03.30.05 | 3:37 p.m.

Now for a word on corporate America…

Does anyone care that the United State’s television show “The Office” is an exact replica of England’s Emmy-award winning show coincidentally called “The Office”… ? (Of course, all of the humour has been replaced by humor, a’ la Americanized punch lines.)

It makes me very angry—irrationally so. It’s like hearing someone else re-tell a joke that you have heard before, only done way less funny.

Back to the topic. Well, here I am all nestled in my cube in the lovely suburbs listening to the static hum of the white noise they like to pump in here to keep the mind from deviating.

Aside from that and the endless amounts of polices, procedures, mandates, charters, mission statements, goals, objectives and whatnot, I am doing pretty good. I haven’t made any enemies, and I think I may have even made some friends.

After work, rather than fighting my way home on public transportation, I now drive myself to a “fitness center” (aka “gym”) and work on increasing my cardiac endurance. I do this because the trainer who administered my complimentary fitness evaluation upon joining the center informed me that I am in the lower five percentile for cardiac fitness. Yes, lower five. To which I reacted, “NO SHIT? …BUT I DON’T EVEN SMOKE!” Maybe I should start.

I would like to report I have increased my endurance from being able to do the elliptical machine (for those of you who do not know what I am talking about, I wouldn’t worry too much about this paragraph and suggest you skip ahead) from a couple of minutes to 45 minutes. I was only able to do this, thanks to booty rap and my mp3 player. This is because “working out” – as I had always suspected – is boring.

While I was being assessed, back in the city, one of my dog’s three teenage-boy walkers, “George” was signing for my wedding dress, which UPS delivered. In result, I am having “Yuppie” tattooed on my forehead the first chance I get.

Also while in suburbia I have had the thrill of experiencing a flat tire. This, of course, was followed by some AAA action and a long scenic, mini-mall dotted drive in search of a place that would sell me a tire and put it on past 7 p.m. …a big thank you National Tire and Battery Co. in Palentine, IL.

Another fun adventure involved me trying to find a dentist to have a cavity re-filled, after losing a filling to some hardcore flossing. Well, I found one – only, turns out, he gives me the creeps. Big time. He’s unnaturally tan for a man who works 12-hour days, kind of resembles Mel Gibson and I cannot tell if he is in his 30s or 50s. On his new patient questionnaire I was a little thrown by a yes or no question that asked: Have you used alcohol, cocaine, or other drugs? I checked “no,” because while I do drink (not use) alcohol, I did not want to be lumped in with cocaine users – especially given my recent fitness diagnosis of absolutely no heart healthiness.

The first thing the dentist said to me after I sat down in the chair: “So, do dentists make you nervous?”

Huh?

We then exchanged several, “I’m not looking at you, but you just caught me looking at you” glances.

He even threw in a free X-ray, on account that I made a comment I didn’t know what was going on with my insurance and I would have to pay out of pocket for this filling so if he could keep costs down I would appreciate it.

Now for the kicker. I had the filling replaced last Friday. Yesterday, he calls me at home, at night from his cell phone (his offices are closed on Tuesdays) to ask how my tooth was feeling. I missed the call, but it’s on my machine. “Call if you need me to adjust anything.”

Yeah. That’s my story. For now.