This past Thursday, one of our technicians, an older lady who is a certified curmudgeon and grumbles a lot, but whom I rather like in spite of the grumbling, brought in a big jar of jellybeans to share this week. “They suck,” she explained, “but if anyone wants them, go ahead. I’m not gonna eat ’em.”
Her friend who also works with us, further "encouraged" us by saying, “Try the red ones. They really suck. Try one, and you’ll see what I mean.”
I was game for a little something sweet, so first went digging for black ones – there were NONE – then settled for a modest handful of the other colors. The red ones were not totally awful, just tasted a bit like cough medicine.
“So, what flavor do you think that is?” the friend asked me.
“Robitussin DM,” I replied, happy that they kept my jaws occupied whilst two of my male co-workers bickered about politics, and who was interrupting who. I thought about how pleasant it might be to knock their two thick heads together, and fervently wished that the monologist of the two would take up smoking and go outside for a good portion of our break, or at least stop eating lunch at my table. I even thought it might be better to listen to the other expound about American Idol (FEH!!!!) than to listen to the monologist.
So, how desperate was I for decent conversation? Enough to be happy with crummy jellybeans, my knitting, and a nostalgic wish for some talk about music, even if it wasn’t MY sort of music. Something. Anything.
Alas, no amount of wishing made it happen, and when the bell rang, I thought, “Damn it, I need a reward for sitting through that.”
Juggling my knitting in one hand to free up the other as I passed the table where the jellybeans had been left, I reached for the jar. It was heavier than I anticipated, and the lid had not been screwed on tightly. Oh, sh*t.
There was no way to be discreet about a heavy jar rolling off the table, with jellybeans exploding around the room, bouncing off walls and windows, and rolling under tables and chairs. Busted!
Everyone in the next room heard and started laughing. “You wanted them all for yourself,” someone yelled.
“No,” I called back, “I didn’t. I wanted to sneak a few, but I guess God punished me for having mean thoughts.”
More laughter. My face turned five shades of purple, and the usual post-lunch hot flash came on with more of a vengeance than usual as I crawled under tables and picked the damn things up. There are a LOT of jellybeans in a one-pound jar, and I managed to spill the entire f*cking lot of them. And in our place, no one believes in the five-second rule. It’s just not a chance anyone would willingly take, so into the garbage those jellybeans went, and back to my bench I went, staggering under a load of Guilt and Remorse.
We have so few pleasures in our workplace, and even jellybeans that suck make folks happy. We take what we can get.
Still red in the face and hot-flashing like mad, I sat down and picked up a cable, and promised, “I’ll make this up to you guys. I’ll bring in some Jelly Bellies tomorrow.”
“Aw, you don’t have to do that,” the giver said. “Those other ones were sh*t. I don’t care.”
“Yeah, they sucked,” her friend agreed.
But my mind was made up. I brought in some Jelly Bellies yesterday, and a good time was had by all, and I did NOT end up throwing them all ’round the cafeteria again.
Needless to say, I will never attempt picking up any kind of container one-handed again.
And it was true, anyway: those other jellybeans DID suck, AND there were NO black ones!
There WERE a few black ones amongst the Jelly Bellies, however, and I was able to secure a few of those for myself. Naturally, I thought of Harpo Marx as I savored them, and realized my little mishap with the jar could have been worse. It COULD have been a five-pound bag...
P.S. -- I still don't give a rat's arse about Ryan Seacrest, whoever he is...