Let me assure you, Joanie. I am freezing. I know this sentiment is not as verifiable as “Let me assure you, Joanie. I am eating a ham sandwich” or “Here is a notarized copy of my credit statement, Joanie. Let me assure you I spent $618 on sake at the Japanese restaurant last night.” But you must believe me when I say I am freezing here in my cubicle. This I tell you with the confidence of a woman who, just last weekend, awoke standing up in half a sexy-stewardess outfit outside the downtown Albuquerque HoJo’s. I knew cold then, and I know cold now. And, Joanie, I’m freezing.

I wouldn’t be telling you all this except that Mr. Swanstone has granted you the sole key to the floor’s thermostat. It’s silver, it’s attached to a digital “Countdown to Your Wedding” keychain counter that ran for six months after Mr. Swanstone’s fiancée dumped him for their Persian butcher, and it’s in your top drawer. It’s true that the counter always reminds Mr. Swanstone of Shahpur, and that he is often inclined to hire dogs to sniff out animal byproducts in the office for 60 days following such a reminder, but with the holidays right around the corner I guarantee that won’t happen.

I know you’re thinking, “Well, if you’re so cold, why aren’t your teeth chattering?” Let me tell you a little something about adult braces. Brace metal increases the weight of a person’s jaw by 25 percent, which slows down uncontrollable movements like chatter. That’s why you hear sharp gnashing from my mouth every 20 seconds or so. That, and because hoarding this Fannie May Assorted Chocolates box, my gift from my office Secret Santa, brings out my animalistic defense mechanisms.

Oh, you like chocolate? Especially with nougat, just like the Fannie May ones? I had no idea. No, I haven’t opened it yet. But I could be convinced.

That’s it. Hand over the key. Easy does it. Just keep it low. KEEP IT LOW! Goddamn you, Jo—hey, Mr. Swanstone. We—we were just opening this box of chocolates. Please, help yourself.

Oh, good choice: white with nougat.

No. I did not know Persian nougat was known as “gaz.”

Yes. I’ll call the K9 handler.

Joanie, I am so cold.