When the First Amendment Backfires

I work in a crazyhouse.  Not technically, but it is what it is – and what it is is a crazyhouse.

Crazy can manifest in a lot of ways: for some, it means you fuck a ham.  For others, it means you are completely ignorant to the world around you because you choose to believe that if you pray hard enough, all the big scaries will go away.  And that second group, they are really the worst.  They are like ninjas with their crazy.

I work with one of these faith-filled prayerful ninjas.  Luckily for this blog, the ninja’s refusal to acknowledge reality also means that there’s a tinge of “voice immodulation disorder,” so I rarely have to experience this ninja’s freedom of speech alone because everyone else in the office inherently overhears what I hear (cue the Bing!).

Ninjina, as I will call her (hey, if you’re gonna waste my work day trying to get co-workers to engage in a rapid debriefing of the specifics of ‘this thing you heard about in the news – “sexting”,’ you’d best believe I’m gonna give you a stripper name…), loves to meddle in errrrybody’s business.  ERRRRRYBODAYYYY.  

Every person who works in the building, including every person who DOESN’T work with our actual company, has the privilege of being subjected to the “quality of life” interrogations from Ninjina whenever they are lucky enough to run into her in the lunchroom.  But let’s get real:  NINJINA DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE.  SHE CARES ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE FULFILLING YOUR CHRISTIAN DUTY TO GET MARRIED AND MAKE BABIES AND LOVE THE SUBURBS AND HATE THINGS THAT JESUS EITHER HATES OR DOESN’T AT ALL DISCUSS IN THE BIBLE.  (Does anyone else love it that people say “Jesus says you should[n’t]…” when the directive was in the Old Testament?  I love it.  Frickin’ hilarious.   Anyway.)

Ninjina is scared of EVERYTHING, especially things that “are right in your own backyard.”  She’s scared of women being alone (day or night), she’s scared of flesh-eating diseases, sexual lasciviousness, teenage pregnancy, kidnappings, robbery, car crashes, high-speed anything, fun, laughter, baking anything over 375°F, and people that are taller than her and/or can recognize that she speaks in the voice one would expect from a six-year-old who is trying to con you out of that last Klondike bar in the freezer even though you both know the kid has already eaten one and, unbeknownst to you, has also sneaked a second one.  In short, the combination of her social ignorance and fear leads to very inappropriate workplace conversations.

For example (you knew this was coming), here was a conversation I was blessed with overhearing the other day: 
Ninjina – Oh!  Jake*!  I woke up this morning thinking about you!
(i immediately snort-laugh)
Jake (who does not work with me, only in the same building) – Oh, wow.  Really…?
Ninjina – Yes!  You ride your bike, don’t you??
Jake – Yes, yes I do.
Ninjina – Well, last night I was watching the news and they said a man was riding his bike, and he got hit, and he DIED!
(i am now chortling so hard that it’s hurting my sinuses)
Jake – Oh.  Well, it wasn’t me.  Because I’m here right now.  Alive.
Ninjina – Yes, but I thought it WAS you!  I was very worried!
(at this point, i have to leave the kitchen because i am about to lose control of my bladder)
*name changed to protect the less idiotic

1. Don’t tell strangers that you think about them in bed.  It’s creepy.  2. Don’t make every single piece of information you choose to share about the worst possible thing a person could ever have to endure.  It’s just not a good look.
Oh, First Amendment… you might not restrict Ninjina from speaking her mind, but you will definitely keep her from making new friends.

Today, Ninjina chose to address me (which is rare, for she can feel the intense disdain I harbor for her).  I am dressed somewhat like a cross between the ’40’s, ’80’s, a modern Republican, a madame, and Wanda Sykes à la Pootie Tang, to which Ninjina exclaims “OOOOOOOOH!  Aren’t you dressed up?  Do you have a date tonight after work?  What are you doing later??”  I reply “I am going to work.  I dressed like this to come to work and I will be at work later.”  I am obviously annoyed that I am being cat-called, but she doesn’t understand why “That is a nice blouse/skirt/whatever” is different than “OOOOOH GIRRRRRL!  I LIKE YOUR STYYYYYYLE!  DAYYYYYUMMMM!”  And I know she didn’t mean to go thuglife on me, but I don’t care – the First Amendment protects me, too, Ninjina.

“You know, I was just trying to give you a compliment.  You need to learn how to take a compliment,” she says to me when I have resumed my seated position in my notffice.  But, because nobody who wants to tell this woman why everyone detests her can (because they may be fired), and because the few who could set her straight wouldn’t ever do it because they pity her, I have to sit there and silently think of all the ways I’d like to tell her that I’d rather go the rest of my life without hearing her utter a single sound than to receive even one compliment from her, today or ever again, on my looks.

And so we are back to where we were yesterday: she thinks I’m mean and I think she’s a representation of what is wrong with society today.  Ahhhhh.  It feels comfortable and good.

One response to “When the First Amendment Backfires

  1. I am absolutely with-out-a-doubt curious what the hell you were wearing. The description leaves a lot to ponder about.

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