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My Dull Life

Monday, December 30, 2002

I got a testy email from a woman named Mary. She says Peter Frampton
is in Tennessee and he's doing just fine.

New Years will be here before you know it.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

I saw my dog got into some of the rat poison so I called the emergency
animal shelter and they wanted to see him right away. The gave him K1
vitamins and a blood test. All in all, the whole thing is going to cost me

I asked the vet why in the heck he'd eat rat poison. He's no rat! And then I

The vet shook his head and said not to rule out suicide.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

I didn't know what to give Janey for Christmas. I thought about a package of
Lifesavers that looks like a book but I settled on a package of Milk Duds in
what looked like a milk carton.

I didn't sign my name or anything. But I have a feeling she knew it was from

Friday, December 27, 2002

You never see those pencil sharpners anymore that have a suction thing
on the bottom. I guess they don't make them anymore.

I forgave Trent Lott. It didn't do much good.

I went over to Radio Shack to ask when they're new catalog would be out.
They didn't know. I bought a remote universal remote control. I can't get it to

I ate lunch at Burger King.

Burgr King used to give out those paper crowns. They don't do that

I wonder what happened to Peter Frampton?

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Frank wouldn't let up about the life insurance so a guy from Doctors R Us
came out and took some blood and urine and gave me an EKG.

Then I had to have another kind of test at the hospital. I won't say exactly
what it was but they gave me a little something to relax me.

I think I was pretty relaxed. Cat Stevens was on the musak and he started
to sound just like Burl Ives. But I was kind of out of it, so it could have been
the other way around...

Sunday, December 22, 2002

I got through my performance review OK.

I signed up for 4:30. I came in with an armful of multi-colored file folders.

The boss didn't want to see any of it which is good because they just had
blank paper.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Fontaine and I had lunch again.

He says his wife decided to withhold on him.

That's another reason, he says, that she's an idiot.

"She don't know that guys like us in our 50's, we don't need it like we used
to. Big deal. What an idiot. She makes me laugh!"

But I could see that something was bothering him.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Gus is married and has a lot of kids.

He has so many kids that his wife told him to go to the doctor and get

So, Gus did. The operation was in the morning and in the afternoon he
was back home in bed watching TV with an ice pack between his legs.

His wife came in, told him to get out of bed, the lawn needed mowing.

Gus groaned and did as he was told.

I think any guy who gets that operation should be able to take the rest of
the day off. But I'm not married, so I could be wrong.

Friday, December 13, 2002

I had lunch with Fontaine. I don't know his first name.

He told me that the other night his wife cooked dinner and he mentioned
that the beans came out watery. She wagged a spoon at him, told him to
shut up, that she spent four hours cooking dinner. Fontaine said he only
spends an hour when he cooks dinner and the beans never come out
watery. Four hours? he said. Then dinner should be four times better. She
stormed away to the bedroom.

The next morning she was still mad at him. He tells me, "I don't get it. All I
said waw that the beans were watery and she flys off the handle. I ate the
beans. What more does she want? When he asked her, she just said the
f-word 14 times before he left for work this morning.

Fontaine submits the whole story as conclusive proof that his wife is crazy
"I'm not lying, the beans were watery."

Thursday, December 12, 2002

We had our office Christmas party today. They had it on a Thursday so
people would worry about working the next day and go home early.

Brian wore a red Christmas tie. It played music.

Brian is a Christian and he doesn't like evolution. He says our Founding
Fathers said that all men are created equally, not evolved equally. I went to
his church a long time ago. There's a lot of things they don't like.

At the office party I had those little tiny wieners which I dipped in the fondue
cheese. I don't know what I was drinking but it tasted like Mr. Pibb.

I spent most of the party listening to Hortensia, one of the custodians.
Mostly she just talked about illnesses in her family. She's got a huge
family. Big enough to be an army.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Janey is one of the secretaries. She's pretty and I have to make it a point
not to look at her too much or else I'll be looking at her too much.

She says cool stuff like "24/7." And she's the one that told me what it
meant. I like her. And she once said I was sweet.

Today, out of the blue, she started talking to me. She said, "Do you have
any pets at home, Robert?"

I said yes, I have a dog and a cat. Then I started to tell her about my
goldfish, but it died, and then about my turtle that ran away...

She smiled and got close. I stopped talking. She reached out picked
something off my shirt with her long, red fingernails. It was a dog hair.
Then she removed another.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

I thought I'd clean up after my dog today. I haven't done that in a long time.
Maybe three weeks or a month. What I don't understand is, why didn't I find
more poop. If he poops two times a day, after three weeks that's going to
be 40 poops. I found only about 8 or 9. Of course, the grass is tall.

