I swear all I had for dinner last night was a hot chicken sandwich and yet I had a rather disturbing dream. I was a clerk in a large bookstore in a city that was sometimes Saint John, sometimes Montreal, and sometimes New York. Every time I poked my head out the door, the street and locale would change. My boss, Joan Cusack, had just emerged from a meeting with Lord Conrad Black of Crossharbour. She took me aside and told me it was important that we stock his latest book prominantly in time for the holiday season. His lordship sneered at me, “make sure you do the job the right, son.” And with that he swept out the door.
Later that afternoon, I went about my task stocking his book on the only empty shelf space I could find. Conrad Black returned to check up on my progress. He was displeased.
“What have you done with my book,” he said, indicating the cover. The text was cut off so that only the bottom half of his named appeared (in my dreams I can’t read full words).
“Sorry, Mr. Black. The publisher sent them to us this way.”
“No they didn’t. You did this on purpose. And you will refer to me by my proper title.”
“No, I won’t Mr. Black. I had no reason to screw up your stupid book. It was the publisher.”
“Then why do I have a copy that looks just fine?” he held up an undamaged version of his book.
“Look. I don’t know what happened so stop trying to pin this on me, Mr. Black. I was told to stock your book. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not calling you Lord Black or whatever. I don’t care how bloody rich you are. That shit doesn’t impress me. So listen Lord Tubby, take your little book and leave me alone.”
Conrad Black then started chuckling at me which sent me into the kind of inarticulate rage that makes you want to cut your enemies down to size with your sharpest riposte but ends up coming out more like: “Nobody reads your stupid books, anyway. I don’t even know why we’re wasting our time with this. JUST FUCK OFF YOU FAT FUCKING FUCKER!!! Fuck this shit. I QUIT!!!” I threw a book at his head and flew past a startled Joan Cusack and ran out the door, listening to her apologise to Black for my behaviour as I left.
I came to my friend’s tea room around the corner, quickly grabbed a mug, sat down and tried to calm my nerves. I was worried that now that I had displeased Lord Black of Crossharbour, he would bring his wrath upon my bookstore, throwing me and Joan Cusack out of a job.It was a job that I liked and besides, I didn’t want my boss to lose her job on my account. I decided to go and make amends.
When I returned, B.B. King was performing and doing an impromtu book signing. Everyone in the store agreed that B.B. King was much nicer than Conrad Black and he wrote a better book (it was his memoirs, I think).
I ran to Joan Cusack and apologised profusely for embarassing her and the store. She was visibily angry. She went up one side of me and down the other over what I did. Then she stopped.
“Yeah, you’re right,” she said. “Conrad Black is an asshole.”
I awoke then, looked at the alarm clock and saw that it was 06:25 AM, and was relieved that I hadn’t actually pissed off the rich and powerful and that I still have a job. But then, the day is still young.
*UPDATE* Shared an elevator with The Boss at lunch and managed not to completely piss him off so I guess that’s some kind of success.