Partially because it was my birthday yesterday, but mostly because I had a mammogram before work this morning, I decided to use my Starbucks Birthday Reward to buy a Double Double Fudge Bar Frappuccino. It was delicious and I drank about a third of it on the way to work. I would have devoured the entire thing before work had it not been for the head freeze between the 101 off ramp to Cave Creek Rd and Beardsley.
When I got to work I walked to the back optical room and placed it on the counter in the back corner where there would be no chance of spillage.
I dove into my responsibilities. It seemed like a zillion things needed to be done. I worked for about an hour and half, totally forgetting about my Double Double Fudge in the corner. Then finally, there was a slight break and I remembered. My eyes widened and I reached for the frap.
I grabbed it from the top so that my thumb and fingers gripped where the lid met the rim. In usual form, when I leave any coffee drink for a while, I started swirling it to mix up any deliciousness that had separated. I continued to swirl as my arm passed over the length of my desk, over optical chaos and closer to me. Just as I pulled it up for a sip, it slipped from my fingers and slammed onto the counter.
There was not only an icy mound of Double Double Fudge on the counter, but gooey chocolate splatters across a pile of about twenty plastic bags containing glasses I had just pulled out of boxes from several labs. There were fudgy speckles covering my optical drawers. I followed the brown speckled trail up the cabinets until there was a kink in my neck.
I looked down at my white button-down shirt. There were two chocolate blobs, each about five inches in diameter: one on my left breast and one on my left hip. I stood frozen as one of my co-workers walked into the room. She couldn’t move either. She stood there with her mouth wide open. I realized I had to be the level-headed one in this crisis. I told her to go get paper towels. She ran away and came back with three. Realizing she underestimated the power of a tri-fold, she ran for more. She made several runs and couldn’t bring them fast enough. We mopped and mopped, but the Double Double Fudge was everywhere.
Eventually, I was able to walk without fudge dripping with every step. I rummaged through my choices. I had an hour and a half until lunch. I couldn’t wait that long. I couldn’t leave work either, because I would be gone an hour if I drove home, changed, then drove back. My mind was fogged over by the destruction of my semi-professional attire, but mostly by the fact that my fudge-coffee indulgence was utterly lost. A minute or two of stewing and I felt my wits return. ‘There’s a sink in the pretesting room.’ I thought.
I unbuttoned my shirt as fast as I could and hijacked the back sink. (Thank God for cammies, because I had one underneath my shirt. Yeah, it was white too and my black and white V.S. bra was showing through, but oh well. It was something and I didn’t care.) I washed that blouse as if scrubbing an old wooden washboard. I was fast and thorough. The left front and back panels were drenched. I wrung the shirt like an old washrag. Realizing I couldn’t put it on that wet, I scooped the dripping cloth into my cupped hands and ran from the back room, through a short hallway, passed the front desk, passed a patient waiting for his appointment, and out the front door. I ran to the side of the building, so that the Phoenix heat could help me out.
I stretched the shirt out so that it faced the sun. There was no trace of chocolate. Whew! I swung it back and forth, trying to imitate wind blowing laundry on a clothes line. I did this for about ten minutes. I considered myself lucky no one had driven by. My shirt was almost dry. I thought, ‘Just one more minute.’ and I started waving it faster, frantically trying to dehydrate the damn thing as a UPS truck rounded the back corner of the building. It was Gabe. I see him almost every day. He tries on Oakley sunglasses and uses our restroom when he drops off packages. He gives me a hard time about not having any glasses that fit his big head (those are his words, not mine). I pretended that what I was doing was perfectly normal. I maintained my wind-blowing clothes-line pace. He pulled up to me so that his non-door door was open to me. “What the hell are you doing?” he said in an exasperated tone. I confessed my clumsiness. He chuckled and looked at me as if he wasn’t surprised. He told me he didn’t have any packages for me and drove away. I waved my shirt a few more times, slipped it on and buttoned it up as I walked around the front of the building.
Remember the front desk I ran past? Jennifer runs the front desk. She’s one of the funniest people I know and a blast to work with. She’s sharp and quick and doles out one-liners like most people do with the words “like” and “um”. While I was outside, the Doctor brought a patient out to wait in the reception area while he was dilating. The Doctor asked Jennifer, “Where’s Amy?” and without a second beat Jennifer casually said, “She ran out the front door with her shirt off.” (At least, that’s what the Doctor told me.)
Welcome to my world. This is my norm. :D