I didn't want to mow the lawn so I just swung a hoe like a sycthe. It didn't
work too well but I wasn't in a hurry to do anything else.

When I was done and ready to go back inside, I noticed I must have
stepped in some poop.

I tried to take it off with a stick but the bottom of my tennis shoes has a lot
of grooves. I tried a screw driver but that still didn't get it all.

There still was some I just couldn't remove. But it didn't smell really bad

So I just went inside and thought, "oh well."

Friday, December 06, 2002

My performance review is on Tuesday. I'm supposed to come to the
meeting with data. I have a feeling things might not go well. I haven't fixed
one machine yet and I've been at it for months now.

Yesterday I pressed "Test Print" and it started spitting out 10 page
manuals with two staples at the top of each one. After 150, it kept on going.
The office people kept looking at me. I couldn't get it to stop. I pulled the
plug. The plug had a note on it that said, "Do Not Unplug!" but I unplugged
it anyway. I made a note in my notebook and said I had to make a trip back
to the main office. That was a bad experience.

Back in the lunchroom, Frank asked me about life insurance. He sells life
insurance on the side. Octavio sells real estate. I told Frank I had a policy
with the company. He said, "No. Good. That's only if you die accidentally.
With all the toner we inhale, we'll probably get cancer." I nodded. "I'll write
you a policy for a million dollars. And because you look in pretty good
health, the premium will be only $375."

"A month?"

"Yeah. It's a deal."

"You know, I had a colonoscopy...."

Frank put his hands over his ears and said, "Don't tell me shit like that!
You'll ruin it!"

"I don't know, Frank. That's a lot of money. Every month."

"Look, don't you want to be a millionaire?"

"But I'll be dead."

"Yes, you'll pass away, but right when you're dying, you'll know that you
reached your goal. It will feel great! Robert Wright, millionaire! A great note
to go out on."

"I won't be able to spend it."

"Look, lots of millionaires never spend their money. They're just happy they
have it. If they spend it, they don't have it no more."

"I did hear about guys who won the lottery and didn't change their lives at

"That's right, and if you're really freaked out about the premium, I can knock
a hundred bucks off if every month. All you have to do is write my name
down here."

"As beneficiary? So you'll... benefit?"

"But they'll be no joy here. Money could never replace you. And you'll save a
hundred bucks. Think positive. I'm trying to save you money here, Bob."


"You could use an extra hundred bucks a month, can't you Bob?"

"I guess so. But let me think about it."

"Don't take too long, Bob. By this time tomorrow, I'll have to take that deal
off the table."

I still don't want to do it. Too bad it's not just a fundraiser for his kid.

It would be kind of cool dying a millionaire, though.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

I remember one Saturday when I was about six, a kid down the block said
his daddy could beat up my daddy. I said he was wrong, but I wasn't really

At dinner, I asked my dad if he could beat up anybody. He said no.

We were eating Bird's Eye frozen dinners. My father worked at Bird's Eye.

I heard a knock at the door and my stomach began to hurt.

But there was no knock. I was imagining things. And that night I had bad

Sunday, December 01, 2002

I raked the leaves in my front yard today. There was a bazillion of them. I
thought my neighbor was going to be pleased. She's always doing yard
work. But she just said something like, "It's about time." And then she said,
"You know, when the leaves are left out and get wet, they smell."

I thought the smell of wet leaves was a good smell but I wasn't going to
say anything. Besides, from all the comments I get, I think my sense of
smell might be flawed.

Monday, November 25, 2002

I've been meaning to get turtle food for my turtle for weeks now. I just never
got around to that place that sells it. The Sunken Treaure Chest.

Because the turtle food looks a lot like cat food, I broke up some Meow Mix
into little pieces.

When I get home, I see those little bits of Meow Mix aren't floating anymore.
I was hoping the turtle was eating them and that they weren't just sinking
down to the bottom.

This morning the tank smelled worse than usual and I saw the turtle was
floating on it's back. That's not a normal position for the turtle so I figured
he was dead.

Not wanting my place to smell even worse when I get home, I took the
turtle out of the tank and put him in the bushes outside. As soon as I did
that, he ran off really fast.

He wasn't dead after all.

I was tricked.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Let's see. What's new?

Sally and Johnny haven't written back.

When I turn on the hot water, I see that for the first minute that there's some

I fell asleep in front of the TV. I woke up around 3 am because it got really
cold and when I did there was a guy on TV talking about how to make
money by taking out classified ads. He says it doesn't matter what you sell.
Sell anything. Sell your mother's stew recipe. If you can't think of anything,
he'll send you stuff to sell. He has a whole catalog of stuff. The important
thing is all the money you're going to make with classified ads. The reason
there are so many classified ads is that the word got out that it's an easy
way to make money. He interviewed a guy who took out a classified ad and
he got checks in the mail for hundreds of dollars every day. Now he owns a
yacht and has two girl friends. He wrote a letter to his boss saying he was
quitting his job but they couldn't read it on the air. That made them giggle.

