Friday, November 14, 2008

ss office

Things seen today at the Social Security Office, a magical place I visit a few times a month for my job, to copy client files of exhibits that have been prepped for appeal hearings:

The man in front of me in the metal detector line had a hunk of metal in his wallet, about the size of a credit card but thick as a pancake and matte silver.  He claimed it was a piece of the U.S.S. Nebraska, and he "just couldn't resist" carrying it around.  The security men (who are always sprawled just so in their high stools and lolling of the head like fat, superior cats) mumbled to him that it was okay, but the man just kept standing there with this thing in his hands, the piece of metal, jabbering loudly and seriously about how he would never use it as a weapon, and he was sorry, sorry, sorry, and was still there apologizing when I passed him and went about my business.

Sitting one chair away from me in the waiting room was an older couple, the woman using a big fuck-you four-pronged medical cane and the man all obese with moustache and unironic nascar cap.  He was reading some kind of benign waiting room magazine and kept trying to tell the woman facts.  Sitting next to them was just like a constant stream of:
"Did you know there's a zoo in Atlanta that has video games for Oranga-tangs?"
"How'd you like to go sniffing for mines with a rat?  On a little leash?"
"They've trained these big rats to smell explosives, see?"
"Did you know that some N'aanderthals had genes for red hair?"

So there's the waiting room then the big vast expanse of cubicle spaces behind a locked door with two windows looking into the waiting room.  Behind the door, someone who I presume was some kind of employee was screaming into the phone.  Nothing really inflammatory, in fact he sounded like he was on a totally normal business call, but just screaming.  Everyone in the waiting room got that whole collective discomfort thing going on, where you sneak looks out of the corners of your eyes at each other to see if anyone else finds what's going on as fucking weird as you do.  
Where is this instinct from?  The "must affirm that fucked up thing is actually fucked up with peers" thing.  It is primal.  "That one is acting stupid and out-of-the-ordinary, let's collectively feel this way so he may never produce offspring."
I want to try this on the phone someday, just yell the conversation all ridiculously loud pretending like everything's totally professional.  

Today five (count 'em) older men made a big deal about holding a door for me.  
I must have looked very nubile.

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