CHICAGO, IL–Kelly Mensah is desperate to fit in at her new job. Monday marked her first day working for a new start-up dating app headquartered in downtown Chicago. Kelly moved from Dayton, Ohio for this position, and she was yet to make any local acquaintances. So, she confidently entered the office on a mission to make friends with her new co-workers.
Historically speaking, Kelly has a tough time making friends. She generally has nothing cool to talk about, no interesting hobbies, no gossip, no trauma, and she’s been told by several people that her laugh is annoying. Looking to rectify her blandness, Kelly worked tirelessly in preparation for her first day, brushing up on pop culture, learning cool facts about celebrity DUI arrests, and working on a new laugh she’ll debut at first chance.
Unfortunately, nothing could prepare Kelly for the curveball she was thrown in her first work meeting. During introductions, Leslie from accounting mentioned she was from Queens, New York. In response, Steven from marketing blurted out, “I am Queens Boulevard!” This quick-witted quip drew laughter from the whole room. Kelly didn’t understand the joke but joined in on the chuckles, debuting her new laugh — something less hiccup-sounding.
“Nice laugh, Kelly!” remarked Evan, the copywriter. “We all love Entourage. Glad you picked up on the reference. That means you’ve seen it, then?” without even considering the question, Kelly blurted out a “yes!” She was unclear on why she lied, but now it was out there. At least it will make her seem more relatable. Kelly rationalized the harmless fib with a secret promise to herself to binge-watch Entourage this week, so then it won’t be a lie anymore, and she’ll have something to talk with all of her new friends about.
“What’s your favorite episode?” Steven chimed in, unsolicited. Kelly froze up. She had never seen a single Entourage episode, nor had she ever heard of it. “Which one do you like?” Kelly fired back after a few silent beats. “One Day In The Valley,” Steven replied promptly before repeating his question with added urgency. After Kelly fumbled around with vague answers like “friendship” and “the car one,” the whole group began to grow suspicious. Kelly didn’t seem to know anything about Entourage.
“Who is Queens Boulevard, Kelly?” Leslie inquired with a scowl. She could smell Kelly’s bullshit from a mile away. “Did Aquaman beat Spiderman at the box office? Why was Vince Chase fired from Smoke Jumpers? If you’re such a big fan you’d know this, Kelly.” Leslie continued, her tone growing increasingly accusatory. Kelly buckled under the pressure, breaking down into tears instead of attempting a guess. The group booed Kelly ferociously, intensifying her moment of failure. Mason, the company’s CEO, pointed to the door and ordered Kelly to “pack your things! You’re done in this town!”
They all watched as Kelly ran out the door sobbing. “Who knows what else she could be lying about?” Mason reflected.