Excerpt from the book Different Planet
5 Days in the life of an English office – there’s lots of banter and insults flying around in this story. One person goes to the wrong place for the weekend, another has horrible personal habits, but the main protagonist realises how he can become a better person – he undergoes a transformation after losing a race and feels better for it.
Continuing from the previous post…
“Thanks, Aileen, I’d really appreciate that, I do have some work to do, and I am going to be leaving work early on Friday to go to Donnington.”
Aileen left the room in a huff and was almost instantly replaced by Phil Bracewell who’d finished breaking wind outside and was coming inside to talk with Pete Jacobs, a fellow developer.
“Th,” said Bracewell,rubbing his nose and then sneezing over the papers on his desk, “that program of yours, Pete, is it ready yet, it’s been going for more than a year now, hasn’t it?”
“It has Phil, but they keep changing the requirements on me,” replied Pete, “if only they’d stop changing their minds, I could finish things off.”
“Well, that’s what happens when there’s no scope defined in the program specification – I have suggested a way to stop this happening; I am going to re-issue the spec with a scope defined and then if they change their minds we can charge them extra. Here’s the specification for you, if you want a paper copy.” Bracewell handed Jacobs the document.
“I don’t want a piece of paper with a bogey on it, that’s disgusting, here have it back.”
“You could just flick it off with your finger, it’s just organic material after all.”
“It’s your organic material not mine. Email me the document and don’t attach a bogey to it.”
“Well, well, you put that empty sandwich container away, I don’t want that container pointing at me, th,” Bracewell sneezed over his desk again.
“Can’t you sneeze into your sleeve like most people do?’ asked Jacobs.
“I don’t want mucus over my sleeve,” replied Bracewell wiping his nose with a piece of toilet paper.
“Right, but that’s better than sneezing over your desk and having sticky messes all over your papers and diary. Sticky messes that you pass on to other people.”
“I must have allergies or something, I can’t stop th th sneezing. Is someone wearing perfume around here?”
“If they were, it would only be because of your farting, to try and mask the smell.”
“I only break wind outside now,” said Bracewell, “so it can’t be because of that. I break wind downwind of the office, so that it can’t make its way back inside. Th, Th.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure,” replied Jacobs, “people don’t trust you and with good reason. Perhaps the bad air adheres to your underpants, perhaps you should wear charcoal lined jockey shorts?”
“Will you put that empty container away?” said Bracewell annoyed at Jacobs’s suggestions.
“It’s got cucumber in it, I can’t stand cucumber, I really can’t.”
“What’s wrong with cucumber?”
“It’s always so limp and and it’s transparent so you can look right through it – it’s like the ghost of the vegetable world; I really don’t like it.”
“It’s mainly water, so if you ate this you wouldn’t fart, you’d blow bubbles out of your backside instead and hydrogen. That’s more environmentally friendly than methane.” Jacobs smiled and shook the container.
“You could talk the hind leg off a donkey, you could, I don’t know how you do it.”
“It beats working for a living Phil and you’ve always got an answer for me, don’t forget, so anyway I am going to recycle this container and put the cucumber into the composter outside. Whilst I am outside, I will try and pick up your scent like a frustrated bloodhound looking for a runaway prisoner.”
Jacobs jumped up and sauntered off leaving Bracewell fuming quietly about his reputation for personal hygiene. Or lack of it. He’d tried to do so many things like eating white bread, biscuits, and stodgy foods, but this just plugged him up for days and the gas built up inside, until it eventually seeped out of his backside without any noticeable warning. The blockage had to be cleared using senna and Bracewell had to retire to the garden shed to let the gas out. To mask the smell he had struck a match, which had flared brightly in the gloomy evening air. He had hoped going outside to break wind would have endeared him to his colleagues here at Britannia Holdings, but it had had the opposite effect. People despised him even more and wrinkled their entire face when he happened to walk by. Martin Tranfield had even put on a gas mask when he passed by and referred to him loudly as “the human skunk”. Still, Bracewell reasoned, he would get through this and become stronger for it. He just wished he could control his bowels and bodily fluids more effectively. He was awoken from his reveries by Mark Atkinson who was standing several yards away.