May 6, 2005

in the cooler, no one can hear you scream

It's a fact.

I'm sorry, for reasons unforseeable by anyone who works here (as we have no way of determining the status of our pineapple juice), we are temporarily out of pineapple juice. Though my barback is currently on a mission to find pineapple juice, I admit that this may take some time. I want to extend my sincerest regrets, and ask that everyone try to recollect themselves. The estimated wait time for pinapple juice is currently: T minus seven minutes. Please align your time pieces accordingly.

I like saying T minus.


I got the phrase T minus from the movie Alien, which I watched a million times when I was growing up. I loved Alien. And I was obsessed with the cover art on the box. I spent a great deal of time looking at that box. I liked the symbolism of the egg in outer space with the green light emanating from it. And the foreboding line:

IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM.

Indeed. Pure genius. And I'm sure it's true.

Alien. The part at the end where Ripley opens the emergency self destruct apparatus and quickly reads the instructions that are printed there. And then, according to those instructions, takes steps to begin the mode of self destruction. She must get herself (and the cat, she never forgets about Jones) onto the smaller shuttle and away from the ship. She has a lot of pressure on her at that moment. Not to mention the added pressure of the alarm that is then sounding off, and that of the (unfeeling computer generated female) voice that begins to repeat (at very regular intervals) just how many minutes are left before the ship will self destruct. ..You have T minus eight minutes ..T minus five minutes.. Ripley does indeed get out in the nick of time. She knows that she will have a lot of explaining to do when she gets back to Earth, but she'll worry about that later (and, of course, in just a few minutes, she will encounter a whole new set of problems).

One time, when I had a paper jam, I (very much like Ripley) found myself opening the door to the emergency apparatus in the back of my printer. I then (just as she) quickly read the universal picto-image instructions found inscribed in that compartment. And I needed to keep my wits about me as I took steps to undo the paper jam. Which was difficult. Especially under the (and the similarities are almost chilling when you think about it) added duress of a message that was issued repeatedly in an emotionally removed, computer generated voice:

Emergency: Paper jam detected.
Emergency: Paper jam detected.

It turns out that the default mode for a paper jam emergency is T minus sixty seconds.
And my failure to respond in time led to the cancellation of that print job.

Print job aborted.

And in space, that would have meant my death.
..........................

You have T minus three remaining waitressing shifts..

Three. At the end of which I will flee the premises in my (small space ship) taxi, for the last time. And (if life is anything like Alien, and I suspect it is) I will feel fairly secure that I have made a clean getaway. I will be tired, yes, but also no doubt relieved and happy to finally be on on my way back to my (planet) apartment. But then, when I get home, I will find that there is a (monster) table of customers waiting for me in my kitchen. They will be shaking their glasses at me (a clever devise meant to emphasize the emptiness of their glass, if not the emptiness of their lives) at which point one of them will say loudly and sarcastically, There she is..! (suggesting that they have been waiting for me, as it is only in the privacy of their own home that they can safely pour the bottle continuously down their throat, as they prefer, and they really, really hate being the resident "alcoholic" at a table amongst "friends" who are drinking more "socially", i.e. slowly, and so need to take their frustration out on someone, and so behave as if they have waited, when in fact they have not, as I, the waitress, have barely finished setting down the original round of drinks before this person has sucked down their double vodka on the rocks with a cherry, the same sticky cherry that they like to place right on top of my tip, making the tip and the cherry all one gesture of garbage-giving, so to speak) I will then realize that this monster is intelligent (making it all the more menacing) and that I somehow unwittingly brought it along with me on my escape mission. So, I will slowly back away from this table of customers and into my clothes closet, where I will (rotely, cautiously) put on my anti-waitressing suit (all the while quietly singing to myself, You.. Are.. My.. Lucky.. Star..) and proceed (with the kitten safely tucked away in the sleep chamber) to open the hatch and allow this last table to be finally sucked into outer space (and away from me and my kitten) forever.

