Never one to pass up a funny book, I recently acquired 1965's "2000 Insults for All Occasions". It is one in a long line of such books that I felt compelled to free from the prostitution of the garage sale lifestyle. Normally the most humorous thing about these books is how horribly out of date they are. Here are a few of bon mots from "2000 Insults":
"He had a pair of bloomers tattooed on his chest because he always wanted a chest with drawers."
"A fellow invited her into the woods to hear a nightingale and it turned out to be a lark."
"As a bathing beauty, she's hardly worth wading for."
"Girls return his letters marked 'Forth Class Male'".
You gotta admit - they do make you smile. Maybe just not for the reason's originally intended. I pulled this book off the shelf last night because I was reminded of it at lunch.
I eat lunch at work, most of the time. A few years ago I was adamantly opposed to staying in for lunch. I wanted to get away from the building and I certainly didn't want to go home for lunch - its too hard to drag yourself back to work - so I would eat out. That got old. And it got expensive. And making your lunch is way more healthy than carne guisada enchiladas. Now a whole crew of people spend lunch gathered around the conference tables in the grand ballroom. If I were anywhere else, with anyone else, I would absolutely hate it.
It is hellaciously loud. And uncouth. And unforgiving. There are always three or four conversations going on at once. Each person is expected to participate in all exchanges simultaneously. You must express your opinions in the most forceful manner available to your command. Extra points if your crossfire is loud and forceful enough to drown out one or more other conversations. It is not really conversation - more like verbal warfare. If you fire off a really fine insult or observation you are rewarded with a high-five - lofty praise indeed.
By unspoken agreement the conversation is generally rated PG-13. Especially heinous exchanges are always preceded by a warning to the lone male to plug his ears. He complies. (There is more than one man working in our office. The others just don't have the intestinal fortitude to handle lunch.)
Everyone and everything is fair game. The democracy of this arrangement helps ensure that no one gets their feelings hurt. New employees are usually astounded at first (they get a sort of free grace period while learning the unwritten rules of the game) but they soon learn to jump off in the deep end with everyone else.
Stop by sometime if you have a bag o' lunch and you don't mind being insulted. Let me know if you want to borrow my book before you come.