Tag: I’m It

I was recently “tagged” by a Twitter friend, Angela Wallace, in the spirit of chain letters that don’t actually wish you a bad sex life for the next seven years.

Which is good, because I might have to kill Angela.

At any rate, in the spirit of chain letters, I now must answer some questions and tag a few more people! Here we go!

1. Do I think I’m hot?

No. My boss keeps his office at 65-degrees and when the door’s open it’s like an arctic front sweeping across my cubicle. I have a space heater on standby at all times. So it’s actually 80 degrees outside right now and I’ve got a mini furnace working at full blast to combat the freezing cold. Whenever he opens his door, the damn thing kicks on. Like just now.

2. Upload a picture or wallpaper that you’re using at the moment.

Eh, I don’t really use wallpaper. I just pick a stock photo that comes with the operating system. How about a picture of me? I don’t know why. Probably also answers the question of whether or not I think I’m hot:

Jen

No.

3. When was the last time you ate chicken meat?

I have no idea why that’s phrased as chicken meat. It sounds like a vegetarian is being underhandedly judgmental. The answer is, I eat chicken almost every day. I ate it last night for dinner. I’ll probably eat it tonight, unless I decide to make some delicious pork loin. I have a food blog as well (sadly, it’s been quite neglected these last few months) and on it you will find a plethora of tasty, tasty chicken dishes.

I love chickens. They’re so freaking tasty.

4. The song(s) you listened to recently.

My iPhone is cranking all day long at work to try and drown out the general clatter of the office. I am an assistant and the company I work for has retained the phone policies of the 1980’s, forbidding most usage of voicemail. In order to hear the phones, I only wear one earbud. But the music blares in the one ear and it sort of helps.

I’ve said before on this blog that I led worship for 20+ years in Vineyard churches and that I am a classically trained soprano. However, my husband listens to metal. Since being married to him, I’ve developed a real eclectic taste in music. The reason for this little diatribe is to explain this whacky list of recently listened to:

Nightwish – Once
Anathema – Alternative 4
Hillsong Worship – Faith + Hope + Love
Passion – Awakening (various artist worship)
Neil Diamond – Greatest Hits
Cause & Effect – Another Minute
Delain – Lucidity


Yes, these really are the CD’s I listened to in the last 2 days. Like I said, it’s eclectic.

5. What were you thinking as you were doing this?

That this blog had better not explode on me again. This blog is very old. (The reason you don’t see that many posts is because, before I started Tweeting links to this blog, I either deleted or hid a lot of my older, personal posts.) Anyway, this blog and I have had a very difficult relationship. Every time I try to post something on this blog, something happens and I get mad. This is my second attempt at posting this list. On my first attempt, something crazy happened. I must have hit a wrong control-something and 2/3 of this thing disappeared. Maddening!

If you’re reading this post, it means it actually worked. If this post disappears on me a second time, I’m giving up. Uncle.

6. Do you have nicknames? What are they?

None that anyone’s said to my face.

7. Name 8 blogging friends.

Ooh, hard. I have some pretty hot friends with some hot blogs. Hrm. Okay, in random order (because of random questions following the list) and assuming I can’t tag Angela back:

1. Alan Edwards
2. Steven Montano
3. Amber West
4. Tiffany White
5. Keyboard Hussy
6. Mark Lidstone
7. Meghan Grey
8. Mira Sanz


Questions about my list:

Who is listed as Number 1?

Alan is one of my twitter posse. He wrote a epic zombie fantasy novel called Curse of Troius. (Tagline: When a fantasy world is overrun with a mob of ravenous zombies, there are no guns to stop them. No tanks. No airstrikes. Just a man with a shovel.) I actually have the privilege of reading the sequel, which is what I will be doing as soon as I get done writing this. His blog is profane and hilarious and I can’t escape just one of his posts without spewing my coffee everywhere.

Say something about number 5.

