Comedy·YEP, ORGANIC TOO

Co-worker's voice 40% louder when saying 'this is all from my garden' in lunch room

A new study suggests Canadians’ voices naturally increase in volume by up to 20 decibels when casually mentioning that they grew the fruits or vegetables they are currently eating.

REGINA, SK—A new study suggests Canadians' voices naturally increase in volume by up to 20 decibels when casually mentioning that they grew the fruits or vegetables they are currently eating.

Sandra Doberman, a consultant at a Medicine Hat insurance firm, said she has started eating lunch at 3 p.m. to avoid hearing about her colleague's thriving garden.

"I have adapted my human impulse to eat around our web developer's meal schedule, lest I have to hear the origin story of every damn cucumber," Doberman explained. "Last week, she showed me baby pictures of an heirloom tomato she grew and said she was having its seeds bronzed."

Wally Cragmeyer, a marketing intern at the same firm, said his hopes for future employment mean his colleagues' green thumbs have turned him into a brown-noser.

"Yesterday my boss started yelling at me in the kitchen. I thought I was in trouble, but he was actually just bragging about his excess of home-grown herbs," Cragmeyer, 20, said. "I made the mistake of saying his basil looked exquisite. Today he brought me a sack of parsley. What am I supposed to do with this – garnish my Kraft Dinner?"

"Like, I grow some herbs, too, but I just keep my plants in my closet and generally have a policy not to even let people know I'm growing it," Cragmeyer said. "Wait – are you a narc?"

According to the study, increases in vocal volume are most prominent in communal lunch rooms due to the probability that colleagues will overhear the gardeners, be impressed, and potentially feel worse about their own gardening abilities.

The study further indicated voices can increase in volume by up to 60% in urban centres where few people have gardens. In one case, where the seeds used were organic, workers reported seeing ripples in their coffee like that cup of water in Jurassic Park.

To test the study's validity, I disguised myself as a Chapters employee and staked out the lunchroom in Regina's Southland Mall location.

At 12:03 p.m., an employee whose nametag read "Luke" retrieved a large Ziploc bag of snap peas and radishes from the fridge. An employee named "Swapna" then entered with an unidentifiable Mr. Sub sandwich and asked Luke about his day.

"It's been a total Heather's Pick," Luke said (using Indigo slang for "good and commercially viable"). "And now I'm just looking forward to eating THESE VEGETABLES FROM MY GARDEN." His vocal volume increase was so abrupt and forceful that I dropped the copy of Crazy Town I was using to both hide my face and quickly learn about journalism stakeouts, blowing my cover.

While Swapna ran to tell her supervisor I was trespassing on employees-only territory, I asked Luke to tell me more about his garden.

"Well, it's mostly dirt in a rectangle and then somehow there's food in it." Luke then lowered his voice. "Look, I just really have a thing for Swapna and was trying to impress her. I buy this stuff at No Frills and take the stickers off. This is off the record, right?"

I said "yes" but that was a lie. I hadn't got to the part in Crazy Town where they talk about being ethical journalists. I then ran from the store, stealing my copy of the book.

A survey conducted as part of the study revealed 70 per cent of Canadians are looking forward to the dead of winter, when their colleagues will be limited to loudly talking about how much ice they scraped off their cars.

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