fried fish for everyone

We now resume our regularly scheduled Mischief

I’ve been remiss in not updating, but my sabotage of the human female’s work life continues unabated.

1. You will recall that she ordered an absurd quantity of microscope slides from the Purveyor of Dead Things. She thought she had the shipping sorted, but I intervened. Five boxes showed up, with a total of 238 smaller boxes inside. (These smaller boxes each hold a silly Midgardian quantity known as “half a gross.” How does that make sense? What’s next–“three-quarters of a slightly disgusting” “Two-thirds of a disturbingly misshapen”?) When she called to inquire about the missing 62 boxes, she was informed that, having begun their journey in Wisconsin, they had made it only as far as Illinois before being smashed by the shipper. No, I’ve no idea how that package-carrier tripped! The Purveyor of Dead Things shipped a replacement fifty boxes, so she had to call and remind them that 50 and 62 are not the same. She was *finally* able to get the last dozen half-gross not too long ago, a quantity known as “half a great gross” or “0.5 cubic dozen.”

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Midgardians have ten digits. Why they insist on counting by twelves is beyond me.

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Ooops! These slides have neatly rounded corners, which makes them much nicer to handle than the usual sort. I shall have to make sure that they are discontinued.

2. The forty-four stools finally showed up, minus any packing slip. Here they all are, belly-up, looking like a forest of quadrupedal cadavers.

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I think I will loosen one leg on each.

3. The fingerprint analysis poster showed up, WITH a packing slip, but a packing slip is not an invoice, so the human female had to call and request one. Turns out that somehow, the original invoice was sent to the College of Architecture… Ehehehehehe!

4. One of the clown fish from the tank in room 321 is just flat missing. Fried fish for everyone!*

5. The enormous order of dead things is finally on its way, entrusted to a semi belonging to Unrepentant Package Squashers. I befuddled the Purveyor of Dead Things a bit and had them tell the human female the wrong delivery date, after she had already scheduled on-campus delivery, doorway modification, and help unloading. Her co-workers nearly had to use the AED on her, so close was she to an actual coronary. Well, they do say that occasional stressing is good for the cardiopulmonary system. She should thank me.

6. The bathrooms on the human female’s floor and on the first floor are still not finished. Work continues off and on. I had them do the ear-splitting masonry-drilling during lab final exams. The toilets are there now, and they probably work, but there’s the tiny matter of there being no doors. Humans are so picky about their privacy!

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7. The human female doesn’t have a lot to do with the students, but she occasionally has to deal with some that come wandering into her office area like bemused hoofstock. There was one who showed up expecting a 1.5 hour make-up exam starting after 5:00 p.m. She swore her instructor told her it was all right. (It wasn’t; he said she had to be DONE by 5:00.) The human female, who at 5:30 stops pretending to work and goes home, said no. The same student missed a second make-up opportunity. And then was dinged for plagiarism on a major assignment. None of this is actually my fault, but I do enjoy delaying/distracting/nudging the problem students so that they come through on her watch.

8. I have completely infiltrated the order-fulfillment department of the Squiggly Things Vendor. The last shipment of Planaria (creepy-cute little flatworms with googly “eyes”) was sent two-day air rather than 1-day, and two future shipments were also put down for two day air. The human female caught those and corrected the shipping darn her. She’s getting good at preemptive strikes, so I have taken to messing with the orders in other ways. Take for example, the earthworms that were completely OMITTED from a shipment. She had to arrange an emergency shipment, which was delivered by Fed-up and Exhausted. I met them at the stockroom and told them no one was there to accept the shipment, so the worms went back on the truck, on a blisteringly hot day. Multiple phone calls later, the worms finally arrived, but not before I had Fed-up and Exhausted tell the exasperated human female that they might make it… or they might not.

9. The Vendor Who’s Responsible’s customer service/order fulfillment department is also mine now. I had them tell the human female that the last three items from her brobdingnagian fall order (placed over a month ago) would “ship tomorrow.” A week later, they admitted that they were being shipped from the manufacturer and would still be some time in coming. A further week on, only one has actually arrived.

10. I applied some moisture and some torque to cause two drawers in the main desk of the Room of Doom to stick so badly that they could not be opened. The maintenance folks were summoned. They sent two people to unstick them. They tinkered and billed $200. Afterwards, they (the drawers; I have no idea about the workmen) were still as sticky as sticky can be. A second visit *seems* to have solved the problem, but I’m just biding my time.

11. Somewhere higher up the food chain of the University, each department within the College of Science has had its budget slashed. No explanation, nothing, just “do more with less.” On the other hand, my world-domination/palace-building fund is doing quite nicely, thanks to a recent mysterious influx of cash.

It is rather quiet around here today. Surely there’s some mischief I could be causing. I know! I could mess with the electronic door locks again!

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*No, it just turns out that hyenas will eat almost anything.
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Mischief Update. New and Improved, with pictures!

Ehehehe. I have outdone myself this week. I have to leave some room for improvement, because no mischief is perfect, but I think I can safely say the old chaos-o-meter is holding steady at 9.50. AND bear in mind that the backdrop of all this has been the anticipation, arrival, and aftermath of a very juicy tropical storm. (It is raining again as I compose this.) Surely that is worth another 0.25?