Okay, well I heard of Keyboard Hussy because Alan and Steven (#2 on the list) both followed her on Twitter. She’s a self-pub author who blogs fearlessly about writing, without worrying who she pisses off – unless she hurts people she actually gives a crap about. I have seen her soft side and it’s kind of sweet. I had a huge writer-crush on her and secretly stalked her for a long time. Now we’re buds. She’s going to interview me on June 28. What else? Um, she wrote a hilarious romance/comedy novella called “The Vampire Relationship Guide – Meeting and Mating volume 1“. The title is a little misleading; this is a story and not an actual survival guide. I laughed through the whole thing. Definitely recommend. The author name is listed as Evelyn Lafont, which is her pen name. Her real name is something else and I could tell you but she’d probably have to kill me.

I’m sure she’d feel bad about it later, though.

How did you get to know number 3?

Um, I’m not sure how it happened. I met Amber through Twitter but I think she found me through a writing community we both subscribe to, called She Writes. It’s basically a big Facebook for writers, but with forums. I was pretty skeptical about the whole place at first, but I’ve met some great friends through it. Amber started following me on Twitter and I followed back. Once day I clicked one of her blog links. She talked about poop. Right then and there, I decided we were going to be friends. And the rest is infamy.

How about number 4?

Tiffany White is a gal I met on Twitter. I gravitated to her personality but also her blog. Tiffany and I suffer from a horrible case of mutual admiration. When we start with the compliments, you best back away because it’s going to get slobbery. Tiffany loves TV and she blogs about it religiously. And Tom and I never know what to watch on TV. Ever. So now I read Tiffany’s blog and never wonder what I should watch. It’s right there on her blog. Just last week, Tiffany and Amber started a new series together called “It’s Worth A Watch Wednesday”. They go through what’s on the tube and have a cute rating system for the shows they cover. You can also catch some of their banter (and request reviews) on the Twitter hashtag #watchwed.

Leave a message for number 6.

Dude. Where’s my dialogue?

Leave a lovey-dovey message for number 2.

Oh, Steven. That grenade launcher really brings out the color in your eyes. You’re so hot. No, really. I think I got you a little with my flamethrower. Sorry about that. My bad.

Do 7 & 8 have any similarities?

Um, they’re both pretty funny and fun to talk to, but not really similar. Mira’s blog has an ongoing story with demons and angels and prophetic dreams, though it’s taken a little hiatus recently (/taps foot impatiently). She also writes some pretty gorgeous poetry. Meg writes erotica and young adult fiction. She’s got two blogs for the two different genres, and I also have the pleasure of reading bits of her current WIP, which is YA.

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Successful Blogs: Content is the Key

Have you seen the movie “Field of Dreams”? I love that movie. The main character, played by Kevin Costner, is a farmer with a huge chunk of land in the middle of nowhere. A strange voice starts to speak to him, saying the famous words:

Build it and they will come.

So he does! Inexplicably to everyone around him, he mows down his crops and makes a baseball field. And, as the mysterious voice says, the masses FLOCK to the baseball field. Inexplicably and out of nowhere. Masses of people who don’t understand it themselves. A weird ass field in the middle of nowhere.

Hey, man! Check out my weird ass field! That'll be $50.

I bring this up because I’m getting a lot of positive feedback about my new “professional” website at JenKirchner.com. A few people have been asking me about my overnight success and my amazing ability to write. How did I do that?

Well, I’m a magical leprechaun from the Land of Awesomeness.

Seriously, though. I want to talk about this but I don’t want to turn into a social media person. There are lots of those people out there, and I can even recommend a few who enjoy the subject. I don’t. I’m not a mingler. Internet mingling with strangers for extended periods really wears me out. However, since the questions have been coming in, I want to briefly talk about a couple of things. I’ll probably have to do this in segments so my posts can stay short-ish.

But what about “build it and they will come”? You built it and droves came, right?

No. Here’s the First Truth: Everyone has a blog. Not everyone wants to read yours.

Screw you!

Sorry. I don’t mean to be all Debbie Downer. But the truth is, not everyone will like your blog. I don’t like every blog that’s out there, either. YOU don’t even like every blog out there.

For example, most writers I know love Jodi Hedlund’s blog. She’s a published author, she has an actual agent, and she blogs about smart writerly things. She’s pretty savvy, too. Half the people I interact with on Twitter are constantly forwarding her blog links. I’ve read her blog, so I can tell you the information is spot on.

