In a very cold voice she chewed out the words “While you are in this room you will not talk about penises, holes, foursomes or utter any other phrases which can be taken in a sexual context.” Somehow she managed to not blink while saying that. I wondered if we could make that entire sentence fit on a tombstone?
Softly, like a sunrise just beginning on realization, Giant said “Oh my God . . . she’s a WIMINS!”
That sudden gay intake of breath. It’s another thing the English language is ill equipped to describe, especially when Stretch does it. Most people don’t realize it, but you can’t put on a gay cover and fake that. You can practice all you want. Read books. Watch movies. I’m told there are trainers in this organization who try to train straight men to take gay covers and after years of effort gave up trying to come up with a way to fake that. To a gay guy a fake gay intake of air is as recognizable as a loud fart in church. If the room happens to be full of gay guys, they all hear it.
“This firm does not discriminate on basis of gender or sexual orientation” HR chewed out again without ending her staring contest.
“Oh yes it does” responded Stretch. “And we all look the same to her.”
“I’m glad you said that instead of me” Giant said to Stretch.
“No offense would have been taken lover” Stretch answered. If you haven’t guessed by now, Stretch is the only black man in the room. Oddly enough he never seems hung up on any black-white issues. Then again, nobody would mouth off to him in person. I certainly wouldn’t!
“We also have a strict policy against collecting souvenirs from jobs” HR spat out.
I finally knew what this was all about. My watch and a few things The Acrobats had. It’s not the first time this came up. I’ve had the watch for years. Decades really. The Acrobats even know the story behind it. They were there the last time I got dressed down for it.
My phone buzzed with a message.
Bring her to me. 27th FL NCO
I showed it to The Acrobats and asked “Do you guys want in on this or is it all mine?”
“We are not done with this conversation!” screamed HR as she stood up.
“Oh yes we are” I replied. “Upper management has spoken.” Then I showed her the message.
Slim continued in that voice which chilled the Hell out of me. “Perhaps you should have looked into what happened to the last HR person to have this conversation.” Turning to me he said in a more normal voice “Yes, I want in on this. You handled it last time.”
HR was white as a sheet. Even her cheap lipstick seemed to turn pale.
Slim took HR’s badge from her and escorted her from the conference room. We passed a mens room on the way to the elevators and Giant said “One minute” as he opened the door.
“California kidneys” chided Stretch softly. Less than a minute later Giant returned carrying several rolls of toilet paper. He handed them to Stretch and ducked into an empty office to snag an empty garbage bag.
“With all of the money you make you have to steal toilet paper” said a disgusted HR. Her color had returned.
“We found an elevated walkway which hangs over a busy sidewalk to the subway” responded Slim.
“Before we leave we decided to give the locals a memorable evening commute” continued Stretch. “You’re welcome to join us old man.”
“When in New York” I said.
“Exactly” responded Giant.