In the Event of a Real Fire I Would Probably Die

I was in the rest room at work, resting, when I noticed a persistent beeping coming from the hallway. After wrapping up my business, I sauntered out to find the office admins, in coats, conferring on who would do the final sweep for stragglers.

Putting two and two together, and getting the square root of 16, I realized that this weird, repetitive noise was meant to be a fire alarm. I swear it sounded different last time we had a drill. I remembered it as being a deafening klaxon, but this was merely an irritating blatting sound. To my ears it seemed like a video game telling you to please stop trying to do something.

As I limped back to my desk to get my coat–

Okay, back up. This morning I tried to hurry in to the office, for whatever fleeting purpose, I managed to outrage my foot and ankle in such a way that it’s hurt for almost 10 hours now. I should probably take some anti-inflammatories or something. This was the same foot and ankle that precipitated my surgery, so at least the resulting limp felt like coming home.

I wasn’t going to count on the building fire keeping me warm all the way over at our emergency gathering spot across the street, so I limped over to my desk to get my coat. As I did this, the senior admin asked if my friend Tim had found me. Tim, and his entire department, had been removed from the org chart last fall, so it seemed odd for her to ask this during a fire. I said he hadn’t, wondering exactly what had transpired while I’d been facilitating.

Freshly en-coated, I hobbled down two flights of stairs and joined the seething mass of non-productivity. It took a surprisingly long time for a fire truck to make the 2-block journey to the office, long enough that I was told that Tim was elsewhere in the throng. I found him and learned that he’d had extra time after lunch so had dropped by to say hi.

We said hi.

Moments later, the admins announced that we could return to work. I briefly considered getting a brownie sundae from the diner across from the office, but I was just too lazy. So I said goodbye to Tim and got in one for the elevators. All in all it went better than the fire at the bookstore had, but that’s another story.


The alarm was determined to be due to construction on the 7th floor. Somehow.

Tim presumably finished his lunch break and returned to work.

Wendi made me a sundae after dinner.


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