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Day #281: You’ve Got Mail…And Trouble

The Story:

“Ok Chauncey, let’s run through this one more time, and no more lies. I want straight answers, dammit.” The detective slammed his fist on the scarred wooden table dramatically and it took every ounce of self-restraint not to burst out laughing. Poor man, I couldn’t really fault him for being upset, if I were in his poor-fitting loafers I’d be mad as hell too. And if it were me, there wouldn’t be the slightest chance I would believe one word I had just said. This last thought instantly sobered my mood, and I wondered if there was any way of loosening this web I had somehow managed to get tangled up in.

Looking around the interrogation room, I knew my chances of getting out of this unscathed were as likely as my detective friend here suddenly belting out a few bars of a Spice Girls song.

“I’ve got all night, pal,” the detective said, interrupting the amusing image of his imaginary self singing next to Posh and Scary Spice. Man, this guy was really taking a page out of “Interrogations: 101, A Detective’s Guide”. Next he’ll start putting cigarettes out on my forearm. Ok, time to stop screwing around…come on Chauncey, baby, think!

“My apologies detective, should I run it from the top, then? Right. Ok, well, like I told you and the officers before you, I was at work, in my office when I received the message.”

“The email from another ‘time’, you mean?” the detective interrupted me and made silly little quotation marks with his fingers as he said the word ‘time’.

“Yes. That was when I received the email. As I normally do each morning after grabbing a cup of coffee in the break room, I sat down at my desk and started going through my email. That’s when I saw it. It was time stamped as being sent yesterday around 6pm or so and it was from an email account I know to be inactive,” I rubbed the bridge of my nose and tried to remember the exact phrasing of the email. It wasn’t difficult. Then again, it wasn’t every day you received an email from your best friend who you knew to be dead for a year now.

“And you’re sure it wasn’t somehow sent by someone else who had access to the account? Maybe someone playing a practical joke?” the detective almost seemed like he believed me.

“No, impossible. The email account was deleted after his death; I was the one who deleted it, at his wife’s request… Judith was never very good with computers. I know it sounds crazy, but it sounded like Tom. It was an email reply to a message I sent him a year ago, the day he died actually. It had the same writing patterns, made references to things only he and I knew and the same stupid sign off he always used at the end, TTFN,” I couldn’t help but smile at the memory.

“TTFN? What in God’s name is that, some kind of weirdo code or something?” the detective had reverted back to his ‘ball-buster’ persona.

“No, nothing like that. Tom was big into Winnie the Pooh, ever since his days of working at the Magic Kingdom as a teenager. TTFN stands for Ta Ta For Now, it’s something Tigger would say, kind of like saying goodbye in cartoon land,” damn it, Tom, you’re still getting me in fixes and you’re worm food.

“And you want me to believe that this email from your dead friend told you to go to the Wildwood Cemetery and chop down that tree where the remains of little Suzy Day, missing these ten years now, just happened to be buried? Is that really the story you’re sticking to, guy?” the detective was past ‘ball-buster’ and was borderline irate. His right hand twitched and I could feel the tension as he struggled to keep from smashing my face in.

This wasn’t going well, and if I kept telling the truth it was bound to get worse. I couldn’t very well tell him that Tom had replied to an email I sent the day he died from beyond the grave. And to do what? Find a missing girl’s remains, someone I only knew from news headlines and MISSING posters? None of it made sense. Maybe I was crazy.

“I don’t know what else I can tell you, detective. That is the truth, I’m sorry to say,” I felt a growing knot in my lower intestine. Worst case scenario I was going to be charged and tried for the heinous kidnapping and murder of an innocent 10-year-old girl. Best case scenario, I was insane.


The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      I received an odd email today at work. It was from our former office assistant, who’s been retired now for almost six months. As I read the email, I was completely mystified. Why had she sent it? Was she still checking her work email account (which I had assumed was disabled once she left) and if so, to what end? And what the heck was she talking about? None of it made sense. After scrolling down, I saw that her email was actually a response to an email sent from my account… one year ago. So was she just now getting to that email? Had it been sent a year late? Was she just tying up loose ends? Did she think that I had sent it yesterday, instead of year ago? Did someone else send it from her account? Or was email becoming the new snail mail? Strangeness abounds.

Love & Squirrels.


Day #218: Who’s the Turkey?

The Story:

Clues that it’s the day before Thanksgiving (at work):

  1. People are surprised to see you are there (even though it’s a regular work day)
  2. You arrive at work 20 minutes early because everyone else was stuck in traffic traveling the opposite direction- to their in-laws two states over
  3. Email replies end with the obligatory “Have a Happy Turkey Day!” or auto-generated “Out of Office” reply
  4. Your car is one of only about five vehicles in the lot
  5. All your coworkers’ Facebook statuses refer to pies being ruined, driving and packing that was put off to the last minute or random pictures of table settings
  6. The only other person at work is the IT guy
  7. It feels like a Friday
  8. You get a lot of things checked off of your “To Do List” with no one around to interrupt you
  9. You have nothing for lunch since you refused to go to the grocery and battle all the last minute shoppers and manic hostesses who need that last can of French cut green beans
  10. You’re already a little drunk


The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Am I the only one who didn’t get the memo that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is an understood “take a day off” scenario? At least after 1pm, there was NO ONE in the entire building, except for me and a few others who apparently missed out on the massive email that went out notifying people that no one really goes to work on Turkey Day Eve. Oh well, I got a lot done, wore jeans to work and got treated to lunch by the boss man, so I’m kinda glad I went in today… especially since all that’s awaiting me at home is laundry to put away, housework to do and pies to bake. Better get started…

Love & Squirrels.

