Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ronald

Today while I was delivering the mail on Level Four I bumped into Ronald. He blocked my way and before I could protest he said, "My ultimate weapon is the China cannon attached to my groin."

He always says things like that, trying to impress everybody. But it rarely works. When I didn't look amazed and impressed at his ridiculous declaration, he walked away kicking the carpet.

My job is a low-pressure job mostly, which is great because it allows plenty of time for idle thought. As I was about to head down the ramp to Level Three it occurred to me that if this place was an anime, then ideally the characters would be composed of girls reading books, girls with glasses, robotic maids, and sisters. Mostly it would be great fun and stimulating on many levels, but then something bad would happen, like one of the robotic maids would corner me and say, "You executed the mission. Then all I have to do is execute you." Then I would have to run fast, and try hard not to trip over.

It wouldn't all be bad, like I said. Mostly it would be wonderful and fascinating. I would pass by the doorman on the way out, and he would talk about his friend Oscar.

"He had no income, so he stopped his hunger by eating mushrooms which were growing on his underpants in the closet."

I tell him that this is a perfect example of the ingenuity of man, and that it sounds like something from a magical bedtime story.

The doorman gets a sad look, he looks at his shiny black shoes, and says that it wasn't really so perfect or wonderful after all, because the angel who lived on his house scared him because she beat him to death without notice.

"That's typical," I say. "Plus, every time the hero wins, the trio is punished by the pig-like creature."

That was life, I guess. You had to take the rough with the smooth.

Uh oh. Ronald was up ahead again. The ramp was narrow and I halfway down it, so no way of avoiding him. Oh well. When I got near him he put a foot on the small wheels at the front of the mail trolley and looked at me with intensity. Here we go again.

"When I fell down the stairs with my classmate, my body was replaced with her."

"What does that mean?" I said.

Ronald brushed something invisible off his shoulder and twitched.

"Let's decide the supremacy over the earth by the blows of robots."

"OK. That sounds like a good idea," I said.

He wasn't such a bad guy, Ronald. At least he didn't come out with the kind of idiotic, broken record type stuff a lot of other people around here come up with.

His foot was still on the tiny wheels, now moving back and forth a fraction each time. I put the lock on to stop it. Just for fun.

"The wrong use of the magic equipment often embarrasses the girl in the bathroom when she is taking a bath."

Ronald was beginning to make sense.

I nodded, then Ronald nodded.

"When I fell in love with her, I thought that the girl was my stepsister. I bet if I had known she was my real sister, I would not have fallen in love with her."

That made sense, too. I started smiling.

Ronald kept nodding, and started smiling too.