Monday, October 31, 2005

The Twilight Zone

My department, as the "creative" wing of our organization, hosts a yearly Reformation Day celebration. We turn off the lights, plug in electric candles, and post "Theses" on the door. We set up a table with a Diet of Worms (a pail full of gummy worms), a basket of indulgences (candy with mottoes attached--"Good for 5 years off purgatory," etc.), and fruit for the more spiritual. Under this table is a boom box playing Grunt. We send out an email to the entire organization, which then spends the day tramping in and out of the department while we try to work.

I wish I could explain the effect of pidgin Latin droning in a lowlight environment for eight hours straight, as the sugar from the chocolates, gummi worms, and caramel apple dip courses slowly through my veins. The lyrics are funny, but the music soothes. The repeating CD begins to wear grooves into my brain. I begin to believe that there is no other music in the world, no other sound even, and then, all of the sudden, a particular phrase seeps into my consciousness and I want to scream with laughter. This music is silly! This dim cavelike office is silly! Everything is so, so silly! This kind of silliness requires maniacal laughter, which I would exhibit if I were not dressed professionally and editing words that will be read by thousands of people.

This sensation of being suspended between reality and surreality, with surreality somehow becoming more and more like everyday life, is indescribable. And I only experience this very particular shading of it one day a year.


J R Phillips said...

Oh how I miss my annual Diet of Worms.

Lee Ann said...

The worms miss you too!