A Fort Worth man died yesterday after his eight-hour shift at the Tarrant County Tax Appraisal office.
According to sources, John Smith’s death was a direct result of overly talkative co-workers.
“When John came home yesterday, and I asked how his day was, he just said ‘shhhh,’ laid down on the couch, and died,” said a sobbing Lily Smith from her home this morning. “He told me several times that if his co-workers didn’t shut up and let him do his job, he would die. And now it’s happened.”
Pedro Martinez, a co-worker and friend of Mr. Smith, agreed that Mr. Smith was “talked to death.”
“Most of us know that when John asks, ‘How are you,’ it’s just his polite way of saying, ‘Good morning.’ But Martha never caught on.”
Martinez, who has worked with Smith for fifteen years, said that asking Martha how she was doing was Smith’s first mistake that fatal day.
“Martha proceeded to list all of her ailments, right down to her yeast infection. When I heard her say she was on the toilet half the night, I really felt bad for him. Poor John. He was just a regular guy, you know? He really didn’t want to know the details, but he was always so polite.”
An employee who wished for her name to be withheld said that after an hour of trying to log onto his computer amidst constant interruptions, Smith walked down the hall to use the restroom and get a cup of coffee.
“Donald just finished telling me about his cat’s diabetes and ring worms when John walked by. It was bad timing for John, I guess. As they were walking through the restroom door, Donald following John, I heard Donald describing his mother’s recent hemorrhoidectomy. I really felt for John, and I just wanted to punch that bastard Donald.”
John’s supervisor, Sid, said that he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary yesterday.
“When I saw John, he was listening to a local, elderly farmer who comes in about twice a week; really friendly guy. He usually asks the same question about his agriculture exemption status, and then just visits for a while. I walked through at 10:00, and he was telling John about the coon that his hounds killed the night before. When I walked by again at 11:33, he was talking about his wife’s knee surgery. Or was it the rooster that got his pecker hung on the barbed wire? Anyway, nothing out of the ordinary.”
“John told me yesterday just before noon that he was going to skip lunch and try to work on his report that’s due Monday,” said Amanda, one of John’s friends. “I noticed him choke on his coffee when Sid announced to the office that he’d arranged for pizza to be delivered, and that the ladies from the County Clerk’s office down the hall were going to join us.”
“By yesterday afternoon, John was looking bad,” said Martinez. “When Gail came to his desk with tears in her eyes and asked if he would pray with her, I knew it was close to the end.”
A private service will be held next Wednesday at noon at Saint’s Rest Cemetery. According to Mr. Smith’s wishes, there will be no singing, praying, or speaking, and besides immediate family, only John’s dog, Sam, will be in attendance.
This post was partly inspired by, “Afraid of Crowds and Being a Turtle,” from the Non-Euclidean Sofa Blog, and partly inspired by John’s actual day at the office.