Much like Alexander, who had a terrible,
horrible, no good, very fucking bad day, Timothy rolled out on the wrong side
of the bed. At around 2:30a.m., he found himself in the company of not one, but
two children in between himself and his wife, Janelle, in their marital
California king bed, the younger one of whom decided to wet it. Brushing his
teeth, his mouth full of toothpaste foam, he cursed out Janelle for rushing the
youngster out of wearing nighttime pull up diapers, and himself for having been
so cheap as to not invest in a waterproof mattress protector per the
recommendation of the mattress salesman who strongly advised they buy one—why
would I buy one? Timothy had asked the man. I don’t wet the bed!—to protect
their five thousand dollar, organic silk-wool-cotton blend, hypoallergenic
memory foam, pocket coil machination designed to give them blissful nights of
uninterrupted sleep. Or, so the sales guy said. Clearly, the sales guy didn’t
have kids. Parenthood robbed them of nights of uninterrupted sleep.
Halfway through brushing his teeth, which
he’d noted had produced more froth than usual, he looked down at the tube of
purported toothpaste to discover that he’d been using Janelle’s new hair
mousse. It’s packaging bore a striking resemblance to his Colgate, an honest
mistake anyone operating on four hours of sleep could make. Especially, one
nursing a suspected concussion from being donkey kicked in the head thanks to
his older child’s propensity for sleeping horizontally, with her feet
strategically positioned on Timothy’s pillow within striking distance of his
head. Fearing any disruption of her R.E.M. cycle, Janelle prohibited Timothy
from moving their beloved daughter—he’d just have to develop a thicker skull,
“Good morning,” Janelle chirped, when
Timothy sauntered into the kitchen with a dour expression on his face.
“Someone’s a grumpy cat this morning.”
“You’d be too if you slept in piss all
night. Isn’t it amazing how the wet spot our sweet boy makes is never on your
side of the bed?” Timothy retorted. He sat down at the breakfast table, where
his well-rested children were too busy playing with their iPads to notice that
their papa had joined them. “And, I
wouldn’t have been so tardy to the party if you didn’t leave your hair gel crap
next to my toothpaste.”
“Isn’t it amazing how I managed to brush my
teeth and use the toothpaste? You’re acting like our toddler. Grow up,” Janelle
“Good morning to you too,” Timothy muttered
to himself, as if he was actually engaged in a three-way conversation with his
children. “What’s for breakfast?”
The table was practically devoid of any
food, with the exception of the half-empty cereal bowls in front of his kids,
and one slice of bacon and a triangle of hardened, semi-burnt toast in the
middle of the table.
“You came down too late, honey. Pick at
what’s left or make yourself something. I’ve got to get the kids off to school
and then I have a client meeting downtown,” Janelle advised, whipping around
the kitchen like a twister, snapping up backpacks, her purse, books, keys, the
children, and anything else her octopus-like arms could grab on her way out the
door. “Love ya.”
The front door slammed shut. Timothy
reached for the sad plate inhabited by the bacon and toast, too lazy and too
tired to make any greater moves. The cold crunch of the bacon would leave him
with indigestion. His upper left incisor came out the loser in its fight with
the rock hard toast. Fuck, now I’ve got to see the dentist,
Timothy threw on his galoshes and overcoat,
and left the house fifteen minutes after Janelle’s departure. He would’ve never
have noticed the giant puddle next to the driver side of his car, but for the
fact that there was a giant hole in his left foot’s galosh in the shape of a
heart. Clearly, his daughter got crafty with his footwear. Adding insult to
moisture, which was creeping up his pant leg, his car’s driver-side seat
warmer, not the front passenger one, decided to burn out on that frigid minus
ten degree morning. The cold ride to work to a job he hated—he was merely a cog
in the multi-million dollar machine of someone smarter than him—playing bean
counter for the man with the golden beans, Timothy tried to cheer himself up listening
to some newly downloaded songs on his iPod.
wheels on the bus, go round and round,” the stereo
system sang. At a red light, he looked down at his musical device only to
discover that it had synched the wrong playlist. Instead of his gangster rap,
it downloaded an album called “Gangs of the Nap: nursery song to entertain your
His day terrible, awful, fucking shitty day
went from bad to worse. Someone had taken his reserved parking spot—an unknown
license plate invaded his designated berth because its driver was too lazy to
find a visitor spot in the back of the lot. Of course that person wanted to
park as close to the front of the office building on such a frigid day—who
could blame them? Timothy could. It was his fucking spot. Stomping down the
hall towards his cubicle five feet away from his boss’ office—heaven forbid the
accountant get an office of his own, or a little distance from the man in
charge who demanded hourly updates on the company’s accounts receivables—one
pant leg now soaked up to his knee, and Roly
Poly ringing in his ears, Timothy was more than pouting. He was downright surly.
