Back to work. My vacation is over, and, crap, I’m back at work. I stop in the kitchen at work to get some coffee. That’s the only thing that keeps me awake at this boring-as-hell job. My job uses something like one brain cell. It is so beneath me. At my job, I’m like a car with only one cylinder firing. Or something like that, whatever.

“Welcome back. How was the coast? That’s where you went, the coast?” Rick says. He’s this guy I work with. He’s OK, not too annoying. He’s reading the paper and drinking coffee.

“Nice. It was nice,” I say.

Rick looks at me kind of strangely, like he’s confused. He’s probably jealous of my new mustache. “What are you doing?”

“Just getting some coffee,” I say.

“What’s that?” Rick points at my lip, at my mustache. “Did you just grow that?”

“Yeah, I grew it at the beach,” I say. I knew it. He’s jealous of my cool new mustache.

“You look like Hitler,” Rick says.

What? What is this guy talking about? “Who’s Hitler?” I say.

“You don’t know who Hitler was?”

“Oh, sure. I know,” I say. If someone asks you about something at work and you don’t know, always act like you know. It’s one of my tips for getting ahead on the job. Admitting you don’t know something is a sign of weakness.

“You seriously don’t know who Hitler was?”

“Yeah, I’ve heard of him,” I say.

“Then why would you grow a Hitler mustache?”

“What’s the big deal? Who cares?” I say.

“Dictator? Concentration camps? Killing millions of people? All of that?”

Whatever dude. Don’t give me a bunch of grief because you’re jealous of my mustache. Rick probably shaves like once a month. It’d take him ten years to grow one. So now I’m thinking this guy is an asshole. He’s not cool at all. “I like Hitler,” I say. “He’s pretty cool.” I don’t know squat about Hitler, but maybe if I act like I like him, Rick’ll stop bothering me.

“Wow. A lot of people would be offended by that. And you could play Hitler in a movie. With that hair, that style of hair, and that mustache.”

About then Brandon walks into the kitchen. “Nice Hitler mustache,” Brandon says and does some weird arm wave.

“He doesn’t know who Hitler was,” Rick says.

“You’re shitting me. You don’t know who Hitler was?” Brandon says.

“Sure, I’ve heard of him,” I say. “He’s my idol. I love Hitler.”

“What the hell is wrong with you? You don’t know who Hitler was? I don’t know what is scarier, that you don’t know who Hitler was or that you’re acting like you like him,” Rick says.

“People like you scare the crap out of me,” Brandon says. “You should go look up Hitler on the Web.”

“Good idea,” Rick says. Rick puts his hands on my shoulders “You, my friend, are a first-class idiot. I predict you will win a Darwin Award one day.”

I twist to get his hands off me. “Fuck you,” I say. “I love Hitler. Hitler rules!” I walk out of the kitchen into the cubicle farm. I cup my hands over my mouth and start shouting. “Hitler is the best! Hitler is my hero! Hitler says fuck you.” I was so pissed at them for calling me an idiot and for being such assholes.

My boss appears almost instantly. I’ve never seen him move that fast. “I want you to go home and shave that off. Right now.”

“I don’t want to,” I say.

“Either you go home right now and shave that off, or you’re fired,” he says.

I’m thinking that is discrimination. He can’t make me do that. “I like it,” I say. “I don’t want to shave it off.”

“I’ll ask you one more time,” my boss says. “Shave it off or lose your job.”

“Dude, just do it,” Brandon says. “And look up Hitler while you’re at it.”

“OK,” I say and head toward the parking lot. It is time off work, after all.

“That idgit doesn’t know who Hitler was,” I hear Brandon say to my boss.

When I get home, I tell my girlfriend Jessica about everything. “Even I know who Hitler was,” she says. “I was wondering why you were growing a Hitler mustache at the beach.”

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I thought you knew what you were doing?”

I look up Hitler on the Web and find out that he was pretty nasty. I mean, this guy basically killed a lot of people. I’m actually staring to feel sick from what I read. He was like really evil, just totally nasty. And I look exactly like him. I have the mustache, the same haircut, everything. How could I not know this stuff? People need to keep me informed.

So here is how it should have gone:

Me: “Hey, what do you think of my mustache?”

Girlfriend: “You can’t go out like that. You look like Hitler.”

Me: “Who’s Hitler?”

Girlfriend: “He was a bad guy. People will go crazy if they see you with that mustache. You need to shave it off.”

But here is how it went:

Me: “Hey, what do you think of my mustache?”

Girlfriend: “Looks good, I like it.”

Me: “Thanks.”

The sad thing is that now that I know who Hitler was, I’m hearing that name everywhere. Suddenly it seems like everyone is talking about Hitler and how bad he was.

I bounce back pretty quick, though. I know a lot of people probably make the same mistake, so I’m not too hard on myself. I shave off the mustache and get a new haircut, and I’m 110%.

Now people tease me at work, say I’m a numbnuts. Sometimes they say, “What do you think, Hitler?” Or, “Let’s get Hitler’s input on this.” But it’s OK, I’m fine. No damage done. The girlfriend’s kind of useless, though. Might need to get a new one.

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