Ramblings From an Apathetic Adult Baby

A non-comprehensive collection

When Jimmy Met Michael: A Crossover of The Wire and The Office

“Holly has to go back to Colorado. I’m going with her. I’m leaving,” Michael said, the office sprinklers of Dunder Mifflin raining down on him, his employees, and his new fiancée.

 

The excitement had been stifled. Michael had often brought his employees’ energy to a screeching halt, but this was different. The candles had all been extinguished. A stunned silence had overtaken the crowd as they shuffled back from the annex.

 

Pam phoned the fire department to cancel any trucks they may have sent. The rest of the office took notice, astonished to finally witness her actually doing something useful as Office Manager.

 

A stranger with dark, tired eyes and messy hair charged through the door.

 

“Sorry. Garage sale’s over,” Pam said with a shrill note of condescension. The stranger, unfazed, kept moving.

 

The outsider scanned the room of soaking wet employees before settling on Michael and Holly, still savoring as they emerged from the kitchen.

 

“You,” he said as he marched over to the couple and flashed an ID. “Detective Jimmy McNulty.”

 

“Detective Michael Scarn,” Michael replied, brandishing a joke drivers license he’d bought at a go-kart place. The two stared each other down until, no longer able to keep a straight face, Michael burst into a laugh.

 

“Beadie,” McNulty said, broken.

 

“Oh no. Sorry. This is Holly Flax.”

 

“Jimmy, no—,” Holly started, her face frozen in cold fear. “You were never supposed to find me.”

 

“Come on, I’m a Baltimore detective—”

 

“You were a Baltimore detective.”

 

“You know I don’t ever stop.”

 

“That’s what she said.” Michael grinned, self-satisfied and starved for a reaction in the stiff silence. The room stood, completely absorbed by the stalemate.

 

McNulty took a deep breath. He ran his hand down through his facial stubble. A small corporate plaque piqued his attention.

 

His eyes widened. “I had him,” he said, ripping the plaque from the wall. “Charles Miner—an anagram for Stringer Bell.” Holly tensed further. “You know it. I had him on the fucking wire!” McNulty looked to Stanley, “Tell ‘em, Bunk.”

 

Everyone refocused on Stanley. He looked up from his crossword and said nothing before resuming his puzzle. Disgusted, McNulty threw the plaque down, shattering the glass holding back the outdated pictures of company VPs.

 

“Charles, man. Real jerk.” Michael offered. “Would’a liked to throw him a couple of these.” He punched and jabbed at the air. “Yeah,” Michael said with an upward nod, “been doing some Zumba.”

 

McNulty’s face intensified. “Jimmy,” Holly said, panic and tears welling in her eyes. “The restraining order.” She paused. “You were the reason I left.”

 

“The fuck did I do?”

 

“You’re not really from Iowa?” Michael said, his voice now cracking as much as his reality. Holly turned to stare, pondering a half second, her head shaking before tightening her lips and turning back.

 

Jim anxiously scanned the room, eager to find a camera to look into and shrug.

 

“Look at yourself,” Holly said, her hand outstretched. “Jimmy, you’re toxic. We couldn’t have had you staying with us. Relapse was always inevitable.”

 

Michael stalled. “Uh, point of odor, you said we…do you mean stay with, like, us?

 

“Fuck, she means her kids.”

 

“Kids?”

 

Holly nodded. “Jack and Cary.”

 

McNulty chuckled through a shit-eating grin. “You play in dirt, you get dirty.”

 

“I can’t—,” Michael looked away. Her face dropped. “I can’t wait to meet them.”

 

Holly beamed.

 

Michael smiled back, though now overtaken by concern. “Are we still going to Boulder? Does Colorado have Burlington Coat Factory? I just—I just have a few thousand tied up in store credit.”

 

“Boulder, eh?”

 

“No,” Holly stated. Her eyes locked. “Michael, we’re not going if he knows. I was wrong. Boulder won’t be far enough.”

 

McNulty reached inside his Harborplace Mall Security jacket. Dwight slowly dug his hand into a manila folder in the filing cabinet labeled “Sales Department All Stars”.

 

His hand in his pocket, McNulty hesitated. Dwight’s fingers wrapped around one of the concealed throwing stars. Sweat materialized on his brow. His glasses fogged slightly.

