AT THE OFFICE
 

JULIA: Well, you must be the temp.

MELANIE: Yes, I’m Mel.

JULIA: Pleased to meet you. I’m Julia. Did the agency send the grated peanuts with you?

MELANIE: Huh?

JULIA: To sprinkle on the Post-It notes, I mean. That’s all right, we can probably manage without that for the day. Thank goodness we’re not that rigid around here. Of course, this means we will have to dance the samba a little more when the phone rings, but Danny can help us out on the accordion if necessary.

MELANIE: On the accordion.

JULIA: Yes, well I know Microsoft is pushing the bassoon now, but our money’s already been invested. And we have to save up to replace the squeaking postage meter—some of the stamps it’s been dispensing haven’t been squeaking. By the way, if that happens, let me know and I’ll call the postmaster right away—I have the direct number to her rolling washtub in my speed-dialer. I just have to remember to be wearing the plaid bow tie when I call—you know what it’s like dealing with a large public organization like that. Any questions?

MELANIE [POINTING TO A LARGE CHEST OF DRAWERS THAT HAS BEEN OUTFITTED WITH SOFT-SCULPTURE GIRAFFE LEGS AND A PROPELLER BEANIE]: What's that?

JULIA: Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you’d met. Jim, this is Mel. Mel, Jim. Jim is in charge of all the chickpeas around here, except if they live underwater—those are taken care of by the giant Frisbee-throwing bananas. What time do you have?

MELANIE: Nine thirty.

JULIA: Okay, I’m going to leave you on your own now, because at 9:31 I have to throw daffodils toward Danny’s cousin Credenza. That’s right, it’s my turn again. But I think I’ve covered everything, so you can go ahead and get into your yodeling hat and start in on sorting the daily pumpkins. And hey, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to put on an Elton John T-shirt and mail yourself to Iowa. [SHE EXITS.]

MELANIE [DIALS PHONE]: Hi, Felicia? It’s me. Yeah, I just got here. [PAUSE.] Well, you know ... another dull temping job . . .


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Copyright © Jonathan Caws-Elwitt. This page revised February 13, 2009.