Wednesday, January 23

And You Thought I was Exaggerating

Last night when I suggested that everybody just go hide in fallout shelter, I really was thinking that was a bit silly. After all, tragedy had already befallen me in the form of Heath Ledger's death, so the birthday curse had been fulfilled. Little did I know that the fallout shelter really wasn't such a bad idea after all.

This morning when I walked into work, I nearly ran into one of the Engineers who was standing in the hall sniffing the air. When I was done mocking him, he explained that he thought he had smelled gas, but couldn't seem to catch the scent again. Somewhere along the mocking trail, one of the Safety guys happened upon us. Mr. Safety figured it was worth a call to the gas company.

About 30 minutes later, just as I was settling in with my Grande Nonfat Caramel Macchiatto and some PowerPoint presentations, a funny little man with a funny little machine came walking by. In one hand he held a little balloon thingy (that's it's technical name) which he kept squeezing, causing it to make a puffing noise. In his other hand was the object of his affection, some sort of meter. As he walked down the hall puffing away, his equipment would beep, and he would tell anyone in his vicinity to (and I quote), "Please move to the front of the building for a moment." I grabbed the important things in life, my cell phone and my coffee, and headed to an office nearer the front of the building to ask some questions. A few minutes later, Mr. Puff and Beep happened along and, with a bit more urgency, insisted that we all move further to the front of the building.

Before long, there was a 40-person party congregated at the front of the office. Sadly, it was not my birthday party, but rather my Hey! There's a gas leak under the building party! Woohoo! We all stood around cracking jokes and whining about how we wished we were working when Mr. Puff and Beep appeared and requested keys to various rooms. About 60 seconds later, we heard sirens. Then we saw firetrucks. And police cars. And a couple of ambulances. By the way, my office building is on a dead end street. There was no doubt whatsoever where the emergency vehicles were headed as they came down the road.

The firemen came rushing into the building, bristling past my little gas leak party, in search of Mr. Puff and Beep. And then, one of them came RUSHING back. "Everybody, out of the building! NOW! NOW! NOW!" Go back up a couple of paragraphs now. See what I didn't grab on my way out of my office? My coat. My purse. My keys. My laptop. My sanity.

Really, the most important item I neglected to grab while I was out "for a moment" was my coat. It's funny, just yesterday I was thinking about how I don't really mind cold weather. Just today I was reminded that I don't mind it because I know how to wear a coat when I'm out in it. I could whine endlessly about standing outside for two hours without a coat while it was a mere 20 degrees, but since I wasn't the only one, I won't.

While we stood outside turning into human icicles, I thought about the fact that my house was just 2.8 miles away, and that if somebody could just drive me over there, I would be happy to whip up some nachos and keep the party going. But we weren't allowed to leave. Nope, our emergency evacuation plan doesn't include what to do if you don't know when or if you are going to be allowed back in the building, so we had the joy of standing around and waiting while the fire departments (yes, plural) and Mr. Puff and Beep determined where the gas leak was coming from and whether or not the whole place was about to blow-up.

You should know that, at first, I was ticked off about all the work that I wasn't getting done in my office. It doesn't just do itself, you know. But then, once I started thinking about going home, I started thinking about all the work that is there that I need to do. Sometime between the time that my left pinkie fell off due to frostbite and the moment my eyelashes froze to my eyeballs, I became real convinced that it would be a really good idea if we all just called it a day so that I could go home and whip up some cupcakes, sweep, vacuum, dust, put away laundry, dismantle the last Christmas birthday tree, give the dog a bath, figure out what I'm going to wear for a formal event Saturday night, take a nap, watch TV, read a novel, mop the bathroom floor, scrub the shower, plant the tulip bulbs that are sitting on the sidewalk, and find the cure for cancer.

I NEEDED Mr. Puff and Beep to go along with my plan for home domination. He didn't. Instead, he discovered that the leak was clearly coming from the furnace. Turns out, there's an easy fix for that--shut off the heat. So we all sauntered back into our little spaces and resumed working and shivering.

Alas, the birthday curse is alive and well. It doesn't look like anyone is going to get seriously injured this year, which is, of course, good news. I've already been informed by the HR Manager (and everybody else in the whole building) that I will be taking my birthday off next year, so as to not impact my coworkers with my birthday curse.

That's fine with me. I didn't want to share my contraband space heater with them anyway.

