10:15. Fifteen more minutes until my big presentation begins. I eye the people coming into the conference room. Woman, woman, hunky Dirk, woman, the boss, the woman who keeps taking my pen. That’s it? That’s all the seats available. I start to close the door.
“Pika!” a high-pitched wail stops me in my tracks. Pikachu, from the Pokemon series? He’s dressed in a cute little suit, blue glasses and carrying a briefcase with a Pokeball logo on it. Is he for real? Is any of this real? I pinch myself. OW! It’s real.
“Mr. Pikachu, says Mr. Henderson. “We’re out of chairs. Will you take the table?” He nods, but you could see the disdain in Pikachu’s eyes.
Dirk whispers in my ear. “Knock ’em dead, kiddo,” he says with a trace of spearmint on his breath. I giggle like a nervous school girl. I wonder if he’s dating anyone. He’s going to be the most distracting one at this meeting.
“PIKA-CHUUUUU!” screams Pikachu, having just spilled coffee all over himself. Dirk rushes out to get him paper towels. Okay, maybe Dirk’s the second most distracting.
After wiping himself down, I’m almost ready to begin. Good thing most of the staff is female. I actually employ that old “see the crowd in their underwear” trick. I shudder when I see Mr. Henderson and blush at Dirk. Then I look at Mr. Pikachu. He’s still damp from the coffee. I wonder if he’s wearing underwear. Why would Pikachu wear a suit and nothing underneath?
Wait… why would he even wear underwear? Why do any of us wear underwear? It just makes us itchy and sweaty. I remember I’m wearing a skirt and decide not to argue with time-tested clothing choices.
Oh God… I’m almost about to start and I’m rambling in my head about underwear. PIKACHU! This is your fault!
“Ms. Yeatman, whenever you’re ready,” says Mr. Henderson. Dirk winks.
“Right. Okay, so this fiscal year has shown us…” I go on for about ten minutes without a problem. Then Pikachu raises his paw.
“Yes, um, Mr. Pikachu?”
Pikachu clears his throat. “Pikachu.”
Mr. Henderson makes a noise that I don’t quite get. It’s like, “Hrrm-rmm?”
“Ex-excuse me, I didn’t quite get that.”
Pikachu holds his hands out and gestures. “Pi. Ka. Chu.” Okay, clearly he’s doing it like I’m an idiot or something. Does anyone else follow?
The woman who steals my pens chimes in. “Interesting point, Mr. Pikachu. Is the company sustainable enough to follow Ms. Yeatman’s plan?”
Dirk rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, and I have to agree with Mr. Pikachu’s assessment of the structural integrity of the project. No offense.”
OH, NONE TAKEN, DIRK. Just the guy I crush on thinks I’m an idiot too! I take a deep breath. When did Pikachu even join the company? I would have heard about a fictional character joining the ranks!
And how is it I’m the only one who hears that “Pika chu chu pi ka chu” chatter? Deep breaths.
“I am confident in my proposal. In six years we’ll have built up a user base to support our needs.”
“Pik–a-a-a-ACHU!” He sneezed on me! What a jerk! I always preferred Digimon anyway.
Dirk hands him a tissue. Jeez, Dirk and Pikachu much?
“Pikachu, pika.” I feel like he’s insulting me, but he wouldn’t have the audacity to do that in front of everyone.
“Please, Mr. Pikachu! She’s one of my best employees!” I blush happily at the boss’s comments. “Don’t call her that name, of you’ll get another lawsuit!”
I play smart. “Uh, yeah! I feel violated over what you just said!”
The woman to my left tugged at my sleeve. “Don’t play this game. We’ve all sued him and lost. It’ll just end badly.”
“All of you?”
“Yes. He called me a snatch. But what can I do? He’s the CEO.”
Ah. Now it kind of made sense, at least the accommodating part.
Pikachu folded his arms. “Pi?”
“I promise not to sue if you just hear me out.” I assume he was ready to leave at that point, anyway.
I explain my proposal like I’m talking to a human, not a small rodent monster.
“And that’s my presentation, Mr. Pikachu. What do you think?”
“I like it. I misjudged you, Ms. Yeatman. Okay. We’ll carry out this plan starting tomorrow. Oh, and Ms. Yeatman?”
I clean out my ears. “Yes sir?”
“Expect a raise in your future. I like your moxie.”
He leaves and I collapse in a chair. All my female coworkers applaud me, and Dirk bows at the waist. Glad he doesn’t think I’m stupid.
“What was his deal? Is he a Pokemon? And was he speaking English at the end?”
“No,” Dirk says. “Yes, actually. Look, he’s totally human, but he identifies as a Pikachu. He texts us what he’s saying in Pikachu talk. He got surgery to look like that Pokemon. Must have been painful, but he was already a little person.”
I ignore the weird CEO stuff. “Hey, want to have dinner with me tonight?”
“Sure! Your treat with that big new raise, I assume?”
I give him a look.
“Only kidding! Only kidding.”