Billy has an iPod and a docking station, so he controls the music in the office, which most of the time is fine. Today, he decided we would listen to Jack Johnson because it's very soothing, gentle music. Now, I like Jack Johnson. But there's mellow and then there's mellow. Six hours of nothing but Jack Johnson is please-hook-me-up-to-some-machines-so-my-internal-organs-will-continue-to-function-while-I-fall-ever-deeper-into-a-coma mellow. So I said, "Billy, you've got to put something else on." Of course, since anything either of us ever says is nothing but fuel for an argument (and usually, eventually, a fistfight), he instantly got defensive about it. "Why do you hate Jack Johnson?". I replied "I don't hate Jack Johnson. But we've been listening to him all day and I am literally falling asleep over here." So he said "Fine", which, of course meant "Not fine" and I knew what he was going to put on...sure enough, The Mars Volta. Granted, The Mars Volta's music is not soothing or mellow in any way, but Billy knows that unlike Jack Johnson, I actually do hate The Mars Volta. I have made it crystal clear that I loathe, despise, detest The Mars F'ing Volta. I have threatened on more than one occasion to take his iPod and FedEx it to Vietnam, screeching The Mars Volta the whole way, in the hopes that FAA authorities would actually destroy the package before it ever got on a plane.
I didn't do that today though. Instead, we have one of those soft rubber office toys that you're supposed to squeeze to relieve stress. Except this one has been altered by jamming the butt ends of about 30 pushpins into it so the pointy ends stick out of it at all different angles. I like the irony behind taking this item, designed to soothe and relax and turning it into something you really can't even pick up without hurting yourself and whose only real use now is as a weapon. Anyway, I picked that up and cocked my arm, ready to fire it as hard as I could at Billy. In response, he grabbed his cup of iced tea and aimed it in my direction, ready to douse me and everything in my work area. "Bro, we have fought before", he said, "and we may actually get in serious trouble this time, but I swear to god I will drown you if you throw that thing at me". I glared back at him. "Turn off The Mars Volta and I'll put it down" I wasn't intimidated in the least; I mean I really hate The Mars Volta. This went on for a while, neither one of us willing to blink, let alone give in. But then I think one of us eventually remembered it was our turn to get off at 4:00 so we shut everything down for the day and went home. Or maybe we started fighting about something else. Maybe we actually worked on something. I don't really remember what happened.
I'll tell you what though; he better not start up tomorrow morning with The Mars F'ing Volta or Jack F'ing Johnson.