“Sally, can you please get me a coffee?”
Timothy asked his assistant, who sat in a cubicle next to his.
“Coffee machine’s broken.”
“Well, can you run down to the cafeteria
and buy me one? Here’s some cash.” He reached into his pocket, withdrew his wallet,
and handed Sally a five-spot.
“I’m not your wife. Get it yourself.”
“You’re more like my wife than you think,”
he spat back.
“Quit acting like a baby,” Sally retorted
before she put her headphones back on her head to continue to play Candy Crush
Saga on Facebook.
He was two for two on being accused of
behaving like a tiny child. After a good mope, he trudged downstairs to the
lobby Starbucks to get a coffee, hoping things would turn around. When he got
there, Starbucks was closed due to an electrical fire in the cappuccino maker.
It was only 9:30a.m. and his terrible, horrible, no good, very fucking bad day got
even worse. He returned to his desk and spent the next few hours clearing out
his email inbox and putting out fires, but got no actual real work
accomplished. Notwithstanding the lack of caffeine infusion, and before he knew
it, having missed lunch without noticing, it was almost one o’clock, and Tim
had to hit the head. Expecting the lavatory to be empty given the hour and the
office routine of everyone convening in the cafeteria for lunch, he was caught
off guard when he ran into Jim, the office suck up, standing at his chosen
urinal, whistling while he worked.
“Big fan of Snow White?” Tim chortled,
unzipping his pants.
“Always puts a smile on my face,” Jim
replied, returning to trilling his favourite tune.
Tim gave him a fake smile. He wanted to
finish up quickly before Jim could engage him in any further conversation.
Given that Jim was lost in his own world, still grooving to his chosen song at
his urinal while he washed up at the sink, Tim surmised that clearly Jim, unlike
himself, had enjoyed his morning cup of joe or three. “Crap,” Jim muttered
noting that there were no more paper hand towels. Dripping droplets of water on
his shoes, he turned to leave the restroom.
“Hey buddy,” Jim crowed before Tim could
escape, “you need to learn how to pee.”
Tim whipped around on his heels. “Excuse me?”
“You got pee on your shoe, dude.” Tim
looked down at the water sitting on the tip of his loafer.
“Funny. It’s water,” Tim spat back with a
“OH-kay,” Jim chortled. “All I’m saying is
that my son knows how to shake it off better than you before storing his hose,
and he’s two.”
Tim barged out of the restroom. He strode
to his desk, furious at not having punched Jim in the gut—something for which
most of the office staff would’ve labeled him a hero given how brown his nose
was from sniffing their boss’ ass on an hourly basis—ready to scarf down his
lunch with five minutes to spare before his 1:00p.m. meeting with his boss, Mr.
Aston Hat, also known as Asshat amongst the staff.
“Tim,” Asshat bellowed. “Get in here.” Tim
glanced at his watch. 12:56p.m. His gluten-free, quinoa and butternut squash
sandwich would have to wait. He gathered
his files and marched into Asshat’s office.
“Close the door.” Tim complied. He remained
standing, having learned a long time ago that he could only take a seat if in
receipt of Asshat’s invitation to do so.
“Where’s my 11:00a.m. accounts receivable
update?” Asshat demanded to know.
“Sir, as I explained in my email to you at
12:30p.m., nothing has changed since 9:00a.m. this morning. No further invoices
have been paid, so I didn’t see the point of…” Tim trailed off.
“I don’t pay you to see the point. I pay
you to follow instructions. And, my instructions are that you send me hourly
accounts receivable updates every hour on the hour between the hours of nine to
five. Got it? Even my three year old grandson can understand that.”
Tim stared at his shoes. A watermark had formed on his left loafer. Now, he was
being told he was less competent than a three year old. He didn’t know what was
worse: Jim’s two-year-old son knowing how to empty his junk in the urinal
properly, or knowing that it only took the brainpower of a three-year-old to do
“Yes sir,” Tim stammered. He didn’t move.
He needed Asshat’s permission to leave.
“Fine, go.” Asshat waved him off. Tim
turned and opened the door. “By the way, Tim, you have some crumbs on your tie.”
They were uneaten, errant quinoa beads, languishing on Tim’s tie, after having
fallen out of the uneaten sandwich that remained on Tim’s desk. Not that Asshat
would know his quinoa from his breadcrumbs. “And, your socks don’t match.”
