“I’m sorry you feel that way,” you say, turning away as though you’re interested in Morgan’s truly terrible Amy Winehouse impression. Jesus, Morgan, dated much? Zombie Amy Winehouse was the tasteless costume of 2011. At least you have that beat.

“If you insist on going through with this, I’ll be forced to–”

“Up next, uh-uh-uh, we have,” your boss squints at the sign-up sheet and calls out your name.

“Like I said,” you whisper, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

You head up. At first people stare, obviously unsure of who you are.

“Hey, colleagues, who wants a puddin’ cup?”

Anthony gasps, then snickers.

“Havin’ fun as a fam’ly,” you say, really hitting your Cosby stride. “With the puddin’ and the sleepy-time pills!”

“Ohmygawd it’s, SNRCK, BILL COSBY!” Debby doubles over in wet, snorty laughter.

A few coworkers join in…

…but a few others are frowning and shaking their heads.

“All right. Uh-uh-uh.” Your boss has on a ‘dear god, who just farted?’ look. “Up next is Anthony, our IT wizard…as a wizard!”

You wait impatiently through the last few costumes. You have to have won, right? Who else could it be, Gina as Joan Rivers? Talk about tasteless.

Everyone deposits their votes in the plastic pumpkin head. Your boss quickly tallies them up.

“And the winner is…uh-uh-uh, it’s Morgan! With zombie Amy Winehouse! You guys like it edgy, huh?”

What. The. Fuck.

You feel a tap at your shoulder.

You turn and almost shriek. Sharon looks like a piece of beef jerky on a good day, she really shouldn’t put corpse paint on top of that relief map of smoker’s wrinkles.

“My office,” she croaks. At least she’s talking the same as always.

You walk in. Cynthia is already sitting there, looking more pursed than ever.

“So. Cosby, huh?” Sharon raises a penciled-on eyebrow.

“Well ya know I love the puddin’ and–” Sharon glares. You gulp. “I’m sorry, I just thought it was in good fun. Edgy, sure, but, you know…a laugh…”

“Did Cynthia speak to you about this before the contest?”

“Well she was vague…”

“But she did mention her discomfort.”

“Well…yes.” You’d lie, but she’s right there.

“I’m going to have to write you up. If a coworker makes it clear that a situation crosses personal boundaries…” Sharon drones on. How could this day have gone so wrong? You planned it perfectly.

“…probationary period,” Sharon concludes.

“Thank you,” Cynthia says, looking like an especially triumphant lemon-sucker. “My aunt’s elementary school friend’s trauma really shouldn’t be made light of.”

Oh fuck that.


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