By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Illustration by Bob AulThis goes out to all the people whose elevators don't go all the way to the top. And especially to the chubby woman who got on at the first floor of my office building and got off at the second—disrupting my basement-to-fifth-floor groove by imposing her saintliness upon me.
"Smile," she said as she got on, all dimples, in a freshly pressed sundress. Lissen, goddamnit, I haven't had any breakfast, I haven't had any coffee, I drove to work through a dirty windshield, and now I'm trying to read about "105 Killed in Attacks Across Iraq."
So don't tell me to smile. Don't tell me you're trying to brighten my day. My day'll get brighter when we get to your floor. And when the national budget deficit starts going the other way.
And for God's sake, don't tell me to have a blessed day, which is what you said as you left the elevator. You don't know me, and you sure don't know my God. As a matter of fact, neither do I; I'm an atheist. But I'm not going around trying to unconvert you. Let me ruminate in peace.
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