This morning I received a call from my good friend, Stacy, detailing an unfolding work drama with her new archenemy. The archenemy is named Fifi.
“Is she a poodle?” I asked. A fair question given her name.
“No, she’s not even French. But she wants people to think she is. She’s been known to wear a beret. And in meetings she is always staring off into mid-distance dreamily, as if she’s listening to some inner accordion music on the bank on the Seine.”
“What does she look like?” I asked. I have recently been forced to watch all the Marvel superhero movies by a dictatorial 13-year-old. I have found the villains to be disappointingly one-dimensional and their evil appearance far too obvious. If I saw a green rock-formation with red eyes powering toward me, I’d have no doubt that he was up to no good. I like my enemies to be a bit more nuanced.
“She looks like an asparagus,” Stacy said. “All fancy on top and straight as a stalk from her neck down.” Asparagus is my least favorite vegetable so this helped me start birthing a negative opinion of this broad before I even learned of Stacy’s gripes against her.
Stacy’s issues with Fifi were focused mainly on typical workplace histrionics. Fifi routinely undermined Stacy with their boss. She took credit for Stacy’s work. She “forgot” to invite Stacy to important meetings.
Frankly, after the promising asparagus comparison, I was hoping for something more diabolical than routine office backstabbing. Stacy could sense that I was losing interest, so she added this log to the fire:
“And, get this! My mom visited the office a week ago. I introduced her to everyone, including Fifi because she basically threw herself in our path. And then that night—that very night!—Fifi Facebook-friended my mom! My mom called me right away. She was absolutely tickled and accused me of painting a negative portrait of Fifi.”
“That is one evil asparagus!” I said, deeply impressed by Fifi’s passive-aggressive master stroke.
Stacy’s mom doesn’t know “how to work The Facebook” so she clicks the share button, rather than the like button, on any syrupy inspirational meme that appears in her feed. Many of these memes are illustrated with sad-eyed kittens or other mournful baby animals who do not appeared to be buoyed by the motivational sentiments they’re representing.
“No one ever likes or comments on the crazy nonsense my mom posts on Facebook,” Stacy said. “Well, Fifi immediately liked all of her posts and left comments like: ‘Kittens are the best!’ I wanted to respond: ‘Really? What are they the best at? Chasing string? Kittens are idiots.’”
(Readers: I do not agree that kittens are idiots.)
“My mom invited her for dinner, and Fifi accepted!” Stacy said. “By the end of the night, she’ll probably be in the will.”
“How do you think this will all end?” I asked. “Based on my Marvel superhero immersion classes, I’m hoping for a spectacular final battle where good does not necessarily triumph over evil.”
“Well, next week, I plan to steal her lunch every day from the office refrigerator,” she said.
“Not exactly what Dr. Doom would do, but it’s a start,” I said.
Stacy was silent for a moment. And then she asked: “Do you think sleeping with her would be a good way to vanquish her?”
I figured this was where she was headed. Stacy has a weakness for women who hate her. Now I knew exactly how this movie will end.
We find our hero, Stacy, stripped of all power and weeping hysterically as the Evil Asparagus coolly stalks out of her life. The camera pans across the room to a mewing kitten, a love gift from Stacy to Fifi. The kitten’s eyes suddenly turn demonic red.