The Higher the Cubicle Wall

Gifts to initiate that forbidden office romance

Mate selection outside the private sector requires too much time and entails too many variables. That's why it's far better and simpler during this holiday season—when pangs of loneliness tend to strike—to court the one you know, the one who's closest, the one whose personnel file you can read and references you can check. In our relentlessly busy, work-centered society, it just makes sense to court a colleague. If you happen to be that special someone's supervisor—so much the better!

That's right, we're talking about that lithesome little minx in accounting. We mean that strapping, gym-sculpted hunk in sales. We've seen the way you lust after that green-eyed hottie in IS, and those illicit e-mails you two have been exchanging would make the server blush were their contents unencrypted. Why stop there? Corporate policies against dating be damned! Don't be alone on New Year's! Accordingly, here are some suggested gift ideas for promoting workplace flirtation out of the cubicle and into the home, ahem, office.

Paper Clips—Nothing signifies pure, hot, lustful connection like these curvaceous symbols of carnal attachment. Why do we spend so many of our idle office moments compulsively twisting and shaping them into salacious little bent-wire figurines? Give a box of these affordable love tokens to your intended to provoke the same hands-on response. Better yet, customize each shape to spell out your sordid intentions. The hours the recipient spends deciphering their meaning will only fan the flames of ardor!

Post-It Notes—How better to set down your bawdy love poems, spicy sonnets, and smutty little flip-card drawings than with these versatile memo pads? Easily affixed to any surface (including bare skin), they can be used for important communication or an impromptu striptease. Other sentiments you might want to convey include, "Meet me in the broom closet," or "Meet me in my car in the garage," or "Meet me under my desk," or "Have you seen the fourth quarter billing records for the GlobeTech account?" Let your imagination run wild!

Liquid Paper—To err is human, to conceal your mistake divine, especially when you and your romantic counterpart have been planting covert little messages in routine office correspondence that suddenly gets subpoenaed or when the controller wants to reexamine those out-of-town expense reports from your last business trip. Keep your furtive affair secret from prying coworkers. Remember, private passions burn the highest! And, while you're at it, you might also want to touch up the ZComm presentation materials—looks like there was a smudge on the copier.

Staples—Hot! Whose heart doesn't race a little faster with the gift of staples? Less likely to melt in your hands than chocolate, longer-lasting than flowers, with no chilling required like champagne, staples are the perfect way to secure your love! But be careful, mes amants, every staple—like the rose—has its thorns. Also, would you mind collating and stapling those 300 employee manuals? Now?

Mouse Pads—There's nothing more suggestive than the erotic, tactile sensation of a well-chosen mouse pad. The haptic thrill of massaging one's fingers over the soft yet firm, mattresslike pad brings only one thought to mind. And have you seen the little elevated wrist pillows on some models? Oh, behave! Additionally, they make for better mouse tracking and efficiency, which you'll need while staying late tonight to prepare the GeoTron media planning budget. Have it on my desk first thing in the morning!

Toner—Who doesn't get weak in the knees with the gift of a new box of toner cartridges? No more waiting impatiently at the printer—time that could be better spent with your beloved. Or you could be catching up on your filing.

Copier Key Cards—Baring one's intimate secrets to another helps cement the trust necessary to endure an office full of jealous, gossiping, backbiting, fun-hating fellow employees. So who wouldn't be excited to receive that cherished token of unlimited photocopying privileges? Let your love be duplicated a thousandfold (double-sided if you prefer). Just don't forget to remove that indelicate original from the platen before you start that urgent all-night copying job. Then go curl up alone in the sleeping bag beneath your desk, where you can dream sweet dreams of love until rising for another day of work.

Brian Miller is the film editor at Seattle Weekly.

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