My firm’s social committee organized a bowling night last Friday, and about half of us decided to be good sports and show up and pretend we’re not members of the most socially-retarted profession in America for one evening.
My Senior lives way out in Beaverton, and isn’t familiar with the area around our office, so about midway through my rambling attempt at providing directions to the bowling alley, she stops me and suggests that she just ride in my car. Less than fond of negotiating rush-hour traffic, the fifty-something head of the Review team pokes her head in our office, and proposes she do the same. As this will doubtless be less of a headache for all of us, I quickly agree.
We make our way out to the car.
“So you still don’t have license plates. You got this car in what? April?”
“March. I’ve just been so busy.”
“I work 10 hours a week more than you, and I have a kid. And yet you’ll notice that my car somehow managed to end up with tags on it.”
“I just clocked 13 hours yesterday, I’ve got three kids, and I volunteer for my church most weekends. And if you’ll glance two cars down, you’ll notice that I, too, made the time for tags.”
“They’re lovely. You guys need to give me a second to move some of this crap into the trunk, so you’ll have a place to sit. Forgive me; I’m moving.”
“Weren’t you moving two weeks ago? And why haven’t you put any of this in boxes? It looks like you robbed a Goodwill.”
“Yeah, and the lack of registration doesn’t exactly do anything to curb that impression.”
I can’t help smiling at this, because, funnily enough, the cop who pulled me over two nights ago suggested almost the exact same scenario — albeit in less facetious tone. Funnier still: he didn’t seem to give my “I’ve been so busy,” excuse a whole lot of credence, either. He did give me the benefit of the doubt when I told him my proof of insurance was buried under all of it somewhere, though. I thought that was awfully big of him. I think about it for a second and decide it would be probably be somewhat less than prudent to mention this coincidence to my colleagues right now.
The crap now sufficiently cleared, we embark.
“Hey! You probably shouldn’t be driving with an open bottle of wine in your passenger door compartment. I almost just knocked it over by mistake.” I’m pleased that it’s not the cop from two nights ago speaking these words.
“Oh, shit. Sorry, the stopper fell out when I was dragging it out of my old apartment last wee—night.”
“Jeeze. Anything else we should know you’ve got in here in case we get pulled over?”
“Heh heh, yeah, you’ll want to be careful not to step on the used syringes by your left foot.”
I barely manage to stifle a groan as I realize that what is actually less than three inches away from this middle-aged, God-fearing woman’s left foot is a Jansport backpack loaded with gay porn. An unzipped backpack.
If memory serves, the DVD on top is face down, meaning that the cover that is exposed isn’t the comparatively gentle, soft-core front, but rather the perversely explicit back. Up until now this poor woman has probably thought of a fist exclusively as something to be raised in righteous indignation at the plight of Asian worker children. I do my best to concentrate on the road.
We manage to make it to the bowling alley without any screaming or fainting, which I take as a good sign. Even my out-of-shape Senior, who has never bowled before in her life, gets a higher score than me. This is fortuitous: when I excuse myself without explanation just before the final round is over, everyone assumes it’s to lick my wounds at the bar — and not to sneak out to my car and transfer a very ominous Jansport backpack, dead-body style, from the back seat to the trunk.
It’s been a few days, and the Review head has been her usual salty self, displaying none of the evidence one would expect of such a profound loss of innocence. I’m not completely convinced, though. For such a socially inept bunch, Accountants are remarkably deft at the art of polite fiction.