If I were any happier, I'd need medication...

The other day I was in my boss’s office, and we quickly got on to planning my funeral. I don’t remember exactly why that came up, but since we were on the subject, I made my wishes known (cremation, ashes spread anywhere that comes to mind, weeding party to continue eliminating the Lamiastrum angustifolium, etc.). I think it came up because everyone is so angry with me these days, and we were discussing the odds that one of these people would actually kill me.

The guy who planted the trees, he’s furious because I won’t make his neighbor take down her bird houses, which are in the stream buffer. Yup, that would be super popular, to start requiring permits to put up bird houses. He calls my boss daily and threatens to sue us, and reminds us of his connections with the Council. I think he considers me to be a total slacker because I haven’t done anything about bird houses, which he perceives as harassment, in the same way that his neighbor thinks planting the trees are harassment.

In a way, I can see his point, because she’s installing birdhouses at an alarming clip; maybe there are 7 or 8 next to this short stream reach, and she’s attached signs to them facing his side of the stream that thankfully, I couldn’t read from the far side of the stream. I’m guessing the messages weren’t very nice.

The neighbor with the bird houses calls me, my boss, and everyone else she can think of many, many times each day, and is furious because these trees have been planted on what she believes is her side of the property line. Which we don’t think is true, but um, she removed the surveyor’s string that Mr. Treeplanter’s survey strung, so it’s difficult to tell for sure. She has also written to the Seattle Times about how the staff at the County didn’t do a very good job because we let this tree-planting happen. I was the only cc, so I’m pretty sure I was that person she was writing about. I’m guessing that the Times doesn’t have time to wade through her long e-mails, but who knows.

“How do you feel about the Norwegian Ladies Choir at your funeral?”

At this point, another co-worker, B. walked in. “what’s going on?”

“Oh, we’re just planning Betsy’s funeral.”

“Cool! Is that coming up soon?”

The pager went off about then, so I left the planning to them and went downstairs. On my way, I encountered one of our big bosses. “Good morning, J. How’s it going?”

He looked up. “If I were any happier, I’d need medication.”

It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, so I started cracking up, and he stopped and said, “you know, I’ve been thinking, we should really make a sitcom about this place.”

“Or at least a blog...”

“Really, you have a blog?”

“Um, yeah but you’d probably have to fire me if you read it, so its probably best if you know nothing about it. “

I know. What was I thinking? Luckily, I think he has too much else on his mind to remember this. But if you see an unfamiliar guy hanging out here, be nice to him because he has an especially hard job. And if I say that lame thing of, "I've chosen to resign immediately to spend more time with my family," you'll know what that means.


  1. One of my doctors that I work with showed me an email of a letter from a county employee in Pennsylvania to an angry resident, and the reply the county received. Just let me say your job is cloned in every state, and this guy has a great sense of humor! Perhaps a prerequisite to county work, or a result thereof? I did make a copy for you and will get it to you toot sweet. Misery does love company.


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