The Office Thief, The Chinese
Sitters & the Three-Boob Woman
Knowingly or not, we all play parts in the staging of someone else’s drama. Some are petty and ruin the proceedings, as others, humbly, master the hapless roles. Yet, there are those whose self-immolating act may make them come out stronger by the end of the third act.
Let’s start with that infamous office jester, the refrigerator thief who plagues the world of company stiffs and often gets away with it. We catch up with line sitters, camping on the streets to get persons unknown the latest iPhone. And on to Jasmine Tridevil’s sideshow.
Although on the surface, these vivid showcases of human frailty seem utterly different from one another, clear commonalities emerge from their underpinnings. They’re enough to bring it all down to a few, basic strains that reveal how we connect with others, or at least, the way we strive to annoy the hell out of them.
But what’s most fascinating about these three instances is how interchangeable is the role each character plays. Just like in the theater, the perceived villains may hold more humanity in their actions than we would care to give them credit for. And the heroes are hardly as virtuous as a cheap movie plot would have them.
Thus, through his mischief, the office jerk may reveal the brutal turf war that goes unmentioned all around the exposed company cubicles. Also, the arbitrary justice ready to be exacted by some anonymous bureaucrat from behind a fancy shield with a name attached – notwithstanding the indispensable victim role.
The professional ‘exploited’ may be turning a profit few would dream of from such a harsh occupation, even if, or given that, to many, standing in line to get the latest gadget is not just a waste of time, but completely below their sense of worth. Also, never mind that some organized crime may be behind the whole scheme.
And speaking of exploiting, how can anyone blame the sheer showmanship er displayed, or almost, by a self-inventing woman bent into becoming a reality TV star? Whether it’s an unhealthy step, or a mere hoax, she has all the right to crave for the attention, for it will be giveth to her, anytime, any day. Enjoy the ride.
TURKEY & SWISS ON RYE
It happened in New Zealand as it could have anywhere else. Office hands may know the script very well: your lunch gets eaten, anonymously; you write your grievance on a note; thief refuses to bulge; you surrender to moaning; thief may be revealed, if ever, by sheer luck, or well-honed snitching. Or some variation of the theme.
This time, the whole saga and its profusely descriptive notes, exchanged between the unconscionably jester and his victim, went viral on a New Zealand
radio Facebook page, so we may not need to add anything else to the self-explanatory
content. Neither can anyone, by the way, for the comments page has now been closed for good.
WE STREET CAMP FOR YOU WHOLESALE
For a certain segment of the affluent, there’s no better public display of power than to flaunt the latest gadget you’re so privileged to acquire, while being ahead of the line. Or rather, being able to pay for those who’ll stand in line for you, so you can own it ahead of everyone else. Cue in the professional line sitter, please.
For when Steve Jobs – hosannas due to the master – still walked among us, such line of reasoning would afford only the young and the beautiful, who’d graciously wait their turn to buy Jobs’ latest electronic concoction, and celebrate it with loud cheers. Oh, what a colorful and hip queue of happy campers those used to be. But no longer.
Today’s iPhone lines comprise mostly of the hard edged and the rough-hewn, who’ll withstand the elements for days and nights on end, armed only with cardboard and cash, to buy not one but a dozen of such precious modern commodity: the latest model. If you were in New York last week, it was working poor Chinese the ones to be cued in.
Apparently, gone were the hipsters, who found better ways of acquiring the phone, and in were those hired by shady groups, who pay them (not much, it’s been reported) to stand in line. Once the deed is done, those new models will be quickly shipped and resold abroad, in their own mainland, for as much as $3,000 each.
With no hint of restrain or sense of proportion, documentary-maker Casey Neistat called ‘Mafia’ those invisible hands that now control the cutting edge of the iPhone consumer trade. But his viral doc does show that those campers are no skinny-jeans Vine makers, but ordinary Chinatown residents. The same has happened in other cities, we’re told.
It may be akin to a form of exploitation, but it’s still a business, even if one wouldn’t trust their young children to those providing it. The sitters, some quite elder, made it do, despite police harassment and having to get up every other hour, to abide by some kind of law. The irony was not lost, though: after all, most of the iPhone is actually assembled in China.
LAST CALL FOR THE HOAX PROVIDER
For ages, grand masters (not the Jobs kind, though) and spiritualists sought to develop the mystical third eye. But all Jasmine Tridevil ever wanted was a third boob. And a Reality TV show, too. And the attention of the world for at least a few minutes, so she could display the extent of her showcasing talents.
So far, she’s managed to accomplished only the last part, and only partially. Her moment under the sun is just about to expire, and she’s not even close to finish her first public sentence; the media, and the public that follows it, are already showing signs of impatience and boredom. On to the next bearded woman, please.
In just a few days, they’ve learned, in quick succession, that Jasmine, a.k.a., Alisha Hessler, has been accused of fraud, has suffered domestic violence, has fashioned an Internet persona, as a ‘hoax provider,’ no less, and dreams of being on TV. Oh, and that her claims of having a third breast may be fabricated.
For sure, while hers has been a short span appearance, her tale of having implanted a prosthetic third, non-functioning, mammary er ‘frontal extension,’ has already circled the world. She’s probably been featured in more tabloids in a few days than the late Michael Jackson had, even at the peak of those allegations (enough said).
She has also been dutifully trashed and, for all accounts, the beatings will continue until further notice. Unwittingly, she’s revived the careers of two obscure actresses too, featured in both Total Recall movies, who have been interviewed non-stop about, well, boobs, for starters, likely even more than now poor Jasmine.
THE THEATER OF THE ABSURD
As for the reality show she dreamed of, she may as well ask Mr. Neistat to compile all her media junket from the past week. There may be already material enough for a mildly interesting doc. Problem is, we’ve all seen it already, compelling and boring asides included. Unfairly, she may be asked to actually have a third breast for real. Or else.
Our tale thus must conclude with this disastrous attempt to grab the bull of self promotion by its picky horns, and being, instead, dragged by the beast all over the dirt of the public arena. But don’t feel so bad for Tridevil (she may consider, oh, never mind), or the Chinese sitters, or the now most likely unemployed office thief.
They’ve all showed gumption, and drive, and enterprise, and that may account for something. Even if we’d much prefer to be the bystander, watching from across the street for just a moment longer than the general interest lasts, we’ve got to give it to those who dare to strip naked and remain hopeful. Bless that be, even we’d say it.
From soup to nuts, we’ve ran the full gamut of this trio of crooked stories: each infused with Beckettian spices, simmering with Kafkian paradoxes, and boiling over like a Three Stooges skit. We know what Groucho would do to those office dwellers, and how Chaplin would direct the reality show, but not even Capra could sweeten the deal with the sitters.
Think about it the next time you apply for a job, or pick a gig on Craig’s List. And no matter what, don’t you ever think about implanting another limb or breast, before you’re sure they’ll hire you. After all, one can drive a nail through the brain, just to prove a point. Still it’s hard to think of a single point worth making to justify such foolish bravado.