Point

Point/CounterpointOpinionhuman interest Jun 18, 2008

I Know It's Crazy, But Some Days I Feel Like Everybody Is Out To Get Me

By Liz Hawkins

Ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right? I sure have. When everything is falling apart and you just can't get ahead, it's like the whole world is out to get you. Today was just like that.

Last night, I know I checked to make sure my alarm was set before I went to bed, because it was really important that I got to work on time for this meeting we're having with the people from Chicago. But wouldn't you know it—Murphy's Law! No alarm went off and I woke up with only 15 minutes to get out the door. Come on, universe. Give me a break!

So I figured I had just enough time for a quick shower, but my roommate was taking forever in there and, when I finally got my turn, the tub was all clogged up. All I could do was splash water on my face, throw on some clothes, and run for the bus. Well, guess what? It pulled away right as I got to the bus stop.

I tell you, sometimes it's like the entire world is conspiring against me!

But did the trouble stop there? Of course not. The next bus was 10 minutes late and the only seat left had a popsicle melted all over it, so I had to stand. By the time I got to work, the meeting was already over and boy did my boss run me through the ringer. I tried to tell him that it wasn't my fault, but he wouldn't listen to me.

And the disasters just kept on coming. After lunch, my computer crashed, I lost the document I spent all morning working on, my stapler jammed, and I had to stay late to catch up. When I finally got home, I had an answering machine message from the boy I went on a date with last week, but he didn't leave his number. All that stuff just doesn't happen to a normal person in one day, right? Man alive, it couldn't get worse if someone were actually planning it!

I wish I could say that the rest of my week has been better, but that's just not the case. On Monday, it was a nice day, so I decided to ride my bike in to work. About halfway there, I got a flat tire. I didn't think a lot of it, because there was a bike shop about three blocks away. I had them install a new inner tube, but when I went to pay, I realized I had forgotten my wallet at home. I had to leave my bike there until I could pay for it—which means "Unlucky Liz" walked the last mile and a half! At lunch, I spilled balsamic dressing all over my white shirt and, if that weren't enough, it started to rain on the way back to the bike shop and I got totally soaked.

Sometimes, I think that everybody is in on it, and they won't rest until my day is ruined. But that's just nuts, isn't it?

Counterpoint

Our Mission Has Been Compromised! Abort!

By Commander Dutch Yancy

No. No. No. Dear God, this is the moment we feared. She's on to us. Blue Team, pull out! Repeat, PULL OUT. Mission Make Liz Hawkins' Life Insufferable has been compromised. Execute code Omega. Teams Salad Dressing and Minor Computer Malfunctions, abandon your stations. Abandon your stations! This is not a drill. I want you all out of there. Now! Let's move! Move! Move!

Where are my visuals? Is the roommate operative still in place? Tell her that her cover's blown and we can no longer guarantee her safety. She needs to get out of that apartment. Repeat: Leave the dog and return to base immediately. If she doesn't pull the decoy alarm clock and those microphones we installed in the tub drain, this will all come down on her.

Do I have confirmation that the popsicle is untraceable? Someone get me Albany on a secured line and where the hell are my visuals? Liz Hawkins is on to us and I'm flying blind here!

This is our worst nightmare. Thirty-four years of coordinating efforts, altering traffic patterns, running a fake medical supply company, and even manipulating gravity itself for one purpose—to severely annoy Liz Hawkins—is all about to blow up in our faces. But how? We've been so careful. It doesn't matter now. We need to get Operative "Boss" out of there immediately. Damn it, get him out now! Negative, do not alert his wife and kids. Repeat, family was not part of original mission.

You're a clever girl, Liz Hawkins. But how in the hell did you figure it all out?

I suppose something this beautiful couldn't last. We were 48,000 agents, single-minded in our purpose of heaping life's petty indignities on Liz Hawkins, each performing flawlessly, right up to the end. It was a Sisyphean ballet of petty cruelty. But we slipped up, and now it's all coming down like a house of cards.

It was the wallet. Of course. I'm such a fool. She must have seen that coming from a mile away. We got lazy for one moment and good men are going to pay for it with their lives.

Reconnaissance Team, bring the bus driver into headquarters for a debriefing with extreme prejudice. We have a Judas in our midst, and I'm going to smoke him out. This leak goes to the highest levels of our organization.

She even knew about the stapler, for Christ's sake.

Send in the arson team to the office location. I want that place lit up by 0600 hours. Once cleanup operations have been finalized, we'll initiate Phoenix protocol. We all knew the mission, and we all knew the risks. As soon as the evidence is gone, I will present you each with your cyanide capsule. We have a traitor among us, so I'll take mine last and, as an insurance policy, I have one bullet in the chamber of my revolver. No one gets out.

God damn you, Liz Hawkins. You were too smart for us. I only hope the next team fares better.

Tell my wife I love her.