Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Day of Three Burritos

(post copyright 2012, Dawn Weber. Image from someecards.com)

My buddy Al. Annoying Pestering Amusing me since 2005.

Just like the other day at lunch-time, when he burst into my cubicle.

For shit's sake, he didn't even give me time to look up from the Pinterest important work research I was examining. Normally he approaches my pod in a shuffling manner, groaning all the way across the 25th floor, from his space to mine. On this particular day, he just barged in on me. No shuffles, no groans. Apparently, he had big news.

"I can't believe I did that."

"What, Al, what did you do?" I said, annoyed. I wanted to get back to my important lunch-break Pinterest work research. That is just the kind of dedicated employee I am.

He held up three fingers. "I ate three burritos yesterday. Three."

Whoa. I closed out of Pinterest my important work research. This was going to be gassy good. I could tell.

"What do you mean three burritos? Are you crazy?"

"I ate one here, from the cafeteria. Then we went to Chipotle last night, waiting to pick my daughter up from practice, bought a burrito, ate that one in the car," he said.

But he wasn't finished. No sir, he wasn't.

Do not underestimate Al's burrito consumption skills.

"Then I got ANOTHER one from Chipotle, was going to save it for lunch today. But I ate it, too. Last night. Couldn't wait."

"Al. Three burritos? You know, those things have, like, eleven-hundred calories each," I told him. "You're going to explode. Get out of my cubicle."

"Mmph." Rubbing his distended belly, he ambled back to his desk and threw himself into the chair.

"I'm just so TIRED," he said.

There are some things you should know about my buddy Al:

1. He likes burritos. A lot.
2. He enjoys mocking me. All the time.
3. He is tired. Always.

But that's O.K., because:

1. I like burritos. A lot.
2. I enjoy mocking him. All the time.
3. I am tired. Always.

Al is a 6'4" African-American guy. I am a 5'2" pasty white girl.

We're practically twins.

We've worked together for more than five years now, on the 25th floor of a high-rise in downtown Columbus. But we both originally come from the greater Youngstown, Ohio area which - we think - makes us mobsters savvier than most folks. Yes, we have decided that we are wise and cool. According to us.

I generally greet him, my Y-town pain-in-the-ass partner in crime, each morning. He lurches into the office, shuffling and groaning, and throws himself into his chair. Maybe I'll say:

"Good morning, Al."

"I'm just. . .so. . .TIRED," he'll say.

Walking by him later in the day, sometimes I ask:

"Hey, Al, how you doing?"

"I'm TIRED," says Al.

Leaving for the evening, 5:30 p.m., I might yell over his pod wall:

"Have a good night, Al!"

"Gawd, I am SO TIRED," he says.

Feeling tired gives Al time to think of ways to mock me, and also to develop his theories. Because he has lots of theories. About life. About burritos. About my clothing. Yes, I have the great good fortune of receiving my buddy Al's thoughts on everything, up to and including my wardrobe. He's thoughtful like that.

For instance, my red gingham shirt.

"What is that? Some kind of...some kind of picnic blanket? Ha ha ha!"

And my green vinyl snow boots.

"What are those? Some kind of...some kind of leprechaun ass-kickers? Ha ha HAA!"

Now isn't he rude generous? He just gives and gives me shit.

Later on Al's Day of Three Burritos, I bravely went to visit him in his cubicle as he deflated recovered. We discussed his theory of "The Dummies."

The Dummies lurk everywhere: the grocery store, the Interstate, Chipotle. They're easy to see, though, because they're always in line. This irks Al. Al has a life motto:

"Don't wait in the line with the rest of The Dummies!"

Al told me how to skillfully avoid Dummies. I'll share these skills with you, though you may be a Dummy yourself.

You're welcome.

Involving oneself with Dummies means waiting, elevated blood pressure and wasted time, says Al. Why hang with Dummies when you can cruise away from Dummies?

Al stared out the window at a line of cars. They stood stock-still during evening rush hour, along Spring and High Streets. Dummies in Gridlock.
"Just look at all those Dummies," said Al, shaking his head.

He then gave me a detailed scheme to avoid this situation. He said that one should work out an "alley plan" before pulling into such a mess. One could zip down side streets, avoiding Dummy traffic.

"Bye-bye, you Dummies!" says Al.

But that wasn't the only traffic advice he had. No sir, it wasn't.

Do not underestimate Al's Dummy Avoidance skills.