I thought to myself that I might do that one of these days.

And then I went to bed.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Sally and Johnny have a website which they made because black people
love them. I think that's a pretty good reason.

It's at www.blackpeopleloveus.com

Here's a letter I wrote to them after I clicked on something where they
wanted to know who would like to be their friends. In this letter I talk about
black people, which is kind of a touchy subject, especially for black people,
but since very few people, if any, read this website, I probably won't rub a
lot of people the wrong way.

Dear Sally and Johnny.

I can see why black people love you. You're really neat.

I wish black people would love me. Even if they just liked me, that would be
O.K. but they don't.

A lot of times they just glare at me. And sometimes they say angry things
with kind of a southern accent so I don't understand them very well. They
usually look like they want to hurt me.

I used to think they were just mad because of slavery and that stuff with the
buses and the drinking fountains. But black people love you, so that throws
that theory out the window. I guess it's just me.

I'd like you to be my friends but I'd also like blacks to be my friends, that is,
the nice and friendly ones like Bill Cosby. But I don't know any like him.

Actually, I don't have many friends, so if you'll be my friend, I'll be yours and
that will be neat. And maybe I can learn from you how to have black friends
like you have. I'll have to work my way up to that, but anything is possible,
so they say.

Write back soon.


Saturday, November 16, 2002

I found the email address of an old friend of mine. I went to high school
with her.

I think she liked me but I was too shy to talk to her very much because she
was very pretty. She was just like the actress on Gilligan's Island but nicer.
One day, near the end of senior year, she said something like, "Let's stay
in touch." I'm pretty sure she said something like that. But I lost track of her
over the years.

So, I found her email address. She works in the campus media production
unit at Kent State. I sent her an email.

It was a long rambling email telling her that she meant a lot to me and I
remember every time she spoke to me and there were times when a word
from her made my whole day and sometimes my whole week. I cut out one
of her pictures from the yearbook and had it in my wallet for the longest
time. Her name is Sherry and everytime I saw the wine I thought about her.
But I can't drink it because I must be allergic to alcohol or something
because it always makes me throw up. Writing her was like talking to her
and it felt good so it went on and on and I think I repeated myself a lot and I
think I said, "thank you" several times but mostly that she meant a lot to me
and I was finally able to tell her after all these years.

She emailed me back the next day. This was her email:


Thanks. Nice to hear from you.



I reread the email I sent to her and I see that I ended my letter as "Rogert."
It was a typo I made because I guess I was just a little too happy and
carefree as I was writing and thinking about her.

Maybe she thinks I changed my name.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Tony called and left a message on my answering machine. He called all
the way from Nigeria. That's neat. He has a deep voice and speaks in
broken English. There's a lot of noise on the line. Maybe in Nigeria they
haven't heard of fiber optics.

But he sounded a little creepy. He wanted to know why I didn't call him. To
tell you the truth, I've got a funny feeling about all this. I don't want to pose
as a Nigerian. I don't want to lie. It's neat I got a call from Nigeria but I think
I'm going to have to tell him he'll have to try this with somebody else.

I know. I'll give him Ray's name.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

My boss gave me lots and lots of paperwork to fill out. I don't have the time
to complete it. There's no way.

During lunch I thought maybe I'd fill out one of the forms for him but I took a
good look at it and I have no idea what to write on it. So then I looked at
some more of the paperwork and it's all like that. Even if I had the time, I
wouldn't be able to do any of it.

I threw it all away so I wouldn't have to think about it. But I do think about it. I
think about what my boss is going to do to me. Every day I brace myself
more and more. It makes me tense. Even on days when I'm not sent out
anywhere, I come home and I'm exhausted.

What a way to earn a living.

Friday, November 08, 2002

I promised Tony I wouldn't tell anybody but I thought it would be OK if I told
Ray because I know he wouldn't tell anybody.

I said to Ray, "I just might be getting a large sum of money from Nigeria in
a few days."

Ray said that was a coincidence because he just got an email from
Nigeria himself. It was something about a business deal. He felt pretty
good about it because they weren't asking for money. It works this way.
You invest money but it's not your own money. They lend you the money to
invest. And then, once you make a profit, you pay it back. After that, all the
profit is yours.

What a neat idea.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Bill told me he did it twice in one day. He didn't have to tell me what.

Once in the morning then later that night with somebody he picked up at
the airport.

