Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In the lounge

We're hardly all work and no play here at Amalgamated. In fact, ask any writer (even outside of these walls) and you'll learn that creativity is not confined to the time spent before a typewriter. Heavens no. Here are Laney and Crystal relaxing in Amalgamated's ultra-comfortable lounge area, discussing the finer points of an erotic story Laney's been working on about truck stop prostitutes fighting for the affections of big rig drivers on the New Jersey turnpike.

The lounge is an ideal place to have these kinds of tete a tetes. Although sex is not prohibited here, neither is it encouraged, mostly because I find that the "family" that screws together ... is destined for trouble. Flings, afternoon quickies, and meaningless affairs of the recreational variety are mere stress reducers and pose no problem to the morale or productivity of the staff. But the human heart being what it is, sometimes actual relationships result and that's where workplace unrest begins.

Writers who work for me are required to keep their amorous activities outside the parameters of their jobs. Fuck your co-workers silly, masturbate ad nauseum, and consume pornography until you're blue in the balls, but fall in love and you're out on your ass.

I'm strict about it, too. Just ask Conchita. She was a budding young talent with a flair for bondage and a perfect attendance record. But she took up with Arturo (a file clerk who hugged the shadows so closely, no photograph has ever been taken of him), got Cupid's arrow lodged in her crotch, and before long, there were screaming matches and accusations flying across the office. I had to let them both go, but to this day, Conchita phones me, begging for the chance to write customized erotica again. She is a restless woman who can only find temporary relief in the sound of her own castanets.

Anyway, back to the lounge. I wish I had color film like they have in the movies to show you the red leather seats and the black lacquer occasional tables. Low-wattage table lamps provide a pleasant, homey atmosphere that contrasts with the all-business tone I like to set elsewhere in the plant. After 4:00, I even serve cocktails (one per writer, as I don't want any of them driving home drunk). Every day, a different writer takes turns serving them. It's just one of the many ways the staff of Amalgamated lives life to the fullest!

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