Sunday, June 18, 2006

I'm sorry, what was your name again?

Just in, from the "Holy crap, i can't believe this is real" department:

Americans paying $3 per gallon at the pump have it relatively cheap when compared with prices globally, say oil and gas company executives who defend their record profits as essential to maintaining supplies.

In parts of Europe and elsewhere in the West, gasoline prices are more like $5 per gallon to $7 per gallon, said the chairman of ConocoPhillips Co., James J. Mulva.
Mulva! Mulva? Poor guy. Just think about it. Nice little Jimmy Mulva. Probably grew up in the South somewhere, maybe in a single-parent household. Ever since his first sex-ed class in junior high, he's dealt with the taunting. It bothered him at first, but he hung tough. Sticks and's the "inside" that really matters...he tried out alll the hollow platitudes. None of them really helped. In the end, he just accepted it and waited for people to grow up.

Eventually, they did. And the memories started to fade. Like a recovering alcoholic emerging from years of hazy stupor, Jimmy Mulva finally reclaimed his life. He strung together months, then years - and finally decades - without any reminder of his schoolboy shame, or the shame at having been so ashamed, which lasted almost as long. Indeed, Jimmy Mulva even made something of himself, working his way up through the oil industry. It became clear that he would one day be a CEO. It was just a matter of time.

And that's how things looked until March 18, 1993, when the window into little Jimmy Mulva's tortured past was wrenched open. Just picture the scene in Jimmy Mulva's office that Friday morning. "Hey Agnes, could you have those reports by lunch today, please?" "Yeah, sure, Mr., uh, Mr. Mulva...phhhhphhh...whatever you say." Strange, thinks Jimmy Mulva, wonder what's gotten into Anges.

And this scene is repeated again. And again. And again. By Jimmy's superiors. By his associates. Even the mailroom clerks can't conceal a smile as they hand Jimmy his mail. Indeed, Jimmy is almost certain that he hears the pizza delivery boy call him "Bovary" under his breath.

And that's when Jimmy realizes that his past is the past no longer. No, worse. It's still his past, but now it is his present as well. And all the old feelings storm back into his head. Jimmy Mulva, butt of jokes. Jimmy Mulva, the freak. Jimmy Mulva, loser. This time, however, the recovery is somewhat easier. Adults, after all, (often) tire of low-brow comedy more quickly than do young children. And in time, little Jimmy Mulva puts the flareup behind him once.

Until this one sadistic grad student dug it all up once more...


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