Half-Life: Resonance

Tuesday October 8, 2002:

If there’s one thing I really hate, it’s a snob.

So I was in the cafeteria last night on my lunch break, chowing on a slice of pizza from Tony’s, when in stomps Dr Magnusson. I’d been warned by Otis that this guy has a mean streak, but man, what an asshole! He was fiddling about with this microwave, and swearing under his breath, trying to find the right setting to heat up a Tupperware box of chilli.

“No, I don’t want to defrost!” I heard him mutter. “Confound this contraption!”

I sidled up next to him to get a refill from the soda dispenser. I felt sorry for him at first. He looked like he’d had a bad day, and the thought of that sad little meal being the apex of it depressed me. I thought I’d lighten the mood by saying: “Have you tried turning it off and on again pal?”

Big mistake. He swivelled round to eyeball me, jaw clenched.

“I beg your pardon?” he growled.

“N-nothing! I mean … um …” I stammered. “I just didn’t think it was rocket science, you know?”

Some people are immune to the old Calhoun charm, and he was one of them. I could practically hear Magnusson’s teeth grinding as he hissed: “Now listen here ‘pal’ I happen to be a rocket scientist, and I have just spent the last 10 hours conducting groundbreaking research. Research which a peon like yourself is intellectually and academically incapable of comprehending!”

He was suddenly shouting. I could feel everyone in the room trying to look at us without looking.

“Now, kindly refrain from patronising me, and leave the technical support to college graduates in future!” he yelled.

My face was burning as he turned away. I wanted to tell him where he could stick his rockets… but then I remembered how many letters Magnusson had in front of his name, and how little I had to mine.

I couldn’t even finish my pizza, I was so steamed. I just shuffled off to my dorm and listened to some old CDs. Some people! I mean, the nerve of him judging me just cuz I haven’t got a PHD or whatever. He doesn’t even know me! These scientists man, I think they all look down on security.

Published by itshendo

Callum Henderson is a carbon-based life form who graduated with a degree in Journalism and Creative Writing from the University of Strathclyde in 2016.

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