Thursday, 19 July 2012

Batty Ideas, Harmonizing Bubbles, and Bonsai Trees

Foggy morning in Leeds
Foggy morning in Leeds
Today at work I had one of those moments where I realized how bizarre my life is.  This time it had to do with two things.  1. My stranger than strange job.  2. My very strange mind.

Let me explain.  My job is to come up with new ideas for ways to talk about and ultimately write about my clients.  There are only so many times you can write about the way that blinds allow you to adjust the light in a room.  So you need to come up with other topics.  I'm really good at it because my thoughts are well, simply random.  When I interviewed for this job they told me they were looking for more creative thinkers.  So I employ my creativity without any filter at my job.  Which means that I write about whatever come to mind.  Sure I've written the articles about decorating with blinds, but I've also argued that wooden blinds are more eco-friendly than curtains.  (There is some truth to it in the way that some materials are produced and acquired more sustainably than others.  Nonetheless, they're about even really.)

Perhaps my crowning work was the piece on creating a cardboard castle for your children to play in.  It comes complete with a working drawbridge I'll have you know.  What does this have to do with wooden blinds you ask?  Ah, well, every castle needs a portcullis and what better to use than wooden blinds?  I kid you not.  I get paid to write these things.  But today while I was writing a slightly more sane article about kitchen safety I had my realization that my job is truly strange.  I was talking about the danger of toasters getting too close to curtains and catching them on fire (you should really use wooden blinds see?) and I happened to write the phrase "errant toaster".  I had been thinking that it had simply wandered out of it's usual place and gotten too close to the curtains.  When I revisited this article I read it with the other connotation of the word errant.  I read the sentence with the mental image of a wayward toaster.

I am sure I do not need to tell you that my mind took this idea and started running with it.  Suddenly I was grinning vacantly at my computer screen as I imagined evil toasters with devil horns and pitch forks running around the kitchen prodding things, setting toast and curtains on fire, and generally creating havoc.  Undoubtedly I was scarred forever by the nightmare scene in The Brave Little Toaster and deep down still cringe at the idea of a toaster in flames.  Except this didn't star a creepy clown and the toaster in my work was evil not cute.  This is like the Brave Little Toaster's evil twin.  With that train of thought derailing my sane article writing I decided to switch to another topic.

Harmonizing Bubbles?
Photo by Stellajo1976, via Flickr
Cleaning.  Surely cleaning was a safe topic.  I'd write about how you can make cleaning more fun.  I wrote an article about turning household chores into the Cleaning Olympics, complete with sibling rivalry turned into athletic competition, timed events, and medal ceremonies.  Then I started working on making cleaning fun for adults and my thoughts got derailed by bubbles.  Yes, bubbles.  Ever since I watched Disney's Cinderella I have wanted bubbles to harmonize with me while I scrub the floors.  Is that really so much to ask?  I'm not asking for singing, talking, loveable mice to help me.  I'm not asking for Fantasia like powers to make the mops do the work for me.  I even sing the song, Sing Sweet Nightingale while I do my work.  All I'm asking is that the bubbles oblige and harmonize along with me while I work.  I started thinking about this and got utterly derailed on that article too.  I decided that the problem was the head scarf.  I haven't been wearing a head scarf while I scrub and I can't tie a perfect bow behind my back.  I mean, how do you do that anyway?  Mine always end up sideways.  Sigh, yet another Disney ideal I'll never reach.

At the end of my shift I realized I had to stay and water the bonsai tree.  Now that I've started watering my colleague's tree and everyone knows that I'm keeping it alive it is sort of my job.  If it dies it will now be my fault not my colleague's.  So I now have bonsai watering duties at work.  It is growing leaves again, but it looks so straggly and sad.  I feel sorry for it.  When I placed it back on the desk I shook my head.  I have the weirdest job in the world, but I guess at least I have the mind to match it.

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