The Bells….The Bells…

At the same bastion of evil where I served time under (thankfully, for the laws of decency, not literally!) Mr. Panty-Waist, Cruella deVille and SBAS, I knew a man we shall call Quasimodo, due to the fact he loped, haphazardly off-kilter, around the corridors of the office like the giant cross between King Kong and the hunchback himself, while muttering obscenities under his breath to no one in particular. He’d come limping down the corridor, sending tremors through the office and as he passed your desk all you could hear was a whispered, “motherfucker, blah blah blah cocksuckers” as he conversed with some invisible force in his head.

Quasi was a man seen by all and known by no one. He was a great writer, a man who knew his job and got on with it, unlike most of the pretenders who held positions there. He was a fifty year old, chunky, grimacing stump of a man, not given to frivolous conversations or interactions that he didn’t have to. He was a man not only uninspired by the company of other human beings, but a man completely disgusted by them. He would sit, day after day, in his small office, with the door locked, tapping away on his keyboard, venturing out into the world only to pour some coffee in the makeshift kitchen or visit the men’s room, where I’m sure he made as quick an entry and exit as possible to avoid contact with other males.

Most people at the company disliked him intensely or at least, what they knew of him, which was virtually nothing. He had a somewhat handsome son, whose photos you could glimpse decorating the credenza near his desk, in the 2 seconds it took to deliver a fax or ask him a question, and it was understood he also had a wife, although most people weren’t terribly convinced his wife wasn’t residing in the crawl space under his house, wrapped in a tarp. He was kind of a creepy character.

There was a mini-scandal one time when someone launched themselves into his office unexpectedly and allegedly found him viewing a bunch of porn, so naturally those rumors further added to his “old creepy guy” persona.

He never minced his words, old Quasi. One time I took in a fax I’d found on the communal machine, addressed to him. It was a generic press release about some ex-employee’s appointment to a new position elsewhere.

“Oh JOY!” he bellowed sarcastically when I gave it to him, tossing it dramatically straight into the garbage can with the expression of someone who just inhaled dogshit. I had to hot tail it out of there like my ass was on fire before I guffawed right in his face. He was a truly, unintentionally funny man.

One time, when we were plagued by an infestation of young, female, rich, daddy’s girl interns, with shit for brains, he interrupted a gossip session between two of them talking in “OMG LOL” speak, by busting out of his office like the Kool Aid Guy and hollering, “Will someone please make some goddamn calls if you can fit it in between choosing a color of nail polish or swooning over the latest HUNK!” before stomping back into his office and slamming the door so hard a picture fell off the wall.

Personally, I kind of liked Quasi. He was a no bullshit kind of guy and you knew where you stood with him. He didn’t say one thing and do another. He didn’t pussyfoot around issues. What you saw was what you got and what you got was a great, big, sullen, grouchy, rubber-faced guy who didn’t suffer fools gladly.

I would make a point to say good morning or good afternoon to him if I passed him lumbering down the corridor and in time he would actually respond with more than a grunt of indifference. On a couple of occasions, when an emergency arose after most people had left for the day and he was handling it, I’d help him out with editing documents and general administrative stuff and he’d be genuinely grateful. After one such night, I arrived in the morning, bleary-eyed from a late night editing, to find a card on my desk thanking me for my time.

This was more than I’d gotten from anyone I actually worked for in the few years I’d been there. Really, it was just nice to know that there was someone working in that festering, shithole of a place who didn’t completely suck.

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8 Responses to “The Bells….The Bells…”

  1. pistols at dawn Says:

    I really, really want to be that guy when I grow bitterer. I definitely want to have that reputation in my neighborhood so that bratty kids just leave me alone and leave any sports equipment the wind may have sent into my yard there for me to play with.

  2. The Guv'ner Says:

    Hahaha, dude, newsflash. You’re already HALFWAY THERE! 🙂

    You have to perfect the lumbering, limp though…I hope.

  3. katrocket Says:

    Quasi sounds like the most human character in that Horrorshow. I think I kinda like him too.

    And Pistols, I can already picture you shaking your fist in the air and screaming “get the hell off my lawn!”

  4. The Guv'ner Says:

    Yeah:) At least he was real and not a giant phony. Plus he was entertaining. You could tell just from a glance what he thought of people. He is the only person I know who can say “Cocksucker” with only a look from across a room.

  5. pistols at dawn Says:

    Oh, I won’t say it, Kat – the Revolutionary War-era blunderbuss will say it for me.

    Also, I plan on wearing a bathrobe for weeks on end. I can’t wait to retire and devote myself to crazy full-time.

  6. The Guv'ner Says:

    So what….at the moment you’re just PRACTICING, Pistol boy? 🙂

  7. pistols at dawn Says:

    I’m dabbling in the crazy arts – a little swearing to myself just under my breath, a little not showering for a month, inventing a rich cast of characters who are oppressing me and keeping me down who need to be cursed out while I ride public transport…I’ve got to say, it suits me well.

  8. Bert Bananas Says:

    Crazy full time.

    Sounds like it was cut from an ad at the back of AARP’s monthly magazine.

    You, sir, dream big.

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