Excuse Me, But I Think You’re In My Seat by Brian Polk | Art by Kristen Michael

Eyeball Lollies by Kristen Michael

Excuse Me, But I Think You’re In My Seat (And Other Observations)
By Brian Polk
Art by Kristen Michael
Published Issue 118, October 2023

Ever Get Behind A Slow Walker And Think, So This Is What It’s Like Not To Have Anxiety?

The worst is when there’s two people walking at a snail’s pace in front of you, and you’re desperately trying to figure out how to get around them on such a small sidewalk. I just want to scream, “How does your brain not hate the pace you use to get around? My cerebral matter would be absolutely furious with me if I ever attempted to walk that slow.” But I guess it must be nice not to walk with the impatience of someone who is in dire need of a restroom. One of these days, I hope to learn to swagger, strut or even sashay — but it would take a lot of patience that I simply don’t have. My brain needs me to be places even when I have no places to be. It’s quite the burden. 

Don’t Ever Call In Sick To Work By Saying The Following: “I Was Going To Call In Sick And Take The Day Off, Ferris Bueller-style, But Then I Actually Got Sick, So Now I’m Calling In Double Sick”

There’s a tendency in American society to over-explain why you’re calling in sick. This is no doubt due to the Protestant Work Ethic™ that we’ve allowed ourselves to be beholden to at the expense of our own happiness and fulfillment. But there is such a thing as being too honest. We should all try to normalize saying something like, “I shan’t be at work on this fine day! [click]” and leave it at that. Keeping your coworkers guessing about your reasoning will give them something to do during the inevitable lulls in the workday. 

Sometimes I Read The News And Think, Well At Least I Didn’t Quit Drinking

I don’t know how you sober folks deal with global warming, rampant gun violence, the rising tide of fascism, anti-intellectualism, skyrocketing rents, unaffordable housing, inaccessible health care, working too many hours at terrible jobs, traffic, shitty weather, etc. Sometimes extremely short-term solutions that involve booze, bar food and your friends that still drink can take a load off. Though I suppose teetotalers have television, which isn’t nothing. Still, drunks like me have that too. Then again, I have plenty of friends that don’t drink, and they’re still around, so I suppose it’s not as big of a deal as I think it is. Hmm … On an unrelated note, I’ve grown bored with this topic, so let’s move on, shall we?

“Excuse Me, But I Think You’re In My Seat”

I said this to a bus driver once as a joke. He didn’t laugh. Instead he got up and let me drive the bus. And that’s the story of how I began my multi-decade career as a driver for RTD. 

I Used To Be My Dog’s Hero Until I Didn’t Have Time To Take Her For A Walk, And Now She Begrudgingly Tolerates Me

It was a tough break for old Daisy, but it was also inevitable. It happened to me with all of my heroes. Once you realize each individual is just some random, over-scheduled person who doesn’t have time for you, then you tend to lose respect for just about everyone. 

I Don’t Ordinarily Respond To Texts This Promptly, So Don’t Assume A Precedent Has Been Set

Usually, it takes me at least 30 minutes to respond to any and all texts. You just happened to catch me on the toilet, so don’t go around thinking it will ever happen again. 

My Friend Told Me One Of Her Coworkers Was “Horny For The Company,” And I Laughed Knowingly

We’ve all worked with people who drank the Kool-Aid and were a little too into their job — kind of like Dwight Schrute from The Office, or Gareth Keenan from the British Office (sometimes I purport to watch the original U.K. version of the sitcom for scene cred). And it’s always fascinating to imagine what these folks are getting out of it. I’m not saying I would ever show up to a job and half-ass it — you can absolutely take pride in your work without selling your soul. But to make a job — especially a low-paying one — your entire identity just seems like such a waste of your own potential. Day jobs exist so you can have a shot at creating contentment in your real life. Being horny for the company just means 1) you’re being a sucker for our capitalist overlords and 2) you’re exhausting everyone you work with. Finding meaning outside of work may be a challenge, but it’s better than being a Dwight (for the U.S. audiences) or a Gareth (for my fellow stonking U.K. blokes). 

I Have A Feeling That In A Past Life I Was A Cool Disco Dancing Queen Who Overdosed On A Mixture Of Cocaine And Quaaludes In The Late 1970s

I’m not sure why I think this, but I’m not sure why I think a lot of things. 

Brian Polk is a Denver-based writer, publisher of The Yellow Rake, and drummer for Joy Subtraction and Simulators. He’s the author of Placement of Character and Turning Failure into Ideology. He likes writing, muck raking, yellow journalism, zines not blogs, cheap booze and punk rock.

Kristen Michael is an artist and illustrator based in Washington State. Head to her Instagram and Etsy to see more work and to snag prints, stickers and more.

Check out Brian’s September Birdy install, I Have Some Things To Say About That, and Kristen’s Yeti Front Cover of Issue 084, or head to our Explore section to see more of his work.