“I’m colour blind, sir,” Tim muttered
looking down at mismatched pair of navy and black socks—which looked the same
to him—his back to Asshat, before walking out the door. Upon returning to his
desk, Tim was greeted by his angrily buzzing cellphone, alerting to him to a
demanding text from his wife. She informed him she’d be working late, so he’d
have to pick up the kids from school and make dinner. Fed up, Tim decided to
put himself on a much-needed time out.
babe. Just can’t do it. Boss has me working late and you know how much of an
asshat Asshat really is. Order a pizza and a babysitter. TTUL.
Tim turned off his phone. If Janelle
couldn’t reach him, he couldn’t be told what to do. He spent the rest of the
afternoon complying with Asshat’s demands, ignoring his wife’s, and watching
the clock creep slowly by in the same manner that Death does in taking its time
toying with a dying man writhing in pain, begging to be put out of his misery.
The clock laughed at him much in the way he imagined Death would too one day.
Without sparing a second, while the little hand rested on the five, once the
big hand hit the number twelve, Tim sprang from his chair, bolted out of the
office, and hoofed it to the nearest bar. He proceeded to sit there getting
drunk as a skunk for the next six hours, ordering one beer and shot of tequila
after another. Finally, at 10:55p.m., a beleaguered Tim wrestled himself off
his barstool. He hailed a cab and snored all the way home. The cab’s abrupt
stop in front of his house—or rather his prison—jolted Tim awake. He threw a
mishmash of bills at the driver and toppled out of the cab. He dragged himself
up the front walkway, through the front door, up the stairs, and fell like a
pile of dirty laundry tossed out of the basket onto his bed.
“Where the fuck were you?” Janelle seethed.
She’d sat in bed waiting for Tim to come home, texting him furiously every ten
minutes. Her ire rose with the pounding of each letter. “I had to beg my boss
to leave early today to get the kids. When I got to their school, I was told
there’s a lice outbreak and I spent the evening elbows deep in a nit hunt. Fuck
your idea of pizza. No one wanted to eat after having nasty bugs scrubbed out
of their heads, mine included. I had to wash all of the linens and change the
sheets on all of the beds ALL BY MYSELF.”
Tim didn’t catch more than every fourth
word coming out of Janelle’s mouth. Janelle yanked the duvet to cover herself,
causing Tim to roll off the bed, but not quite waking him.
“All this time, you were off getting
soused, and I was stuck here being an adult. You’re such a fucking toddler!”
Of everything, he caught the word toddler.
“OH-kay. If you wanna toddler, you got it,”
“What I want is for you to go wash your
hair with the lice shampoo.”
“Aye-aye, captain!” Tim saluted, lying in a
semi-prone position, in his semi-conscious state. He looked at the distance to
the bathroom from his bearings on the floor. Too far, he thought. He made an executive decision to fall asleep
there, just as his own toddler had done before. Finally, his terrible,
horrible, no good, very fucking bad day was over.
The following morning, Tim finally woke at
8:15a.m. to find a Post-It note affixed to his forehead. It read:
the lice shampoo, toddler!—Janelle.
“Showtime,” Tim whispered. A naughty grin spread from ear-to-ear. Tim tossed
the lice shampoo in the waste bin. After showering, Tim skipped brushing his
teeth. He thought it to be a waste of time given that he had yet to eat his
morning meal. He threw on a disheveled
tracksuit lying on the floor and haphazardly grabbed some socks out of his
laundry basket. He sailed down the bannister and landed with a great, big thud
on the hardwood floor.
“Fuck that hurt,” Tim cried out to no one
“Language,” Janelle shouted.
“Language,” his kids echoed.
Tim made his way into the kitchen, where he
found no breakfast waiting for him. Everyone, but his own toddler whose bowl of
cereal had become a fishing for Cheerios toy, had finished eating, and they were
ready to leave for the day. So, Tim swiped the bowl and spoon away from his
kid. Crunching away loudly on the already soggy rings of honey and nuts, Tim
did his best to ignore his child’s cries of “Mine! Mine!”
“Tim, give your son his food back,” Janelle
Tim clutched his bowl into the crook of his
arm, pressing it firmly against his chest. “Mine!” he bellowed.
“Are you kidding me?” Janelle stood there, her feet shoulders width
apart, her hands haunched on her hips.
Tim shook his head. “Mine!”
“Who knew I married a toddler?” Janelle,
finally clueing into Tim’s attire, gave him a once over. “What the fuck are you
“Language,” Tim and his children chimed in
Tim topped off his jogging suit, which was
now sporting a milk stain over the spot where his heart would be, with a
mismatched pair of socks: one circus-bright colorful polka dotted sock, and one
white & black striped sock.
“Nice sartorial choice.” You could cut the
sarcasm in the air with a knife.
“I don’t know what that word means, but I
will assume you meant to be nice,” Tim retorted. “I need a ride to work.”
“At the office. I did the responsible thing
last night and took a cab home.”
