I’m trying to make good on my resolution to keep my populace up to date on my doings. Since I last reported, I had all that good fun in New York, but not all of my mischief has been travel-related.
Vendors continue to be the bane of the human female’s existence. Well, one of them, anyway. I saw to it that the outfit that sold her the brobdingnagian paper shredder for the office ignored the billing instructions. She received a “Past Due” notice on the not inconsequential purchase price , even though a) she hadn’t received the first notice and b) the invoice shouldn’t have been presented to her anyway.
The last batch of mosses and liverworts (ugh!–liverworts! Sounds like something you’d need to take strong antibiotics for!) from the Purveyor of Squiggly Things is doing pretty well, survival wise, but some of the little sealed trays have been sprouting Arabidopsis seedlings right, left, and center. I gather that the plant is the botanical equivalent of glitter.
The two new hires on the human female’s team are working our surprisingly well. They and the two old tech are forming a really stable, cohesive unit. I shall have to see if I can drop a few accusations in a few ears and turn them all against one another—or against the human female— before the cheerfulness level reaches annoying proportions.
Both new techs were hired at the same time, but I am having extra fun with one of the new employees and Workdon’t. I made it so that he wasn’t showing up in the system and couldn’t log in. Workdon’t didn’t recognize him. It took about a week to get him to show up, and even then, he was only in there as his ID number. “Good morning, ID number!” It took another week to get the system to call him by his actual name. Everyone was happy, until he realized that somehow, Workdon’t has latched onto his Social Security number and is using that for everything. All attempts to code his ID card for building access and room access have failed, because Workdon’t’s number for him is his SSN, not his ID. Meanwhile, he is also unable to select insurance options, so he’s completely uninsured. No one seems to know the magic words to make him a Real Boy as far as Workdon’t is concerned. He exists in Administrative Limbo.
Everything works perfectly for the other new tech, of course.
I’ve arranged more fun surprises for the female’s work group. There are some Mysterious Damp Patches in the hallway ceiling and in one of the rooms just adjacent. Slow, Silent, and Costly came out to look, replaced the wet tiles, banged around, and said it was fixed. (This was before the female went to New York). The spots reappeared. SSC decided it was the fire sprinkler system and sent three more techs, who said, “Nope, not our problem.” Supposedly there is another work order in, but no one’s holding their breath.
I invited some little beetle-y friends to overrun the break room and the offices. For days, no one could figure out what they were or where they were coming from. Slow, Silent, and Costly sent out someone to set traps. The human female returned from New York, took one look, and said, “Pantry pests. Find the infested cereal and get rid of it.” All sorts of nooks and crannies and drawers were investigated, to no avail. Finally, after much consternation, the custodian found an old, abandoned carton of oatmeal behind some dishes in the back of a high cabinet. Well, to be more precise, it was a carton of 75% insects and 15% insect frass, and 10% actual oatmeal. I was peeved they found it so quickly! Next time, it will be rotten shrimp heads behind the refrigerator. Let’s see them suss THAT one out.
It wasn’t my only arthropod amusement. The lawn, upon our return from New York, was courting-city-citation long, so the human female mowed. I was trying to nap, and the mower annoyed me, so I tucked a green lynx spider inside her sleeve when she wasn’t looking, and it BIT her. How was I to know she’d spring up in a big red welt and itch for a week?
Coming home from a trip is always a let-down. There is always a huge pile of bills and junk mail to sort through (I arranged a “buy a commemorative brick in the sidewalk” appeal from a church the humans don’t belong to, along with several “renew your membership” pleas from organizations they don’t belong to), the houseplants look floppy, there is weird stuff in the cooling unit, and no magic hotel staff to do the cleaning. I’d left the felines instructions to shed copiously, which they did enthusiastically. The human female has been sweeping regularly, and there are still cat-fur tumbleweeds drifting lazily from room to room.
The house clamored for some attention too. The sprinkler system is old and crotchety, so it wasn’t much of a chore to get it to run in the middle of the night when the dial was actually set to “off.”
Then the human male decided to shave one day and pulled up the stopper thingy in the sink. Imagine his surprise when the stopper-pull plunger bit came off in his hand! (Yes, of course this was one of the faucets installed just before we left!) He decided to investigate one of the two other identical faucets, to see if he could figure out how to fix it. In so doing, he pulled the knob out of that one as well! Ehehehehehe! The human female was not happy. She managed to get the stoppers out so the sinks could be used, and she made the male stay home from work so the plumber could make a return visit and do the work properly.
She was also not amused when the male, still suffering from a bum knee, used a towel rack to help lever himself up off the necessary. Have you ever calculated the force necessary to pull one end of a towel bar out of sheet rock? Hint: it isn’t much.
I’ve had some fun with the weather as well. Last week, it was supposed to pour buckets of rain for five days. The Big City to the South had flooding, the humans had about two or three inches after getting nothing for three days of near 100% chance, and the local airport recorded half an inch total. It often happens this way. The human male’s hypothesis is that there is a thirsty bird at the airport, one who drinks out of the rain gauge. That’s ridiculous! Everyone knows it’s an opossum.
While the weather was gloomy, the human female got the notion to make a chicken pie, despite the fact that it was WARM and cloudy and not cool and cloudy. She tried a new crust recipe. It tasted all right, but she’s lost the knack of getting the top crust on straight and had to patch it up.
The joins leaked in the oven, and the crust stuck to the shielding foil and ripped off. it was tasty, but Volstagg’s beard crumbs!, that was definitely the “don’t do this” illustration for a pie-making article.
It’s good to be home…