And, as much as I hope it doesn't come down to that, I like being mentally prepared.



20 comments:

  1. Do some stretches as well, maybe? It's always best to be prepared, they say, but I don't think you need worry. You're Gold Medal material at the Mental Olympics, yo.

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  2. OOh, OOh...can I be Newt (sp?)??

    You know, from the second one.

    (I love reading your stuff...it always makes me giggle)

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  3. you've got what I need,
    stretches, yes, thank you, I'm doing them now. Mental Olympics? That could be taken a couple of ways, which is why I laugh, yo..!

    boabhan sith, yes you can be Newt. I almost forgot about the mother/daughter thing in the second (third?) one. Newt was so cute..

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  4. That's what makes you such a dexterous Olympian Vic, all your taking of things in multiple ways [with a laugh...]!

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  5. you've got what I need:
    [also laughing..] I'm sorry, which way did you mean that?

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  6. I'm not sure it matters. Any which way works in the above comments; so, whatever one you like best is the one that fits. Now, if only that'd work for swimsuits.

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  7. Pineapple juice? Who knew...

    Now I know what you meant by your comment "Interesting..."
    Apparently we both had aliens on our the brain on the same day... Weird... haha.
    We are simpatico. We should be a detective duo.

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  8. It's almost time... :)

    So, is the kitten new? Drats, I must have missed another post about that too, right?

    Now I have to go and rent Alien. I've never seen it...

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  9. one of my favorite movies. i still have dreams when i have a small fever that the alien is coming for me. something about maximum safe distance, no?

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  10. Hitchhiking across the galaxy would only be fun with you. You keep me on the edge. Plus you like Woody Allen.

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  11. harley, (replace "pineapple juice" with "god dammned jagermeister")
    I too thought we should start solving crimes. Jinx..

    Kim, sorry, that was misleading. The "kitten" that I referred to is 7 years old. (and yes, almost!)

    blog ho, whether it was maximum or minimum safe distance is unimportant. It should be "MSD".

    pirate, if this blog were a computer program (and who says it isn't) you would recieve the following message:

    Based on data collected from your comment, we recommend you see the folowing movies:

    * Sleeper (97%)
    * Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (82%)
    * Razors Edge (9%)
    * Only You (.03%)

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  12. Do you wanna be Cagney or Lacey?

    (please say Cagney... please say Cagney... please say Cagney...)

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  13. Oh no! I am to be Det. Lacy in this operation. And, seriously, Cagney is the more masculine of the two, so I'd think you'd be (I fully anticipated a fight over who gets to be Lacy) happy with being Cagney..

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  14. Ok then. I see how this is going to be.
    Allow me rephrase the question.
    Do you wanna be Officer Francis Llewellyn 'Ponch' Poncherello... or Officer Jon Baker?

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  15. Tough to call..
    "Ponch", I guess, and I'm not sure why. Actually, if those are to be my choices, I'll be Baker (definitely more girly than Ponch, but then, who isn't?)

    Oh, and before you even ask:
    I want to be Robin.

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  16. You're lucky you picked Baker. I was about to call the whole thing off after that whole Cagney debacle.

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  17. I've found that the accoustics in a cooler are great for singing, and as no one can hear you, all the better.

    I have no experience with singing in space...but I'm pretty sure it's as good as the cooler.

    pineapple juice...blecht!

    Sigourney Weaver creeps me out...she has no top lip! That's not natural, especially for a woman. A man who has no top lip can at least grow a moustache to hide the fact, but poor women...

    Can't wait to hear about your first week on the new job!

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  18. lyvvie, see "The Year of Living Dangerously". You might think differently of Sigourney Weaver (her looks, anyway) afterwards. I've always liked her acting.
    And pineapple juice, yes, quite sticky..

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  19. Victoria, I love the way you write. Have you ever publishes anything. I think you have an inner essayist.

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