“Don’t drink and drive,” his daughter sang
from the hallway where she was putting on her boots.
“Sorry bub, no can do. I’ve already got a
car full of toddlers and no extra car seat for you to ride in. Maybe you can
borrow your daughter’s tricycle,” Janelle replied, ushering the kids out the
door. “Don’t forget to wear a helmet!”
Recognizing his Goliath size, as compared
to his daughter’s trike, would break the bike’s manifold, he walked to the bus
stop. Tim loathed the bus—it was an incubus of plague, especially during the
winter. However, today the bus was relatively empty. Also, he was kept
entertained by the most recently uploaded playlist on Janelle’s iPod. He swiped
it from her purse when she wasn’t looking. Tim chortled. Janelle’s morning jolt
never came from java, but rather her music gave her the momentum she needed to
brave the day. Now who’s gonna have a bad
day, Tim muttered.
Walking into the office, Tim spied the same
car in his spot. Not one to let that slide, Tim decided to kill two birds with
one stone. Having forgotten to go pee like a good toddler before leaving the
house, he relieved himself on the trespasser’s tires.
“What the fuck man?” the driver of the car
shouted. Tim didn’t seem to mind that he had an audience for his one-man show.
Or, that the audience was Jim.
“Be grateful I didn’t have to make a number
two,” Tim replied, as he made sure to show Jim that he knew how to shake off
any excess droplets. “Next time don’t park in my spot, asshole!” With no one to
call Tim out for his use of colourful language, he strolled into the building. Now who’s gonna have a bad day, Tim
Passing by the coffee machine, he noted
that it was still broken. Noting that Sally, in her typical fashion, hadn’t
bothered to anticipate her boss’ caffeine needs based on yesterday’s
discussion, but managed to get herself a piping hot, fresh cup of coffee—a
latte no less based on the aroma wafting into Tim’s nostrils—from Starbucks,
Tim swiped the cup from her desk and left her a note.
coffee fairy came and gave your latte away to someone more deserving. Get the
coffee machine fixed—it’s your damn job. And, if you get yourself a drink, get
one for your boss!
Tim sat down at his desk. He was pleased
with himself. So far, he was having a great day, while each of Janelle, Jim,
and soon-to-be Sally, would not be. The last target to be crossed off his list
was Asshat. The way to pierce Asshat’s heart was with a silver bullet known as
non-delivery of the hourly accounts receivable statements. While Asshat still
hadn’t arrived, and Tim enjoying the freedom that toddlerhood provided, he took
great pleasure in showering anyone who crossed his path with the gift of his infantile
behaviour. Insouciant to his victims labeling him a toddler—mission
accomplished—Tim spent the morning playing Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds on
Facebook. He didn’t even notice when Asshat arrived.
“Tim!” Asshat bellowed. Tim noted the time.
It was 11:35a.m. Only two and a half hours after Asshat’s minions had come to
work. If he can take his sweet time getting in, I can take mine, Tim stated
to no one in particular. Tim took his time getting up. Making sure to stretch
his stiff limbs due to the poor posture he’d assumed while playing videogames,
Tim bent over, simultaneously expelling a silent, but deadly scent right into
Asshat’s face. Having emerged from his office when Tim didn’t immediately
appear, Asshat recoiled almost instantaneously when confronted with Tim’s ass
in his face.
that smell?” Asshat choked out, barely able to breathe.
“Must be the beans and cheese from the tacos
I ate last night. Sorry boss. I’m lactose intolerant,” Tim offered.
“I’m not interested in your guttural
problems. I want my accounts receivable statements from yesterday and this
morning. Where are they?”
Tim sat back in his seat and propped his legs
up on his desk. Asshat was on his turf now.
“Sir, with all due respect, I understand
that you want an update on your cash flow, but these little temper tantrums of
yours when you don’t get an hourly report showing you the exact same
information as was there an hour before, and the hour before that, and so on,
are getting tired. Now, I can have you up to your eyeballs in dead trees if
that’s what you really want, but given that this is a company that prides
itself on reducing its carbon footprint—we’re a fucking recycling plant after
all—it makes more sense for me to email you hourly and tell you there’s been no
change, rather than complying with your inefficient redundant mandate,” Tim
Asshat’s complexion was ashen. All of the
staff on the executive management floor had dropped what they were doing to
witness the tête-a-tête between the two men. Tim had knocked him out with a
“Um, well, I, er, see your point, Tim, and
I’ll take it under advisement,” Asshat replied. Asshat retreated to his office.
Tim spun around in his chair to return to his unfinished game of a new game he
was trying out before being rudely interrupted by his boss. Something called
“Checkmate,” Tim sang. “Now, who’s having the
terrible, horrible, no good, very fucking bad day now, bitches?”
© 2016. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights