“Look out! Macaulay Culkin has a gun!”
From what I hear in the work Slack, this is a pretty common occurrence at the actual Bunny Ears office. Apparently, being forced at gunpoint by Mack is practically a perk there. However, it was unnerving hearing my roommate scream it. First of all, I work remotely. In Oregon. Why is Macaulay Culkin in my house? And how?! If our human resources director wasn’t literally a miniature pony dyed rainbow colors with a sign around her neck that says “Unicorn,” I would be sending some very terse emails.
It was a tense flight to California. Part of the discomfort was because I was in the baggage hold, bound and gagged inside a toy box with Care Bears painted all over it. By the time I was removed from the box, Mack was drunk, but what else is new? We were in a conference room in the back, a half-empty bottle of bourbon and a mysterious cardboard box on the table. Mack still had the gun, and I realized I had no idea whether it was real or not. I honestly wouldn’t put it past Mack to just gun me down in front of god and everyone, but I also wouldn’t put it past him to hold us all up with a very convincing Super Soaker. I asked what he wanted from me.
“OKAY, HERE’S HOW IT’S GONNA BE,” Mack replied. “YOU ARE GOING TO SHOW ME YOUR IDEAL FACE CARE ROUTINE OR I AM GOING TO BLOW YOUR BRAINS OUT. I SWEAR I WILL DO IT. DON’T BELIEVE ME? WATCH.”
Then he straight up shot Craig the Intern in the butthole. Just right up in there. Right up the butthole. Craig shed a single tear and excused himself from the room. Damn, what a trooper.
“GODDAMMIT, RANI, I AM SERIOUS. YOU BETTER START MOISTURIZING.”
I begged for more time time and rooted through the box. Some of this stuff was fancy. Maybe too fancy. Seems almost like “I’m pretty sure Macaulay Culkin robbed an Ulta at gunpoint while drunk again” fancy. Consequently, I picked out a foam-oxidizing detox mask with honey and colloidal sulfur and spread it on my face. Might as well spoil myself while I’m here.
I sat down in a chair, leaned my head back and let the foam do its magic. As I did so, I felt the barrel of the gun press against my left temple. I tried to relax my face by imagining that I would live through this and get to go back home. It wasn’t entirely convincing.
Then I asked for a chance to rinse and he threw a glass of mysterious liquid in my face. Almost like urine. Definitely like urine. Almost definitely like the urine of a former child actor currently nursing a bottle of bourbon and laying out lines of methamphetamine on the table. On my face. I used one of just a ridiculous number of vintage Nabisco promo Pagemaster shirts lying around the place to wipe my face off.
Now, I normally don’t use toner, but between the opportunity to sample expensive products and the lingering unpleasantness of the urine, I decided to indulge. There was a witch hazel toner with vitamin E, so I applied it with some cotton balls. You know, I could get used to this. I mean, not the gun and urine thing, but the rest of it, sure.
I then applied retinol cream around potential problem areas like my eyelids and lip corners, not to mention the parts of my face currently tensed up from being forced at gunpoint and contemplating the perceived inevitability of being murdered by the grown-up version of the kid that threw Mr. Highway off a bridge in The Good Son. That was definitely gonna result in some wrinkles.
After resting a bit to let the moisturizer soak in, I looked up and there was a glass of bourbon in front of me. Mack made the universal “drink this fucking bourbon or I will shoot you” hand gesture, so I drank the glass down in one gulp. Everything went fuzzy and dark. When I woke up, I was back in Portland. Portland, Maine. And Mack had stolen my purse.