Yet I don’t like her blog.

It’s nothing personal. Her style and her voice just aren’t for me. I’m a goofy kind of person, a bit of a nerd, and incredibly sarcastic. I want to read blogs that are like that. I prefer Alan Edwards’ blog over hers because he’s looking in my writerly soul and forcing me to laugh about it. I like Amber West’s blog because she talks about writing and pooping and she doesn’t apologize.

You have to be different and you have to be YOU. Only not the real you. If you’re going to try and woo people through a blog, you must be as dynamic as the protagonists you write about. You have to take your personality and attach a set of jumper cables to its nipples and the other end of the cables to a car battery and then turn on the ignition.

Warning: You and your nipples may not be on good speaking terms later.

Voice is important.

When I first expressed an interest in blogging, my husband, who knows about these things, told me the golden rule:

Content is key.

When I knew I wanted to be a writer and be successful at it, I started investigating what I had to do. Literary agents everywhere were declaring the need for a “platform” and a “professional website” and an “online presence”. These days, agents expect you to already have a reader base. Without having a published novel.

Because we’re supposed to be magical leprechauns who divide by zero and manage not to blow up the world.

Anyway, I investigated what that meant and I checked out other author blogs. Everywhere I went, writers were blogging about adverbs and first person prose, yet were turning right around and saying they are blogging so they can reach out to readers and potential book buyers.

Listen. I have tried that with this very blog, and I’m telling you it doesn’t work for me. It just doesn’t. Maybe it works for you. Good for you. But I was talking about that crap and I wasn’t getting anyone to read it.

Well, I take that back. My mom loves it.

I thought long and hard about what to do with my professional blog. I researched. I went to websites of established authors. I went to the websites of my peers. I thought long and hard about what would get me to be someone’s fan. I asked myself, what would make ME buy a book?

And that’s how I came up with the Vote Your Adventure shorts. I’m trying to build my credibility with you, so when the time comes, you’ll know my books will deliver. No, I don’t believe I’ve delivered on the promise yet — if I can bring The Relic home with an exciting and satisfying finish, I will have earned a little credibility with you. For more about building credibility with your readers, see Andrew Mocete’s Building the Trust Cred. I want you to trust me because one day, when I publish a book, I want you to pick it up with excitement, knowing that you’re not going to be disappointed. I want you to be my fan. And that’s why I’m working as hard as I am.

That’s why my blog is trying so hard to be different. I’m trying to to break out from the crowd.

I will write more on this later. The topic of “how did you do it?” is just way too massive to tackle in one sitting. Until next time, here’s the following websites where you need to start.

Additional Reading by People Who Are Good at Social Media

Start with Kristen Lamb’s blog. I did. She’s written two books on social media and platform for writers of all kinds, and her blog is full of interesting information on how to work up some internet magic. She advocates Twitter and blogging. It’s a good place to start.

When you’re ready, Ali Luke can help you write and format posts in a way that grab reader attention. She blogs for a living and talks about those kinds of things. Recently she released a free ebook on 10 ways to write better blog posts. Get the book.

Lastly, definitely see Andrew Mocete’s post on Building the Trust Cred.

Be warned: they don’t tell you what to write about. You will have to do that yourself. Go to websites that are like yours. Read their content. Find out what’s different. Do something different.

And for crying out loud, write well.

Posted in Writing | 8 Comments

My New Website Is Up

Okay gang, my new website, JenKirchner.com, is LIVE. You can remove this bookmark and add the new site. The Choose Your Own Adventure riff has been posted over there and I would love for you to check it out and vote. Voting will close on Tuesday night.

Thanks so much for your support in this. I hope the new Friday short is fun for all. As I said before, if we like it enough, we’ll make it a regular thing and do another story.

See you soon!

Posted in General, Stories | Leave a comment

Update: Website Launch & Short Story Project

I’m very excited to launch JenKirchner.com this Friday! We’ve been hard at work and have started rolling over a few posts from this blog, just so the new site doesn’t look so unloved.

