It’s On!

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, after all.

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