This is the story of my sincere attempts at following some good advice. I was concerned about spending too much time in front of my PC, but seeing as this was part of my job, I also felt that I had no choice. So, I needed to take care of my posture, maintaining the correct height, and maintaining the correct distance between my eyes and the monitor. As per the occupational health and safety standards, I had to be hypervigilant about angles, space, eyelines, blah blah blah. All of this bullshit was key.
The problem was, I had a spine that had the bendiness of a Slinky. It’s a wonder I managed to successfully navigate stairs without spilling my way down them, ending up in a tragic heap at the bottom! Of course, I had to concentrate, and wearing an unusually stiff jacket usually helped, support wise. Showers were a fucking nightmare, what with having to hold onto the taps for dear life, just in case my stretchy spine decided to suddenly lunge my skull into the bathroom wall. And looking in mirrors? Let’s just say I had to wear a helmet in case.
Don’t think I haven’t tried to find a solution. My best idea was to remove the head cushion from my office chair and slip my spine down the back support shaft. It seemed to work quite well while I was sitting, but my every attempt to stand up, move, or bend only ended with me collapsing all over the floor, the high-pitched squeals of my colleagues being a clue to how freakish and dire my situation actually was. Because, of course, I kept forgetting that firstly I needed to take my spine off the shaft. I’m such a butter brain sometimes!
After the fifth incident, my boss called me into her office and gave me a good dressing down. This whole situation was ridiculous, she said, and I needed to come up with a solution fast if I wished to have a future with the company. Needless to say, my confidence took a huge hit with that ultimatum, and I left work that day with more wobble in my step than I would have liked. I even tipped into a duck pond despite all my efforts not to. I was not in a good way.
When I was sitting near the pond, sad and wet, smeared with muck and duck droppings, I noticed a fat tube man. He looked very happy, his long, thin moustache all twirled and oiled at each end, and a pizza in his hand that looked like a billion dollar feast—it looked that good! I felt a twinge of envy. It could’ve been me in his place. I wasn’t worse than him. No, I was even better! And my back was way more bendy after all.
The next morning, I found myself outside our personnel department with an application in hand. The personnel officer hadn’t even looked at it—such had been his delight at my proposal. I was leaving his office, having secured for myself a newly created role, that of the company tube man. I could stand out the front, flitting and flailing in the breeze as much as I liked, bending this way and that to attract attention to our company and whatever the hell product or service it actually provided. This would be the perfect job for me. I wouldn’t be stuck in front of a PC all day. I’d get plenty of fresh air. And flexible working hours! The perks were many.
But my favourite moment of the day was when my former boss was passing me on the street. She was accompanied by a gaggle of my former work colleagues. It was a golden opportunity for me to formally recognise for myself that I’d come to the end of my time with them. So, I loosened my valve at just the right moment, and let rip with a burst of high pressure gas. It was such a distinctive sound, one that could not be ignored by anybody!
They all stopped, saw me—a mere tube man—then looked at one another. Who had let off that fart? No one was willing to own up to it. And though they were all innocent, I wasn’t about to own up to it either. I watched smugly as they all turned and walked back to their stuffy offices. And here was me staying outside, free and happy—and with extra days off whenever there was rain.