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San Francisco Story


Theresa Allen

Part II

Merry Christmas. I'm the best boss ever. Because I've "made it," so to speak, I am the boss here and you are not and I have more money than you and I can afford to buy you gifts but you can't buy me anything because I'm the boss and therefore better than you. You're my favorite employee. You know why? Because like you, I've been to college. You've got, what, 2 bachelors' degrees and graduate school and I've got 2 years of junior college.

I majored in Economics. How's that for intellect? Aren't I something? I'm the boss of this Xerox production department, I've got more money than you, I'm better than you and so I buy you a Christmas gift knowing that you cannot reciprocate and I have 2 years of junior college as well! You should be thrilled to know me. You studied Chemistry and then Classics.

I think that math and science or over-rated, but I did read Classics, at least I think they were Classics? What are Classics? What? Oh, Latin and Ancient Greek. Yeah, I know them because I am the boss of this production room, I have 5 employees under me, I said UNDER ME, I make tons of money with this large national company, I spent 2 years at a junior college and I am better than you.

I bought you a gift, although I know that you cannot buy me one because you can't afford it! I like it that way. I like proving how much better than you I am. It makes me feel important, special, and above it all. I like it that way. Because you and I share a knowledge of Classics, I was able to get you a really incredible gift, probably better than anything that you have ever received before in your entire life. Yeah, that's right, that's how wonderful I am. I'm wonderful because I am the boss of this copy shop, I make scads of money, I won't embarrass you by telling you how much, I don't want you to feel jealous, I have 5, well maybe 4 and , employees under me, and I am an absolute genius! Don't worry that you can't keep up with me, although you are closer to me intellectually than anyone else in this office.

I want you to open up this incredible gift right now. It's incredible because I used my vast mental resources and my 1 semester background in World Literature to choose it especially for you. No one else could've gotten you this gift. No one "gets" you quite like I do. You will be stymied. You will glow with admiration at this wonderful gift. You will be amazed at how I, your boss, the man who is the boss of this xerographic reproduction department could be so multitalented. I run the show here, this corporation couldn't exist without me, I have 4 and employees under me, I have spent 2 years at a junior college and I am smart enough, if not smarter, to be talking to you about smart people stuff! Open up the gift.

I can't wait for you to tell me, in completely inadequate terms how great it is and what a genius I must have been for having chosen this very special Classical gift for you. I have a background in that Classics stuff, you know. You must know. My genius is so glaring that it probably blinds you every time that you look at me. My superior knowledge of Latin and Ancient Greek, and you do know that it is superior because I am the boss, I make more money than you and have 2 years of schooling at a junior college, probably makes you green with envy but that's alright. I'm used to that. Just open the gift.

You are going to get the best Classical gift that you have ever received, no, that you have ever dreamed of receiving, no, that you will ever think to ever receive ever, ever. That's how Classically talented and smart I am. This is going to be so over-the-top that you won't even know what the gift is! I'll have to tell you because I am the boss, I am richer than you, smarter than you and therefore, better than you. But don't worry about it if you don't understand it, I have absolutely no problem explaining things. In fact, I have to do that all the time. My superior intellect is such that people seldom understand me and I have to enlighten them, constantly. So, go ahead and open up your Classical gift.

Yes, you mentioned your favorite Greek authors to me, Thucydides and Lucian. Did I tell you that I read Lucian? Well, I read it in English, but I know that I could read it better in Greek than you if I only had half a chance. Don't expect Lucian or Thucydides in this present. No, I went one better. I found an ancient Greek author that you've never heard of! That's how superior I am to you! I did you one better, but don't be bitter. I have that effect on everybody. Open it up. I can't wait... OK, I was right. You've never heard of "ThoeMAS AnaSTAsiou." He's so intellectual, he's obscure only to superior minds such as my own! I see by the look on your face that you are in awe of my great insight and wisdom.

Let me read the title of the book, "The Greening of America." This is translated from the great works of Telly Savalas. You ever heard of him? He was a relative of Pericles, or someone like that, one of those dead old Greek boys. But Elias Kazan carved an inscription to him at a temple in Athens, Georgia. Yeah, that's right. I got it all up here in my head! Don't be bitter. Not everyone can be as smart as me. Hey, this guy, this author of this book that I gave you for Christmas is so much better than those other guys and you know how I can tell? I can tell because he has TWO, count them, two names and those other guys only have one. I can tell by the look on your face that my brilliance is overwhelming you.

This was the guy that headed up the ostracism of that other ancient Greek scholar, the one that was the head of Athens when Athens was in that war, what was it? The Peneloponissue War? Over some broad named Penelope, I suppose. But he got rid of that dictator, George Acidophilus, the one that went into exile right here in San Francisco. Yeah, that's right.

I got all the facts. He was held up at the top of the Mark. Yep. That's the truth. That, what do you call her, "elder stateswoman," Olympia Dukakis, I think that she must have been from San Francisco because she was a Lesbian, messed up his defense. You don't remember but I do because with all this analytical power, I have a photographic memory! Yeah, I'm just a regular Nikon. Anyway, this fellow, Anastasiou, became a hermit on Mount Olympus, you know the place, up in Washington state? He got all his inspiration from the ether up there. That's what I do. Hey, I ether-it-up every chance I get! Honest! I hang out in the parking lot of the apartment complex that I live in out in Vallejo and inhale until I see stars.

Then I inhale some more and I see primewordial life. "Primewordial," look it up in the dictionary. It's there, I know it is. You know what I mean? Well, maybe you don't, what with my being so much smarter and better than you. We have a lot in common, me and this guy Anastasiou. We both think really deep thoughts. No, I haven't read the book, but I don't have to. I put my hands on the book and I absorb our kindred thoughts through plasmotics, I think that's the word. Oh, don't think about it too much. This is probably too deep for you anyway.

Part III

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