Melbourne has called a ceasefire in its assault upon my hypersensitive weak points and I'm no longer a blocked up puffy eyed sneeze machine.
The bad news is that I'm back at Beaver Central.
I'm not quite sure how it happened. Last week I was working in a call-centre telling terrified old people they had to vote in the Victorian State Election or they would be hunted down by dingos. Now I'm sitting in the seat previously occupied by Tiddly Tee with nothing to do except write this post.
The call to return was unexpected but it shouldn't have been. You never really leave Beaver Central. You can go to New Zealand, you can temp in the suburbs, you can avoid the Paris End of Collins Street completely, but deep down you know the Grand Beaver is always watching from his 40th floor dam, just waiting to ask you what the hell you did with all his flyers. The all seeing eye of the Grand Beaver, like a giant angry vagina, sucked me back into its folds and I was powerless to resist.
Artist's impression of the Grand Beaver.
So here I am. My own beaver had been tingling lots recently however I naively put this down to the hay fever. This was a mistake. Once you have been touched by the Grand Beaver you are forever connected. It's quite hard to explain so I shall use the words of J.K.Rowling and hope I don't get sued.
Dumbledore: "Yes, Yes, but you see...it is necessary to start with your beaver. For it became apparent, shortly after you rejoined the magical world, that I was correct, and that your beaver was giving you warnings when the Grand Beaver was close to you, or else feeling powerful emotion. And this ability of yours...to detect the Grand Beaver's presence, even when he is disguised, and to know what he is feeling when his emotions are roused...has become more and more pronounced since the Grand Beaver returned to his own body and his full powers..."
Since I left Beaver Central all has not been well. The focus has moved from trying to entice companies to submit their beavers to trying to entice them to buy tickets for the Ultimate Beaver Gala Dinner in Sydney. I was brought back as a hasty replacement when the previous occupant of this seat went for lunch last Friday and never came back. His name was Shane. That's actually his real name but considering he was probably Avada Kedavraed by the Grand Beaver I don't think I need to protect his identity. The tickets to the gala were being offered at $100 a pop however when nobody was taking them the Grand Beaver hit upon the remarkable idea to increase take-up by giving them away.
When I walked back in Beaver Central on Monday I asked the receptionist to let the Grand Beaver know I was here but she thought I still worked there and got confused and refused to talk me. My beaver began to burn and I knew that he knew that I knew he wanted to know where all his flyers ended up. Poms Poms was still here. She knew. I knew that she knew and I'm sure he knew that she knew but she knew that if he knew then I wouldn't be back walking past her like the Millennium Falcon being sucked into the Death Star.
The Grand Beaver looked at me and hissed, "Hi Greg".
I used all my acting skills and smiled at him.
He gave me a lop-sided grimace and went back to his laptop to check if his Ultimate Beaver video on YouTube had reached 100 hits yet.
I was working alongside a lovely young fellow all of 18 who had been hired the week before. I shall call him Googly because he liked cricket.
The Grand Beaver smiled at me, fingering the final flyer with menace. He croaked an instruction to the Under Beaver who took poor Googly into the same meeting room I'd had my near death encounter with permanent employment two months previously and fired him.
Poor Googly. I felt bad. If I hadn't come back he would still have a job. Googly returned to his seat and smiled sadly at me as if I was an umpire who had given him out caught behind when the ball had only brushed his pad. Googly was Pom Pom's best friend. Pom Poms smiled at me. The guilt was palpable. I was singularly not at ease.
I sat and answered the phone cheerily. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears. The ringing became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness -- until, at length, I found that the noise was NOT within my ears.
No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased -- and what could I do? It was A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND -- MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS A FLYER MAKES WHEN ENVELOPED IN A WINDOW-WIPER. I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of Googly, Pom Poms and the Grand Beaver, but the noise steadily increased. O Tiddly Tee! what COULD I do? I foamed -- I raved -- I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the carpet, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder -- louder -- louder! Almighty God! -- no, no? They heard! -- they suspected! -- they KNEW! -- they were making a mockery of my horror! -- this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! -- and now -- again -- hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER! --
"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! -- I tore up the flyers! -- I threw them away! -- it is them beating in my hideous recycling bin!"