45 comments:

  1. I had something similar happen while I was still in law on a Saturday (in law every day is a weekday). Only I was the one who said, "Does anyone smell something funny?" What is better than getting paid time & a half while sipping that java and sitting in the Smith & Hawken chairs on the veranda during NICE weather? I can't think of nothing.

    Drat. I had that whole thing orchestrated so YOU WOULD GET HOME!! If the singing telegram male stripper I ordered to sing Happy Birthday showed up and you missed him? I'm gonna be so pissed at you.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BURGH!! WE HEARTS YOU!

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  2. I am in love with the name Mr. Puff and Beep. I intend to call SOMEONE that name SOMETIME soon. DOn't know how I'll incorporate that into a conversation but I plan to do it if it kills me!!

    Hope you found your left pinkie somewhere on the ground and were able to reattach it!!

    Hallie

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  3. Well, happy freakin' birthday, huh? La,tee,freakin' da! :)

    Seriously, Happy Birthday! I don't believe in "curses", so I hope things improved as your day went on! Too bad you didn't get sent home for the day, that would have been kind of a nice b-day present!

    Lizzy

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  4. for the first year I was at my current job with nothing to do (and being cranky, pregnant, and no work friends), I would sit there thinking of all the crap I could get done at home and it made me even madder than I already was not having something to do to keep me busy to make the time go quicker.
    and um, my tulip bulbs are still sitting where I left them in October after arriving home from Costco: on my fridge in the garage, although now they are starting to sprout. I wonder if the ground is still too hard after 2 solid weeks of below-freezing temps to drop them babies in there? I may try to make my husband dig a few holes for me this weekend...good luck on your tulips as well, since I'm sure the ground is a bit harder in the Burgh.

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  5. You think Mr Puff and Beep could hace cut you a little slack, since it was your BIRTHDAY and all...maybe by suggesting that the safest place for you all was at least 2.8 miles away from your contaminated work place! Nachos for everyone!

    Happy birthday. You crack me up!

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  6. And so the curse goes on. Well, it is not really a curse. Cuz that was kinda funny. Ok, maybe not the freezing in the cold with no jacket, but everything else. A curse would have been the whole building blowing up, right?
    See, all ya have to do is look on the bright side of life. Don't you watch Monty Python?

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  7. In other words, since nothing was blown up and no one got maimed, your birthday curse is lifted! Congratulations.

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  8. Oy, wow that's one heck of a birthday curse!! Here's hoping it's all up from there!!

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  9. Stop...stop...no that did not happen. Oh my gosh that is hilarious. I thought maybe you made it up at first, but as I read I realized it must be real. seriously, was Mr. Puff and Beep cute at all. His name sounds slightly dirty actually....oh, I mean..ummm...I didn't say that, did I?

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  10. Ugh, what a happy birthday. I would totally forget my coat, have to go to the bathroom, and have a deadline if something like that happened. I hope you have a good post-fallout shelter birthday day!

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  11. Man... I totally blame Mr. Puff and Beep for there being no cure for cancer now! I've been looking for someone to blame! Thanks! LOL

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  12. Wow... Not to be a topper, but my birthday? 9/11.

    Until your birthday involves the death of more than 2,000 innocent people, you can feel good that you're not cursed.

    You're welcome and most importantly HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

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  13. oh my....what a day. I can not believe it.
    I would be like you...all irratated that I had things to do everywhere by outside at work....and I wasn't getting it done. standing in the cold is such a freakin waste of time.

    happy happy birthday to YOU!

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  14. OMG...I am totally staying away from any birthday party (including the birthday tree) that is thrown for you. There was a lot of technical jargon in your post today, but I think I was able to follow along. I am so sorry that home domination was not possible today.

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  15. I had to laugh when I read about your contraband space heater.

    Also? I totally believe you about your birthday curse.

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  16. Ack! No way! First of all, Mr. Puff & Beep is on so many black lists at this point he may never see the light of a decent day. Perhaps he should be made to stand outside tomorrow so that the next time he gets to use his fancy schmancy equipment he'll rethink the whole "let's send the employees home" thing.

    And if you truly get that much done on a day off, you're invited to my house! (Well, you are anyway, but maybe I wouldn't have qualms about allowing you to work while you're here.)

    I'm glad you were able to indulge in Starbucks on your big day even if the rest was less than stellar. May the evening hold much better things for you, and the bulldog not fart anywhere near you tonight.

