The Thing About Women by Brandon Ogborn

The truth is I didn’t call you in here to talk about the Blackhawks. Actually, I’m a little embarrassed having to be the one to do this but I wanted to get to you before HR does. Because I consider you a friend. It’s the thing about Irene.

Look, we all know she’s – the guy’s at the office, we all know. She dresses, how she dresses. And times have changed because dressing like that used to mean you were, she, the girl was a – off the record, “slut” you know, loose. But she’s got style – she’s younger than the, I’ll call them ladies, the hens here. So again, the guys, we all – who wouldn’t – even Dan, Gay Dan, and he’s gay. To have the chance, you know, a shot at a piece like that. But, we need to be respectful of them. We need to treat them fairly and with dignity. That’s what we are supposed to do now. Be their, act as-if they are equal. And if we don’t – boom, you know. With the Internet now, and a company of our status, as old as us, with such a rich history as us. And, you know, if this gets out I can safely say we have a press release, a statement ready to go and in such is written that we were the first to have a woman on the board of directors, back when that was frowned upon. So if it comes to a deposition or something God-awful, we have that in the arsenal, in the war chest, as it were.

And the thing with you and Irene. I get it, you’re married and tired and you’ve got this firecracker prancing in the leggings with her hair and makeup just asking for it. But, she’s got a boyfriend, and, we already have a policy in place prohibiting relationships at work anyhow. Sure, you made some kind of pass and were rejected. Happens. Whatever the words were you used aren’t the issue, it’s these last few weeks. And no, I don’t have concrete proof but Marsha’s witnessed it, so has Jason, the new guy, and frankly, it’s just the most disgusting thing. If it’s true, okay. Allegedly. Okay, but the law doesn’t apply here, policy does, so we have your severance package in place and, again, as a friend, I made sure it was as generous as possible.

And I get it. I can see why you lashed out. You were here when this company was a tribe, a group of us, hunters and warriors, you know. And now we have to simmer down and work in this paranoid, politically-correct state of despair and fear of them, of how to conduct ourselves. It’s tough, to put on a costume, a mask, when you just want to set it all ablaze and pillage and mount everything and raise your blood-drenched fists in victory.

And Irene, bless her heart. She’s got a strong family behind her – her dad’s a goddamn lawyer, fuck me, and they are all pretty livid and I will do all I can to keep this out of the press with your status here, and God-forbid it get back to your wife or your children or grandchildren. But some women, I know, they just draw something out of you that’s primal and when you can’t have them, when you cannot trap a woman, you react because you have a feeling of – we’ll call it entitlement. But the truth is, you can’t just fart on people.

I have sworn statements from six of our staff. And Marsha was right in the cubicle next to Irene and Dan, the Not-Gay Dan heard it. Irene said she got so sick from the smell she went to the lady’s room – the unisex stall, and threw up. Thought fecal matter got in her mouth.

The fact of the matter is this is a place of business and I cannot have my employees, man or woman or trans-whatever, farting on each other when they don’t get what they want. I can’t as regional, and corporate certainly cannot have this going on. Again, the severance is generous and, frankly, you might want to consider cashing out your 401k and stretching the whole thing into an early retirement, because it’s going to be tough at your age to get something to hold you through. If it happened to me, I’d do the same because guy’s like us are going out to pasture every single day on account of all the Irene’s flickering about like butterflies, coming in telling us about social media whatnot – Jezebel bullshit and our whole world is drying up anyways and the best thing for us to do is probably get a nice little spot along the Ohio River and get ready to make our livings in fur trade while it all collapses in on itself to a Biblical decay. And believe me, I’d rather go back to sunny California but the Kings didn’t make the fucking playoffs.

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 Brandon Ogborn is an essayist, performer, author of the critically-acclaimed play The TomKat Project and co-creator of the award-winning web-series Young Couple. A former longtime Chicagoan, he now lives in Los Angeles.

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