Technically, that's all one day.

"Not bad for a 59 year old, eh?"

One thing I like about guy talk is that all the questions are pretty easy.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

I got a long email from Tony today. It looks like it's getting a little

I'm not sure I feel comfortable with this. I'm supposed to notify a bank in
Nigeria that I'm the long lost cousin of a guy who died and has 1.9 million
dollars in his bank account.

I'm not good at lying. And I don't think I'd do a good job at passing myself
off as an African.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

I got another email from Nigeria. I wrote back and this is the answer I got.

Dear Sir,

I thank you so much for your interest in my proposal.
It will really be a wonderful begining for both of us.
The deal in question will bring a change into our lives
if we keep to it's rules, in which confidentiality is

Expect futher details tommorrow by which time I would
have prepared the format with which we shall commence
the deal in essence.

If you dont mind, I will like to have your telephone
and fax numbers so that we can establish voice contact
or better still, you can contact me on my phone which
is on 24 hours. The number is 00234-1-7598030.

Best regards.


Tony doesn't sound like a Nigerian name but that phone number sure
doesn't look American.

I bet a lot of people don't write back. But I did.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do, but I sure like the part of his letter
that says, "It will really be a wonderful begining for both of us. The deal in
question will bring a change into our lives if we keep to it's rules, in which
confidentiality is utmost."

A wonderful beginning. That sounds great. And confidentiality? I can keep
a secret.

Nothing might come of this, of course, but there's a voice inside of me
saying, "Oh boy!"

Monday, November 04, 2002

I was working on my resume because I don't know how long I'm going to
last at the company. All I do is show up, get toner under my nails and avoid
trouble the best I can.

Resumes aren't supposed to be over a page in length but I couldn't get
mine to even half a page.

I don't have any awards to list but I do have a couple of Certificates of

I'm listing that I was Employee of the Month, which isn't entirely true.

Tim Fasbender was the first Employee of the Month and they posted his
photo in the lobby under the mission statement. And there was a little
paragraph on why he got the honor.

Then the next month it went to Marge. Her photo stayed up there for
months until people wondered asked about it.

Then they decided they'd rotate all the employees through with this honor,
in alphabetical order. They didn't include anymore explanatory paragraphs.

Well, they discontinued the program before they got to the W's. So, I would
have been Employee of the Month, so it really isn't a big lie.

Tim Fasbender no longer works here. I don't know where he is. He only
spoke to me once. He advised me that I should start wearing a real tie
instead of a clip on one.

Ernie doesn't wear a real tie. It's like a shoe string, one of those Western
ties that thread through a turquoise rock. He gets to do that because he's
an Indian. I don't think he's really an Indian. I just think he doesn't know
how to tie a tie.

Sunday, November 03, 2002
We had another consultant come and he said we needed a new motto and
a new mission statement.

Why? He polled the employees and nobody remembered the motto or the
mission statement. That means we're not using it and we're not using it,
probably, because it isn't any good.

I was picked for the committee to work on it.

For the motto, I came up with, "If it's not broken, don't fix it. Call us and we'll
fix it."

Ernie thought it would be better to say, "we'll try to fix it," but the consultant
didn't like it at all.

I was then supposed to work on a mission statement but the consultant
didn't like anything I came up with. He gave me funny looks.

During the lunch break I copied down the mission statement that's posted
behind the cash register at the Country Harvest Cafeteria and on the
Internet I later copied down the mission statement from Carmel Middle
School. I took the first half of one and hooked it the the second half of the
other and I gave it the consultant and all he did was change two words and
that's how we got our new mission statement.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

People say doctors make too much money, but I don't know. I was at
Kaiser a couple days ago and the doctor I got was a pleasant woman from
India. She found it necessary to scope my behind. I won't go into the
details but she felt around and then she looked around. I was thinking, I
wouldn't like that job. I was out in 15 minutes and she probably had to do
the same thing to somebody else.

Friday, November 01, 2002

I got a call from AT&T. They were upset I switched to Sprint. They sounded
hurt and disappointed.

But if I switch back to them, Sprint will call me and they'll sound hurt and
disappointed and maybe outraged.

And then if I switch again, I'll get more calls. Hurt, confusion. Pain that won't
go away. Sleepless nights. Crys of why? Disorientation. Self neglect.
Dishes will pile up. Everything will lose its meaning. No colors. Just gray.
Fade to black. Darkness. Death. And it's all my fault.

Maybe I just need to be more honest with them.

When they say, Mr. Wright, how much are you spending on out of state long
distance per month? I'm too embarrassed to say nothing. I don't know
anybody out of state. So I make up something. I usually say $35. That's
normal, isn't it?