Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Guilty Until Logically Deduced

For a brief moment Tuesday, I was public enemy number one.

Or maybe I was just the most convenient suspect. Intended scapegoat. Don't worry your pretty little heads about poor ol' Val. I dodged the rap. Didn't even need an alibi or witness. I'm rubber, everyone else is glue. Accusations bounce off me, and stick to...everyone else.

When we returned to the old salt mines Monday, the teacher workroom greeted us with a small table piled high with toner cartridges. I was impressed enough to suck in my breath in wonder. Boxes of toner cartridges are scarce as hens' teeth when the Kyocera starts fading. But here they were. Like a banquet laid out for a queen. If her royal highness felt a mite peckish for stacks of cardboard stuffed with dark powder encased in plastic. There was no time to take pictures of each other standing beside Mt. Toner with our smart phones. Every minute was accounted for that day, along with fifteen of them squeezed into overtime territory like rolls of muffin-top flesh over a denim waistband.

We worked in our rooms Tuesday. Talk about the state of education these days...nobody even had time to pop in and gossip. I'm surprised our noses didn't wear out the grindstone. I, myself, stayed in for lunch to catch up on my paperwork while watching two mandated online videos with one eye. It was during that time I received a call from the office, inquiring as to whether I was the one who OPENED EVERY CARTRIDGE BOX. Which was a problem, you see, because then nobody could tell which cartridges were fresh, and which had been bled dry yet replaced in a box for recycling or disposal purposes.

To borrow a line and title from Shaggy, "It wasn't me."

There was no further questioning. Perhaps I was the only one in the building to call when the heinous act was discovered. Perhaps something in my tone portended danger, or innocence. Perhaps it was an effort to make me sing like a canary and turn in my fellow faculty. Or MAYBE they suddenly realized that I was not exactly toner-cartridge-replacer material.

I swear, if I was the last woman on Earth, and wanted to make a copy of my own ample buttocks for personal viewing, I would never attempt to replace a toner cartridge in a Kyocera. Or any copier, for that matter. Nobody wants a five o'clock shadow on their midsection, even with nobody else left on Earth to see it. Besides, those toner cartridges require a workout more strenuous than an English Channel swim rolled up in an Iron Man triathlon rolled up in an Olympic marathon. Toner cartridges must be shaken, not babied like a tube of nitroglycerin transported through the Badlands on horseback.

Did I open eleventy-thousand boxes of toner cartridges? I hardly think so.


  1. It just seems like spooky stuff is always happening around you...hmmm.

  2. Shake shake shake.

    Shake shake shake.

    Shake your tone-er, shake your tone-er.

  3. Be sure and let us know when the true perp is found! (said in my best Law & Order voice)

  4. This reminds me of the time my ex husband (who was a toddler at the time) went into the pantry and ripped all the labels off the canned goods.

    Did they discover the culprit? And one lingering question...WHY?

  5. C'mon, Val. They say confession is good for the soul.

  6. Wait...just hearing you deny the charges was enough logic for the investigator? What about the swab of phleghm to check for DNA? What about the thread from your sleeve and the single hair from the box of toner carts? They just BELIEVED YOU? Do you realize how many people lost paychecks on that abbreviated investigation? Anyway, who WOULD open every cartridge box? A weirdo? Like Val? I'm still not convinced.

  7. joeh,
    It's totally unexplainable! Some days I would like to drape myself over a chaise lounge and watch the world go by without dragging me into every odd scenario.

    That, Madam, would require getting up off my chaise lounge. Something I am not wont to do, even for disco.

    There are 8 million stories in the teacher workroom. And this is one of them without an ending.

    That reminds my of the time toddler Genius ripped all the labels off my Polaroid VHS tapes.

    As far as I know, nobody has confessed. They are still stacked across from the faculty bathroom doors, their flaps gaping open. I am not a forensic psychologist, never even played one on TV, so I don't know why.

    See, Linda tried to trick me into "proposing" a possible motive. You've got to refine your interrogation techniques. Perhaps pick up a good cop to your bad cop.

    Yes! My denial was enough. I am the young George Washington of this facility. Not the wooden teeth part. The not telling a lie part. Why are you all trying to railroad me? Can't we all just shake-shake-shake our toner out on Madam Sioux's dance floor?

  8. Shaking the toner cart here, Boss.