Thursday, February 26, 2004

This is part of an ongoing series of whatsis through strange and foreign lands which you are reading, hooray! You can read the others here here here here and here.

The office building is a strange and corridory place. I am greeted at customs by a native who extends a greeting of "hey wait you cant go into the office building" and in return I extend to him a Hawaiian lei. Aloha, office building!

The office building is bizarre and frightens most visitors which it why its natives are so unused to tourists. But that is only because it is so misunderstood. The office building natives are a quiet simple people, content to graze in their cube shaped huts and perform their simple native rituals. Entering an office building village I am greeted by the rhythmic clicking and ringing of indigenous office instruments and by ancient office chants:

thenkyoo for calling customerservice
thissis vincentspeaking
thenkyoo for calling customerservice
thissis vincentspeaking

The huts of the office people are decorated with their primitive yet abstract art. Some are pictures of babies which is odd because there are no babies in the building vllage, office people are born fully grown from large metal pods in the parking lot outside. Some are signs with villager's names on them which are believed to protect ones identity and status from evil spirits. One shows a picture of a rock with the word TEAMWORK on it. Silly office people! Teamwork doesn't look like a rock. It looks like a butterfly.

Some huts are empty. These are where old villagers used to live before they were taken from their homes and released from the office building into the cold cruel world outside to be devoured, like Eskimos, by predators and the public transit system. It is sad and terrible to watch but to interfere with this process would be to disturb the development of another culture.

While I am walkin along the village streets eatin chips and sayin hi, I am suddenly surprised to see Chris here. Chris! What are you doing in the office building! Chris looks sad and desperate. Oh no Chris is a prisoner of the office people! Have they been conducting raids to capture slaves?

I cant leave my friend here in a hostile territory. I grab Chris and yell "go go go!" As we are running towards the office people's "magic basket" - a pulley device used to raise and lower office people from one village to another - the village chieftain emerges from his special taller hut. He is marked in the traditional manner of office people chiefs, bald and fat with the meat of his rivals. He stands in the office road emitting native cries of "yoofied! yoofied!" but we do not listen. At the gate as we are leaving I leave behind a cup of coffee and a box of paper clips in offering to the native gods.

Our visit to the office building has been a bittersweet one. Have we truly come closer to understandin its savage yet unique culture or will it always remain a riddle wrapped in another riddle wrapped in a cafeteria donut? We will have to study this further to come to terms with this mysterious culture.
posted by fafnir at 8:25 PM



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