It was a quiet day in the kitchen. When Shakespeare entered the room that morning as usual, he sauntered over to the stove to check on Andre, but strangely enough he didn't hear Andre complaining; all he heard was the shuffling of papers.
So he inquired. "What are you doing, Andre?"
Andre quickly turned around and glanced at Shakespeare, "Oh, good morning, little Shakespeare. I am filling out a request form."
Andre, staring at the piece of paper in his hand, repeated, "It is something Maria instituted; if we need new supplies now we must fill out request forms."
"Jesus Christ," Shakespeare snapped.
"I know I know, but sometimes it is easier to placate her then to argue, especially when she is in one of her," Andre eyed the ceiling and sighed, "moods."
"We shouldn't be coddling the crazy," Shakespeare said; his eyeless skull zeroed in on Andre for several more minutes than Andre could bear.
"Will you stop staring at me, Shakespeare."
"Hello. I can't stare at you, dummy," Shakespeare snapped.
Andre's face contorted like someone ran his finger through a blender. "You know what I mean, you leetle blind worm; your stupid skull did not move, it just stayed there as if you were staring. And you know something, Shakespeare, more and more I am beginning to doubt the entire concept of you being blind. You act as if you can see. I believe the whole thing has been a ruse on your part. Ha! Talk about coddling the crazy!"
Shakespeare's head didn't move off Andre, nor did he say a word.
Andre began to sweat. "Well, why aren't you saying anything! Will you please say something and move your head? Really, you are giving me the creeps!"
Then Shakespeare spoke, "What's the matter, Andre, feeling a little crazy?"
Andre's eyebrows, nose and lips quivered, and he hollered, "I AM NOT CRAZY! I AM NOT CRAZY! I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. I AM GOING TO FINISH FILLING OUT THE REQUEST FORM FOR MY SPATULA."
He stepped over to the table by the stove and began to scribble.
"For a spatula? If you need a spatula, just tell that psycho to get you one."
Suddenly Maria's voice filled the kitchen. "EXCUSE ME, LITTLE MARICON! IF HE WANTS A SPATULA HE WILL HAVE TO FILL OUT REQUEST FORM 0013B."
At once Andre's hands flailed, the form he had been filling in went flying in the air, and he cried, "But I only have form 0013B1."
Maria shook her head and said, while walking toward Andre, "That is fine, because you must fill in form 0013B1 first to request form 0013B to obtain a spatula."
Shakespeare slapped his head and toppled over, while Andre picked up form 0013B1 from the linoleum and began to fill it in again.
"Are there any forms after this, Maria?"
Maria sighed and said, "Andre, please refer to the handbook I passed out yesterday -- I don't have the time to sit here and answer every single question. I have a kitchen to manage and a crazy giant bug to take care of!" Her bracelets jingled like castanets. "Santa Maria. God forgive me, my ladybug."
"Okay okay," Andre muttered, and then he walked over to the counter next to the stove, opened the top drawer, and pulled out a small book.
Shakespeare, who had just managed to pick himself up from the floor, saw Andre thumbing through Maria's handbook and toppled to the floor again.
Andre's eyes opened wide and he said, while picking his pen up from the form, "What is wrong with you, Shakespeare, why do you keep toppling over? Have you taken to the bottle again? I hope not because I remember the last time you did. Please, do not put all of us through that again." His head shook.
Shakespeare grinned. "Are you off your banana?"
Suddenly Maria swooped down, "Whatcha mean by banana, boy? Is that some kind of racial remark, because I would not put that past you!"
Then Shakespeare sighed and snapped, "Sorry, I meant enchilada."
"Very funny, you cockroach," Maria said and then she spat on the floor.
Andre kept staring at the fluorescent light on the ceiling because he knew he was going to explode, and if he could only keep his mind on something else maybe he wouldn't, but it was too late.
He threw his hat to the floor, stomped on it and cried, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE TWO OF YOU!" His eyes bulged. "WHY ARE YOU CONSTANTLY ARGUING? AND YOU, SHAKESPEARE YOU HAD BETTER NOT BE DRINKING AGAIN! I AM TIRED OF THIS. TIRED OF ALL OF THIS. SO THERE!"
Shakespeare picked himself up from the floor again, and waving his hands at Andre he said, "Just relax there, big mouth, I am not drinking again, and I am blind, can you not see I have no eyes? But regardless, or as you would say, Andre, irregardless ..."
"Hey hey! I would not say that."
"I'm sorry, okay," Shakespeare said, "Regardless, why are you going along with that woman's bureaucratic insanity so easily?"
Maria put her foot down. "Ouch, I need new shoes, regardless, and listen very carefully, all my life I have wanted to be in charge of a big office, handing out forms, keeping the wheels turning like a fine machine, just like all the power womans on the TV shows! But what did I wind up with? I wound up with a crazy bug, a drunken blind midget and a fat tone deaf chef!"
Andres's eyes bulged, "I will have you know, I am not tone deaf. I am really fed up with all of this, Maria!"
Maria marched over to Andre and said, "If you have a complaint you must fill out form O113BC." Then she turned around and stomped out of the kitchen, slamming the door behind her.
A cup rolled off the counter and cracked across the linoleum.