Chemical Warfare

Last Saturday, September 21st, was the International Day of Peace.  With that said, today’s blog is about two women who hate each other so much, they pass gas whenever they are near each other.  Yes, this story is about farts.  Not just any kind of farts, but farts in the workplace.

This is a real story.  It really happened.  If you stay with it to the end, I promise there is a point, a good point, the kind of point we should all ponder.

***
A Washington State Ferry docked in Seattle

Seattle, Spring 2001

Walking off the ferry I started to chat with another commuter who walked the same route I did to the bus stop.  I learned that she worked downtown, was new to the country, working on a visa, and that she enjoyed Seattle and riding the ferry to work.  I will call her Jan.

On another day, one sleepy morning, while staring out the ferry window, a nice conversation was started between myself and a gentle-looking-soul of a woman.  We enjoyed each others company enough to continue the conversation while walking off the ferry, up the three blocks to Pioneer Square where we split off, each to our own workplace.  I will call her Mary.

One day while walking with Jan, I noticed Mary walking with others on the opposite side of the street.
“Jan, do you know Mary?”
silence…
“Do you know her?  I think she lives in Silverdale.”
“Yes, I know Mary.  We work in the same office.  I hate her.  You should stay away from her.”
“Wha… why?  Really?  She seems nice to me.”
“That is because you do not have to work with her five days a week like I do.  I hate her so much, I fart whenever she comes by desk, so that she’ll leave quickly.”

A week later, Mary and I were walking to the bus.  Mary interrupted me to point at Jan, who was walking by herself into town.
“Shannon, see that lady there, in the light blue coat?  Stay away from that bitch.  Whatever you do, do not talk to her.  She’s poison.  AND she stinks like shit.  Like she never showers!”
“Well, maybe she has a condition or…”
“NO.  I’m telling you she always stinks, and it’s on purpose.  She is so nasty, I’ve decided to fart at her whenever she’s near.”
“WHY?”
“Because she needs to know how stinky she is. How dare she come to work like that, stinking the place up!”

Pioneer Square, Seattle Washington
1st Ave and Yesler Way

Wow.  Somehow I had become Ferry Friends with two ladies who were at war with each other.  Neither of them knew that I liked the other, and so for a good month I listened to each of them tell me their side of an argument.  An argument started for an unknown reason, and the purpose of the gas attacks unclear.  Why leave a good paying job because of it’s methane levels?  The only thing I knew for sure was that these two ladies hated each other SO bad, they were willing to go to disgusting lengths to insult each other!

I stopped riding the ferry in 2002.  As far as I know the ladies are still gassing it up.

…oh, and I lied.  This story has no point.  That’s the point.

PEACE
***

9/11 Morning

This summer a short two pager that I wrote will be in a book about Washington State ferries. The story is about what it was like to be on a ferry the morning of 9/11. Here is a little taste:

“New flames were emanating out from the south tower. We looked and waited for the person speaking to confirm it, but the newscaster did not yet recognize what we had witnessed LIVE! The wings and landing gear on the news helicopters and airplanes were in the way, preventing a clear view of both towers, causing me to subconsciously toss my arms to the left, “Get out of the way! Turn your plane around to get a better shot”! Frustrated, I changed the channel to get some answers. Within five minutes of the second plane hitting, Fox News called it a “suicide terrorist attack”, and NBC, “something deliberate”. TWO planes HAD hit the towers! A cold silence fell over our living room. What the hell was going on? The kids were just waking up and heading downstairs. My son asked, “What happened?” For a brief moment the four of us just stared at each other. As parents, we were speechless, but knew we had to tell our 3rd and 5th grader the truth: terrorist have just attacked America!

Then something strange happened to me, which to this day I cannot explain; I just fell into the motions of Tuesday. It was 6:20 and I had to catch my foot ferry. I did what the clock told me to do. Trusting my husband to comfort the kids, I put on my commuting socks and tennis shoes then drove the mile down to the waterfront.
The old Carlisle so lovingly restored sitting at the end of the dock talked to me; “I’ve made it through two World Wars and I’m still floating. Everything will be OK”, but I did not listen. This little boat would carry me across the Sinclair Inlet to the main Washington State Ferry terminal for Kitsap County in Bremerton. Hopping onto the boat, I headed right for the cabin to find a seat. Instead of viewing Port Orchard’s hills of classic homes and evergreen filled ravines, as I normally would from the stern, I sat in silence, along with four other passengers. It was hard to tell by their quiet demeanor if they were in shock by the events that just unfolded or if they had not yet been made aware. Judging by the sleepy atmosphere that normally enveloped the boat, I believed the latter. I didn’t want to say anything, perhaps I didn’t know WHAT to say. I couldn’t tell them what had happen. It was nice just for a moment to believe, that it was Monday morning and everything was normal again.

As we approached the Bremerton dock, our little boat passed by the mouth of a jumbo class triple decker auto ferry. This early in the morning the groaning sounds of cars loading onto her made it easy to imagine the ship as a basking shark ready to suck us in like plankton. Feeling myself being drawn into the gap I sat up and fixed my coat so as to collect myself.”

Ferry Stories

This summer a short two pager that I wrote will be in a book about Washington State ferries. The story is about what it was like to be on a ferry the morning of 9/11. Here is a little taste:

New flames were emanating out from the south tower. We looked and waited for the person speaking to confirm it, but the newscaster did not yet recognize what we had witnessed LIVE! The wings and landing gear on the news helicopters and airplanes were in the way, preventing a clear view of both towers, causing me to subconsciously toss my arms to the left, “Get out of the way! Turn your plane around to get a better shot”! Frustrated, I changed the channel to get some answers. Within five minutes of the second plane hitting, Fox News called it a “suicide terrorist attack”, and NBC, “something deliberate”. TWO planes HAD hit the towers! A cold silence fell over our living room. What the hell was going on? The kids were just waking up and heading downstairs. My son asked, “What happened?” For a brief moment the four of us just stared at each other. As parents, we were speechless, but knew we had to tell our 3rd and 5th grader the truth: terrorist have just attacked America!

Then something strange happened to me, which to this day I cannot explain; I just fell into the motions of Tuesday. It was 6:20 and I had to catch my foot ferry. I did what the clock told me to do. Trusting my husband to comfort the kids, I put on my commuting socks and tennis shoes then drove the mile down to the waterfront.

The old Carlisle so lovingly restored sitting at the end of the dock talked to me; “I’ve made it through two World Wars and I’m still floating. Everything will be OK”, but I did not listen. This little boat would carry me across the Sinclair Inlet to the main Washington State Ferry terminal for Kitsap County in Bremerton.  Hopping onto the boat, I headed right for the cabin to find a seat, instead of viewing Port Orchard’s hills of classic homes and evergreen filled ravines, as I normally would. I sat in silence, along with four other passengers. It was hard to tell by their quiet demeanor if they were in shock by the events that just unfolded or if they had not yet been made aware. Judging by the sleepy atmosphere that normally enveloped the boat, I believed the latter. I didn’t want to say anything, perhaps I didn’t know WHAT to say. I couldn’t tell them what had happen. It was nice just for a moment to believe, that it was Monday morning and everything was normal again.

As we approached the Bremerton dock, our little boat passed by the mouth of a jumbo class triple decker auto ferry. This early in the morning the groaning sounds of cars loading onto her made it easy to imagine the ship as a basking shark ready to suck us in like plankton. Feeling myself being drawn into the gap I sat up and fixed my coat so as to collect myself.

***