The devil wears Carters.

It’s not that often that I bring untitledson to my office. Lest I want him to shove whiteboard pens up his nose and paint his fingernails with White-Out, I am wise to keep him a few football fields away from this place. Why, I myself must play at least three games of Free Cell every afternoon to stave off the brain-numbing effects of my work environment. You can imagine the number it does on he who cannot tolerate a 30-second tv commerical thanks to the brain-altering device better known as TIVO.With no other alternative, I took him in to work yesterday. I had to run in for 30 minutes to answer some emails and gather my papers (so I could work from our hotel room while untitledson recovered from his quarterly case of pink eye). What’s that? Don’t you have remote email access like the rest of the world, untitled? Don’t you work for a company of 7,000 people? As a matter of fact, I do, and I do. But our security procedure is so goddamn rigid, I cannot log in. You have to enter two user names, two passwords, plus the Latin translation – unabridged – of “The Satanic Verses” for the mere privelege of kneeling at the feet of those in IT. But I do sleep well at night knowing that if some hacker tries to access my e-mails debating the proper usage of the em dash and en dash, he or she will be shut down. I must say, this whole security procedure is flattering. But let’s get real. No one wants to read my e-mail. Even I don’t want to read my e-mail.

So there we were, untitledson and myself, at my office. In my efforts to mitigate a Chernobyl meltdown, I gave him the pep talk, which amounted to “Be a good boy or Mommy will lose her job and be forced to sell handjobs on the corner, just to pay for your organic milk and the Kashi bars you love so dearly.” That kept him in line for about, oh, two minutes. Then the torrent began. “I want gum. I have to poop. Why is that person brown? What do these two wires do?” And on and on and on. Now the next part of this story is one big blur for me (post-traumatic stress response), but the ordeal ended with untitledson whipping his green Crocs over my cubicle wall and me slinging him over my shoulder as he pummelled me with his fists, pulled my hair and screamed, “You’re not the boss of me!” Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my co-workers looking on in horror. Tomorrow, they would tell me that they’d all been there, and that I handled the situation the only way I could. But when I wasn’t around, they’d clasp their rosaries and say their novenas, for on that fateful day, they had looked into the eyes of the beast.

Never before had I been so mad at untitledson. How could he humiliate me like that? But I guess that’s what kids are for — to break us down until this ruse we call control disinegrates and dissappears — not unlike those crusty raisins that untitledson is storing in the crevices of his booster seat.

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