Office Assistant Listens To 'Take It To The Limit', Tests Limits Of Banality
The power-ballad "Take it to the Limit" by 70's super-group The Eagles apparently inspired local office-assistant Greg Shaff to take "it", proverbially and literally, to the limits of extreme dullness and facelessness, according to reports from various co-workers.
As the song played through his clock radio, set to frequency 97.9 FM, Shaff had just begun to sort through a pile of mail which had to be delivered to various cubicles within the offices of Power-Up Consultants Accounting Firm. After recognizing the song and singing a muffled and breathy harmony with Glen Frey on the chorus of the progressive-rock classic, Shaff carried out his chores as prescribed by his job description and expectations from upper-management as he shuffled through letters and advertisements.
"I once thought that song was about taking your life to the limits of originality, creativity, and adventure," said office manager, Mike Renton, "but ever since [Shaff] got in, he's been sitting at his desk with a blank stare on his face, eyes barely open and giving half-speed response time to questions. I guess I was wrong."
According to witness Mark Graza, co-worker and car-pooler, the only limit that was approached, much less breached, from the moment Shaff woke up until he left the office later in the evening, was that of near lifelessness.
"He picks me up at 6:45, which is a little later than usual, but nothing revolutionary or anti-establishment," claimed Graza. "Then we listen to NPR all the way into the office and all he says throughout the whole ride is something like, 'Man, Dean better win one of these primaries if he wants to stay in the race.' No shit, genius! Fuck, could he have contrived a more average, obvious, and self-evident thing to say?"
But rather than inspire him to break free of his banality, hearing The Eagles' classic during the workday only seemed to worsen it, said Graza.
"All that he said to me on the way home was something about the weather, I think ," he said. "I had already reverted to my mode of answering in grunts and one-syllable sounds that suffice as responses to all of his bland comments or questions, so I could be wrong."
There was hope around the office that, given the edifying lyrics of Glen Frey and the three-part harmonies that the Eagles have become famous for in their decade-long dominance of the popular music charts, Shaff would do something extraordinary or at least slightly above average, but reports indicate that he remained docile as, "a cow chewing cud," as the office secretary, Mira Jansen, stated.
"'Put me on the highway and show me a sign…take it to the limit one more time'?" Jansen quoted. "Yeah, right. Greg gets on the highway every day to get to work and doesn't even go the speed limit. Is there any upper-end limit he's even aware of?"
After briefly considering, Jansen answered her own question by saying "Yes -- my patience."
"If he's not whistling some airy and indecipherable tune or blissfully signing along with the shitty radio stations he listens to, he's making breathing sounds like, 'wheeeewhhhhweeehhhhwwh'," she explained, taking a monumental drag off her cigarette. "If he weren't so unaware of himself, I'd hit him with my phone the next time he plays desk-bongos to 'We Are the Champions'."
Since hearing the Eagles opus, Shaff has also apparently tried to involve himself in various conversations with people around the office much nearer to various superior limits than himself -- limits that include higher tax brackets, a substantial capacity for caffeine, and knowledge of the Cleveland Indians AAA farm system, amongst others.
"He'd try to join in our conversation about [Cleveland Browns head coach] Butch Davis, or the Janet Jackson super bowl debacle with a really obvious and bland joke or observation," said vice-president of regional operations, John Upton, "but his comments would be instantly ignored and forgotten."
Company president George Holm agreed that "it's good" that Shaff has been inspired by The Eagles to test various limits, but that perhaps those limits should be a little less "stupid".
"It might do him some good to rebel against his boring and meaningless existence," Holm said, "but if that means starting out by saying things like, 'Yeah, I heard that the stunt was, uh, planned', after our fifteen-minute old discussion about Janet's bra, I'd just as soon he go back to his desk and enter our billing accounts into the spreadsheet."
Shaff reportedly also has a professed affinity towards other supposedly-motivating songs such as Fleetwood Mac's "You Can Go Your Own Way", Hendrix's seminal "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" and the John Parr classic "St. Elmo's Fire".
"I am the Voodoo Child, in some ways," he revealed to us in a brief interview. "Some might call me the Shaman of MS Word, for instance."