Saturday, January 6, 2007

Inside the Actor's Faker's Studio

I’m at work today. Don’t feel too sorry for me – I’m researching Pamela Anderson and ordering in sushi. Lest you get jealous, though, remember, I’m not getting paid. Small companies do not recognize words such as “overtime”, “paid vacation”, or even “bonus”. In fact, this year the joke around the office was, “Your bonus is … you’re not fired!” This line had the best effect when delivered holding a glass of champagne with a slight slur. At 4pm. But I digress.

Since we’re -- I guess it’s only me, but I like to use ‘we’, as if you, dear reader, and I are having a conversation, rather than the truth, which is just me talking to myself. I talk to myself much more than I’m comfortable with, and not even in any interesting, borderline-schizophrenic way. Instead, I narrate my activities when I’m alone, usually when I’m stressed out or cleaning. Typical bon mots include “What was I looking for?”,Scissors, scissors, scissors.”,And now, I’m going to email Dad and tell him …. [narration of email as it’s being typed]”, etc.

Aaaaanyway, let’s start that paragraph over. Since we’re on the subject of work, I was thinking of a book my sister got me for Christmas, called “The Sick Day HandBbook: Strategies and Techniques for Faking It”. It’s by some girl named Ellie Bishop, and I’m totally jealous of her because she’s pretty snarky and funny and, mostly, because she’s published a book in my area of expertise. She has some good points (you must set up the sick day the day before; diarrhea is always a great malady because no one wants to hear about it, etc.) but the work is far from complete.

DISCLAIMER: The following statements in no way reflect the author’s habits or beliefs. They are just awesome insights.

For example, Ms. Bishop neglects to mention stomach flu in her suggested list of ailments. Vomit and diarrhea go hand in hand (oops, sorry for the mental image there) as great sick day excuses because no one – NO ONE – wants to be anywhere near either one. And I always (or would always, if I ever faked being sick which I don’t because it is wrong) choose vomiting because who wants their boss to picture them pooping? Not I.

To fake a good “I’m about to vomit” voice (I’m just speculating here, people), try to sound weak and – this is where the art form comes in -- swallow after every other word you say. It will sound like you’re holding back chunks.

Ms. Bishop also stretched the art of sick-faking to include a lot of bad excuses, citing pet sickness, a forgotten wallet, and other minor annoyances as valid reasons for staying home. I disagree. I think that if you’re home sick, you should be sick. Don’t get too creative – fake broken bones or dead grandparents are bound to get you in trouble. Have a small but potent arsenal of viruses in your repertoire and save only roll them out when it really matters, like if there’s a Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica marathon on MTV (FYI that show is so great now that they’re divorced because now every single little sweet nothing is like a big neon IRONY sign and, if you have an evil place in your heart like I do, you’ll cackle every time they kiss. Also, J-Simp is pretty dumb.)

I think this post has to die now. Obviously I have no chance of staying on topic today.
Scissors, scissors, scissors.
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