 

Dwight raised the shuriken up from the file. It was in plain sight now. His heart pounded. McNulty snapped out his pint of Jameson. Frantic, Dwight pitched it back into the folder and slammed the drawer shut.

 

McNulty took a swig and returned the bottle to his jacket pocket. Meredith followed his lead.

 

“Beadie, look—,”

 

“I can’t weather another storm. I don’t have the money or time to reinvent myself again.” A tear spilled down her cheek. “I did love you, but there’s nothing left.”

 

“It’ll be different.”

 

“No.” Two more sets of tears. “I’m with Michael and we both know you can’t promise that. The booze, the women, the defiance—an implosion will always be imminent”

 

“Actually,” Michael interjected, “it’s pronounced ex-plosion.”

 

McNulty stepped forward; Holly flinched, and Michael held her. “Jimmy, no.” The words instinctively sprang from her mouth. McNulty stopped. “We’re going to Baltimore. Me and Michael. He’s meeting my kids.”

 

She grabbed Michael’s hand and shook her head. “Come on,” she said, leading him out, the other employees following.

 

Meredith lingered, sizing up the sullen McNulty. “I’m not fancy or nothing, but you look like you know your way around a van,” she said with a wink.

 

 

 

 

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Eating My Feelings

The Cherry Hills Mall reopened last weekend with 230,000 square feet of food, fashion, and family fun and your favorite critic was on hand to sample the refurbished fare.

 

Sushi Fest #K105. Everything you need and nothing you don’t—Sushi Fest is smart formal executed perfectly. Market-fresh fish is brought in daily for Osaka-trained Chef Danny to sculpt into homespun rolls and flower-petal-like sashimi. Paired with a crisp geometric décor and track lighting, this cozy setting is perfect for couples as well as those who will never again find love. Four stars

 

P.T. McIdiot’s Grubbery Hole #D213. A hardwood finish dominates this new Irish pub that’s inexplicably already ripe with stains and the charmingly kitsch. Serving up deep-fried everything, my entirely dip-able sampler platter evoked memories of my former life. Frozen nuggets or microwavable corndogs and me, unable to enjoy my own family or stifle my professional instincts and contempt. Two stars.

 

Park Place Bistro #K117. Soaked in neighborhood charm, this eatery oozes friendliness. It’s a deliberate energy from the signature burgers, to the inventive appetizers, to the crushing amount of smiling families reminding you of what you selfishly neglected. From honey-soy glazed salmon with shallots to chicken fingers, the menu satiates a spectrum of palates and personifies the compromises I regret not making. Half star

 

Climaxx #L313. A darkened singles’ bar brimming with noise. I don’t want to see the world and the world doesn’t want to see me. They serve small plates, though what I’m hungry for is human touch. I sip a terrible Manhattan. I have no intention of sampling their specialty cocktails, particularly not the “Ketel-One Leg Spreader”. Modern dating is daunting and terrifying; I converse in English while everyone else communicates by grinding together. An old colleague smiles at me from across the bar, a life raft. Two-and-a-half stars

 

Carlo’s #K124. Candlelight and a single violin highlight this intimate setting blending old-world elegance with contemporary flair. Genuine laughter and cheer gush from me in between bites of the full-bodied wild mushroom risotto as my colleague raves over her panko-crusted chicken picatta. It’s a fantastic place to connect with old, new, or unexpected relationships alike. The house red pairs well with newfound optimism. Four-and-a-half stars

 

One Night In Bangkok #D203. With only a counter to order at, you wouldn’t take a new flame here, and so we kept walking. It’s Thai food at a mall. How good could it possibly be? I can surmise that it is up to a number of health codes and business standards. Some will enjoy it. Others will get food poisoning. Try it and figure out your own adjectives. Likely over one but definitely less than five stars

 

Cherry Hills Mall Liquor Store Annex #X100. Inside nothing made me immediately want to vomit. I can recommend their pizza and gin for moments you feel you’ve sunk below rock bottom. Not a place for couples. Conversation discouraged. Sobbing permitted. Sufficient space to try to repress the feeling of her cold wedding ring grazing my cheek in the chilly November air, obliterating any shards of faith I’d harbored for again finding real companionship. Life had once been beautiful, but I’d since been greedy. Ample parking. Three stars

 

 

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