This is really weird.

I just got into prairie dog a few minutes ago. As I approached the front door on the Scarth St. Mall, I could see that the lights in our second floor office were on. Typically on a Saturday, especially on a non-production weekend, there’s not much going on here. But our publisher/sales manager (Terry) and designer (Paul) have been doing a pile of rearranging and cleaning up over the last few days. I thought at first that maybe they’d snuck in to do a bit more work.

But as I climbed the stairs I couldn’t hear anyone tromping around grumbling and swearing and tossing old computer equipment around like they’d been doing. Then it occured to me that it was likely our editor (Steve). I’d heard him say on Friday that he was behind on payroll, and that he was planning on coming in on the weekend to get caught up.

As I entered the office I shouted out a greeting. When Steve didn’t reply, I thought, ‘Oh, he’s listening to his iPod.’ He does that sometimes when he wants to shut out distractions and focus on work. After turning on my computer and getting a drink of water, I wandered down to his desk to ask if he’d seen the TSN report from Atlanta where Thrasher  fans had held a rally to protest the possible relocation of their team to Winnipeg that involved them burning an old Jets banner.

When I reached Steve’s desk, this is what I found:

I checked the bathroom, but he wasn’t there. Same when I peeked out back on the off chance he’d ducked into the alley to have a few puffs from a cigar he’s been working on for the last week or so.

Having exhausted all possible explanations for why Steve’s beloved vintage Jets jersey and stylish chapeau were just sitting on his chair without him inside them, the only logical conclusion I can arrive at is that California pastor Harold Camping’s much-ridiculed prophecy has indeed come true and that Steve has been taken up by God into Heaven as part of the Rapture.

Which really pisses me off, I have to admit. Around the office, Steve’s the biggest basher of organized religion and wholesome family values by far. So that prick gets whisked off to Paradise while the rest of us have to tough it out down here, pointlessly putting out this rag for another few months until the World ends in October.

Oh well, guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. But I’m taking Steve’s desk. I don’t give a shit what anybody says. I’ve been playing receptionist at the front of our office for five years now. And I’m fucking sick of it. I have to placate/subdue all the loons who drop by with an ax to grind while Steve sits staring out our massive picture window all day, snapping photos of that stupid tree and ogling all the women in their summer sun-dresses.

From now on, that gig’s mine. Someone else can buzz people in and deal with their shit. If we’ve only got a few months left, I’m going to go out in style.

Anyone want a stinky Jets jersey and a rumpled black hat with traces of hair dye on the inside brim?