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.