Win At All Costs

When you give Maxine Larson a challenge, she doesn’t just rise to the occasion, she crushes everyone she sees as trying to block her path to glory.

That’s a bit of an extreme description, don’t you think?

Is it Maxine?  Is it really?  What about that six-year-old girl you made cry?

Only one person can win the ‘Girls Are Us Cookie Seller of the Year Award’ and I wasn’t about to  let her walk away with the honour.

But she was your daughter; the only actual member of the Girls Are Us organization in your family!  You know, the club that was designed to help build a young girl’s self-confidence, teach her about teamwork, and how to carry herself with poise.

Well, she certainly didn’t act very poised when I ripped that badge from her hand.  I was the one that hounded my coworkers to buy those five hundred boxes of cookies.  I deserved the badge, not her.

Speaking of coworkers, shall I tell everyone about The Valentine’s Day Massacre that went down at your place of employment?

I’d rather you didn’t, but I know you will; so go ahead.  

Last year, there was a Valentine’s Day decorating contest where Maxine works.  The best looking office would win a prize.  Most of her coworkers put up paper cut outs of hearts and cupids that they had purchased at one of those discount chain stores where everything costs two dollars or less.  Others tacked up a few cheap Valentine’s Day cards.  Maxine, though, she took it to a whole other level.  The first thing Maxine did was line the walls of her office with shiny red wrapping paper.

Floor to ceiling, baby!  It took me a solid hour just to do that!

Then she sat down and wrote a personalized Valentine’s Day note to each of her coworkers.

Nothing that would result in a visit from Human Resources.  I  just wrote about the everyday things I appreciate about them; like how Janice always makes sure there’s enough toilet paper in the women’s washroom  and how Bruce is good at unjamming the photocopier.

They were sweet…and soaked in tea overnight in her bathtub to give them that old fashioned sepia toned look, and then taped to the shiny red paper.

I still haven’t figured out how to remove the tea stains from my tub.   

But you did figure out how to create a man on bended knee proposing to his girlfriend underneath a canopy of roses entirely made of chocolate, didn’t you?

Too much? 

I don’t know.  You did win the contest after all.

Yeah I did!!!

Why don’t you tell everyone about your prize, Maxine.


Come on!  You won!  You should be proud of your accomplishment!  Go on, tell the good people out there what you received for your Herculean efforts.

A box of chocolates.

That’s right, a box of chocolates.  But not just any box of chocolates.  It was a box of chocolates purchased at none other than the same discount store from which your coworkers bought their decorations.  From what I heard, you got quite emotional when they presented you with your award.

If by ’emotional’ you mean that I got a wee bit pissed off that all the work and money I put into my showcase netted me such a cheap prize and drove me to then smash and tear all of my decorations to bits while shouting “Happy fucking Valentine’s Day everyone!” at the top of my lungs, then yes, I got emotional.

That resulted in a visit from Human Resources, didn’t it?


And a ban on competing in any future workplace decorating contests.

Those things are stupid anyway.

That’s too bad, because Management just announced that it’s time for everyone to start planning for this year’s Valentine’s Day decorating competition.

What I could do with just a red light bulb and my collection of old Cole Porter records.

Oh well.  Say Maxine, I read in the paper yesterday that your local Rotary Club is hosting an ice carving competition.

A what?  Out of my way!  I need to find my chainsaw and safety goggles!

It’s good to see you’ve learned from your past mistakes Maxine.


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