A Chair Burning, and an Unfortunately Outspoken Girl (2.)

I think the linguo-statisticians and the plebs have caught enough flak for today.

My own relatively ignominious work is to apply a cosine function to anything and everything. Exempli gratia,

  • To the quality of muffins produced at various speciality dessert stores at various times of day
  • To the number of things burned per minute during the course of various burnings (factoring in the volume of yelling, if I so please)
  • To the growth of men’s moustaches depending on how close we are to the coveted vacation season
  • To the correlation between output of self-published poetry anthologies and gloomy weather

There are infinitely many more insipid examples, more than I could ever complete – for this is it, busy-work to safely occupy an entire life. Do not be deceived by the fact that my job is filed under the field “New Inquiry into Vital Existential Phenomena”. That is pure korba shit.

(You know, floppy ears and whirling eyes, voted as having the worst smelling excrement known to womankind?)

For my next project I could certainly fit a cosine function to the number of new, insipid examples of my work which I think of throughout a day. While this would be a pleasing irony, the work would be accepted by my superiors without comment, as “we always need more data”, and the hot air taken out of my balloon by a rude bureaucratic pin. I prefer to know this rather than experience it.

When I was newly assigned and depressed about my job (at my family’s Pan-Cultural-Colour-Festival-night dinner, which is the least permissible time of year to wear a wrinkle between your brow, let alone an outright frown), my grandmother tried to comfort me. She said that “some people would have loved the opportunity to investigate the relationship between cosine and an entire Huniverse of things, being able to choose their subject to boot!”

Perhaps they would have, once upon a time when all the exciting things in mathematics were yet to be discovered.

But I couldn’t tell my grandmother that cosine now resided in the worst backwater of Mathematics Land, not as she smiled at me through a face that had received an arcane number of rejuvenations. It is well known that the elderly’s smiles get more difficult to withstand with every re-calibration of body, mind, and soul.

Due to her influence I smiled for the rest of the Pan-Cultural-Colour-Festival dinner while mentally cursing my fate and the Synergistic Occupations Matching Office (SOMO). And since then I have continued to live with outward placidity, while vitriol builds on the back of my tongue like any food debris that ought to be brushed out at night.

Even now I am placidly sitting in my favourite cafe, at the table on the patio that is recognized as “mine”, ready to apply the all-important cosine to another chair burning.

© 2012, Elizabeth Cook


8 thoughts on “A Chair Burning, and an Unfortunately Outspoken Girl (2.)

  1. I certainly detect the sarcasm in this one with a tint of humor. when I first saw “a chair burning” the first thing that came to mind was the “burning bed” with Farrah Fawcett in it. though, i’m sure there is no connection.

  2. “To the growth of men’s moustaches depending on how close we are to the coveted vacation season”


    I like the texture of this written and spunky attitude.

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