“What are you doing?”
It was a question I received a lot lately but it still startled me from my nap.
“What do you mean? She said it was fine!” I said defensively. As my vision cleared I saw it was Bruce. “I thought you were in Denmark?”
Concern flashed across Bruce’s face. “Are you drunk? It doesn’t matter. What are you doing here in Stu’s office?”
“Ah, well that’s a tale even older than the language in which it was written. You see when a man loves a woman very much…”
“Okay, I’m sorry. I’m just taking the piss. I’m fine.” I used my foot to subtly hide the half full bottle of scotch lying on the floor next to my chair. “I’m acting CEO of olilolo while Stu is away marrying his child-bride.”
“You should really stop saying that, the rumours are affecting the stock price. She’s in her mid-twenties. There’s only six years between them.”
“True, but he started those rumours about me passing out naked in the city fountains.”
“That wasn’t Stu that was the papers. Remember, you have the article framed in your office? “City drunk takes a dunk” was the unimaginative headline if I recall.”
“I see. Well how can I help you then?”
“Well I was coming to see why we haven’t posted any content lately. We’re way off schedule, even for us. But I guess it’s up to you then.”
“Schedule? Shhhiiii…. Yes that. I was meant to be writing something, it is Tuesday isn’t it? I’m only a day late. That doesn’t seem so bad.”
“Stu’s been away over a week now Doyle.”
“… right.” I gazed out the window in thought.
The silence had obviously stretched too long for Brucey’s liking because he cleared his throat and continued awkwardly. “Soo… Have you got any ideas? Maybe we can brainstorm something and flesh it out.”
“Ideas. Yes, I have my notes filed here,” I said grabbing a shoebox of paper scraps.
“Great, that’s good. Read some out, let’s see what you have.”
“Okay,” I cleared my throat. “Let’s see, okay here’s a good one. Not ‘buttered-popcorn’, ‘peanut-buttered-pocorn’. Hey?
“That’s not an article idea, that’s a coronary. What else do you have”.
“Okay, false start. No worries. There’s no bad ideas, just… less good ones“. I rummaged through the box. “Oooh, here’s a winner. I’m going to write a parody of “Short Memories” called “Man-mammaries.” It’s about blokes with man-boobs.”
“That song from the early ‘80s? You don’t have something a bit more this decade?”
“You know it’s easy to criticise, but hard to create. Hmmm… What about this ‘Illegal u-turns are fun’, okay that’s all I have written on that, doesn’t matter. Oh here’s one about which is a witty conversation amongst the characters of the Cluedo boardgame.”
“You’ve done that already. It wasn’t very good, and it definitely wasn’t witty.”
“Huh. Ummmmm… oooh!” I grabbed a piece of paper with glee. “How about ‘Thunderbox Steve: The story of a bushranger with a crap name’?
“Ha,” Bruce chuckled. “That sounds pretty good. What have you got on that?”
I turned the piece of paper over and back again. “Well that’s it. Just the title.”
Bruce sighed again. “Right. Well I suppose I better get back to… you known, IT stuff. Good luck with the writing.” Bruce turned to leave.
“Wait… What’ll I do about an article?”
“You’ll think of something. Just put up the first thing that comes to your mind.” Bruce backed out cautiously and closed the door behind him. “It can’t be worse than normal,” I heard him mutter to himself in the hallway.
“Challenge accepted,” I said to the now empty room.
I turned up the radio for some music for a blog-writing-montage. The slow, repetitive wails of ‘Short Memories’ pervaded the office.
“…where did I kick that scotch?”