The human female was heard to say, “2016: Wow, what a dumpster fire!! 2017: I miss the dumpster fire– at least it was contained. 2018: I welcome our new alien overlords–at least they put out the fire.”
After a quip like that, I couldn’t very well fail to step up and fulfill the prophecy, now could I? Thanks to my meddling:
Both humans were sick for the annual Feast of Thanksgiving and Overeating
The file server in the Biology Department died a spectacular death on the Eve of Yule, ensuring that the human male had a very interesting holiday.
The Terror Twins made off with the human female’s prized university ring, prompting five days of fretting and more furniture-moving and sweeping than has transpired in a decade. It was finally located. In the pantry. Under things.
Do you recall the malfunctioning fridge? The departmental fix-it man did, in fact, find a replacement and brought it over. And it worked! Prep Staff moved it from the drop-off point to its new home. To make sure that the door didn’t swing open in transit, they very helpfully put the hasp on the outside of the door over the little knob and turned the little knob. Which is how the human female got to pay for a lock being cut off.
The Alternate Purveyor of Squiggly Things duly sent the multiple jars of Hydrda (wonderful little beasts with sting-y harpoons!) when requested. They failed to send the invoice to the university’s Bean Counters, though, so it didn’t get paid. I’m doing everything I can to ruin the human female’s good name with every vendor on the continent.
Despite the hard work of the human female and her Prep Staff, the vast quantity of Dead Things ordered last year and delivered, put away, counted, and paid for with great difficulty didn’t include everything required. The human female had to order 3 more sharks and 100 pig kidneys from the Purveyor of Dead Things over the semester break. Learn to count, people.
The Powers that Be, trying to discommode as many persons as possible, blocked off two parking areas for “utility work” in December, forcing space-holders to park in one of the campus garages. The humans ended up in the Scary Garage, the one that has wicked little cut-through lanes to let cars zip across the spaces. The parking lots themselves were devoid of any signs of activity beyond big piles of pipe and some Big Yellow Machines until mid January. Up to this point, the humans’ spot has been entirely unaffected, and they could have parked in it every single day. They’re back in it now, but the piles of pipe are still hanging around, so they may yet be back in the garage.
The annual Gaming Weekend in the Big City to the North was scheduled for mid-January when most of the humans had a three-day weekend. The human female was sick and couldn’t go. The human male got 2/3 of the way there when someone called him to tell him that, this time, it was the Mail Server which had thrown two hard drives and died. He had to turn around and drive all the way back and spent most of the holiday getting it back up and running. I think I am three for four on ruining holidays with server issues… Not bad, not bad!
Several big boxes of textbooks for the new teaching assistants showed up. Lovely big book. Hummingbird on the cover. Lots of glossy photos. Unfotunately, it’s not the textbook in use. Bye-bye little hummingbirds.
Speaking of books, the Department, at my urging, has elected to adopt an open-source, online textbook beginning in the fall. The human female is reading it through. She’s on Chapter 9 and has about thirteen pages of errata. It’s such fun to watch that vein in her head pop out.
Then there’s the usual beginning-of-the-semester-fu with TAs who can’t teach because they don’t have a valid passport (how did they even get here?), a lost day of class due to ice and snow (these humans become undone at the slightest sign of a flurry), mangled syllabi, a shortfall of lab manuals, unavailability of live termites because of ice and snow somewhere else, crazy drivers, and general influx of different germs from all corners of Midgard.
The days are just packed!