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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Countin' Bagels on the Wall

Today, at about 12:30 PM, I went to the lunchroom to retrieve my lunch from the fridge and toast a bagel. As my bagel toasted, I read a few pages of Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men, chatting with my colleague Stephanie about the book's themes. When my bagel halves leapt free of the toaster, I smeared generous helpings of generic herb and garlic cream cheese across their golden-brown faces.

Then, I gathered up my lunch. In my left hand were my beverage, two Mandarin oranges, my iPhone, and my plate and the bagel halves it held. I kept my right hand free, knowing that I would need it to scan my passcard to get back through the secure doors that separated the lunchroom and adjoining elevator hallway from my desk.

All seemed well as I strolled down the elevator hall. Moving with great care, I reached for the lanyard holding my security pass and moved it toward the scanner. Alas, the delicate balance of my overloaded left hand was upset, and the plate holding the bagel halves pitched forward. I watched in stunned disbelief as the bottom half of the bagel slipped off the plate and landed cream-cheese-side on the wall next to the scanner, sliding down a couple of decimetres before sticking in place, like an arcane object d'art.

"Ouuarrgghhh!" I yelled. A colleague approached, eyes wide, and said "Oh, wow." He held the door open for me as I peeled the bagel from the wall and scrambled for my desk, putting down the remains of my lunch as I searched for napkins. Finding same, I headed back to the scene of the accident, just in time to see three more colleagues gazing at the cream cheese dripping down the wall.

"I wonder what happened there," my colleague Tyler said as Monica and Ashley gazed at the mess. Fists full of napkins, I quickly explained the situation. Tyler, Monica, and Ashley chortled at my ineptitude.

Resigned, I turned to the slowly congealing mass of cream cheese and began to wipe the wall clean. With exquisite timing, the vice president of my department walked by, looking askance at me; I had to explain again as I wiped away the goo. Only later would I notice, too late, that the belly of my shirt was also coated in cream cheese.

"Oh," she said dryly. "I thought you were just being unusually diligent about upkeep."

I finished up and ate the bagel anyway in a fit of stubborn defiance. 


Stephen Fitzpatrick said...

Wipin' bagels off the wall
Earl J nearly took a fall

Lunch is smeared there by the door
Colleagues jaws are on the floor

Grabbin' serviettes to wipe up herb and
gaaarrrlic goo

But it's too late -
It's on his shirt too...

(with apologies to the Statlers)

Earl J. Woods said...

Ha ha, absolutely perfect, Stephen.