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Ten Things I Hate About You

by Liz Sinclair about a year ago in satire
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My office "pet" enlivens my daily work routine and reminds me to take breaks and get exercise on a regular basis

My home and office

Dear Mr. Sanderz,

Do you want to know why I call you Mr. Sanderz? That was the name written over Winne the Pooh's door. My use is ironic. You're like Pooh would have been if he was a mogwai and someone fed him honey after midnight and he turned into a Gremlin. You have claws, sharp teeth and a bad attitude.

I realize you're hungry. But there is no "Mr Sanderz" sign over my door. You're not welcome to saunter in and help yourself to my fruit bowl. Just because the tourists aren't coming and they're not feeding you and your troupe of Rhesus Macaques anymore, doesn't mean you can push your way into my home. I do sympathize, Mr. Sanderz, but let's face it. You're a wild animal. We may share 99% of our DNA but that still doesn't mean you're welcome to come in anytime you like and disrupt my working routine.

My office (looking outside to the garden)

I have to work everyday and most Saturdays. I write business articles for a living and I've gone back to school to study psychology. So, yeah, I'm pretty busy. My office is also in my home.

You're disturbing my concentration, Mr. Sanderz, and my attempts to get my work done on time and make my deadlines. Just so you know, here are ten things I hate about you.

The outside of my office

1) You make me move

Experts recommend that if you're sitting at a computer all day, you need to move. But I really don't think what they had in mind was me jumping up to close the door every hour because you're trying to get into my office or chase you out if you've managed to get inside. Still, I guess it's movement, so it counts.

2) You remind me to take breaks

I really hate you for this. I need to focus on my work. I have a psychology assessment due on Friday and an article due next week. Plus Vocal has this challenge on office pets I really want to enter. Although, I wouldn't call you a pet. You're a wild animal. Still, you come into my office.

Mr. Sanderz

3) You get me outside in the fresh air and the sunshine

It's not as if the air in this place really gets stale. This is the tropics. Fresh air comes in through the windows. Luckily, you don't. You use the front door. However, chasing you back out onto the porch does get me into the fresh air and the sunshine. The sun is important for making that all important Vitamin-D every day. I need my daily sunshine. Thanks for reminding me. I'm being sarcastic.

Mr Sanderz scores again

4) You remind me of the importance of fresh fruit in my diet

When I see you sneaking in the door, I know you're headed straight for the fruit bowl in the kitchen. In the bowl, I keep apples, bananas, dragon fruit, mangosteens, mangos, and tomatoes (they're actually a fruit too. Most people don't know that). Seeing you reminds me that I haven't had fresh fruit today. If you don't beat me to the bowl, I'll have some for dessert after dinner.

Mr Sanderz and his haul

5) If you're around, there aren't any snakes

Recently, I had a little issue with a cobra that, for some reason, felt that my front porch was the perfect location for scouting the garden for toads. Brrrr. He's welcome to them. However, his bite is also dangerous to me, not just toads. Luckily, monkeys hate snakes more than I do. So if you're on my porch, I can be confident that the cobra isn't there.

The path outside my office/home, known as the Snake Road

6) You help me connect with animals on a daily basis

Some studies show that people benefit from having daily interaction with animals. I think they mean cute, cuddly, non-biting, non-fruit stealing animals. Still, I suppose chasing you out of the office counts as animal interaction, right? But then there's the yelling part. I'm not sure that's good for my stress levels.

The banana I won't be eating tonight

7) You make me look brave in front of my teenage daughter

Ah, teens are so easily impressed. She sees me advancing towards the door and then sees you run away. She doesn't see the squirt gun with chili water that I carry close to my side where you can't spot it until it's too late. You remember the chili water, don't you, Mr. Sanderz?

8) You remind me to keep the front door closed

Yeah, thanks for this one, Mr. Sanderz. I really don't want to keep my door closed, fresh air and all, but seeing you reminds me that I left it open after coming back from the morning school run. So, yeah, thanks for making me sprint to close it. This way snakes and neighborhood cats also can't get into the house.

Mr Sanderz scores again

9) You get my heart pumping on a regular basis

How boring my life would be without you, Mr Sanderz! I would just sit in one spot for 8 or 10 hours, forgetting to move, forgetting to get up and elevate my heart rate. I'd be a candidate for heart disease, diabetes and possbly cancer. You're better than a FitBit!

10) You pushed me into making the decision to move.

This house needs renovating and the roof leaks. I've been thinking about moving since there are now so many empty rental houses in the village due to the pandemic and the absence of tourists. But I hate moving and I was hesitating. But knowing that a hungry monkey would be trying to come into my office and house on a daily basis for the next year or so until tourists return, well, Mr. Sanderz, that pushed me into a decision.

Thanks to you, I've found a lovely two bedroom house, not far from here, that doesn't need renovating and doesn't have leaks in the roof. Best of all, you won't be coming to visit me there. Now I might have to get an office kitten to replace you.

Yours Sincerely,


P.S. Thanks for all the motivation and exercise over the past year. No, I don't really mean that.


About the author

Liz Sinclair

Amateur historian who loves travel and lives in Asia. I write 'what-if' historical stories, speculative fiction, and travel essays.

Twitter: @LizinBali. LinkedIn: sinclairliz

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