Just how much, you have to ask yourself, can a man take? I have been working in this company, a newspaper that routinely writes “curved” instead of “carved”, for almost 48 years now, and it just keeps getting more stifling, more soul-parching, more redolent of accumulating piles of zombie fecal matter with every day of my wretched life that slips into deadness beneath my feet. The light in my eyes slowly, slowly shrinks.
“When will you realize that you can’t do this anymore, Baz?” My better angels constantly ask.
Well, here is your answer. Today.
I decided that I cannot do this any more, and today, I quit.
I got up from the freezing chair with the weak back that has been the equivalent of my Matrix-pod for all these years. It is freezing because the Air Conditioner is always on max, not because of a structural malfunction in the design of the building, but because of a personnel malfunction: the room has people with amaalo in it.
I rose, ripped my necktie off in one single smooth move, slapped the guy who always puts the air-con on max and said, in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, “Cool it!”.
(I am going to pause now, to let you get that)
Then I flipped everyone but the cool people off and stormed the hell out of the office, pausing only for a moment in the doorway to bend over and yell, “Everybody, see this ass. You can all kiss it!”
Then I stormed out. I shall never return.
I had stomped for a few steps down the corridor when sirens went off. Wooowoowoooo and bleep-bleep-bleep like in CTU, they said. The walls slid open and four men the size and shape of Michael Clarke Duncan emerged from hidden rooms. They were wearing tuxedos and they marched up to me. “You will need to come with us, sir.” They said.
They even sounded like Michael Clarke Duncan.
“No, I don’t need to come with you. We don’t need to go anywhere, you all can kiss my ass right here.”
They upped the Clarke-Duncanness of their voices, made them deeper and more sinister. “You will NEED to COME with US, SIR.” They said. This time I couldn’t argue because my feet were off the ground. I was being carried to the boardroom.
The boardroom is not to be confused with my former office, or any of the conference rooms that litter this office complex. Those are the Bored Rooms, not the boardroom.
Yes, a bit of corporate humour there. You can get more of this type of joke at Comedy Nite and National Theatre every Thursday.
The boardroom is a bit squashed up, with a very large table filling a relatively small space, leaving not enough room for the chairs to be swiveled in properly. At one end, short, bald, fat and dressed in an expensive suit, was the Member of The Board who I know personally.
I won’t tell you his name, but I shall give you bits of his CV. He has served as Permanent Secretary in a ministry, has a PhD in something and is one of only 14 Ugandans on Condie Rice’s facebook friends list.
He said, “Baz, what’s up? What’s cutting, son, what’s cutting? I hear you want to burst, just. What’s up, dawggie? Holla.”
“Critical mass has been achieved, the day of reckoning has arrived. Breaking point has been reached. I can not do this any more, so I am leaving.”
“But boss, you can’t leave. Wharrabout.”
“I thought I was the only one who still says wharrabout.”
“That is not the only thing you thought wrong about. You need to reconsider this, son. Don’t be fake. You can’t just youknow. The company needs you.”
“The company needs to tell these Clarke Duncans to get the hell out of my way and let me out of here. The Seychelles are calling my soul, man. I must answer. It is my destiny to be slathered in massage oils by Sega dancers on a beach in Mahe. I saw it in a dream. And it’s going to take more Clarke Duncans than you’ve got to stop me.”