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When Getting Out Of Bed Is A Bad Idea

Sometimes the best thing to do in the stay in bed!

I'm not a superstitious person. Really, I'm not. But I don't like black cats. They're bad luck. And walking under ladders is an absolute no-no! But, as I said, I'm not superstitious. Yes, I know what you're thinking. Silly woman thinks there's a difference between superstition and bad luck. Well, there is! It's spelt differently, isn't it? Yes? Exactly! Now, let me tell you about the morning I had, then maybe you will understand.

When I woke up at 5am, it felt as if it was going to be a glorious day! My canary, Singer (yes, very original name, thank you), was singing his little heart out, and the sun was streaming in through the windows. I got out of bed, tripped over my own feet and fell flat on my face.

“That was just an accident,” I said to myself. “It can happen to anyone.” I got up off the floor and went into the bathroom, turned on the shower for the water to heat up, but no water came out. What the heck? I stood there, in my birthday suit, trying to figure out what was going on. Then I realised that I'd forgotten to pay the municipal bill. But, surely, they wouldn't turn the water off, would they? Ok, never mind that now, I thought. There is another option – I'd use the water from the kettle. So off to the kitchen I went and grabbed the kettle which, luckily, was still full. Yes, I know. I live alone and that does mean that, if I, myself, hadn't emptied the kettle, it would, naturally, still be full. But, you must understand that, by now, I felt that anything was possible. Even Singer may have emptied the kettle to get back at me for not cleaning his cage this weekend. You never know!

Anyhow, so I had the kettle and managed, somehow, to wash myself in, what seemed to be, barely a cupful of water. Of course this meant I would have to forego my usual, and very necessary, morning coffee. A complete and utter disaster in itself, of course, but liveable! At least that was what I told myself. I'd just make a cup as soon as I get to the office. No biggy!

All washed, dressed and ready to go, I climbed into my car - my very reliable, 10 year old Mini (yes, I'm a huge Mr Bean fan too) – turned the key in the ignition and, after a splutter or two, the car died. As dead as a doornail! I was mortified! It felt like I was playing a part in some Steven Spielberg horror movie, expecting the bogey man to come jumping out of some dark corner of my garage, waving my car's alternator in one hand and wielding a sharp sickle in the other!

“Don't be crazy, chick,” I told myself. “There's no such thing as bogey men! Get a hold of yourself and take a deep breath! Yes, like that. Feel better? Yes? Okay, good. Now, let's try this again, shall we?” So, again, I turned the key and, glory to God, the car started! My morning was improving. Yay! I put the car into gear, opened the garage door behind me with my remote – such wonderful inventions – put my foot on the accelerator, and ended up smashing into the wall instead!

“Why the hell did you put the car into gear instead of in reverse, Cynthia?” I reprimanded myself. “Hello! You do this every morning, Cynthia! You should know the difference between first gear and reverse, shouldn't you?” The difference now being a very big, very hard, very damaging brick wall! I'd had enough! So I climbed out of the car, grabbing my handbag and heels (sorry, I can't drive in those things) off the front passenger seat, slammed the car door, walked out of the garage into the street, making sure to close the garage door behind me, and started to walk towards the centre of town. I had to get to work somehow, didn't I? The funny thing was, as I looked around me, that not one of my neighbours had come out to see what the loud bang had been. I couldn't understand it! Where were my Desperate Housewives-type nosy neighbours? Tsk! How disappointing! I'd have to write a letter to Mark Cherry and tell him not to lie in his plots. Neighbours aren't that nosy! At least not in this neighbourhood! On I trudged, but, unfortunately, not without incident.

First, Mrs Wembley's cat – yes, a BLACK one – scratched me on the arm while I was trying to be friendly and stroke it. I've never had a problem with cats, especially black ones, until today. Geez Louise! I'm just glad it wasn't my face!

Then, on Fairway Avenue, I fell into a hole. Don't laugh! I seriously did not think it was funny. What the heck was the point of putting a hole in the middle of the pavement? That I didn't see it had nothing to do with the fact that I was watching a very handsome jogger run past me. Absolutely nothing at all!

As if that wasn't enough, when I finally made it to my office in Stanmore Heights, some idiot had left an open ladder in the middle of the foyer! Now, I know that it doesn't sound like much of a problem. I mean, I could just have walked around it, right? WRONG! The foyer, if you must know, is small. Minute! TINY! And this very bulky ladder was flush against the wall skirting on both sides. No way to go past it either way, so I had to walk under it. And, lo and behold, as my luck would have it, I walked slap bang into my boss, Jessica Allbright. She was on her way out to yet another important “luncheon” (her idea of a breakfast). My day could NOT have gotten any worse!
“Oh, Miss Allbright!” I stammered. “I'm awfully sorry! I really didn't mean to...”

“Cynthia! Would you watch where you are going!” She rubbed her black jacket down as if I'd been covered in flour and transferred it all onto her. “I'm already late for my luncheon with Mr Harris!”

