Hug of the Paper Woman


Canon Fodder


Michelle Debinhex

The weekly Mangler's Meeting, as usual, started with food. For a pleasant change, it was neither doughnuts nor bagels. Miles was roasting slowly on a spit, a just punishment for recent email booboos. Paper Woman had started to write a company policy on email forgery, but others recognized that only a direct approach would work with Miles.

While Tim liberally brushed more barbecue sauce on Miles, Mary Alice was busy fighting off hordes of food-crazed engineers drawn by the succulent smell of software weenie over a mesquite flame. She only had to kill a couple before the others withdrew to assault the vending machines. The bodies were heaved off the ledge into the atrium for the indoor buzzards to dispose of.

The meeting had just come to order when Lorne burst through the doors, showering everyone with etched glass fragments. Apparently the lack of food, sleep, and potty breaks for 9 weeks straight had finally gotten to him. (Chris had shown similar behavior, but a good 30 minute stretch of XoXeroids had settled him down).

Lorne leapt onto the conference table, skidding on a pile of weekly status, billing, utilization, utility, cubicle occupancy and form request notification normalization reports. He came to a stop right in front of Paper Woman.

"LOR-ZAN!!! KREEGAH!!! BUNDOLO!!!" Lorne screamed, pounding violently on his chest.

"Lorne", she began, "let me hug your neck. You've been working too hard."

Before she could say more, Lorne whipped out his PenKnife and began waving it in front of her face.

"What is this?", he screamed hysterically, waving a stack of papers in his other hand. "I can't believe you did this! A web policy? Without consulting me! Five megabytes! A thousand hits! I'll give you a thousand hits!"

Grady casually yanked a stack of papers out from under Lorne. As Lorne fell, Estrogen Boy rushed into the room, screaming "Secret Service!", knocked Julie to the ground, and threw himself protectively over her, hoping thusly to redeem himself for being several weeks behind in getting the Weekly Highlights Magazine onto the internal Web pages.

As Lorne rolled down the mountain of reports onto the floor, the other managers began stoning him. (Exactly where the stones came from is still being investigated.) Soon he was unconscious.

"Well," mused Frank, "this is a new one. How do we handle this one?"

Steczkowfsklzi waved half-eaten drumsticks in both hands. "Put him on the spit!"

Everyone chimed in to agree. What remained of Miles was sent back to the co-Xist Support Dungeon, and Lorne was hauled onto the rotisserie. The newer managers were sent for a bulldozer and back hoe to restore order to Report Mountain, and Jeanne picked up the basting brush.

Another typical Weekly Manglers Meeting droned on. "Perhaps," thought Paper Woman, "we should try a different format next week, just for a change." The VP of BS/ST began his complicated defense of his division's profit overruns for the quarter, and the thought wandered off into oblivion.

Meanwhile, Timesheet Lady continued surreptitiously sharpening a project number under the table, wondering who to attack first. Maybe things wouldn't be too quiet after all...

Last updated: 11 April 1996

Copyright 1995 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

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