Brainstorming Session

SHANNON: Maybe we should have called this a barn-storming session!

[General laughter.]

SHANNON: [Cont] No but really, Jacob, you haven’t been updating the admin site, and we’ve all fallen behind because of your laziness. What’s been going on?

JACOB: Well, I stopped being a vegetarian, and it’s really thrown my digestion for a loop. I also started smoking pot again, pretty heavily, so I’m up all night twitching and watching Adult Swim and Hentai instead of sleeping. (Pot, as most of you know, gives me insomnia.) So that cuts into my productivity. Also, I eat so much food, all day every day, that I’m constantly lethargic — I never seem to be able to think. Updating the admin site sounds like a brainless task that even a pot-hungover, obese lethargio  could manage, but it’s tough — you have to gChat with the dB’s—

MARIANNE: The band?

JACOB: I wish. No, that’s my name for the off-site gatekeepers you have to gChat with in order to get anything done on the admin site.

MARI: Hmn! [She’s adorable, she knows it, I hate her?]

JACOB: Yeah.


JACOB: So that’s why.

SHANNON: [Cuts in, is self-conscious 100 percent of the time, I hate her, too, in a different way; do you guys watch that new show “Parks and Recreation”? Aziz Ansari is funny. Will you email me a link to your blog? I’d like to read it!] Well, it’s not an excuse. I’m concerned about you. You need to go to counseling.

JACOB: I have! I’ve been going!

SHANNON: Well, you need to go more.

JACOB: OK. I’ll start going twice a week.

SHANNON: Good. [Shuffles and ruffles little papers and cell-phones and e-books and shit] Last item on our agenda for today is: T-shirt ideas! We need a new round of T-shirts to sell in the store.

B: [That’s his name. “B.”] Today I was walking back to the office from lunch and I had a really intense desire to be wearing a black T-shirt, white lettering, “I hate myself.”


JACOB: Perfect.

SHANNON: In “Plays Well With Others” typewriter font?

B: Nah. Sans-serif, some dumb typeface you’d find out of the box in MS Outlook.

SHANNON: You’re brilliant. B., listen: You smoke weed every day, you eat more food than anyone I’ve ever seen, but your productivity is through the roof! What differentiates you from Jacob?

JACOB: You guys.……..

B: I can sleep when I’m stoned. I can get shit done. Jacob smokes pot to whip himself into a body-conscious frenzy. Dude is incapable of even watching a cartoon when he’s high. All he can do is br—-

JACOB: [Just joking around] Damn, B.!

[General laughter. Laughter subsides, the lights dim, and a film is projected on the meeting-room wall.]

NARRATOR: [Voice-over plays over clips of different whatever I hate you] There are a bunch of reviews out now of The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes (Pantheon, 552 pp., $40.00). This one was probably the clearest. I didn’t read this one yet, though I am “semifascinated” by the author’s blog(s). Benjamin Moser, the new “New Books” guy at Harper’s (taking over for John Leonard, 1940–2009) wrote about it. He also  just published a biography of Clarice Lispector, whose The Hour of the Star I just read because of Sheila Heti.