by guest contributor Jasmine
“Survivorman” pits man against the nature (sort of) when Michael, jealous after Ryan invited Toby and all the other regional managers on a camping trip but not him, decides to spend some time in the woods. While Michael spends enough time in isolation to make his pants into shorts, and then back into pants, and then into a shelter, he doesn’t quite make it long enough to actually do any proper camping. No s’mores for Michael, now or for the forseeable future. Naturally, Dwight (who stuck around and hid after dropping Michael off) managed to show how useful and scary his own outdoorsman skills are.
Before too long, Michael and Dwight return to the office, where the remaining staffers are on the verge of rioting (albeit passive-aggressively) over Jim’s changes in how they celebrate birthdays in the office. We’re treated to clips of birthdays past — Michael scaring Phyllis nearly out of her car. Michael surprising Oscar so abruptly that Oscar falls on the floor. Michael getting up in Stanley’s face, then remarking “I guess black DOES crack!” just as Stanley gets ready to blow out the candles. Still nothing like Oscar’s Mexican-themed welcome back party in season 3’s “The Return”, but what could?
Jim’s desire to consolidate office birthday parties into a single annual event for all doesn’t take into consideration that for the Scranton office of Dunder-Mifflin, these parties are as vital as they are annoying. Sure, Michael will take the opportunity to celebrate and offend the birthday boy or girl, but the parties are still a welcome break from what would be a long, non-productive day. In the end, Jim realizes the errors of his ways, though not before he is threatened by birthday boy Creed, is not-so-accidentally called Michael by Phyllis (who conceals quite a bit of larceny under such a sweet demeanor), and writes a truly awful memo outlining the new short-lived birthday party policy. There is pie, a Fudgy the Whale ice cream cake from Carvel (my favorite!), and regular cake for everybody to consume. Also, Creed even has to skip around the room while everybody sings “Skip around the room! We won’t shut up until you skip around the room!” I can only hope my next office birthday is so frivolous, and so bursting with ice cream cake.
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