Andy: Trigon

Chester gets sick, some kind of ear infection. I have to put this glop in his ears, and Chester starts running away when I take it out. Once I catch him, I basically need to sit on him to keep him still while I dropper the stuff in his ear. Another pair of hands would really come in useful here, I think. This settles it. I need a girlfriend, for Chester's sake. He deserves better than to be sat on. Deserves better than to be sat on, I think. It's a fortune cookie, a motto for life. Eat, sleep, code, put drops in cat's ear, debug code, plot expanded social life. Sounds like a plan.

Work intervenes. The first real numbers are in, the cache is seriously non-performant, and we're all on double-quick perf-tuning forced marches until it can handle the load. On the upside, all meals eaten at the office are expensible. Do you ever get tired of this stuff, I ask Andy after he suggests Thai for the third time in a week. No. Never. The food of the gods. he says. Me either. Peanuts, shrimp, and peppers: this stuff was designed as a defense mechanism against spies by people with no food allergies, I say, and Andy and Debbie start chuckling. We form a voting bloc, force Thai on everyone else, four days running, but the first time we are overrulled is also the last night before the benchmarks are within shouting distance of the goal Berman set before threatening to move us up from cubes to offices just so he could lock us in them.

Partying is required, but it's Tuesday in the witching hour and we're in the office park sticks and nobody really knows what's going on. We wind up at IHOP. Matt drinks a double-shot worth of boysenberry syrup, on a bet with Glenn. It is revealed that Tom keeps a large fraction of his savings tied up in commemorative coins, which he describes as the safest investment known to man. Using his pigs-in-blanket as a visual aid, Glenn demonstrates a truly stomach-turning genital sugrical procedure he has seen pictures of. Food, and the hour, inspire such things. We are sitting between teens and Eurotrash. As we are leaving, Andy ducks back into the restaurant and places something on the table the Eurotrash vacated just before we left.

What did you put down, I ask him. Their money, he says. Maybe you're feeling in a generous mood, but you don't need, I start to say, but I don't finish, because Debbie has run into a small gaggle of people she knows, and it turns out there's some sort of overlap or circle thing, because Chuck from the client team knows some random dude in the gaggle, and our clumps clump together under the lights in the parking lot, and the silliness continues. And and I wind up talking to this guy Rigoberto who does graphic design for restaurant menus and some friend of a friend of Debbie's who teaches web programming. The scene collapses in laughter, heads for its cars. Snap decision time, I turn back and catch up with Debbie's friend's friend, and get not just her phone number but also her name: Irene. Only later do I remember that Chester's ear has aleady healed.