“Could you get me that green pepper from the crisper and by the way my boss promoted the water cooler to management today, and then said I looked like a walking poo emoji in my new brown top,” said Deborah Dufoe, Toronto resident, wife of John Dufoe, and passionate collector of personal slights both real and imagined.
“That pepper went into the soup last night,” says John, hovering like Sugar Ray Leonard in the red corner. “And I forgot to tell you, my foot was crushed while hiding in the garbage compactor after George from accounts found out I was the one who told Mr. Reynolds that George leaves an hour early on Fridays to catch the early GO train. And then his wife came in and stomped on my other foot with her sharpest heels because now George can’t pick up the kid they never wanted from the daycare they can’t afford. I’ll probably limp the rest of my life.”
The pot boils over and the microwave shoots sparks while the cat threatens to expire if it isn’t fed immediately. It is an ordinary night in the Dufoe apartment, high above the streets of a vibrant city full of schmucks, rain, snow, and traffic.
“Yeah?” Says Deborah, sometime after dessert. “Well, I didn’t mention that the ghost of my mother seems to be haunting my stapler and now clogs it every time I try to attach the second page of my resignation letter to the first. And my parking spot at work is under construction until August 2020, so now I have to hitchhike in from the warehouse lot and in winter will be assigned a dogsled team, provided there is room in the entertainment budget. I’ve filed a complaint, due to my allergies of course.”
“Of course,” says John as he pours sixteen fingers of whiskey. “That’s horrible. I’d offer to drop you off at the door, but as you know I only have four days left to live, assuming the psychic who took all our money was right. And assuming fate is an unavoidable, incontestable thing written before we are born, and this is all a tedious charade that crazy women with blue hair and a penchant for bead curtains are granted exclusive insight into. Which seems by far the likeliest scenario don’t you agree my day was worse?”
“Likeliest scenario sure, but there’s no way your day was worse. I think I punctured a lung when I fell over the cat and dropped my engagement ring down the air duct. And my sister is coming over to disown me first thing in the morning. Something about being a downer all the time, she says, whatever that means. I’m going to turn in so I can get a good night’s insomnia and wake up nice and zombied.”
“Ok. I’m going to stay up for awhile and hope a lightbulb burns out so I have something to distract me from my foot and thoughts of how successful my brother is. I mean feet.”
Deborah stands by the door, waiting for John to admit her day was worse. John takes a sip of bourbon (he’s finished his whiskey), waiting for the same. Morning comes. The two head off to work, dissatisfied that their dissatisfaction was unsatisfactorily satisfied.