A big shout-out to Aaron, because I borrowed the whole "conversations with" conceit from him this week, and also because he's funny.
New Orleans Louisiana, 5:45 PM. I don't know about you, but if my boss's office looked like this one -- totally dark, red walls, lit from below -- I'd be scared. Because it looks the Human Resources department in Hell, where Satan's minions assign people to various horrible jobs -- like stoking the red hot coals, or handing out pitchforks -- for all eternity. Anyway, Devil Boss and his minion, a woman sitting slightly behind him who looks like the lovechild of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and Satan himself, watch a hapless white male they call "Jeb" awkwardly enter the room and take a seat. Devil Boss is saying something about how, if it were up to him, he'd be giving Jeb a promotion. But, with the economy the way it is...oh, I see where this is going. Jeb is getting laid off. Been there, done that. Jeb's all flabbergasted. He thought this was just an evaluation! Devil Boss is sorry. Jeb looks over at Katherine Harris, who purses her lips and glares back at him. They all stare at the walls for a minute. Thanks so much for reminding me of my own recent and painful layoff, Chris Carter! Like the skin shower of last week, I suspect this is some kind of cruel shout-out.
So, Jeb floats out of Devil Boss's office looking dazed. Katherine Harris tip-taps behind him. He wanders through the cube farm and out into the street. Well, onto the sidewalk, technically. He stands there, dazed, for a moment. Dude, go pack up your desk! Now is the time to steal office supplies! I, for example, am now the proud owner of a particularly nice stapler. My boss told me to take it, though. I mean, the company is tanking anyway. They have a pile of staplers in the kitchen, right next to the pens without any ink and several half-used notepads. I consider it part of my severance. As Jeb stands there like a bump on a log, a cheesy mid-'80s sports car screeches up the road, the police in close pursuit. Jeb watches as the sports car runs a red light and smashes into a Jeep. Both burst into flames. Jeb watches (along with a growing crowd of rubberneckers) as the police yell at them to stay away from the wreckage. "Oh my God, there's somebody in there," one of the extras screams, earning her SAG card. Indeed, someone is trying to get out the sports car. When he does, his entire body is engulfed in flames. Fiery Guy walks slowly toward Jeb. Dude, whatever happened to Stop, Drop, and Roll? Fiery Guy gets real close to Jeb, and then walks right through him. Flames briefly surround Jeb. When they disappear, he stares at the street. His eyes go all flamey/ glowy/ possessed-y for a moment. He blinks, and the flames disappear. He backs away from the accident.