Poetry: MY CO-WORKER SLAMS THE MICROWAVE – Mike Young

~~ choose: “HE” | “SHE” | “THEY” ~~

MY CO-WORKER SLAMS THE MICROWAVE

as described to Matt Nelson

she is a human prune bag with no prunes in it

she cuts her bagels in quarters

she acts confused by diagonals in scrabble

she picks up parking tickets right after people drop them and says “excuse me” loudly

she chats you when you’re invisible and says “i know you’re not invisible”

she points at the numbers you’ve deliberately obscured and says “what do these numbers mean?”

at night she turns into an advanced VCR made right after VCRs became obsolete

instead of sleeping she polishes her jackhammer collection

her jackhammer collection includes all jackhammers currently in operation and none of the jackhammers that are quiet

she calls the dream factory and insists that all wet dreams be converted to dry dreams

she’s been holding the post office hostage for 26 years through a complicated blackmail scheme that ultimately reduces the post office’s efficiency

she sends a reply-all email saying “isn’t she not here anymore” regarding a co-worker who committed suicide two years ago after you accidentally include that co-worker’s email address in an email you send to everyone in the company on a Friday of a funny skiing accident video

her profile picture is an annoying sound that plays automatically

her favorite band is a fluorescent light

her favorite food is a weak cough

she sues the tinsel company because she counted each individual strand in a box of tinsel and it didn’t match up to the promises on the packaging

she wins all her court cases

she throws away food based on the date you wrote on the piece of tape covering the tupperware, and not based on what the food actually smells like

she loudly scorns sports announcers and tells embarrassing personal anecdotes about them

she never mutes commercials

she says “oh please” right at the good part of the movie

all the characters in her children’s book have ugly hats

she sees nothing funny

she scrapes your non-stick pan with a fork, rendering it cancerous

she is the deciding “no” vote on a bill to fund a space exploration program for cute dolphins

she starts a pedantic Wikipedia edit war about your favorite tree

her xylophone keys all make the same note

she forces the book club to spend the whole time talking about a small typo on page 46

she calls her brother at the end of your joke and says she’s going to ask him to explain your joke because “he always knows about that”

when faced with three packaging design options for an olive oil bottle, she always picks the ugliest option, and the olive oil always ends up being a reliable success

she says “who’s that” at funerals

she says “for all indents and purposes”

she orders sandwiches at Subway with overly specific coupons

she puts your favorite old chair into a blender and it comes out an ugly orange chair

her heart is full of pistachios that seem like they have difficult shells but actually they’re impossible

if she were an app on your phone she would ask for an unseemly amount of permissions

you loan her your umbrella so she can run down the street to the post office and she wanders into the middle of a desert and dies

she invented fanny packs

her best friend is a stop sign in the middle of a highway

her mom is a confusing assembly guide for a piece of furniture that only has three parts

her dad is a gas station that won’t take credit cards and doesn’t have an ATM

her brother is the pimple that emerges from the pimple you destroyed

her sister is the hiccups

the sound she makes when she chews is currently the highest polling republican candidate for president in 2016

she wears an enormous digital watch that has an alarm that goes off at obvious times of the day, like 5PM, and she always acts surprised by it

all your friends can do is shrug and say “she’s not that bad” and then right as they’re saying “wait but actually” they are hit and killed by a 1993 ford taurus

everything in her bathroom is covered by a thin, hallucinatory layer of plastic

she emails you after you fix something and says “it still doesn’t work” and somehow she is right

she smells like a flight cancellation email

in kindergarten she gave everyone a saltine cracker instead of a valentine

in heaven she gave everyone a sore throat

any sporting event she goes to is guaranteed to end in a scoreless tie

when she makes toast it tastes like an old calculator

her house is one leg of a giant pair of khakis

when she cries, she cries funky towel smell

when she loves someone, it immediately triggers an IRS audit for them

Mike Young is the author of Sprezzatura, Look! Look! Feathers, and We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough. He publishes NOÖ Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press, and lives in Portland, OR. Find him online at mikeayoung.tumblr.com.

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