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Column One
5.24.2001 by Zebulon

Well, as the new guy here on the brilliant, efficient Tangmonkey staff, I thought you wonderful Tangmonkey readers would appreciate an inside look at the TMG offices by one such as myself, uncontaminated by “office politics” or “uranium” in the “drinking water.”

Tangmonkey paid for me to fly up to their offices, even going so far as to supply a wooden packing crate with the UPS labels already attached. That’s TMG for you- first-class all the way. No easily dented cardboard for these guys.

Sean picked me up at the UPS terminal and drove me through whatever city I was in (I neglected to read the UPS labels and Sean wouldn’t say). Let me tell you non-Canadians that driving laws in Canada are different than anywhere else in the world. For one, there are no speed limits, and apparently traffic lights serve a different purpose there. In addition, we also were given a police escort, though Sean lost them when he cut through the hospital emergency room and then drove across the pond.

.TMG is housed in a bright orange building, the same color as orange soda (Slice), that appears to have been a gas station at one time. My first sight upon arrival was one of JP guzzling something from one of the pumps, then staggering off into some nearby bushes to collapse. As Sean explained to me as we rolled his car back over onto its wheels, such an act was pretty unusual for JP: he usually went out for lunch.

Entry is made to the TMG offices through the back door in order to “confound our enemies,” as Sean put it. He also added, “If you happen to see a key laying about, let me know. It has, um, sentimental value.”

We entered a dimly lit room full of computers, filled with the hum of power supplies, the clacking of keyboards, the hiss of a ruptured gas line and the whimper of an odd little man perched atop a filing cabinet, eyes wild and a wastebasket clutched tightly to his chest. “That’s our Director of Web Server Outgrowth.” No further explanation was offered or desired.

Next on the tour was the “Meeting Room,” with many names on the door, such as “Bubble Room,” and “Pool room,” though to my untrained eye it appeared to be little more than a utility closet containing a card table, a couple of beat-up folding chairs, and several partially consumed bottles of vodka, scotch, aftershave and Windex. Judging from the fluid levels, the Windex was by far the drink of choice. It certainly explained everyone’s disturbingly shiny teeth.

After leaving the Meeting room, Sean led me down a dark, narrow hallway (It was a very large gas station). Before reaching the end of the hallway, a large, foul-smelling man with a stained brown bath towel tied around his neck and black grease paint smeared haphazardly on his face jumped in front of me. “Halt, evildoer!” he said in what would have been a commanding tone had his voice not been so squeaky. I could easily smell the ammonia-d on his breath.

“Get lost, Ash.” Sean said. “There is no ‘Ash’ here” said the fat man. “I’m Batman!”

“Sure you are.” Sean replied. “And yesterday, you were Captain America, and last week you were that guy-what’s his name? Leo, or whatever, from those Evil Head movies.”

Ash’s face crumpled at the last sentence and he ran off down the hall, blubbering something about how “no one cares about the classics.”

“Don’t you mean ‘Ash’ from the ‘Evil Dead’ movies?” I asked. “Of course.” Sean replied. “But insulting that franchise is the only way to shut him up.”

“That seems pretty harsh.” I replied, staring down the hall after Ash.
“I lost all sympathy for him after the ‘Wonder Woman’ incident.” Sean replied, shuddering visibly.

Finally, we came to the front office, and a comparatively well-decorated reception area, as judged in terms of badly drawn orange monkeys per square foot of wall space.

“This is Kelly’s office.” Sean began, but what had already grabbed my attention was the disturbingly lovely woman behind the desk. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. She looked up, and her lips began to move….

‘SEAN!!” she screamed, hurdling over the desk in a single bound and pinning Sean to the wall by his neck, “I’ve had enough of this! First, you put my office in the reception area, then nobody speaks to me unless it’s to ask for coffee, not the we have a coffee maker, or when one of you idiots asks me to hold your calls, not that we have a phone!” She paused to catch her breath. “And now you want me to TYPE for you!?! How many times do I have to tell you? I. AM. NOT. A. SECRETARY!”

Sean made a gurgling noise. I realized that my magical day at Tangmonkey had come to an end. I slowly backed out the way I came, both to avoid catching Kelly’s attention and to see every moment of this show that I possibly could.

The last thing I saw was Kelly making Sean eat a piece of paper. “And THIS is what you wanted me to type!! A list! A GROCERY LIST!!!”

Things were pretty quiet as I made my way back out. Ash was crying under the table in the Meeting Room, and the Director of Web Server Outgrowth had dropped the wastebasket and was trying to get his lighter to light the cigarette in his mouth.

The last thing I saw before I rounded the street corner on my long walk back to the UPS terminal was JP staggering through the car wash, singing “I’m every woman” in a slurred voice as the brushes scoured his naked body, a dozen cop cars screeching into the parking lot, sirens blaring as they surround Sean’s car, and the back of the building exploding where the Director of Web Server Outgrowth had been.

It’s going to be a beautiful relationship.

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