Bruce, let’s settle this.

Look. We have to work on this exhibit together, so let’s clear the air. I’m sorry I told you to shut up in the meeting. But did you really have to go whimpering to HR like that?

What are you, a fragile little Paleolithic-era skeleton? Do I have to tiptoe around and use a special brush to excavate you? Do I have to hustle to cover you in canvas if the helicopter belonging to the eccentric billionaire who’s funding the dig lands too close to you? Come on. I call a spade a spade, and you needed to shut up in that meeting! Because there’s no way in hell that I’m gonna let you shart all over this exhibit with your “let’s leave out the Sambucan squatting ritual” drivel!

I don’t care if Weinberg is hearing every word of this.

Oh, here we go again. The Sambucan squatting ritual is too “racy” for a family-aimed exhibit?! Okay. Paging Mansara, Peruvian god of the damned! The headless hell-being who guards your pile of bones is missing! He’s assumed the form of a Korean-American museum curator with adult braces!

This has nothing to do with your being Korean-American, or your braces. We all approve of your decision to seek dental work at this point in your life—don’t pull that card. This is about the fact that we’re designing a six-unit seasonal opener on Sambucan village life. How the fuck do you expect me to inform people of the daily experience of a Sambucan family without illustrating the Yuli?!

There’s nothing inherently “racy” about the Yuli, Bruce. It’s not a sex thing. Maybe you equate sex with squatting and shaping fistfuls of earth into balls—and if so, I feel sorry for Kathy—but most people don’t.

If anyone who has even a whiff of knowledge of Sambucan village life sees this thing, the jig is up. The comment cards will be ugly. And you’d better be ready to defend those comment cards to Debra because I’m sure as hell not going to.

What would I say, anyway? I’d be all, “Gee Debra, the varicose veins around your nose are inflamed like they get when you’re seething with rage. What’s up? Oh—why isn’t the cornerstone of the Sambucan sociospiritual economy depicted in this seasonal opener? Gee, musta slipped my mind… I’ve been so busy campaigning for Calvin Coolidge and making soap animals out of hay. Because yes, Debra, I’m INSANE!”

I don’t give a rat’s ass if Weinberg thinks we should keep it down.

And what are the docents gonna say, Bruce? You expect them to look their tours in the eyes and say, “This exhibit illustrates a day in the life of a traditional Sambucan family. After honoring the sun god Hura, the men fish and the women prepare for the communal evening meal, or jungwe. That is all,” without bursting out laughing? These aren’t trained actors, Bruce—they’re unpaid volunteers who are passionate about South American forest peoples and I’ll be damned if I ask them to lie through their teeth.

You know what, Bruce, you are so that Mayan birth hut exhibit we had back in ‘04. The conceit was in the right place but no one would address the slipshod workmanship on the hut’s spirit webbing. That’s you: sloppy and disappointing.

Oh, really mature, Bruce. You’re slapping the floor in a Hopi impersonation of a she-devil. I get that you’re making fun of me, but aren’t you the one who’s degraded by stooping to this playground name calling? Also, pull up your pants. If I wanted to see that much crack before 10 AM I’d have chosen an utterly different career path. Stay out of this, Weinberg. Isn’t there some tongue twister still hiding on the Internet that you haven’t emailed to the entire department?

Yes Bruce, of course I’m open to compromise; what would a compromise look like here? Oh, wow—a nice little back lit info display case by the western cafeteria exit? Well if you aren’t just an itty-bitty medicine woman luring a rival to her death with a tuber dipped in honey! Nice try asshole. You’re not going to see me follow you to a shady knoll and pray silently at the base of an Ancash tree while you prepare a fire for my destruction!

So no, the cafeteria exit isn’t going to work for me. You know what, why don’t you just shut up and get out of my office!

What did I hear you say? Oh, I’m the Quechun ghost of slain virgin brides?! Well, thanks for the compliment! Since Quechun blood spirits were revered secretly by cave-dwelling tribeswomen since the Pleistocene era. Ouch!

Just got your e-mail, Weinberg. “Leslie licks losers limp”? You can do better.