Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Office Armchair Monologue



Though I like to fancy myself as a perceptive social commentator of world culture and events, I do find sometimes my thoughts aren't as topical or relevant as they possibly could be. This morning I was racking my brains for some analysis on the election of the new Pope, an angle on the upcoming British elections, the accuracy of Nicole Kidman's eastern European (?) accent in The Interpreter. But as hard as I tried to think about the bigger issues, I couldn't help but keep coming back to questions like: Why is Edinburgh not pronounced edinburg, but edinbra? Why don't the second syllables of Greenwich and sandwich sound the same? What a ruddy strange language English is, it must be said. I suppose it's what happens to a language that's basically a Viking house party gate-crashed by ancient Romans.

Or perhaps I'm just talking rubbish. I suppose I've been doing that a bit lately; ever since I mistook Mistress' Nurofen for breath mints the other day my brain has felt a little numb. Incidentally, that's how I came to be sitting in this armchair in the lounge room of Mistress' office. Put plainly, I overdosed on ibuprofen, collapsed in Mistress' handbag, and woke up several hours later in a room on the second floor of a West End building. After I'd gotten over my initial shock, I began to quite enjoy it. Like children, students, housewives, and anybody else who has never quite had to have an office job, I'd always wondered exactly what people did "at work". As far as I'm concerned, office workers rival the freemasons in secrecy. Have you ever noticed that they can never describe precisely what they do, no matter how much they are probed? I'll bet you anything they've got a secret handshake.

Unfortunately I can't shed any light on the situation after my day in the office. As soon as Mistress left her desk for a meeting, I ventured out of the bag for a bit, but had to skedaddle off to the nearest unoccupied room after a large group of repairmen suddenly stormed through the front door while I was in the reception area trying to work out the coffee machine. I found myself in the employee lounge, where I amused myself with an old copy of the weekend Financial Times newspaper for the rest of the afternoon. It was a godawful boring day to be honest, and I wouldn't do it again, but I did make one wonderful discovery- the weekend FT magazine. It's not a bad little read at all.

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