I have written previously about my interactions with some of the individuals on the custodial staff at work. Most of them are very friendly and down to earth. I love stopping and chatting with them for a few to see how their day is going.
One of the individuals, we will call Kenny, takes out the trash. He can very outgoing and talkative when he feels comfortable. Likely because I always speak to him and make an effort to listen to what he says, he has taken a real liking to me.
So every couple of days, Kenny comes by to pick up the trash from the cubicle and chat with me. Our conversations have become legendary in the office in a very innocent way as we are never quite sure what he is going to say. His favorite topics include NASCAR, scary movies, and his home life.
Today, was a day for the ages to say the least.
As I have mentioned, we’ve had some snowy weather and Kenny was concerned about the ice on the ground when he left his van car pool ride this morning.
“When we arrived, there was ice and people need to be careful,” Kenny informed me, “people could slip and they could fall.”
“Right,” I agreed.
“YOU could slip and fall,” he continued, “then your lunch would go in the air and land in the grass and people would step all over it.”
“My lunch go up in the air and people step on it?” I asked, clearly confused.
“Right, you wouldn’t want that,” Kenny warned.
“A little extreme, but, I guess you are right,” I said, somewhat amused.
Our conversation next moved to Kenny telling me that he had to break up the ice on the driveway of his brother’s house where he lived.
“That must have been hard work!” I exclaimed.
“Yep. I think I am going to clean the basement with turpentine,” Kenny told me.
Now, I haven’t heard of anyone using turpentine to clean things in a non-commercial sense since like the 1940s so I was somewhat taken aback. I remembered that Kenny is a cigar smoker.
“Make sure you don’t smoke when you do that as it is highly flammable,” I warned.
“Flammable?” Kenny asked.
“Yep,” I replied, “highly flammable meaning it will catch fire. You have to be careful.”
“Right,” Kenny answered, “we used to clean the bathrooms here with turpentine but then we were worried the toilets were going to explode!”
The comment caught me completely off guard!
“You cleaned the toilets with turpentine? I find that hard to believe,” I said, “but it won’t explode unless you use something flammable in the bathroom.”
Kenny just stared at me blankly.
Next, Kenny told me about a female coworker that he apparently really likes as he told me about his dream of them getting married one day!
“Oh,” I exclaimed, “well that is really nice as it great to have someone special in your life.”
“My birthday is coming up,” Kenny proudly told me.
“You should tell her that,” I said, “maybe she will get you a cake.”
“She can jump out of the cake!” Kenny shouted with a smile.
At this point, I lost it from that statement. The outlandishness of the statement coupled with the idea that jumping out of cakes is generally associated with strippers and knowing that no woman has ever been won over by the insinuation of being a stripper, I found myself doubled over and tears rolling out of my eyes.
“Are you okay?” he asked me in all seriousness.
“Yes,” I stated, fighting back tears, “but I don’t think she will jump out of a cake. That is really extreme.”
“Okay,” Kenny said.
“Perhaps, she will just buy you a small cake to celebrate,” I said with tears still rolling down my face.
“Oh, okay. A small cake so everyone could have a piece,” Kenny stated.
“Yes, I think that would be a better expectation,” I said.
Image of the cake courtesy of cakecentral.com