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  17. Well Happy Birthday!!! Glad you and everyone else made it out alive....too bad Mr. Puff and Beep were not nice enough to let you off early...

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  18. Oh, and happy birthday. :)

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  19. wow!!!! you know how to celebrate!

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  20. We really would have wondered had you not ever come back to blog. I'm sure someone would have put two and two together on hearing about the Burgh explosion caused by a gas leak. This could have been a VERY bad birthday. So you got off easy. :) Alexis still has a mommy!

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  21. Well, happy birthday anyway. Yikes!

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  22. Okay, you win. You ARE cursed. How brave of you to leave your house today, though. You do realize that no one will ever throw you a birthday party now, out of paralyzing fear? Hope Alexis gave you lots of love when you got home, because you deserved it! Happy Birthday!

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  23. Oh my lord, you have GOT to be kidding me!

    At my office our meeting spot, should we have to evacuate for some reason, is the Starbucks about a block away. I'm not kidding. I keep hoping for some kind of an emergency. But not a fire. A fire in a library is not good. Believe me, I know, because we had one a couple of years ago!

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  24. I think you're great and all, but I do not want to spend your birthday with you, ever. LOL! Sorry you had a crappy birthday. :o( HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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  25. OH! And Happy Birthday! I hope *something* good happened today.

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  26. Happy Birthday! Woot, woot!

    To me, it appears as if your birthday curse HAS LIFTED. A Grande Nonfat Caramel Macchiatto? Good taste. With sprinkles on top, right?

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  27. "I grabbed the important things in life, my cell phone and my coffee." Ha ha!

    Yeah, I agree with Mama Geek--your b-day curse may have lifted. Maybe it'll turn into b-day blessings!!!

    Happy B-day!!!

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  28. But more importantly, were there any cake casualties? I'm assuming it was safe at home? Please tell me you had some cake today.

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  29. Mr. Puff and Beep should have offered you his coat!

    Kimmy

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  30. They should totally give you the day off without taking a vacation day, since really you are doing them a favor.

    Emily

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  31. Ack! That sucks! You really do have a cursed birthday. I hope you are nice and warm now.

    I hope other than that, you had a very Happy Birthday! At least you had your Starbucks.

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  32. I think I know Mr. Puff and Beep...what the heck is wrong with them? It was your birthday...maybe they know about the curse and it's some conspiracy or something...

    Wow. That was lame even for me.

    Happy Birthday one day late BBM. Hope it ended better than it started. And that you brought your coat.

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  33. The first thing that popped in my mind when you said Mr. Puff and Beep was Beaker from the Muppets. Too funny! Another birthday story for the books.

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  34. Birthday curse...That's no good! Happy Birthday, and stay away from the gas;)

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  35. Man, you weren't kidding about that birthday curse, were you? I can't believe that! I hope you have a great birthday anyway, and that you make it through in 1 piece.

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  36. Too funny!! And I'm reeeeal sorry about your pinky. I hope you didn't lose it and can have it reattached! ;^P It was my birthday too but mine was considerably less eventful (no sirens or anything) than yours, though probably maybe nicer as I had no birthday curse whatsoever, which was nice.

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  37. Puff and Beep. Good names for my next couple of cats.

    Angie
    www.AllAdither.com

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  38. Sorry I stole your birthday mojo....I'll be a better friend next year and share some!

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  39. First time reader. I found you through AFF.

    So funny! Now I'll have to go back and read about the birthday curse.

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  40. Thanks, everybody, for the birthday wishes! Let's just say it didn't get any better as the day went on. But hey! The 23rd is over and now we can eat leftover cake and turn our focus on to the Toddler's birthday. Woohoo!

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  41. Oh! And Mr. Puff and Beep? LOVED his name. I think he hung out the rest of the day just so he could enjoy me calling him that to his face. 'Cuz I did.

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  42. OMG, YOU don't have your Christmas tree down EITHER? I totally *heart* you EVEN MORE now!!! ;)

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  43. It's one of the little trees and it's off in the corner. It hardly even counts as a "tree".

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  44. Seriously, I snorted loudly and think I blew a blood vessel reading that. You're a genius!

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  45. Umm ... yeah. That does, indeed, suck. We used to get random terrorism-related drills thanks to our proximity to terrorism targets at my office. Those were fun times in January.

    Wow. Just. Wow.

    Le suck.

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