So the FedEx Guy, who has a very friendly relationship with me, comes bursting into my office this morning and says, "Can I ask you a question?"
This makes me a little nervous because questions FedEx Guy has asked me in the past include "How do you say Devil Dog in German?" and "Do you want to go to this great German restaurant in Queens with me?" (I swear, I am not making these up.) Remember, I do work at a German bank, so these questions are not totally out of left field, but pretty damn close. So, steadying myself, I say "Sure."
"That girl in a coma, how did she get in the coma? Was she in an accident or something?"
I am totally confused, because for some reason I assumed he was going to ask me about the Temp that had this job before me. Then I realize he means Terry Schiavo. "Oh, I don't know," I say. "I haven't really been following the story too closely."
FedEx Guy (real name unknown) now launches into a very long, involved story about his uncle, "he was a great guy, good father, good uncle, good father-in-law and then he got cancer, and I think the chemotherapy made him worse, they gave him radiation and they burned him, because when they give you radiation that's what they do, they burn you, and he was terminal, and I'm glad I didn't have to make the decision but I know my uncle and I know he woulda been like, 'I've had a good run, I gotta go now, I'm going to a better place' and I mean he was just too macho to be living in a coma like that, you know?" FedEx Guy is talking very fast and the only thing I can do is nod and cluck sympathetically hoping one of my bosses will pop out of their offices and rescuse me. No luck.
"And it's like in the paper, did you read the Post today? I want you to read it. They have this picture of her as a beautiful young woman and they're counting how many days it's been since she got food, and they're tricking you, cause you look at the photo and you think, 'Oh my God, they're not feeding her?' but they don't show you pictures of her now and her parents say she smilies when she sees a red balloon, but I don't know, unless you freeze her body or something and try to bring her back later ..."
Giving me a chance to speak, I can only say, "Yeah, I think the way the media is covering the story is pretty distasteful."
"It's like Renee Zellwenger. Zellwenger?"
Sure, I nod, thinking, Is Renee Zelweger in a coma? Did I miss this?
"You know, she can't even go shopping, Renee Zellwenger (presumably Terry Shiavo is also unable to go shopping), because the media follow her for two days. The paparazzi stalk her, you know, and then she trips on the sidewalk and they take a thousand photos."
I am silently begging that my phone will start ringing.
"I saw this interview with Carroll Burnett one time, and the talk host axed her what she thought about fame and she said like, she doesn't mind to give autographs but one time she was in the bathroom and someone slipped a piece of paper under the door for her to sign. Can you imagine? Then I think she like, lost it, and now she fights for stars' privacy."
"Yeah," I said looking around nervously, "there are lines you shouldn't cross." And now I'm thinking, what the hell, at least I can blog about this. I finally got FedEx Guy out of the office but not before he asked me how to say "Happy Easter" in German. Froehe Ostern, FedEx Guy. Froehe Ostern Everyone.