Tales from the Cubicle – Part 4

You work long enough, you’re going to have weird interactions with your jobs, your fellow co-workers, or just strange days that you might not always be able to explain. I’ve written about a handful of my own here, here, and here but a couple of others have invaded my brain recently.

This Man Is Losing His Mind!

As you get older in whatever industry you have chosen, eventually the company will start to hire people that are not only younger than you are, but they may be a completely different generation than you are. What’s weird is I’m not even sure exactly when it happens, but one day you look up and realize everyone is at least a decade (if not more) than you are. And it is definitely a situation that you have to wrap your brain around. However, one of my co-workers didn’t quite seem able to do that.

It started innocently enough where Thomas (who I believe is in his early 30s) begins chatting with our summer intern. I’m not sure what question Thomas asked that sent him into a spiral, but I’d like to think it was about a movie. The Intern stared at him with no recognition in his eyes. Thomas couldn’t understand how there might be someone who had not only not seen Movie X, but also didn’t know what it was at all. As we were heading to lunch, Thomas began peppering him with more questions.

This went on for the entire drive to the restaurant… then through lunch… then on the way back, and I’m not convinced Thomas did any work the rest of the afternoon. The questions only stopped long enough for Thomas to exclaim one of the following phrases:

“How young are you?”

“How do you not know X thing?”

“What is going on?”

Shaken to his core… I’m not sure if Thomas ever recovered.

Don’t Worry, I Have A Connection

We all know that guy or gal who has access to the stuff we might enjoy in the privacy of our own home. You know the type of thing I’m talking about, it’s been compared to the mana of the gods many times in my household, and everyone I know prefers it to many other… things. So what happens when your source dries up, and you are suddenly lost in a world.

Where are you going to get your Mountain Dew Live Wire?

Now, for those of you who don’t know what Live Wire is, Mountain Dew came out with a flavor of their soda that was orange flavored. My brother introduced it to me while we were on a beach vacation, and sometimes I wish the sweet nectar had never passed my lips. It was everything good about Mountain Dew, only better.

There was a problem though. I live in Georgia, and for whatever reason, Pepsi has decided not to distribute the greatest drink of all time in my state. So the only time I could get it was when we traveled to the Carolinas or were in Florida. I’d buy out the gas station of their 20 oz. bottles to stock up for the next couple of months. But, inevitably, I’d run out again and need my fix.

Then Gary started working with me. I’m not sure why, but he had taken a job in Atlanta, but actually lived near the Georgia/Tennessee border. So he made the commute every day. And somehow we began talking about soda. I mentioned Live Wire and the frustration of not having it in Georgia. Gary nodded, and eventually, we went back to work.

A few days later Gary comes up to me and tells me he has something in his trunk for me. Kinda odd, but I’m a curious sort. But when he opened it up there were about 10 2-liter bottles of Live Wire waiting for me. For the next few months, he became my source, carrying the precious stuff across state lines.

It was kind of a Smokey and the Bandit situation. “They’re thirsty in Atlanta, and there is Live Wire in Tennessee.” OK, maybe it doesn’t match up exactly.

Every Damn Day

I’ve always struggled with my weight (like so many people). I’m waiting for that Easy button to come along and solve all my problems. But years ago, I decided to give this diet thing a go in the form of Atkins. For those not aware of this diet, it basically is a low carb, high fat style of diet. Now, I don’t claim much in the way of my Irish heritage (I don’t drink), but I do love potatoes in pretty much any form, so this style of eating was going to be a huge adjustment. Bread, beans, and all the good stuff I liked were a no-go.

However, I found out that one of the foods which were on the list was pork rinds. This was great because I loved pork rinds. They would be my replacement for chips. It was perfect.

On that first day, my buddy James saw me eating chicken salad with pork rinds (acting as crackers). I smiled and said, “I get to eat pork rinds every day!”

Flash forward about six weeks later. I’ve lost some weight but eating the same things every day was beginning to wear on me. I started not looking forward to my lunches as much. And James stopped by, “So, how’re are the pork rinds going?”

I looked at the bag, then back at him. “I get to eat pork rinds every day… every… damn… day.”


John McGuire is the writer of the sci-fi novel: The Echo Effect.

He is also the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Click here to join John’s mailing list and receive preview chapters of upcoming novels, behind the scenes looks at new comics, and free short stories.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow Empire, Tales from Vigilante City, Beyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

About John McGuire

Writer of comics and novels. In 2006 his first short story "The God That Failed" was published by Terminus Media in their debut comic Evolution Book 1. Since that time he has had stories published in Terminus Media's Evolution Book 2 and Evolution Special, Kenzer and Company's The Knights of the Dinner Table, and Four J Publishing's The Burner #3. Currently he is eagerly awaiting the digital publishing of his first creator-owned comic The Gilded Age #1 to be published online as well as his first novel The Dark That Follows later this year.
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