What I really can’t wait for is a short story adventure where YOU decide what happens. Each Friday, a story blurb around 500 words will be posted. At the end, a couple of choices will be provided. Vote in the comments or on Twitter. Highest vote obviously wins.

The first Adventure is called “The Relic” and Part I is ready for you. I can’t wait.

(Not to mince words but this is actually a reliquary. Relics were/are kept safe inside and having them added prestige and mystique to a church. Really, they were just a way of getting passing Crusaders to donate more money. “We’re very holy because we have one of these here relic doohickies! No, you can’t look inside to verify that it’s there. If you had faith, you’d know it was there. Now, about your donation…”)

Update: One thing I forgot to mention is that I still plan on awarding more Kreative Blogger awards, but I would prefer to continue that from the new site. So stay tuned and next week I will introduce another great blogger!

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New Website Coming: JenKirchner.com

This blog was created way back in 2006, before the idea of writing novels was a twinkle in my eye. In those days, I just knew I liked writing. I had been writing for two other blogs and wanted more. So Tom bought this domain name and I used this site, off and on, to write about personal things. Really personal. I mean, the topics were not interesting to anyone who didn’t know me. Hell, they were barely interesting to the people who did know me. Ten people knew it existed and only six read it. I liked the freedom of being able to blather about my life and this blog was perfect for it.

Fast forward to a year ago. I knew I wanted to become a published author and I knew that meant sharing my blog with others to some extent. Unfortunately, a lot of the things I had posted here just didn’t fit that. So I went through my blog, post by post. Half of it was either hidden or deleted entirely.

Please don’t be alarmed. That sound you hear is Tom beating his head repeatedly against the wall while screaming, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” a la Anakin Skywalker.

I probably should have left those mundane posts. After all, who is going to go back through five years of a blog? Do you really care what my Christmas Cookie list was in 2007 or that I got an A in Ancient Art History? I didn’t think so.

Anyway, I knew at some point I would need to buy JenKirchner.com. Agents recommend a professional-looking blog and having my own name as a domain makes me feel swanky. Like I’ve upgraded from diapers to Huggies Pull-Ups. So we did. (I’m a big kid now!) And then we bought a terrific looking web theme for it. (Pretty slick for just $35.00 USD. We’re going with the dark blue color.)

Next Friday, unless Tom objects, the new site is going up. I’ll transfer most of my recent posts over and this blog will be “retired”. To kick off the swanky new JenKirchner.com, we’re going to do a riff on “Chose Your Own Adventure” books.

You narrowly escape death by cave-in, only to suffocate in your closet.

Every Friday, a short story blurb (around 500 words) will be posted. At the end of the short, I will provide three choices on what to do next. Everyone votes and, of course, the highest vote will be the next step in the story. We’ll continue each Friday until the story is completed. If we enjoyed it enough, I’ll do another. Or who knows, maybe a writer friend will want to try it out and I can direct everyone there for a few weeks. (I’m friendly and I like to share.) Anyway, I already have the first scene written, and I’m very excited for you to see it. The theme will be the MUD-world we’re working on, so it’s a military-themed, post-apocalyptic, demon-infested earth. Good luck.

Friday, May 6: JenKirchner.com! Mark your calendars! (Or I’ll just remind you.)

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24: The Unwritten Hour

Deet! Doot! Deet! Doot! Deet!

The following takes place between 10:00pm and 11:00pm.

Jack Bauer is driving down a dark road in Los Angeles at nighttime in a black SUV. It is very late. Despite it being the city of Los Angeles, there are no lights. Everything is very, very dark and ominous. He picks up his cell phone and makes sure you understand that it is Motorola or AT&T or something he can kick a terrorist’s ass with. Mashing a speed dial button with extreme urgency, he slams the phone up to his ear.

The urgency of the situation causes him to scream into the phone. “Chloe! It’s Jack!”

“Jack?” Chloe asks, annoyed. “Why are you shouting? I am indoors and you are in a luxurious 2007 bulletproof SUV and it’s totally quiet inside. With my sophisticated technology I can tell that you don’t even have the radio on.”

“What technology?” Jack shouts.

