The Bon Mot, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good:

During a three-hour power outage yesterday, a group of us decided to pass the time with an impromptu Pictionary tournament. As my boss furiously scribbled away, his partner shouted out, "it's a place on Earth."

At which point, I turn to my teammate and comment, "They say Heaven is a place on Earth." It wasn't quite what Belinda Carlyle sang, but the timing still made it a perfect moment.

The Bad:

When the DRDC's Senior Military Officer sat down at our table at the staff Christmas party, he was affable, good-spirited, and conversational. I didn't have much expertise in the field he was discussing, so I was content to just sit back and listen. However, when the cameras came out, I leaned forward intently, joking that I wanted to look "involved."

At least, I wanted to say involved... but somewhere in my brain, the vocabulary center intercepted the command, and said, "Pfft. Involved? 'Fascinated' has twice as many syllables. Use that instead."

So, here's something they should have taught us at the Ottawa training session: if you want to be a good employee, simply insult someone at the top of the org chart, and you'll be on your best behaviour for the rest of your career (however short that may be).

The Ugly:

There isn't really a dress code at the lab, but I'm the only person who really takes advantage of that fact. Our Acting Section Head doesn't mind, though -- in fact, she seems to get quite a kick out of my Hawaiian apparel. That why she truly and sincerely meant this as a compliment...

"It's just great that someone here is willing to be so silly, like a... a... zebra boy!"

Zebra boy?

There's a lesson here: Don't be too proud of yourself for being able to pointlessly regurgitate pop culture references. It doesn't make up for all the other stupid things you say, and a single original phrase from someone else will outclass you entirely.


plobvert said...

How about.....

Mr. Zebra Boy

Denton said...

Just to clarify: my original closing line compared "Zebra Boy" to "Mr. Denton", but the next morning, I decided to end it with a moral lesson instead. Sorry for the confusion.

-Mr. Z

Benjamin said...

We had a power outage at work today, and one of the first things I said after we got the exam writers out of the dark, windowless exam room and into the bright and windowed like mad class room was, "Anyone up for pictionary?"

They thought it was hilarious, but they don't read your blog, so it wasn't as funny as it should have been.

Laina said...

I would like to see the shirt that inspired that comment.

Denton said...

Ben: That's terrific! I feel like I'm part of the Waterloo experience now... in fact, if I close my eyes, I can almost smell the coffee.

Laina: Well, now you've got me fiddling with the camera, which merits a new post...

About The Author

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.