I don't know why, though I do have a theory or two, but at least three quarters of the new employees to Cosmodemonic have been cute, skinny blonds. Even as I was typing this, another one came in to fill out her paperwork for a job here. I find this situation strange and threatening.

Soon after I typed that, another one came in to fill out her paperwork. It's like an invasion from Sweden or Conde Nast.

Cosmo Girls, though clearly not on "Causal Friday," at Cosmodemonic, because if it were "Casual Friday" at Cosmodemonic they would no doubt be wearing their Polo-style shirts with the company logo on them. I don't understand why companies making a big deal about giving their employees crap with the company logo on it. If Cosmodemonic was serious about giving me a present, it wouldn't have their name on it. It would have Donatella Versace's name on it.

Departments are being overwhelmed. Sales, not surprisingly, was the first to go. It is entirely comprised of Cosmo Girls (The Man likens them to stewardesses, and it's hard to find fault with the comparison). The fact half of them check "male" on their gym memberships is just a technicality. The last four hires in marketing have been in this mold, plus a couple of new Product Managers, and this other toothy chick with hair done like the Cowardly Lion's at the end of The Wizard of Oz-but I don't know what she does. Her name ends in an "i," though, and that's got to be trouble. Accounting used to be a bastion of brunets, but The Pill and The Supplement have put so many highlights in their hair I don't know that they count any more.

To be fair, they seem to be nice enough. One of them distinguished herself by saying weird things like, "What a comfortable looking couch; I shall take a nap on it so you can see how like an angel I am when I sleep," and threatening to quit every fifteen minutes. But I think she'd be a standout in any crowd. Most of them cruise around with big smiles on their faces that make me want to shout, "WHAT?" at them.

For my birthday, I really wanted a wig, a good one, not like the one I let Pat borrow when he was Norman Bates's mother for Halloween a couple of years ago. I was thinking it was my ticket to a new and improved identity: Suddenly Sharon! Pat and I walked past a wig store on the way to getting a bite and sip, and I asked his opinions on their inventory. "How would I look in that one? How about that one? No? Are you sure?" et cetera. This is the kind of game Pat tires of fast, and eventually he just walked away. "Can't you see me as a blond?" I panted, trotting after him.

At the restaurant I pestered him with queries designed to help my image renewal, but he was shrewdly unhelpful. "Do I strike you as a whiny sort of person?" I asked. "More like a neurotic sort of person who would ask a question like that," he said. By the time I told him some co-workers had seen us together and had taken us for a couple and he retorted that they probably also thought I was getting paid too much, I knew it was time to let that line of inquiry drop.

The best way I found to alter my persona was to stick it on a business card. That was my Friday project from a few weeks back, and after Audrey showed me how to cut them properly (I regularly dismay her with my incompetence), I understood perfectly the business card showdown in American Psycho. If beautiful bits of paper could invest that pack of narcissistic weenies with an air of confident credibility, certainly it could do the same for me. Identifying myself as the Sharon C. McGovern, Editor/Publisher/Cobra-in-Chief of my card seems like a bold abstraction. That person is so remote that I regularly miss allusionspeople make to stuff I printed in the newsletter. Just yesterday,

Maestro Toe challenged its authorship. Anyway, I cavalierly hand out cards and make extravagant claims for Sharon C. McGovern. Then I giggle and think, "This is how Ralph Nader's staff must feel."

So I think The Clash might be onto something when they go shopping for a guaranteed personality. Yes, I know the subtext is ironic and that consumerism is part of the singer's ennui. But as he identifies with and is characterized by objects-the coupons, the impenetrable hedge, the empty bottle-it's not a stretch to believe that a different set of objects will indicate then create a different kind of person. It may be a round about way of doing things, but from my experience with the cards I think there's some truth there. Cosmodemonic is busily acquiring Cosmo Girls and the whole character of the place has been affected by their arrival. Maybe I should do something to fit in, like buying that blond wig and grinning at people. But frankly, I've always pictured Sharon C. McGovern as a redhead.

Written by Sharon C. McGovern

From Vol. 24
Get Back to Work!
Back to Cobra Music

Lost in the Supermarket

I'm all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for that special offer
A guaranteed personality

I wasn't born so much as I fell out
Nobody seemed to notice me
We had a hedge back home in the suburbs
Over which I never could see
I heard the people who lived on the ceiling
Scream and fight most scarily
Hearing that noise was my first ever feeling
That's how it's been all around me


I'm all tuned in, I see all the programmes
I save coupons from packets of tea
I've got my giant hit discoteque album
I empty a bottle and I feel a bit free
The kids in the halls and the pipes in the walls
Make me noises for company
Long distance callers make long distance calls
And the silence makes me lonely


And it's not here
It disappeared
I'm all lost