“I can’t tell you that. It’s classified. Need-to-know basis only, and you don’t need to know for this mission,” she says rather snottily. “So why are you shouting at me if you can hear my snideness so clearly?”

“I don’t know,” Jack rasps, still screaming into her ear.

“Well my ears are bleeding so I’m going to transfer you to Mr. Buchanan. Thanks a lot, jerk – I mean, Jack.”

“Chloe, wait! I need a throat lozenge, and for some reason I am gasping for breath as if I’ve just run a triathlon! Of course this makes no sense because I’ve been reclining in this very comfortable SUV for the past fifteen minutes. At any rate, I need you to triangulate my position and send a team to bring me some Ricola!”

Chloe makes an exasperated noise. “But Jack, I’m gonna have to switch the hooey converter on the WOPR while rerouting the thingy mcjobber to Milo’s ass!”

“Just do it!” Jack rasps. “And nothing with a lemon flavor! Now transfer me to Bill!”

“Fine,” Chloe whines, and transfers the call.

Jack is having a hard time waiting. Despite being totally alone on the road, he is constantly checking the rear-view mirror while looking out every single window of the vehicle except for the windshield. This is not dangerous in the slightest, because any virile male who wears nothing more than a t-shirt and a windbreaker to a gunfight never needs to watch the road, he only needs to look out for the terrorists. Finally, Bill Buchanan, the Director of CTU, picks up the phone.

“Jack,” he says mildly, “it’s Bill.”

“Bill! It’s Jack!”

“Yes, Jack, I know. I just acknowledged this. Where are you?”

“Bill! I – I -” Jack gasps, blinking his eyes a million times. It’s not enough so he gives it one more hard blink, just in case. “I’m heading east on I-5 in pursuit!”

Bill pauses for a moment, then leans over the phone, quietly contemplating the conversation. “Jack,” he says quietly, “I-5 runs north-south, not east-west. Can you figure out where you are, or should I send a team to get you?”

Jack gasps for breath, pumping up his lungs like a pair of Adidas until he has enough oxygen to start shouting again. “Not really, Bill! My eyes keep blinking rapidly! I’ve been doing this for so long now that I can’t get them to stop! They’re on autopilot!”

Bill sits down in his large, leather desk chair and folds his hands on top of the table. “Calm down, Jack,” he says quietly. His eyes squint slightly. “Perhaps then you can tell me what exactly you are in pursuit of? I don’t know of any urgent terrorist missions we are actively fighting against at this present time.”

“I’m in pursuit of a goddamn burger! I need FOOD, Bill! It’s an emergency! I haven’t eaten in like six seasons now!”

Bill nods sagely. “Understood. Report back to CTU when your mission is complete.”

“Understood,” Jack screams back.

With the phone call complete, Jack flips the phone shut with much machismo and purpose and stuffs it back into his pocket, where he keeps it near his large gun that always has enough bullets, even after he has unloaded three clips into a single terrorist and only then, narrowly manages to kill them. Blinking as fast as he can, he glances out of both sides of the car. He spots a pedestrian out for a walk. Swerving his SUV to the side of the road, he drives up onto the sidewalk and jumps out of the vehicle, brandishing his weapon.

“Get down on the ground!” He screams.

The little old lady Jack has apprehended tries as hard as she can to get down on the ground, but she’s using a walker so it’s hard for her to do much. Jack stands far back with his gun pointed to her, waiting for her to finally get down on the ground. He’s still blinking like he’s got a severe case of tourette’s.

“Anytime now, lady!” He shouts at her.

“I’m trying,” she cries, weakly.

Jack pants for breath while standing on the side of the road, while exerting no energy whatsoever. “What in the hell is that in your pocket? Oh my God, you’re a terrorist!”

“No!” The lady protests, still trying to get down on the ground. “It’s my pacemaker!”

“Well I’m gonna have to confiscate your device!” Jack shouts, waving his weapon around.

“Are you crazy?” The lady asks.

Jack looks annoyed. “Listen, lady. Just tell me where the nearest fast food restaurant is. I need to know NOW!”

