Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Forum (Days 3 & 4)

Lovers of snark and schadenfreude alike will be disappointed to learn that the second weekend of the Forum was not fraught with the same examples of fear and loathing as the first. So uneventful were they, in fact, that I've been forced to lump them together in one post.

The Saturday started promisingly when, as a refamiliarisation exercise, we went around the circle summarising what we'd learnt about genetic research during our two weeks off. All was normal until we hit Roger.

"What's happened to Charlie?" he blurted, forlornly and without preamble.

The facilitators didn't know, and suggested that maybe he'd just decided that sleeping in was better than discussing cell cultures.

I had my own theory, of course. Maybe Charlie wasn't present because he didn't like getting cornered by a creepy septugenarian during every break. Or, worse, maybe he wasn't present because he was buried under Roger's vegetable patch, along with the last census taker and a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses. I guess we'll never know.

After that, Roger was eerily silent for the rest of the weekend, only speaking when directly asked a question. When he did speak the things he said were so weird that they tended to produce nervous chuckles amongst even the most charitable attendees, so he was largely left alone.

Hilda continued to fill me with urges to throw her through a window, but by this stage everyone was used to screening her out and she slowed the discussions less. Doris was just as frustrating as ever, but towards the end she announced that she'd made a little parting gift for all of the forum members, which was very kind and made me feel kind of bad for wanting to break a whiteboard over her head on previous days.

And right at the very end, once we'd given our combined recommendations to the Health Department and finished the paperwork, we got our token financial compensation, in unmarked envelopes containing non-sequential bills. Sweet! Nothing washes away memories of creepy men and annoying women like cold, hard cash.

So I'm sorry to have to admit it, but overall I actually rather enjoyed the second weekend. While this is good for my general equanimity it's a terrible blow to blogging. Please forgive me.


Anonymous TroyG said...

I can supply a little schadenfreude if you like Blanders. Only on a technical point, but even if I must acquire it thereby, so be it.

If your remuneration was in note form, it can have been neither hard nor overly cold. Unless of course it was dipped in liquid nitrogen, in which case it would have been both.

Ah, and there's the rush of endorphins ... mmm, Germanic happiness.

9:01 AM  

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