Itis

23 05 2008

There are times when catching the itis can be a good thing. It’s best to get it during the holidays, Christmas and Thanksgiving in particular, when you’ve just eaten a shitload of turkey and passing out will keep you from seeing Uncle Fred flash your aunt to prove that he’s still ‘youthful and exuberant’.

Figure 1: Everybody has this uncle

The itis-induced sleep is also the best and most satisfying sleep you’ll ever get, notwithstanding the inevitable nightmares.

The rest of the time, getting the itis is a pain in the ass because you always get it at work. Almost all of us have the same daily routine: you eat a shitty low-calorie breakfast, the energy of which is completely burned off by the time you get to work. Now you’re fucking starving and will continue to starve for the next four hours. Maybe you think you’re smart and you brought a piece of fruit or some shit to stave off the hunger. You eat your banana or peach about 2 hours into the day, only to realize the damn thing just made you even hungrier.*

Lunch time rolls around 2 hours later. If you brought your own lunch, the effects of the itis will probably be limited. There’s something about homemade lunches (probably the fact that they’re smaller and aren’t filled with the semen of disaffected restaurant employees) that makes them pack less of an itis punch than the alternative: going out to get lunch.

There are two ways to go out and get lunch – you can go by yourself, or you can go with other people. If you go with other people, you can pretty much count on a full-scale itis assault because, for whatever reason, going out in groups makes you eat more food. This is likely because when you go out in groups you tend to go to nicer restaurants that serve bigger portions. If you go out by yourself, you’re prone to just go to a little deli somewhere and you’ll be relatively safe (the term ‘relatively’ is important here) as long as you don’t order the turkey sammich.

No matter what you do – dine in, dine out alone, or dine out with others, the itis is going to get you in one way or another.

Figure 2: Destiny

The form the itis takes will depend on which of the three options you picked:

1.) Dine In – if you dine in, then you open your sack lunch and scarf it down while screwing around on the computer. You may play excessively addicting games like this one or this one, or spend an inordiate amount of time on break.com or youtube, or maybe CNN. As you eat and fuck around, you slowly lose sight of the fact that you’re at work – and you also are unaware that your desire to do anymore work for the rest of the day is being completely shattered.

Finishing your dine-in lunch is the saddest part of your day, because you realize two things: 1.) you have to stop screwing around, and 2.) you are getting sleeeeeeepy. For about the next hour, you will stare blankly at your computer screen without a single thought in your head. The only thing in your mind right now is a thin background thread telling you “do not fall asleep and bash your skull on the keyboard” and another one saying “I wish I had another sammich.”

Lucky for you, you smallness of your lunch means that a quick run up and down the stairs is probably enough to jolt you back into productivity and keep you out of trouble for another day.

2.) Dine Out Alone – this option is about as safe as the dine in option in terms of minimizing the itis. You’re not at your computer fucking around on non-business related websites, so you never get the illusion that you’re at home (which is a HUGE catalyst for bringing on the itis). Offsetting this, however, is the fact that you’re going to eat a much bigger meal with way more calories that come in the form of butter, oil, and other itis-inducing shit cooked into your meal that you don’t really even see.

Figure 3: Say goodnight, fucker.

Unlike the in-diners, this form of itis takes a little while to hit you. Chances are that you walked to your restaurant of choice, so after you eat you walk back and this gives you a little boost of energy when you get back to your desk. You sit down and start to work for awhile, but in about 20 minutes you start to notice your eyelids getting heavy. If you’re reading something, you realize that you’ve been reading the same sentence over and over again for the last 5 minutes and you have no idea what the fuck it’s about. If you’re looking at your computer, you begin hallucinating and thinking that your desktop wallpaper is a real place.

You find yourself daydreaming before long, which is almost certainly the best way to get in trouble at work. Your best option at this point is to find the cleanest bathroom in the office and take a ten minute nap, because no amount of walking or running around is going to snap you back into shape.

3.) Dine Out With Others – you’re fucked. You and your 10 officemates decide that going to P.F. Chang’s is the best idea anybody’s ever had. You order everything: water, soda, appetizers, and an entree that’d blow up the insides of a bull buffalo. This itis starts to kick in before you’re even done with your meal, and when you actually get done – you know the show is over. You look as shitty as you feel.

Large groups tend to drive or cab it to the nicer restaurants. You fall asleep on the car ride back in the most embarrassing manner possible: head cocked all the way back, mouth wide open and, if you ordered the short ribs, there is a single line of drool making its way down your chin. You are awakened by uproarious laughter (directed at you) as your officemates pull into the parking lot and realize that you’re in the back seat looking like a fucking retard.

Figure 4: White girl with Itis

The walk to the office feels like the Bataan Death March. Your legs weigh 1000 lbs each and have no muscle in them. You make it to your desk and plop down in your chair, convinced that this is where you will die. Your eyes are rolling around in your head and your mouth is still open. If someone were to walk in on this scene out of context they’d think you were performing an exorcism on yourself. The thought that you’ll be in this state for the next four hours is making you suicidal. You WILL fall asleep at your desk and you WILL get in trouble if you don’t get the hell out of there.

The lone out-diners have the option of taking a quick nap in the bathroom, but you’re way beyond that point. If you fall asleep in the bathroom you will be there for hours and both your legs will be asleep from the hips down when you wake up. This’ll set you up for a public bathroom faceplant which is about the most disgusting thing that could possibly happen to anyone. Your only viable option is the car nap: you take your ass down to your car, park in the most remote corner of the lot, and fall genuinely the fuck asleep.

Try not to let the nap last more than an hour, or your ass is getting fired.

*This is kinda like “putting in the tip” instead of having sex. In the end, it leaves both parties angrier and wishing they’d never met