Monday, January 1, 2007

It's a joke, right?

“HITP. It sounds like an abbreviated hiccup when you pronounce it phonetically”, Bart Crivelloni muttered to himself while reading the minutes of the latest interpretive staff meeting. His job as Interpretive Supervisor required that he read, digest and initial all manner of interesting documents such as this.

“It also sounds like the name of an Egyptian pharaoh, such as Hitp the Great from the 4th dynasty, whose tomb still lies hidden beneath the sandy wastes of the Nubian Desert.”

Continuing on in the meeting notes he read more about the just concluded training conference in Montana, where the intermountain working groups had drawn up the visioning documents on this bold new imitative called HITP.

Bart sighed with relief that he was elevated in status just enough to schedule himself other duties during staff meetings. For him it was just so damn hard to stay awake, much less contribute anything constructive. Lilith Karee, the meeting secretary, wrote in the notes, “that there had been great excitement among the attendees about this visionary blueprint for the future. The deputy under secretary got the troops fired up for yet another great new initiative."

Bart yawned and scratched his head. This HITP business was still new enough to be ridiculously funny but he also knew that it would eventually torture his existence with its requirements and bureaucratic dictates. The concluding section of the notes on this subject read, “that full implementation of HITP is tentatively scheduled for the following calendar year. WASO is now at this very moment developing a training seminar where key people in each park will be immersed into the full scope of this program. Nominations for this three-week training should be submitted to the superintendent no later than two months from today.”

Bart wondered what city it would be held in. If it were somewhere fun like Las Vegas or San Francisco he would probably nominate himself. He had snoozed through many other much worse sounding training sessions.

“Better find out about the per diem too. They can send Ted Sanders to Denver or Phoenix. Been there done that. Well Phoenix isn't too bad if it's the dead of winter.”

But that was all in the future. The only thing to do now was laugh and hope that Michelle would find this HITP business as much of a scream as well. Lately she was beginning to show signs of distress. It was exactly fifty more weeks until their next furlough break. He wondered if she would make it until then.

“HITP, HITP, HITP----HITP” he said in a quick burst of sarcastic staccato. In Bart’s mind it began to sound like he was suffering from a chronic bout of gastric indigestion. He started to laugh deeply and hard. The strain of his convulsive heaving became so violent that his back started to go out on him, leaving him hunched over in his chair helpless and alone.

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