You may want obtain a beverage and recline in your favorite seat. This is a long one…

1. I have been playing fast and loose with the human female’s annual Very Large Order of Very Dead Animals. She has discovered that felines are in very short supply. (Something to do with the improved economy–fewer people are abandoning cats at shelters, which is good for cats but bad for anatomy students.) I am enjoying watching her and her teaching team scramble to adapt lab prep, come up with alternative exercises, and explore creative solutions. Pffft! The answer to the cat problem is staring her right in the face–if the feral cats on campus keep breeding at the rate they have been, she can simply ask the Purveyor of Dead Things to supply the kitty-pickling recipe and bring the whole operation in-house.

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2. She has been trying to coordinate the delivery of the huge Dead Thing order with Central Receiving and the maintenance people who actually have to alter a doorway to get the pallets into the building. Last year, I arranged for this to happen on the same day as the annual lab safety inspections, lock installation, and a fume hood outage (which resulted in a less-than-stellar safety inspection.) I hope to tangle things even more this year. There’s construction on the first floor of the building; I should be able to arrange something.

3. She procured the funds to order 44 lab stools to replace the ones the students have so enthusiastically broken. She can get them, but no one can tell her when. The truck that will bring them will be too big to fit down the alley near her workplace, so they need to be re-routed to Central Receiving, who will accept them but are not keen on actually bringing them to her on a smaller truck. Negotiations are ongoing. She can buy them. She can have them delivered. She just can’t take possession of them!

4. More construction. Oh, my. The restrooms on the human’s workplace floor are out of commission for the foreseeable. They were supposed to start ripping up yesterday, with a 3 hour water outage in the morning. However, I had a little "chat" with the work crew, and they started jack-hammering a day early, unannounced. When they turned the water off, I distracted them momentarily and nudged, and the valve that controls all the sinks’ water was broken in the off position, so there wasn’t a working bathroom sink in the building. They scurried about looking for a replacement part, but in the meantime–Germs for everyone!

5. The students had a lab practical exam this week. I arranged for not one but TWO students to break test tubes in the spectrophotometer. I don’t fully understand what a spectrophotometer does, but I do know how to discombobulate one!

6. She ordered five fish tanks, drat her. I broke the splash shields in the old ones and we were just a few splashes away from pretty fireworks and free fried fish for everyone. She spent a couple of weeks with the aquarium techs, trying to find replacement parts (unavailable) or a repair solution (cost-prohibitive), so whole new ones were needed. (If I can’t have a fish dinner, I can at least cost her some money.) Four of the new tanks arrived, but without the Free Magnetic Algae Scraper each box proclaimed was included. Two phone calls and a handful of emails later, they might send her some. Or they might not. Oh, they’ve written back. They won’t. They’ve offered some other part instead. Whatever.

7. Microscope slides. Oh, the slides. She had a lot to order, to replace breakage, insure spares, beef up a lab exercise, and outfit a new lab room. 100 human sperm smear slides! What is she going to do with them? I don’t think I want to know! Fifteen different subjects. Five vendors to work with. I did some quick, spreadsheet-defeating jiggery-pokery and made sure that no single vendor had all fifteen. And no single vendor had consistently the best prices and quality. So, four orders, four vendors.

She needed slides of the free-floating stage of the jellyfish Obelia. I saw to it that they are practically unavailable at any price. So she considered a different genus, Aurelia. Now, I have been practicing my internet manipulation skills, tying together odd corners of the cyber realm at random. Thus, searching for "Aurelia, slide, buy" brought up (as a hit, not an ad, mind you!) —- something that can be considered to be a "shoe" only because it’s meant to be strapped to a foot. Silvertongue though I be… for once, words fail me, so just look:

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Take a moment and let that sink in.

Ehehehehe! The look on her face was priceless! What? Why? WHO would purchase and wear such, with the bejewelled naked mudflap cutout? It is clearly labeled a "women’s shoe." Do they think that men will otherwise be confused and disappointed when it is not available in their size? But at least it was on sale… Just as she was about to get over her shock and bafflement she noticed that it also comes in pink.

She did eventually find and purchase the last eleven Obelia slides available anywhere. However, my prank is the gift that keeps on giving because now all of the advertisements on the sidebar of her browser are for hooker shoes. And now you can never unsee that shoe. You’re welcome.

8. Not only are Very Dead Cats in in short supply, Defunct Starfish are completely unobtainable. Note: I want it on record that I am not responsible for the virus that is wiping out starfish along both coasts. I am simply enjoying the human female’s frustration as she tries to adapt the labs to feature other animals. She and her colleagues decided that a small fish would make an acceptable dissection exercise. Just to make her day a little more surreal, when she went to the website of the Purveyor of Dead Animals and did a search for "perch" (a type of small fish she knows they stock) in order to price them, I made sure she was greeted by this:

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Sweet Frigga’s corset strings! Ehehehehehe! That can’t be right! Note product description. I may not be an expert ichthyologist, but I think that specimen is missing a feature or two.. Or six. (But I bet it smells better than the preserved sort.)

She looked again and found these related products:

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Speaking of fried fish for everyone! I actually hurt myself laughing. Surely I am not the only one who finds it on the whole very disturbing that the Purveyor of Dead Animals is also in the Food Service business. One devoutly hopes that the two back ends of this operation are kept very, very separate, though this gives me an idea for a most creative aquarium scene and a corresponding way to cater an unforgettable buffet.

Whew! I shall leave you with one last catlet…

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and go in search of a well-earned glass of wine and a backrub. Sigyn, care to join me?

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