You want a setup? Well, I'll give you a setup.
You see, I've had an entire small, two-story house all to myself for the past few days. I'll repeat that in case you didn't hear that the first time: I've had an entire small, two-story house all to myself for the past few days. And if everything goes as planned, I'll probably hold it for a couple more days... until about 6:00 pm on Sunday night when the rest of the family finally arrives home.
Yes, that's right. The rest of the family -- mother, brother, sister -- decided to fly to Hong Kong a few days ago. My sister graduated from high school this year, you see, and she wanted to have a more substantial vacation before we shunted her off to college. So they fly to the former British territory, I stick around to hold the fort, and Bob's your uncle.
Unfortunately, unlike the developments in most crazy American teenybopper movies, I have no plans of holding a massive celebration of drunken debauchery at this time. For that matter, most people who read this blog have little or no idea where I live anyway, so it's not as though I'll be looking at an extensive guest list if given the chance.
And that's too bad, really. It would have been a nice party.
But I digress.
By now, you're probably wondering exactly what I've been doing ever since they left. For that matter, you're probably wondering if I've already broken into the liquor cabinet, trotted out the illegal substances, and called the local escort services. The truth is that I'm going to remain evasive about the matter, if only because I feel like messing around with the normal writing approach tonight.
My recent activities are detailed in five multiple-choice questions below. I'll eventually get around to giving a straight answer for each question, but you at least get to look through the products of my insanity and first speculate on what the hell I'm really doing over here.
So... shall we begin the narration?
1. It's obvious that Sean's been spending his days at work. But what has he been doing every night while the rest of his unsuspecting family is away on vacation?
a. Partying at the local nightclubs.
b. Picking up loose women.
c. Watching Jeopardy.
d. Watching porn.
Answer: (c). Darn you, Alex Trebek. Why must your show be so compelling, especially when it all goes down to Final Jeopardy?
With that said, I haven't been completely glued to the TV for the past few nights. I've been tweaking some bits of Legend of the Five Rings game theory, beating some short fiction out of my head, and dozing off at two in the morning when there's nothing left to do. None of that is very constructive, no. But at least I haven't been completely glued to the TV for the past few nights...
2. Hey, wait a minute... Sean weaseled out of the family vacation because of work obligations. What's he doing that makes him so busy in the office?
a. Finishing an important project.
b. Cleaning out his work desk.
c. Nothing, actually. Sean just likes working.
d. Watching porn.
Answer: (b). I'm contractually obligated to clean out my desk and wrap up all of my concurrent assignments, since my official resignation takes effect on Friday next week.
Yes, I'm leaving my current office after more than five years of engagement. It's not because of any measure of dissatisfaction, mind you. It's just that, after more than five years' work in the same field, I'm solidly in the "burnout" phase. I'm looking at approaching a different work discipline right now, perhaps something in marketing or corporate communications.
From an ironic point of view, this also means that I'll be stranded on the other side of the job market for a while. I put together quite a few notes on job applications a few months ago; We can probably think of this as a way of putting my money where my mouth is.
3. Hey... the weekend's coming up, and there's a holiday this Monday. So what did Sean do to prepare for this long break period?
a. Collect DVDs of CSI.
b. Collect stuffed toys.
c. Collect reading material.
d. Collect porn.
Answer: (c). In the last week, I've picked up the usual cheap paperback novels, magazine back issues, and comic book manuscripts. Gem was nice enough to throw in a Madeleine L'Engle book and a Year's Best Fantasy collection into the mix, and if I can find some way to scrounge up the money, I can pick up a couple more pieces of high-end material.
I'm planning to put a bunch of stuffed toys together for another mini-comic strip, though. But I'm stopping short of actually collecting them -- I think I've got enough to work with at the moment.
4. Oooooh... stuffed toys! Where's Trevor in all this, anyway?
a. In Sean's closet... and boy, is he mad.
b. At the foot of Sean's bed, watching his every move.
c. In Cancun. Summer vacation rules, baby!
d. Watching por... ah, heck. This joke's been beaten to death already.
Answer: (b). For the record, I did stuff him back into the closet one evening. The next morning, however, I found him sitting at the foot of my bed again, just staring at me like he always does.
Yeah, that's creepy. But at least you get used to the garlic after a while...
5. Tomorrow, with his family still a thousand miles away, Sean plans to:
a. Perfect a cure for cancer.
b. Repair the hole in the ozone layer.
c. Join a threesome with a couple of Victoria's Secret models.
d. Get a haircut.
Answer: (c). It's a long story, you see, and it involves Scottish bagpipes, fine silk neckties, and ripe bananas. (Mmmm... bananas.) Suffice to say that from there, it was easy for them to fall for my manly charms, and...
Okay, so the answer's really (d). I'm probably going to spend an hour in the barber's chair tomorrow, trying not to fall asleep in the face of electric razors and liberal doses of aftershave. I'm about a week overdue for the haircut, and my scalp's starting to resemble the Amazon rain forest. It's time for me to get cleaned up a bit.
After all, I wouldn't want to look like a total slob once my family comes back on Sunday evening.
For that matter, chances are that they'll probably first inspect each and every corner of the empty house. Then they'll turn to me and ask exactly how I was able to hide all evidence of my massive celebration of drunken debauchery, in which case I'll just tell them that the stuffed bear did it.
Trevor most likely won't appreciate that, but I've got him perfectly under control.