On the days a new character comes aboard the Free Daily Sameness Show ; I’ll do my best to put any feelings of job insecurity to one side; along with my feelings of inadequacy; my fears regarding my popularity in the office; and my tendency to become self-aware around strangers; and file them below the habit of searching my navel for fluff while being socially engaged.
I also try my best to appear enthused (which I assure you is nothing to do with my trying to pretend to be a team player, or to nip in the bud the workplace bullying that I inevitably receive following my introduction to a new
Luckily when Allan Tigerman walked into our office I didn’t have to worry about any of that, as he entered silently through an open window. When I was introduced, I instantly dropped my pens (I always carry twenty in my hands) and my fragile insecurities gave way to genuine fear for my life .
The Childbrains upstairs suggested that I interview our new critic for the Show. I pondered ways to avoid this when Allan approached me again, stealthily. I imagine he rolled his shoulder blades around the office to to surprise me from the pot plant I keep behind my desk.
“So Trevor I hear you’re giving me the initiation…” as I instantly dropped additional pens (I always carry an extra ten pens in my hands in case I drop the other twenty)… “well I suggest that we go out to the bar then”. He said this in a way that suggested argument is futile. I always agree with things being on the Free Daily Sameness tab, so this was a great idea.
Hence, we meet Allan Tigerman. Literary literal Beast, professional critic and new Free Daily Sameness Show Colonumnist. I had a golden opportunity to ask Allan the questions that everyone wants to ask him. I asked these questions instead.
Allan : Trevor, before we start I just want to check that you won’t make the introduction to this article about me, all about yourself?
Trevor: I assure you that due to my journalistic integrity, it is not my intention and it will never happen as long as I cannot blame it on someone else.
Allan : That’s good Trevor. Good.
Trevor: Allan your column is called “The View from the Woods”. Could I ask why your view is from the woods?
Allan: Yes you could.
Trevor: Why is your view from the woods?
Allan: Because of the fucking yuppies, Trevor. (Allan gently spins a glass of expensive port in his hand, a port he had intonated that I should buy for him and that he thanked me profusely for, before dispatching it and began holding the second port I just bought him). Of course Trevor, of course I used to live in the jungle and was very happy there for a number of years.
Trevor: Was it tough living in the jungle?
Allen: It was a jungle sometimes, sometimes I wonder, how I kept from going under.
Trevor: So what do you miss about the jungle Allan? What do you miss the most?
Allan: Everyone in my community knew each other by name and I miss that intimacy. I was known to everyone as “Run“…”Run” they would say whenever I approached…oh it was such a fun game, particularly as by the time someone had spotted me it was always too late for some tail-end Charlie. Anyway, slowly but surely, the community eroded around me. The woodpeckers who ran the furniture store went bankrupt, the otters ran the local gay club went down, the beavers who had the little marine insurance brokerage around the corner couldn’t cover their sunk costs… so gradually the yuppie need for ‘recovered timber furniture’ ended up on my doorstep, and I had to move away before I became the rug that was pulled out from underneath me. I moved to something more…more…Bob’s discount warehouse shall we say.
Trevor: Well Allan, far be it from me to argue with you about your choice of habitat, but…you do…ahh…live in Williamsburg now, which most people would not really say is a neighborhood that is known for a lack of cash equity…
(It was at this point that I made sure not to be within striking distance of Allan’s big paw like hands).
Allen: Well Trevor, I could either embrace it, or move out further towards Coney Island and risk becoming addicted to “Shoot the Freak”. Which would be fine as I was the inventor of the whole shoot the freak thing. I wanted to call it shoot the poacher but someone in marketing said that research indicated that freak was the word.
So here I am, Allan Tigerman. Formerly of the Jungle, now of the Woods. It’s on South 4 and Wythe Avenue in South Williamsburg. Yuppie insurgents continue to move in, I see a time when I’ll have to move from the Woods to the Bush(wick). They have a Country Club there. I hear it’s nice. Particularly the Friday girl.
Trevor: This was the time you got seriously into music criticism too?
Allan: Yes Trevor that is true. I got into garage, as it’s only a two step from jungle.
Trevor: Interesting, and with that of course, you have indeed become a regular patron at the Woods, when you’re not out…criticizing things.
Allan: Coincidentally, yes. Trevor, excuse me while I lick my big old paw here, then run it around the circumference of my face a little while…hmm, thats better yes. The Woods is an interesting local ecology. There’s the hunter, the hunted…and the drunk. That ticks 100% of my own personal boxes.
Trevor: So Allan, what drew you to criticism? I can imagine that with being forced from one neighborhood to another that you might have reason to be critical.
Allan: Good criticism is not to do with having a chip on your shoulder. I believe my reputation goes before me, in that, if I don’t have a good time, if my soup is cold, if the beer takes too long to arrive, if my eggs are runny, if the lighting is in poor taste, if the decor is displeasing, if the atmosphere is tepid, I am after all – the king of the beasts, and I can always turn it up a notch if I have too.
Allan:. I see you thinking about arguing the small points again Trevor…I’d advise you not too.
Trevor: Erm…(I push my spectacles further up my nose) Allan… colleague to colleague here, you know I have to report the facts don’t you? That erm…
Allan: Yes Trevor?
Trevor: That erm…King of the bests claim…
Allan: Well actually Trevor it’s true. I have a few qualities unique to myself that I feel help me stay ahead of the game and in particular ahead of old bushy neckface. Firstly, in case you hadn’t noticed…I am tigerlike. This affords me a certain sense of respect in most social situations and indeed, in all situations.
Let’s break this down further…you see my luxurious and outrageously striped coat here, well this affords me a sense of camouflage, it renders me inconspicuous, so I can easily blend in whatever the situation, but particularly those situations where cats like to hang out. You see old bushy necks coat is so conspicuous because it is SO PLAIN! And goodness tan is so…2010.
These whiskers here lend me a perspective of indifference, again allowing me to blend into the local crowd while also letting me know what doorways I can fit into before attempting to do so. I am also quick to pounce, on impropriety, on injustice, on abuse of authority, and on promotional nights with free drinks. Indeed, I have been accused of giving of an air of being entirely relaxed while surprising people with my ferocity and ability to finish a meal or a whole round of someone else’s drinks within a blink of an eye. Of course what is a writer, or indeed a tiger, without a vociferous tongue. You’ll also find I always carry a pad or four.
Trevor: Allan I know you’ve been accused in some literary quarters of being laissez-faire in your approach to criticism. It has been pointed out by some of your peers that you’re renown for critiquing many places, bars, restaurants and indeed films, without actually having imbibed of their cuisine or of having actually watched them. Or simply put, you never attend the places you write about. What say you to this?
Allan: The great thing about being a tiger, Trevor, is that… I am a tiger. If anyone wants to take it up with me, well, they’re more than welcome to come to the Woods on Friday night and argue that point. Of course, I am not there the nights that I am out reviewing, or…or…oh fuck it order me another port would you?
Allan Tigerman is the world’s best entertainment critic. I know this because he told me. Also this isn’t actually italics, I just wanted to make the letters bend away from him a bit because they are scared too.
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