Reading engtech’s post on his favorite web comics reminded me of my old fave from the deepest, darkest Nineties, Too Much Coffee Man, which I find is now an opera that is packing them in like espresso in a portafilter! TMCM was one of my favorite comics, back when I had a 9-5 or actually it was with Starbucks so it was more like a 5:30am-6:30pm, but whatever, and could afford to buy dead trees.
I am reminded at this juncture of perhaps the most absurd of the various absurdities of working in a cubicle farm. I had a TMCM toque which I treasured for its hip coffeeness and relevance, and I thought it would look cute and edgy sitting on top of my filing cabinet, so that is where I put it.
And every morning it would be on my desk.
At first I thought the cleaners were moving it, although dusting the top of the cabinets every day seemed a bit extreme to me. But after awhile I realized it was happening even when the cleaners had not been in. So I began to test things.
I pinned it to my cube wall. Nothing. I put it on my chair. Nothing. I pinned it on the outside of my doorway: bingo, it was on my desk in the morning.
Turns out that the head of HR didn’t like to see anything poking up above the level of the top of the cubes, nor anything outside the cubes other than slate grey tweed: the only person who could violate this rule was the admittedly artistic and very powerful head of the training department. My boss was staying late every night just to move my toque.
There’s the title of my forthcoming business book, right there:
WHO MOVED MY TOQUE.
Back to TMCM. He would show up in some of the gimme papers in Portland cafes, but the trip to Oregon sort of offset the freebie-ness of the comics themselves, so I had to give it up and start spending fifteen minutes’ pay at the comic shop for the colour issues.
While the title character himself seems to have long since gone to that Great Compost Bucket in the Sky, the comic and the aesthetic and the dream live on.
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