“Oh,” the lady says, trying to get back up. “There is a McDonald’s -“

“McDonald’s?” Jack thunders, blinking wildly. “I barely have enough breath to shout at everyone, let alone be able to try and suck up their goddamn milkshake through the straw! That might finish me off, dammit! In-N-Out Burger – that’s the only one you need to know, lady!”

“It’s three blocks from here!” She points weakly with one hand, grasping onto her walker for dear life with the other.

Jack jumps back into his SUV and drives erratically off in the direction the old lady pointed in. When he finally sees the In-N-Out Burger, he swerves all over the road as if he is trying to dodge bullets even though he isn’t being shot at and his SUV is just as bulletproof as it was in the beginning of the hour. Somehow he makes it to the ordering station without driving over it and demolishing it. Jamming his finger down on the automatic power window switch, Jack opens the window and points his gun at the speaker.

“In-N-Out Burger, can I–“

“Yes! I want food!” Jack shouts.

“What would you like to order?” The speaker box asks.

“I don’t know! My eyes are blinking like they’re sweating profusely and I can’t read the menu! What do you like?”

“Uh, okay… How about a Cheeseburger and some fries?” The voice asks.

“You must be some kind of terrorist! Give me a Double-Double! And some fries!” Jack rasps into the box.

“With onions?”

“Yes!” Jack rasps. “Terrorists hate to smell oniony breath when you are interrogating them! I get up real close and gasp fairly hard up their noses. It’s quite uncomfortable for them!”

“Riiiiight… Would you like a drink with that?”

“Yes I would!” He shouts.

“Ok…” the voice pauses, waiting for the specifics, but Jack never gives up information to the bad guys.

“Uh,” the voice says, “what do you want to drink?”

Jack waves his weapon around. “I can’t tell you that! It’s a matter of national security!”

“Well, sir, if you can’t tell me then I’m not sure how to help you.”

“Maybe I can help you!” Jack shouts back.

Jack steps on the gas, peeling away from the ordering mechanism. He stops five feet from where he started, in front of the In-N-Out Window. The youth who had been speaking with him opens the window and regards him like he’s a crazy freaking nutter.

“Sir,” he says, “I need you to go back and finish placing your order before you drive up to the window. You need to give me your drink preference.”

Jack reaches through the window and grabs the young man by the throat. “I told you,” he screams, “I can’t tell you! It’s a matter of national security!”

Releasing the frightened burger worker, Jack pulls himself through the car window and miraculously squeezes his aging ass through the drive thru window. A lidless drink is sitting on a soda fountain dispenser nearby. The young man grabs it and offers it to Jack.

“How about a Coke?” He asks with a shaky voice. “It’s diet.”

“Diet? Do I look like I need a Diet Coke?” Jack grabs his gun. “Don’t answer that! Put that Diet Coke down nice and slow and get down on the ground! Hands above your head!”

Jack grabs the Diet Coke off of the ground and starts to pour it over the poor kid’s head. “Maybe YOU want some Diet Coke, punk!”

He pauses and takes a sip. “Hm, actually this is nice.” He nods with approval down at the soaked young man. “Refreshing.” He takes another sip. “All right, I’m taking this – and I need to use your bathroom! I don’t want anyone going in there until I come out, or I’m holding you responsible! What I do in there is a matter of national security!”

Jack runs and leaps over the front counter, taking out a nice couple with two kids.

“HAHA!” Jack rasps over his shoulder as he runs to the bathroom. Pulling out his gun, he kicks open the door, slamming it into the face of a patron. The man falls to the floor, unconscious. Jack grabs him by the leg and pulls him out of the bathroom, kicks the door open again and dashes inside, gun pointed and ready. There’s someone using a urinal.

“Get out!” Jack screams! “A bomb is about to go off! GO!”

The man at the urinal does not turn around. “A bomb? Where?”

“In my pants!”

Jack rushes to the man and grabs him by the collar. Grunting and groaning, he pulls the man back with all of his strength, as if they are in a fist fight to the death, even though they are not. The poor unsuspecting individual tinkles on his Cole Haans.

“Hey!” The man exclaims, trying to shake and pack himself back into his drawers. “My shoes!”

“Bill me!” Jack screams, and throws him out the door.

