Article Title
Article Title

'You Have Something In Your Teeth’

by Zack Poitras

Good morning, everyone. I hope you’re all doing well. Let’s get going with the new designs for the weight displacement system. We’re looking at the C4 and F3 models, and voting on which plans to proceed with, starting with the C400… you know what? I’ve a, I’ve actually got something to say real fast before I let it fester and become a thing.

Last night, when I went to the bathroom around 9, 9:15, I looked in the mirror after flushing, and I looked at my mouth, and I looked at my teeth, and I saw that I had a big, whitish piece of chicken. Stuck. Right there.

The last time I ate was 3 PM. I had a chicken cutlet sandwich, and I ate it right over there, in that break room.

We had a meeting at 5 PM.

I gave a presentation in front of all of you on the 1200R series.

All I’m saying is that I had always hoped you would have the courtesy to tell me when I have something stuck in my teeth. I thought it was a no-brainer for you guys, to be honest. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed.

Okay, I’ve said all I need to say, so let’s get back to the C400. Brian, what do you got?

Brian, hang on. Before you start, Brian, I just want to point out that last week I told you about the thing in your nose. You thanked me, excused yourself from the room, and took care of it. Weren’t you glad I told you? You were glad? Good. Okay. Sorry, keep going.

What’s that, Gloria? You don’t need to apologize, Gloria, but thank you all the same. You didn’t see it, you say? To be honest, that surprises me a bit, especially since the piece of whitish chicken was stuck right here, in between my teeth. On my right side. You’re on my right side, Gloria, aren’t you? You’re closer than anyone else. But
you didn’t see it? Hm.

Look, everybody, I’m sorry this is taking up so much time – I’ve said all I need to say – go ahead Brian.

Brian, shut up. When I first started working here eighteen months ago, one of the first things I ever said to you guys was, “If I have something in my teeth, please tell me, and I’ll tell you.” All of you said, “Great.”

How hard is it to say something as easy as “You have something in your teeth?” How fucking hard is it to say that?

No, Paul, I’m not going to apologize for swearing. This means a lot. This goes way deeper than chicken cutlet. If I can’t trust you guys to tell me when I have something in my teeth, even though you clearly said you would, how can I possibly trust you to pick the correct weight displacement systems for the 1200R series?

What is it, Gloria? It is? Hey, look at that. Gloria, thank you for telling me my nose is bleeding, but to be honest, it feels too little, too late. If I didn’t bring the chicken up, would you guys have just let the meeting continue until I passed out from blood loss?

I disagree, Paul, I don’t think I’m being melodramatic. Whatever. This is over. I’m over it. Okay, let’s move on. Brian, go ahead.

Brian, don’t even fucking open your mouth. I saw you roll your eyes. Fuck you, Paul, I’m going to say “fuck” whenever I want, it’s a free country and I’m in charge.

No, Gloria, I haven’t lost control of this meeting. It’s clear some grievances needed to be aired. I hate pregnant tension. This is healthy. This all boils down to trust, and that requires discussion. Paul, I see you about to point out the teardrop that just fell out of my eye, and if you do, I will lay you out, Paul. I will lay you out.

You saw the chicken, Gloria! Don’t tell me you didn’t. There was no “not seeing it,” and you Goddamn well know it, so stop lying to me. You’re a liar, Gloria.

By the way, Roberta, Jack, Nate, do you pussies have anything to say? No? I didn’t think so. Pathetic.

Okay, I’m sorry about the pussies thing. That went too far. You guys are just being quiet and polite. I know I’m crying, Gloria. People are aware of when they’re crying, they just aren’t aware of when they have something stuck in their teeth. No, I don’t really think you’re a liar. I’m sorry I accused you of lying like that.

Look, guys, I may have overreacted. I apologize for my behavior. Paul, I’m not going to lay you out, and I shouldn’t have said fuck all those times. Just, please, in the future, tell me when I have something in my teeth, or my nose, or anything embarrassing. I won’t be mad, I’ll be thankful. Okay? Okay. Thank you, and, really, I’m sorry. Brian,
please. I won’t stop you this time.

Hold on. How long has my fly been down?

Image courtesy of Pat Hawks

Zack Poitras originally hails from Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Brooklyn. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and as a contributing writer to The Onion. Zack is also a member of the comedy group Pangea 3000. His favorite sound is someone biting into something juicy, like a watermelon or something.