Recently I’ve taken to freezing my co-worker’s ties. I do it to spite them. My tie disappeared a long time ago. So by owning a tie they make me look bad. I feel like the owner of the company sees me as some kind of Acme time bomb. He thinks my lack of tie may develop into a lack of punctuality, then a lack of attendance, and conclusively, a lack of respect and adoration for him and his business. I would ardently contest that publicly, but wholeheartedly agree with it privately.
So I freeze their ties. I come to work tieless, lower neck and upper chest triangle perversely exposed, and beg a tie. The person leaving the shift as I take over can usually be bullied/charmed into giving me their tie by my rather septic personality. They tend to pity the young Scotch man arriving in The America from a far off third world nation, with only a dream to his name, and a tie in his heart. I see their eyes go soft and moist, and I know, then, that I have their tie.
As they hand it over they say, Ross, don’t you do something weird to this tie. I’m doing this as a favor to you. You can pay me back by sparing me your oddities.
I say, Yes, yes, yes, don’t worry. I’m not going to do anything to your tie, I say. I’m a mischievously vasectomized adult with no agenda beyond complying with the workplace fashion.
But in the back of my mind I’m thinking, Haha. I’m going to freeze your fucking tie.
The most recent was a thin, handsome tie given to me by a thin, handsome man called Darren. Being younger than me I treated him as doughy, tender prey, vulnerable to my aggressive advances. He handed over his tie and asked me to put it in the drawer for him at the end of my shift.
I laughed, and told him that I was going to freeze it.
He asked me not to.
I said, I’m sorry Darren. I’m going to freeze your tie. You deserve it. You and your tie disgust me. I might spend the rest of my shift spitting into a bucket and or pail and use my phlegm as a lubricant to ease the freeze.
He sighed, and clocked out.
Until they stop wearing them I will not cease wrangling their ties from them. I will continue to feed straightened coat hangers through them. I will keep dipping them in water. And I will always place them carefully in the freezer overnight, freezing them into one big straight piece of brittle fabric.
I’m a renegade. You’re either with me, or against me.