In which Tony is granted an excerpt from LaFlamme's forthcoming book.
LaFlamme had already tasted publishing success with her self-help book, 'Help Yourself To Drink.' This was galling enough for me as I had literary ambitions for this journal. But now it seemed the publisher was looking for a sequel.
"What are you going to call it?" I asked her.
“‘Help Yourself Two: Drink,’” she replied.
“But first I’m writing a guide for office drones.”
“You’re not going to call it ‘A Guide For Office Drones,’ are you?”
“No,” she replied. “It’s called ‘365 Days Of Mediocrity.’” She shuffled some pages on her desktop and handed one to me. “It’s to help the plebs through their humdrum lives.”
The book appeared to be intended as a desk diary or suchlike, with a simple commentary for each day of the year. I attach the sample page below.
Monday: Today you'll find it easy to live up to everyone's expectations, because they've fallen so incredibly low.
Tuesday: Today your boss suggests taking a small idea and making it bigger, so you extend your lunch break to five hours.
Wednesday: Today your career goals take on increased importance, after a friend explains what the phrase means.
Thursday: Today you have all the skills necessary for success. However, they're outweighed by your phenomenal talent for failure.
Friday: Today your boss encourages you to be more spontaneous at work, so you pack up at 2pm.
Saturday: Today your success depends upon your ability to use a tool skillfully. Unless it's a corkscrew, you're in trouble.
Sunday: Today you may encounter alien beings scouring the earth for signs of intelligent life. Don't worry, they won't bother you.
If her readers really needed advice from LaFlamme they were in a bad way. But with an interested publisher, as long as her typewriter ribbon held up it seemed she would be handing out pearls of wisdom for hapless office workers whether they liked it or not.