“It’s showtime!” Ernie slams both hands on his desk, then pumps his right fist in the air for good measure. Startled from my spreadsheet, I look across at him.
“What the hell is your deal?” I ask, a bit louder than I intended.
Ernie looks startled; he had probably forgotten he wasn’t alone in the room – again: at least this time didn’t involve him changing his pants. But he recovers his arrested-development equilibrium after only a beat and aims what I am sure he imagines is an intriguingly-sexy grin in my direction.
“Oh, hey Karla, I forgot you were over there.”
I shrugged. “Yeah, I mean, why would I be at my desk at 2:30 in the afternoon on a Thursday, right?” He seemed to visibly ponder this. Seriously, he must have missed a lot of social interaction growing up; irony and sarcasm almost always sailed right past him, leaving him staring around puzzled by the breeze. “So, what are you all pumped up about? Or do I even want to know?”
He frowned with the effort of human conversation. He’d been on Earth what, seventeen years, wasn’t it? You would think he would have started to get the hang of this by now. Then he brightened (literally: his face turned a much more luminous shade of chartreuse) and opened the drawer on his desk, pulling out a Desert Eagle .50. I doubted the Staples truck had delivered that to the office.
“I am going to go downstairs to Jamba Juice and kill the annoying staff members there!” he announced gleefully.
I nodded. “Do you get to do that on the clock, or do you have to take personal time for that?” I asked him. His skin darkened to a pine color, and his brow furrowed as he attempted to grapple with this new consternation. It was really too easy, I should leave the poor guy alone; if only he wasn’t such an anti-social menace to society.
I think I can manage it on my break,” he finally said, returning to a more neutral olive. I nodded and turned back to my spreadsheets. I debated for a bit whether I should send an email to Facility Security about this. But really, it was hardly my problem. It’s not like he was going to attack Starbucks, afterall.