Al said that - when approaching a traffic jam near an interstate exit - one should get in the far right-hand lane, and pass all The Dummies on the right.

Next, look for a semi-truck on the left, and then merge in front of it. He said to leave plenty of space, avoid cutting the trucker off. One should also thank a trucker with a wave or flick of taillights.

"You got to respect the truck! Respect the truck!" says Al.

As we turned away from the window, gathered our belongings and walked to the lobby, I thought about my buddy Al's Respect the Truck/Dummy Passing method. I told him that this tactic will not please the drivers of the cars lined up and waiting in the left lane. He was not concerned.

"Who cares?" he said.

He pushed the elevator button, looked over at me and shrugged.

"They're Dummies."

He rubbed his burrito-bloated belly as the elevator doors opened. "You coming?"

Looking up at him, I smiled.

"Nah. Thanks Al. You go on ahead. I think I'll just wait for the next one."

Clearly, I am not a Dummy.

(This is a re-worked post from a while back. I was inspired by my friend Vapid Vixen's genius post, about her co-worker Toph. Go. Read it now. One day, I shall exact a similar revenge on my buddy Al, who surely deserves it. You wait. You'll see.)


  1. Awesome as always. Sorry I missed the co-workers as a good source of material. Does that mean I work with dummies? Don't answer coz I'm at the office and one could sneak up on me at any time.

  2. I was thinking your new nickname is little eb!
    a title came to me "Three days of the Burrito"!
    those boots looked so green and those ankles so pale!
    You are friends with a lot of tall people.
    and yes, I have been mistaken for one of the dummies.
    love ya

  3. After reading that....I think I have to fart, excuse me while I reach for my can of static guard out of my desk drawer to mask it.

  4. I would say you are pretty quick on your feet...even if they have green vinyl on them.

  5. OMG that Al's a hoot!!

    Loved the "you're going to explode, get outta my cube" bit. :-) That is something I would say.

    Seriously. Who's gonna clean that up? Me and Mary? No way, man. Unless you send for us. :-)


  6. Sounds like Al is just chock full of...wisdom. Yeah, that's it! Those boots must only be good for shallow, warm snow. Cold and deep would be too much for them. At least no one will steal them.

  7. Al is bad-ass. He should be from Boston, where people routinely drive and pass in the breakdown lane!

    I would really love to go have a burrito with you two....not dummies....some day. Good lord!

    Too funny.

  8. Those green boots are killer!
    (And so was Al's comment; I love his sense of humor/insults!)

  9. We all need an Al around to keep the stories going. That and boots like those. I LOVE them (seriously)! They are adorable and do look effective for kicking leprechaun ass.


  10. You must have lots of cred to wear those boots. I'm thinking Wizard of Oz Emerald City street kid. Dorthy and Toto have nothing on you.

  11. I love that you are practically twins!

  12. I imagine that constantly avoiding dummies must be very tiring for him. But then again, tall as he is, you'd think he'd be above that.

    Yes, that joke was bad. What's your point?

  13. What a GREAT story... and I wanna hang with Al. Seriously...

  14. Damn! Yet another reason to get a job. So I'll have co-workers to talk about on my blog. Sounds good, but then there's that whole having to put a bra on, so maybe I'll just continue to talk about my bonehead husband. I mean dogs! My bonehead dogs!

  15. Hey green boot limey - ah forget I said that.
    Hey Dawn this post got me thinking about the cube farm so I gave it a shout-out link in my post. thanks

  16. That's the view out your window?! 25th floor?! The stress of commuting would be the LEAST of my worries!

    I worked on the 10th floor of a 12-story office building; it took me a week to get used to being waaaaayyyyy up there. Everyone wanted a window seat, I took the desk in the middle of the room next to the support pillar.

    [Interesting side note though: When Mt. St. Helens blew up in 1980, I could lean to the left and watch it erupt out the window... across the room.]

  17. We all need an "Al" in this world. :)

  18. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this post. In fact, you had me at "burrito".

    I was a little deflated that there were no actual details that involved the expulsion of gas, but, still, all in all, it was very satisfying.

    I think Al will survive the zombie apocalypse, because if Al can avoid/evade the dummies, really, there is no other skill necessary, besides the ability to apply a double tap to the skull.

    Did you enjoy Erma Bombeck? My friend Anne loved it!

