Stories   

Hot and Cold Running Dames

by Dick Acorn

Very frequently, all of the dames in my department at one time or another enter into my cubicle for non-work-related reasons. They enter my humble work space for warmth and comfort, or seeking cool relief from the hustle and bustle of their own little work cocoons. And even though they are dissatisfied with the conditions of their workspace, they are not seeking my friendly personality or cheery humor and bonhomie.

No, they are coming into my workspace to adjust the department thermostat.

As my little work corner is centrally located in the department, the heating and cooling contractors thoughtfully placed the thermostat on the wall directly behind my cubicle/desk.


Dick's workspace - Are Dick's female co-workers attracted to the thermostat, or to him?

I suppose these builders felt that when necessary, whoever would occupy the cubicle I'm presently working in, they felt that this occupant would judiciously monitor the thermostat and make whatever adjustments might be required to assure a comfortable and productive department environment.

While heating and cooling contractors might now be calling themselves "environmental engineers" and they did do a nicely finished and competent job, they miscalculated on the thermostat placement for a number of reasons:

1) They didn't figure that the department they were building would be occupied by 80% broads - as it currently is. This is an important consideration for thermostat placement, as we shall see.

2) They didn't figure that the person occupying the cubicle (me) is so engaged during the workday that looking at and adjusting the thermostat is the very last thing on the "to-do" list.

3) They didn't figure that the person occupying the cubicle (me) would "just say no" to anybody who asks me to get up from my seat to adjust the thermostat. Why should I get up to adjust the thermostat when I'm perfectly comfortable?

And so let the "Hot and Cold Running Dames" games begin. It starts with one of the many women, often attractive, who saunters up to the dividing wall of my workspace and looks down at me in my chair working. I look up with a beaming and happy smile, it never helps to be frowning at dames at work - you never know when you might need an afterwork companion following a tough day. In the interest of protecting identities, I will refer to the dames mentioned herein by their hair color or other distinguishing features.

 "Hot and Cold Running Dames"

 A Play based on true events, in three acts, by Dick Acorn

 ACT 1

Blondie approaches Dick's dividing wall and gapes down at him as he's typing furiously at his keyboard. She is wearing a thin, sleeveless summer skirt that hardly covers well-tanned legs and arms. She would freeze in hell in this flimsy garment.

Dick: Hi Blondie! What's cooking?

Blondie: (arms wrapped): Are you cold, is it cold in here? (rubs her arms together as if hugging herself. It is an appealing motion and Dick watches with disinterested interest.)

Dick: (being helpful): No way! It's quite comfortable in here. I'm so busy though, I can't even tell the time, let alone the temperature.

Blondie: (eyeing the thermostat): Could you change that?

Dick: (cheerfully): No way! I feel fine. I have no objection though, to you coming around and doing it yourself.

Blondie: (happily): Okay! (She enters cubicle and begins fussing with the thermostat.)

Dick: Ahh...much better for you, huh? What, what are you setting it for, like seventy-two?

Blondie: No, it was at 72, I put it at 75. Hee-hee, thanks Rich.

Dick: (looking at my computer): You're very welcome. Stop by any time. (In passing): You know you'd freeze in hell in that dress, don't you have a sweater or something?

Blondie: No, no sweater, tee-hee, they're for winter! Besides it gets warm in here.

CURTAIN

Dick continues working feverishly and is oblivious to the department temperature until...

ACT 2
(15 minutes after Act 1)

Busty is standing at Dick's wall.

Dick: Busty! How are you? Happy Wednesday to you. How's your work going?

Busty is dressed in corduroy pants, a flannel shirt, and a knit sweater. She has a wool watch cap on her head. Mittens complete her near-Eskimo attire.

Busty: (fanning herself): Rich, is it warm in here?

Dick: No way! It's very comfortable. But you know me, busy busy busy, going all the time, work work work, wouldn't hear my phone ringing right here in front of me, let alone know what the temperature is.

Busty: (eyeing the thermostat): Do you know what that's set at?

Dick: (knowing): Nope, not a clue. For all I know, people come in here and change it all the time. Could be 100 degrees, I don't even know what that thing does, controls the temperature I think.

Busty: (teasing): You know that's the thermostat!

Dick: That's the thermostat? I thought it was a fancy light switch or some secret alarm.

Busty: (impatient but friendly): Stop it! Could you please tell me what it says, maybe lower it a bit?

Dick: (cheerfully): No way! But you are welcome to enter my workspace and do with it what you must. Please forgive how sloppy everything is, I'm too busy to straighten up for guests.

Busty enters Dick's workspace and starts fiddling with the thermostat.

Dick: (absently): Hmm, wonder what it was set at?

Busty: (indignantly): 75! Could you believe it was 75! Did you do that?

Dick: Me? No way! I am afraid to even touch such devices. What are you setting it at?

Busty: (triumphantly): 70!

Dick: (quizzically): That's kinda cool. Wouldn't it be better for you to not wear that sweater and take off those mittens?

Busty: Are you kidding, it's freezing in here!

CURTAIN

 

Dick is a dervish of productivity, paper is entering and leaving his cubicle at an astounding rate. 30 minutes later, Lefty the maintenance manager comes by and looks at Rich over his wall: Lefty is wearing a blue industrial uniform with his entire toolchest hanging off his belt, along with an oily ball cap.

ACT 3
(1/2 hour after Act 2)

Dick: Lefty, what's happening, hombre? You sure you got enough tools there, dude?

Lefty: (authoritatively and walking into the cubicle to the thermostat): Rich, I keep looking at my board in the back and the temperature in this department is all over the place. Are you fucking around with that thermostat? Holy shit, my board said 75 and this says 70; who's fooling around with this? 

Dick: (lowering my voice): Lefty, first of all, I don't know how to work that thing, I'm afraid to even touch it, and you know I have so much goddamn work, I only leave my seat to go to the can. However, as you can imagine in a department full of broads, the temperature is never right, and while I am away, it's possible that they are diddling with that device. What did you set it at?

Lefty: (with temporary finality): 72!

Dick: Right on bro! Right where it should be. It's them broads, when I go to the can they come by and diddle with it.

Lefty: (considering it): You think so? Maybe I should put a tamper lock on it?

Dick: (knowing he won't): Yeah, yeah, that would be a good idea. I just wish if they come by, they come by when I'm here, it gets lonely, all this work. Get a little thermo-rap going, I can do that you know. Tease them about being hot and cold. If they're hot, offer them an icy after work booze-filled drink. If they're cold, maybe a nice hot chocolate that's like 75% Kahlua.

Lefty: Hmmmmm. There are some nice-looking babes in this department!

Dick: You know it, but some of them are hot, some of them are cold, none of them are just right; This joint is full of hot and cold running dames! I can't get any work done!

They share some he-man laughter, and...

FINAL CURTAIN