry's comb tracks or Leon's over-the-belt fat or prioritizing or usability or ROI. Then, Ashley's eyes smile back and I don't think she's thinking about measurables or deliverables or monetization. Personally, I think they are working on their own Unified Interactive System with Value-Added Usability. Love is in the air. Which is actually kind of a nice break from the carpet fibers and fluorescent cooties and monitor radiation that normally are in the air. But still, the best policy is to avert your eyes, which is what I would have done.

If I'd gone to that meeting, I would have had to watch the Chief blow a gasket when Jewel admitted the timeline on the data project had slipped a month. Post-meeting reports indicate that Jewel had a bad cold and had overdressed for the occasion, hoping both of those factors would mitigate the Chief's fury. So she sat there sniffling and looking puny but overdressed, while he spewed venom and saliva. There is only so much an illness and fashion can compensate for.

If I'd gone to that meeting, I'd have marveled yet again at Kentucky's rich cultural diversity, as Anna's (Carmen), Peter's (Turkey in the Straw), Martha's (When Doves Cry) Todd's (It's Gettin' Hot in Herre), and Leon's (Take Me Out to the Ballgame) cell phones rang.

Saliva and venom and snot and deliverables and genital-licking and matrices and shit and comb tracks and under-belt-fat and monetization and urination. That's why I don't go to meetings: too messy.

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