PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Little Nipper

You’re at a meeting at 10 in the morning, and your colleague suddenly pulls out a flask and takes a haul. What do you do?

What does anyone do? None of you on staff in your combined 300+ years of office experience has ever encountered a co-worker flask-nipping in a meeting during normal work hours. Everyone looks at each other with consternation. Brows are knitted furiously. Is someone going to confront this guy about his drinking issues?

But no one has the guts. And so he keeps on doing it, even in meetings with The Big Boss, who is too nonplussed to know what to say. It goes on and on, with the co-worker drinking from his flask at all hours of the day, at his desk, at lunch, before heading home on his donkey-rickshaw (environmentally friendly, you think? Do you have any clue how much methane each mule and donkey produces each year?). He’s such a goofy dude that on those rare occasions when you all get a drink after work, a beer or two doesn’t seem to make him any looser than he seems during a regular day at the office. But generally speaking, beside his taking regular hauls off the flask and following up with flamboyant, Doc Holliday-esque tubercular coughing fits as he chokes down the liquid, the slugging doesn’t seem to negatively affect his performance. There are even clandestine sobriety tests, as office mates drop papers in front of him to see if he’ll stumble when helping to pick them up. He doesn’t.

The colleague dies one day and his desk is cleaned out, whereupon the flask, hidden in his bottom drawer, empty, is available to be analyzed. Advanced assays are run, whereupon it’s discovered that there is no sign of moonshine inside the flask, but instead ultra high-test French roast coffee (cold brew).

If you're willing to play the flask nipper, I'll outfit you with the means of surreptitiously recording people's reactions at your office job. It'll be a riot! Then, we'll project the recordings onto the west side of my house from dusk to dawn every day so that people walking down the street after dark will be treated to performance art.

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