I made a rookie mistake the other day – that is, I ended up in a crowded restaurant alone at the Friday lunch hour. Anyone who is single, often solitary as I am these days, will tell you that the Friday lunch is one to avoid at all costs. That’s when people from offices and businesses and whatnot go out together for lunch, exacerbating the aloneness, if not the loneliness, of the solitary diner. Or luncher, as the case may be.
I should have seen it coming. As I say, it was a rookie mistake. But rather than give into the alienation and isolation that such a predicament can engender, I cleverly multiplicated myself, Sybil like, into several different personalities and held an informal meeting of EugeniusCorp®™ . The minutes of our meeting are as follows.
El Gordo (the Big One), CEO of EugeniusCorp®™ welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming. He said he was “deeply honoured” and “humbled” to be involved in such an “extraordinary, extraordinary” (yes, he said extraordinary twice) venture. No one really believed him.
He continued (droning on and on) saying that he felt that the EugeniusCorp®™ brand was actually “gaining some traction vis-a-vis market recognition,” citing the unexpected friend request from a hot babe in Ontario on LinkedIn as evidence of “continued growth and prosperity.”
At this point, someone threw a chopstick at El Gordo and he sat back down and thankfully shut up. Next up was the beleaguered and faintly-reeking-of-gin CFO to give the financial report.
“You’ve seen the numbers, gentlemen, and the numbers tell a grim story,” he intoned. “Harumphs” all round, downcast eyes all round. “I would remind you that there are two sides to our ledger, gentlemen: expenses and income. One of these is very full, and busy, robust, even. The other is very, shall we say, ‘thin,’ barren, austere, even. I don’t have to tell you which is which. At the rate we’re going, we’ll soon be scavenging for rotten vegetables in the dumpster behind this very establishment of we wish to eat.”
He finished his report saying, “There will be no spring rolls today. And no pop: water. That’s where places like this make all their money: on the pop. And not bottled water either: tap. GOVERN YOURSELVES ACCORDINGLY.”
This gloomy report brought a heaviness to the table, but then all present realized it was actually a much rosier report than we had last year at this time, so the proceedings continued, tinted with a shade of “cautious optimism.”
Then came the report from the head of the social committee, who rose and simply said, “Nothing to report at this time.” And sat back down with a heavy sigh.
The COO reported next, saying that the physical plant was a mess, the laundry is out of control, the vacuuming has been shoddy, the right crisper holds something that looks like it is in danger of mutating into a new life form, and the sink is full of dirty dishes. An informal motion was passed to at least take care of the laundry, as EugeniusCorp®™ was running out of clean underwear.
The educational outreach finally had some positive news with word that the EugeniusCorp®™ Writing for Millions®™ course being offered at St. Mary’s University College was well subscribed and that the instructor was managing to stay one chapter ahead of the students – for now.
The Governmental affairs officer gave a brief report on the state of the Canada Council proposal. “Like peasants working in a field of mud in the Dark Ages,” he said, “we look for signs and portents in the flight patterns of birds and the moss growing on the trees. Not that there is much moss in downtown Calgary, but you get the idea. We check the mail everyday, but still no word. All we can say at this point is that no news is good news, but such hopeful thinking hardly pays the rent.”
Finally, the production manager gave his report. The output for EugeniusCorp®™ of late has been “prodigious,” he stated, lying through his teeth. Citing the inclusion of an Instagram photo in Avenue Magazine this month, he said “Our hard work is starting to pay off. This, and the many well-crafted Status Updates on Facebook are a testimony to the discipline and work ethic of EugeniusCorp®™ as a whole.”
When asked about the progress of the novel, the production manager reminded all assembled that it took James Joyce seven years to complete Ulysses, and that “you can’t hurry great art.”
All in all, a successful meeting and we managed to survive lunch without spilling too much sate chicken soup on our new white shirt.
It looks like another bountiful year ahead!
Here’s a song by a wonderful musician, a wonderful exploration of the number one.
Thanks for reading!