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Hollywood.bomb, Chapter 20

Chapter 20

The warm glow of Christmas break lasted for 6 minutes and 40 seconds once Stephen returned to the office, just enough time for him to take off his coat and walk to the Caf for a fresh cup of coffee.  As he returned to his desk, he saw a cluster of people surrounding it – or in technical terms, a trouble of engineers.

“I assume you’ve seen this,” Frank called, waving two pages of paper at Stephen as he approached.  “I was so angry that I printed it!”

“This is a big deal,” Mark agreed.  “He hasn’t printed an email since the Abortive Dress Code of 2010.”

“2009,” Frank countered.  “The copy is still in my HR file.”

Stephen set his coffee cup down and took the papers.  “I have no idea what you two are babbling about.  I haven’t checked my email yet.”

“But this was sent a couple of days ago.  How could you miss it?” Frank asked.

“I didn’t check email all week.”  Stephen shrugged at their dumbfounded expressions.  “I promised Jen.  Plus, to be honest, I needed a break from the cra…

Hollywood.bomb, Chapter 19

We're picking up steam now, with another of my favorite chapters.  I wish I could say that I haven't seen a slap fight (or spitting) in the office, but I'd be lying.  Sometimes, the truth is almost as funny as fiction.

Chapter 19

Just hear those sleigh bells jinglin’, ring-ting-tinglin’ tooooo

Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you….

Not even the vaguely Victorian carolers strolling through the Prudential Center mall could get Stephen into the Christmas spirit, and that made him mad.  Christmas was his favorite time of the year, and now these lunatics were even fu— screw— messing that up!  He stomped through a knot of teenage window shoppers clustered outside one of the many trendy boutiques, sending shopping bags flaring in all directions as they spun out of his way.  Ignoring their glares and threats to text his picture to mall security with their matching pink iPhones, he continued on his stormy way through the mall and out into the bitter cold.

T…

Hollywood.bomb, Chapter 18

Even though I originally wrote this chapter almost ten years ago, I wouldn't be surprised if I saw a scene like this in HBO's Silicon Valley.  Time passes, but over-the-top "creativity" never goes out of style, at least in the high-tech sector.


Chapter 18 

Stephen, Ricky, and David arrived at CouldBU’s 81st floor office on Monday morning.  Stephen was enjoying the view down Fifth Avenue when a diminutive figure entered his peripheral vision.  His first thought was, The New York schools must have already started their Christmas vacation.  He turned to offer the child his spot at the window when he realized that it was wearing a suit and had the shadow of a cleanly shaven beard on its cheeks.  His second thought was, Wow, that’s not just short, that’s freaky short. 

The newcomer stuck out his hand and spoke to a point directly in front of him, approximately level with Stephen’s groin.  "Good morning.  I’m Chuck Marquette, and you must be Stephen."  He spoke sl…

Hollywood.bomb, Chapter 17

Chapter 17

The snow started falling early in the morning, just hard enough to give a magical air to the Thanksgiving Day parade.  Stephen had wanted to take Sarah to see it, but all three of the mothers who were currently in his house overruled him.  He settled for sitting on the couch with his daughter, flipping between the New York and Boston parades on TV while she happily chewed on her foot beside him.  From the kitchen, he could hear Jenny’s tired voice alternately translating and refereeing the conversation between the grandmothers, who were trying for the first time to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner together.
"No, Mom, we don’t have a paisley kitchen towel.  No, we don’t need one.  She said to put parsley over the turkey."
"Well, that makes a lot more sense, dear.  For a moment, I thought we were going with semi-formal dressing for the turkey!  Wash your hands before you touch the baby, sweetie.  We have raw poultry here."
"But I haven’t touched anything…