Great Frigga’s hairpins! How remiss! Many days have transpired since I last penned a Mischief Update. I’ve been busy with azaleas, writing poetry, and teaching the cat to sing the howleluia chorus, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t met my quota of making the humans miserable.
You’ll recall that the human female went to the dentist last month. She dutifully submitted her receipt to the company that manages her health care pre-tax savings account. She waited. And waited. And waited some more. While she was thus occupied wool-gathering, I had a word with the customer “service” department at that company, so that several days later she received a big, fat, official CLAIM DENIED email. Several web pages and passwords (and curse words!) later, she managed to obtain a telephone number for said firm. She called, and after repeating “I need to speak to a HUMAN” at ever-increasing volume to an uncaring recording, she was at last connected with either an operator or a rather sophisticated robot. Said robot cheerfully informed her that her claim was denied because she had not submitted the required Explanation of Benefits from her dental insurance. Now, she does not *have* dental insurance, since the premiums of such amount to more than what she spends each year on two checkups. She tried to explain this to the robot, who cheerfully told her that the matter would be submitted somewhere higher up the food chain and asked her to call back in a week or two. This she did, again negotiation the telephone tree which is firmly rooted, one surmises, in a small Asian nation. This time, she was told that her claim had been approved, but that it would take a further two to three weeks for a check to be deposited. Which brings us to this week, when she called AGAIN and was told that there were no plans to pay at all. (By this point I had my fist stuffed in my mouth to muffle my laughter.) The human female, blood pressure rising by the minute, demanded to speak to a supervisor. I couldn’t let that happen! The customer service rep “stepped away” to speak to the “escalation team” and then came back to say that the check should be deposited within a few days. Anyone care to wager whether it will actually materialize? Subtlety, my friends, subtlety. It’s not all about things that go flash! and fade in a moment. No, the best mischief is a long game. Very long.
It has been rather quiet in the human female’s workplace because it is the time of the semester when the students are busily engaged in dissecting dead things and not inflicting scientific curiosity on living ones–hence no weekly shipments from the Purveyor of Squiggly Things and no wrestling with BAMN. Just to keep things lively, then, I have taken to nudging students while they do dissections. One managed to somehow cut himself with a scalpel that was resting sedately on its own in the dissection pan. Another managed a small nick while dissecting a pig’s heart. The accident report forms from this workgroup are always amusing. When the pig-heart one was received by the Safety Pashas, I whispered in their ears that since the student-completed form said merely “heart,” it was most likely from a freshly-deceased lab animal, no doubt laden with twenty-seven! zoonitic! diseases! and that the decontamination would take weeks and claim countless lives in deep-cleaning and paperwork. All parties enjoyed the cardiovascular workout of a good frothy panic before truth and order were restored.
Then I instigated a rousing game of Bad News/ Good News. One of the Old Faithful microscope cameras died–bad news. It was superannuated and out of warranty–bad news. There is no money with which to purchase another–more bad news. But the vendor agreed to take a look at it with an eye toward possible repair–good news. He was willing to do it for free–good news! Boxes were boxed and tape was taped and all requisite paperwork for Unrepentant Package Squashers was completed. The camera was on its way–good news! Tracking numbers were tracked–but hold! What is this? The package has not moved in a week? No transit scans since the first day of its journey? BAD news! More time elapsed with no news of the stray. Woe! The human female then called the manufacturer, who told her that the package was sitting on his desk. Good news! But the camera was un-fixable. Bad news! But he had an older-but-still-functional one he would be happy to send her for free. Very good news! It arrived–Very, very good news! But the lens assembly to the old camera was not returned. Bad news. But the manufacturer agreed to hunt it up and send it. Good news! That’s where we stand right now, but I’m sure with a little mischiefy magic I can get a few more volleys over the net on this one.
One of the human female’s co-workers, who has been known to disparage me vociferously on more than one occasion was hit by a car last week and now has a left arm in some sort of horrible splint-clast device. This is the same person who last year suffered a badly broken right arm. Coincidence? You be the judge…
Still no hallway doors on the bathrooms.
One of the human female’s bestly-beloved large oaks has failed to leaf out and she fears it may have passed into the great Fagaceous Beyond. Oh, she hopes, because it has buds and the twigs are still pliable, but face it, woman, it is APRIL. If it were to don verdant leafy apparel, it would have done so by now. It goes without saying that this is the tree closest to the fence, a host of other trees, and the driveway, and its canopy overhangs the house. Either fall-down or take-down, should it prove to have shuffled off its arboreal coil, will be neither easy nor cheap.
Which makes my next bit of mischief all the more pertinent and pressing. I saw to it that the check meant to pay the humans’ homeowner’s insurance policy vanished directly it was poked into the mailbox slot. No doubt it has been sucked through a trans-dimensional rift and has been discovered by some resident of Vanaheim who treasures this strange artifact from another realm but who hasn’t the least idea what it is or what to do with it. If by chance he decides to send it back through the rift, I will make sure it appears on the day after the humans stop payment on the check and write out a new one. (Their insurance carrier is Allrealms–you’d think with that name they’d have branches (ha!) on all branches of the World Tree, but no.)
And then there is the other nice surprise I planned for the humans. They took their automobile for its annual safety inspection and an oil change, which is not generally expensive. But lo and behold! It also had a nail in the sidewall of one tire! (Yes, this is the same vehicle that I blessed with a pointy chair foot thingy) And replacing just one tire would unbalance its behinder end. Observe the mounting total:
They were also billed for assorted numerically-coded miscellanities, including a tire rotation that wasn’t performed because two new tires went on! How devious! Mechanics are some of my favorite people! Behold the final bill:
Ehehehehe! I think I’ve earned a solid seven point five.