Jack investigates the rest of the bathroom, but he is now alone. He jumps into a stall and parks himself on the toilet. His phone is in his hand. Flipping it open, he smashes his fingers urgently down on the speed dial.

“Bill Buchanan.”

“Bill!” Jack rasps. “I’m at In-N-Out Burger and I need backup!”

Bill squints down at the speaker phone in the most non-urgent fashion he can muster. “What’s the problem, Jack?”

“Just trust me! Have Chloe send a HazMat team to my location immediately! And I think we’re going to have to evacuate the premises!”

“HazMat?” Bill asks. “Why?”

“Because I can’t remember the last time I pooped!”

“Jack,” Bill says, looking slightly disturbed, “are you using the facilities while on the phone with me?”

Jack screams exasperatedly into the phone, “Yes!”

“That’s disgusting – oh God, did you just fart?” Bill reaches up to disconnect the call. “I’ll have Chloe send a team. Don’t ever call me from the toilet again or you’ll be on the receiving end of a Court Martial. That’s a promise, Jack.”

The next 30 minutes is spent locking down the area while HazMat swarms In-N-Out Burger. When that operation is over, Jack finally eats some food.

Deet! Doot! Deet! Doot! Deet!

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The B.O.

She was trying to sneak up on me from behind, but I smelled her coming before she even got close. It was one of those smells that stops you in your tracks and makes you say, “My God, is that me?” And your arms are in the air and your head is down; you’re trying to catch a whiff of your pits just to make sure it isn’t. When she stepped around my cubicle with all of the grace and nuance of a dancing lumberjack, I wasn’t sure if I was relieved or afraid. I decided it was the latter, and tried to ignore her as best I could. It didn’t work.

She stopped at my desk, greeting me in her nasally, mousey voice. It was passive-aggressive, I knew, and she was as likely to ensnare me in her trap as she had the last ten times she approached me with her stupid requests. My left hand was on the mouse by my keyboard, and I figured the cord could reach far enough that I could swing it around my head like a lasso and bean her on the forehead. The image in my mind was strong enough that I actually smiled back at her. She must have mistaken the kind of smile it was because she proceeded with her inane ramblings about needing someone to make 400 copies of something and having it distributed to the region. Or something. I was barely listening. My mind was on the floor in front of my cubicle where she was sprawled out, knocked unconscious by my small, black, plastic weapon with “Microsoft” printed on the top. She must have sensed that I was somewhere else, because she teeter-tottered closer with her spiked heels, trying to maneuver her 48-year old thighs through a skirt a 28-year old should have been wearing instead.

The smell grew stronger, thicker, as I watched her impending assault into my precious airspace. “Go away!” I wanted to scream, but the smell was too much – what if I opened my mouth and it got inside me? Perhaps this torture was her way of forcing me to bend to her will. But I would not. I had already fallen for it once when I was new, and I refused to do it again. I wanted to fight fire with fire, but sadly enough I am not the kind of person who can call upon flatulence at will.

She was still staring at me, waiting for me to volunteer. That was how she did things. She liked to suggest tasks that needed to be done, and then wait for you to volunteer yourself for the adventure, as if you were standing in line for Space Mountain. I had to hand it to her, to keep coming back to me for more punishment took serious balls. In fact, I was pretty sure that’s what she was hiding under that skirt. It was linen. It lets the boys breathe. In any case, I was still bound and determined to not do whatever it was that she wanted.

“Oh,” I say, and I turn back to my computer.

Then I ignore her. With most people, the “Ignore Them and They Will Go Away” Theory(tm) does not work. However, it works on her, and I will tell you why: Only the strong survive, and I am stronger than she is. Not in smell – I checked my pits earlier, and I was fairly certain, although I’m not above going for a second opinion. No, when it comes to battle, I am simply willing to go farther than my opponent. And my nose hairs were protesting so I had to act.

When she left, I could still smell her like she was standing on the other side of my cubicle wall, trying to stare through with laser beams that could shoot out from her eyes. But I knew she was gone, even though the smell remained. I had won another battle, although the war wages on, because that is how stupid she is.

She will be back.

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