“Sorry, Miss Allbright,” I said again and walked around her to the elevator. Just as I pressed the “UP” button, Miss Allbright said, “Oh, by the way. Phone Seth and tell him that I'll have to cancel our dinner for tonight. I have other plans.”

Typical. If that woman had to say “please” or “thank you” to any of her staff members, or her puppy-dog boyfriend for that matter, for anything, I swear we would all end up running for cover, expecting the roof to cave in.
As she walked out onto the pavement outside, I had to resist the temptation to pull a tongue at her, because, if I had, especially on a day like today, she probably would have turned around at the wrong time and seen me! I cringe to think just what may have happened then. She may not be my favourite person in the world, but, sadly, she is the one who signs my pay-cheques!

The elevator arrived and, thank heavens, I made it to the third floor without incident. I walked down the corridor and through the swing doors of Honey-Bee Publishing, but, before I could make it to my desk, the blonde-haired receptionist yelled my name.

“Cynthia! Cynthia! Thank goodness you're here!” She came running towards me, out of breath and in a panic. I was not quite in the mood for her so-called problems.

“Yes, Liezl, what is it now?” Everything was a crisis to Liezl, especially a broken nail.

“Seth called.” I waited. Nothing. What? Did I have to drag it out of her?

“Yes, Liezl? And?” I became very impatient.

“Oh! Nothing. I just wanted to tell you he called.” I stared at her. No, I lie. I glared at her.

“Seth called?” I said. Liezl nodded. “That's it?” She nodded again. “Ok. And your point?” She seemed stunned, unable to decipher the language I was speaking. If it had been Klingon she probably would have understood. If I was lucky.

“I'm sorry?”

“Never mind, Liezl. Go back to your desk. Answer the phones. Take messages. Read the Cosmo. Paint your nails.” I waved her away and continued to my little office, closing the door behind me just so that I could get a little peace and quiet. Rrrringgg!

“Oh, for goodness sake!” My patience was wearing thin very quickly, but, with as much professionalism as I could, I picked up the receiver.

“Jessica Allbright's office, good morning.” It was Seth.

“Morning, Cyn.” I hated him calling me that.

“Morning, Seth.”

“Jess in?”

“No, 'fraid not.”

“Oh.” Silence.

“She did give me a message for you though.”

“Oh?” I wanted to pick up my office dictionary, shove it down the phone and into his throat.

“Yes. She says she won't be able to make it to dinner tonight. She has other plans.”

“Oh.” Patience, Cynthia, patience, I thought to myself. Silence. Then, “Okay. Bye, Cyn.”

“Bye, Seth.” I slammed down the phone and threw a little Baby Houseman-like tantrum. (What? Don't tell me you've never watched Dirty Dancing? I'm shocked!) Coffee! I needed coffee. As quietly as possible, I left my office and walked towards the office kitchen.

“Cynthia!” I wanted to cry.

“What?” I shouted. It was Melville, the office clown (and a gorgeous one at that).

“My, my, aren't we a bit touchy this morning.” He smiled. “Who turned your cream sour?”

I couldn't help it. I burst out laughing. Sometimes it helped to have someone like Melville to brighten an otherwise dark and dismal day.

“Oh, Mel. You will not believe the morning I've had! I just want to get a nice, hot, strong cup of coffee and hide behind my desk. I'm afraid that if I move I'm going to take you down with me.”

“Tsk, tsk, come now, Cynth.” He put his arm around me and led me to the kitchen. “Let's go get that medication for you. Dr Mel, at your service.”

The coffee pot had just been filled and the smell alone was heaven to my senses and my nerves. Mel poured two mugs of the strong brew and summoned me to his own office. I followed him without a murmur. At least there I'd be able to calm down and pick up the pieces of my shattered pride.

“So? What happened to you?” Mel asked. So I told him. Every teeny little embarrassing moment.

The nice thing about Mel is that he's not the office rat. I'm sure he can tell me secrets that would have my hair stand on end. Thankfully, though, I don't want to know, and he ain't willing to tell either. He sucked the air through his teeth and said, “Ouch!” And that was the word that saved my sanity. I don't know why, but I started to giggle, and I just could not stop! Eventually the tears were running down my face. You know that feeling you get when you're laughing so much that you can't breathe? Well, that's how it felt. And it felt wonderful! Sometimes the best thing you can hope for in a working environment is an office clown. And, on a “bad hair day”, go take a break in their office. With a strong cup of coffee. It will work wonders for your psyche!

Now do you get it? I'm not superstitious. Really, I'm not. I just don't like black cats, or walking under open ladders. It's just bad luck! And, the next time you fall out of bed and land flat on your face on the floor, get back into bed. That's what I'll be doing from now on. Unless, of course, I can convince Melville to be my own personal funny man and bodyguard! Now there's a plan!


This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © Fran Scholan (aka evergreendame40), 2012/2013
This material is an original literary work. Any unauthorized use thereof is strictly prohibited.
All rights reserved.

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