Friday, November 21, 2008


I had never seen a funnier waiting room in my life.

The expression on the walls, the look on the door combined to drive me into shrieks of laughter.

I was rolling on the floor, my sides aching, tears streaming from my eyes when the secretary called my name, announcing my turn for the job interview.

I straightened myself as best I could and brushed the floor dust off my suit, still chuckling at the color of the carpet and stifling guffaws at the lamps on the hilarious stands at the ends of the outrageous couch, as I gathered my papers together and wiped my eyes with my tie.

By the time I opened the door to the inner office, overcoming a new surge of laughter at the sight of the ludicrous doorknob, I had gained sufficient control over myself to present a reasonably staid appearance, suited to the position for which I was applying, that of bank manager.

The board of interviewers, however, was seated around such a side-splitting table that I lost control at once and doubled over roaring, dropping my briefcase onto a carpet even funnier than the one I'd just left, and going into absolute convulsions at each boffo question the comical crew asked me.

It was too much; I nearly crack up even now, just thinking about it.

Anyway, I howled all the way through the interview-- you should have seen their ties! I simply couldn't contain myself!

At the end of it, they had the secretary help me out of there - I was absolute jelly by then - and later I was informed that I had gotten the job.

As you can see, I don't laugh at all any more. Now that I actually manage money, it isn't the least bit funny.

Used to read this at the Kyoto Connection, over 20 years ago,
perhaps anticipating our current surreal global financial comedy;
a slightly different version was published later, in Kyoto Journal #19...
w/thanks to Ken Rodgers.


Apprentice said...

I used to go to watch you read at the old Kyoto Connection - then I think Ken moved the show up to the fancier, bigger place in Kitayama and you never showed up again.
You were missed - just so you know.
I bought your book 'Further on this Floating Bridge of Dreams' at one of your last readings at KC, and it still resides prominently next to my other prized books.
Glad to have found your blog.
I look forward to reading more of what you have to say.

Robert Brady said...

Thank you, Apprentice, for the uplift of your kind words; they bring a pang to the heart as well, at recalling those heady times... Actually, I stopped doing the Connection because I moved out here! I look forward to your visits as well; may my eclectic efforts be worth your while...

joared said...

Does the fact that you are now managing money mean the world financial crisis will soon end?

Robert Brady said...

I did my best, but I'm only one person, after all, and my tendency to guffaw during board meetings was kind of detrimental... It's no wonder that my golden parachute failed to open...