Day #85: Crane’s Roost

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The Story:

The gas pump was chugging along and as I went to lean against my car, waiting for its tank to be refilled I stopped abruptly two inches away. “Ew,” I said as I peered at the layer of grime and dirt I have somehow failed to notice until that moment. “Guess it’s time for a carwash,” I sighed and looked over at the automated carwash a few yards away. The pump clicked, indicating I was at capacity and after replacing the gas cap and printing my receipt I climbed into my jeep and steered around back towards the entrance of the carwash.

“Why do they make these things so complicated?” I groaned as I tried to interpret the various bells and whistles I could receive with the standard wash. Finally, I punched one of the buttons (I think it was the purple one) and inserted my credit card. Seeing the signal change to green in front of me I assumed the machine had accepted my selection and I was on my way to a clean car. Pulling into the cavernous box of bizarre machinery I inched forward until the signal changed to red. Putting the car in park, I leaned back and waited for the soapy magic to begin. Like a guest in a VIP box, I watched the various cogs and chains spray my car down, soap it up, scrub it and air dry it with the precision and detached intensity I found mesmerizing.

Finally, after the dryer thingy began to wind down, the green light flashed and I started the car and began to drive out of the carwash. “What the hell is that?” I remember thinking as I slammed on the breaks mere feet out of the carwash. Something, rather somethings had bobbed in front of my moving car and disappeared in front of my grill. “God, I hope that wasn’t a kid or something,” I thought with mounting trepidation. Getting out of my car, I slowly walked around to the front of the vehicle and saw… two giant Sandhill Cranes staring blankly back at me. “Oh thank God!” I sighed. Recovering from my slight heart-attack at the thought of hitting children, I tried to shuffle the birds to the side of the carwash and out of my path. Nothing doin.

This, being my first dealings with these large, somewhat prehistoric looking creatures, I was surprised that my efforts went completely ignored. No matter the amount of yelling, clapping, waving of my arms in what I thought were menacing movements, not even stomping my feet at them rustled more than a curious head tilt from the cranes. After about two minutes of these antics, I decided it would be a good idea to throw something at the birds to get them to move. Bad idea. Finding a large piece of mulch, I weighed it in my hand to make sure it wouldn’t injure the stubborn duo, and then flung it. The birds watch the wood chip as it soared towards them and at the last second the both, as if the move was synchronized, took a step to the left and watched it fall with disinterest.

Now I was mad. What the heck was with these birds, anyway? Looking back at my jeep I hoped to see a way that I could maneuver around the troublesome pair and be on my way. There was no escape. I would either be forced to mow them down or find a way to scare them away. I must admit, the first option was sounding more and more attractive, but I decided to try one last thing.

Taking a few steps backwards, I closed my eyes, let out a breath and then ran at the birds full tilt. Arms waving, I let out a yell like a banshee and rushed them. The positive- they moved. The negative- they moved to the hood of my jeep. These were vindictive birds indeed. Wanting to cry at this point, I sat down on the curb and just stared at them, willing them to just let me pass. Life lesson= do not challenge Sandhill Cranes to a staring match. They will win every time. “Fine! I didn’t want to leave anyway!” I yelled at them as I stood up and moved towards the gas station shopette, “Stay there as long as you want, I don’t care”. Oh yeah, using reverse psychology on birds with brains the size of a walnut is definitely the way to go, very effective (about as effective as using sarcasm in an email).

Entering the cool air conditioned  shopette, I tried to forget about my feathered nemesis outside and strolled the aisles leisurely. Ten minutes of inventorying the various dry goods and candies of the place, I selected a cherry Laffy Taffy and walked to the counter. Throwing some change down, I looked up to see that the clerk was chuckling about something. “I think your friends may have flown the coop, man,” the goateed slacker-type said as he handed me a receipt. “Huh?” In my attempt to forget my battle of the birds only a few minutes prior I had almost succeeded in casting the episode out of my mind. Following his gaze, I looked outside at my vehicle, and realized… it was unoccupied. “Oh thank God!” I sighed in relief. Rushing out of the automatic doors I ran towards my jeep, half afraid that they were playing a malevolent game of hide-and-seek and would spring out at any second to foil my escape.

The birds were nowhere in sight, but they had left a parting gift. A big one… all over the hood of my newly-washed car.

At work the following day, I scanned through my email and saw a forward from my friend Angie:

FWD: Crazy man caught on tape trying to scare birds away from car, MUST SEE! HILARIOUS!

I deleted the message, claimed a stomach ailment and went home sick. Google “the gas station birdman” and you’ll see why.

He wants to eat your soul... (click for image source)


The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      While pumping some gas on the way home from work this afternoon (the concept of filling up my gas tank at this point is almost humorous) I noticed two very out of place visitors at the BP station. Two preening Sandhill Cranes were taking in the sights of the gas station by the edge of the carwash and the storefront. They just seemed so awesomely awkward and out of place, I had to snap a few pictures of them before zooming on home. The two attendants of the station tried (feebly at best) to shoo the birds away, but they were quite content to stay put. Watching the two humans act like crazy wahoos in an attempt to rid themselves of two stoically patient and reserved birds was pretty amusing. Almost as funny as paying close to $4.00 for a gallon of unleaded. Almost.

Sand hill cranes don't care... Sand hill cranes don't give a f*#k...

Love & Squirrels.