  19. Wanda - Co-workers ARE great sources of material, if you can find one who's a good enough sport to let you write about them. Al rocks.
    RJ - Do not call my buddy RJ a dummy. :)
    Trav - Febreze makes a better mask. Just ask Al. ;)
    Ron - It's the shocking green vinyl...gives me superpowers. Like the ability to kick leprechaun ass.
    Pearl - I may call you and Mary to clean it up, but I'd have a box o' Walmart margaritas waiting for you. And we'd blow off cleaning, sit in our office chairs and shoot the shit, you me and Mary.
    Jono - Al's full of something, that's for sure! And these boots are mainly for leprechaun ass-kicking.
    MTM - You're first on our burrito list. As long as we can find a ride home ;)
    Sandy - Yes, Al is the kind of the burritos and the insults. That's why we're such good friends.
    Robyn - I agree! Everyone should have an Al. And leprechaun ass kickers.
    Bill - Street cred - I has it.
    Eva - We are! Separated at birth, me and Al. (thanks :) that was my fave line in this post )
    NY - If that was a bad joke, well then, you fit right in here.
    Six Fingers - EVERYBODY should hang with Al, at least a little. Then they'd take themselves - and life - a lot less seriously.
    Dawn - Don't do it!! Don't put on the bra!!
    Bill - Thx for the shout out! Loved your cube farm post.
    Robert - We have to look across the room for that view, too. And I know what you mean - I am not real thrilled about being this high up (see my Sept. 11 post). Country girls don't like to be higher than the second floor Wait. Define high?
    Lisa - "Al" loves the nightlife. He's got to boogie!
    Susan - Why, thank you! Al and I are here to amuse you. Yes, I loved the Erma, probably met your friend Anne somewhere there. I posted about the conference last week. You should come to it in '14!!

  20. Why aren't you writing for "The Office." I felt like I was watching a scene from the show. Top notch funny stuff here.

    You might want to keep a defibrillator in your office for Al when his burrito binges keep up with him. Or just in case you want to shock the shit out of someone just for the hell of it.

  21. Jayne Jayne Jayne. IDK why I'm not writing for "The Office." I know I am LIVING the office.
    I think I will get a defibrillator. I know how to use one, have taken the classes, and heaven knows I would enjoy shocking the shit out of someone just for the hell of it.

  22. Damn it feels good to be a gangster! Thanks so much for the pimpin yo!

    I love it. I think we need to combine offices. I'm in Salt Lake. You're in Columbus. So we'll meet halfway. How do you feel about Wichita? I hear they have great...um...I actually don't know what Kansas is known for other than tornadoes. But I think your green boots would look simply fetching in the Midwest!

  23. Three burritos?
    It's a gas, gas, gas.
    A couple weeks ago, when faced with having to cook dinner for myself, I settled for an entire can of black beans. I thought they made a delightful repast when mixed with hot sauce.
    Unfortunately, Mrs. Penwasser didn't share my enthusiasm as she banished me to another room.
    Yep. A gas, gas, gas.

  24. Vixen - If you and I combined offices, Al and Toph would have to watch the hell out, because I am sure that - with our two evil genius minds together - we could cause them much bodily harm. That they probably would deserve.
    Penwasser - You're going to explode. Get out of my cubicle.

  25. You are a smart women. Small spaces are not meant to be shared with our gaseous brethren.
    I think Al and all his burrito buddies have been on my late night flights to Las vegas. They have transformed the springtime scent of the internal air to ...
    Nevermind. When I have a burrito, I get revenge, I crop dust in the aisles and then return to the safety of the galley.

  26. Funny story. I used to work in an office years ago in a couple different places. No matter where you go there you are, there is always that someone, that weird character, like Al.
    The burrito reminds me of last friday. My spouse teaches a SAT prep class after tutoring a student she's had for years. During the gap time we go to a Quik-trip gas station that has all kinds of snacks. We usually get a sausage on a bun but last time I changed my mind and searched around and discovered burritos. I selected one variety and microwapped it. So we are in the car and I'm reading the label and it said 2 servings of 450 calories EACH. I couldn't believe it when I saw your post on the burritos.
    Take care of yourself in that skyscraper. With Al.

  27. The visuals of the distended 3-burritto-belly are going to haunt me for the rest of the day. Smart to avoid the elevator. It's small like skills like that separate the Darwin clever from the dummies.

  28. Hell even the stairs would have been better than getting into the elevator with a gas bomb ready to go off. May have been faster too- avoiding he dummies in a way as well. Would have also gotten in a workout and great legs in the process. WIN!

  29. I want to hang with Al - at least, once he's complete deflated. ;)

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