Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Sometimes the little things seem like the biggest.  The most inconsequential sound gets on our nerves, the most minuscule aberration threatens to ruin our peace of mind. Sometimes it's justified, sometimes it's not. Sometimes it is.

            Crunch.  Crunch.  Crunch.
The chewing grew louder from the other side of the cubicle.  Crunch.  Crunch.  What was she eating?  Chips?  Crackers?  A granola bar?  Human bones?  Once your imagination takes hold, there’s no turning back.  So human bones it was.
Disgusting.  Just imagine:  a cannibal working next to Joe Smivey.  Even Joe’s boss Mr. Dalton had no clue.  The police probably didn’t know either.  No, Joe was the only one with this crucial piece of information. The only one to know there was a cannibal in their midst.
            Now what was a cannibal doing working in the IT department of the HR department of a PR firm?  That’s BS.  She must have some ulterior motive for being here.  Probably eating people.  Yeah, that would make sense.
            What was her favorite part of the human to eat?  The femur?  No, it was probably ear cartilage.  Yeah, that’s probably the tastiest part, lots of fat.  Not that Joe would by any means want to try it, he quickly reminded himself.  He shook his head in disgust and turned back to his bottomless email inbox.  Now that’s a feat of physics.
            Crunch.  Crunch.
            Okay, that is definitely not a cracker.  There is no question that she’s munching on a snack of human bones.  No question about it.  Joe was no anthropologist, but he was positive.  And it repelled him as if he were confronted with another positive source.  He decided he needed to take action.  If he didn’t, who knew, maybe Joe would be next.  And after that, the world.
            Joe slowly got out of his chair and stood up.  Now what was her name?  He knew he should have been more sociable.  Well, too late for that now.  And maybe it was a good thing he hadn’t mingled with a cannibal.  Joe started to lean over the cubicle divider but quickly retreated.  No, that would be too obvious.  If he did that, she would probably leap up at him, grab his face, and devour him in one gulp.  A sneakier method was needed.
            Crunch.  Crunch.
            Never mind, no time to plan.  Action must be taken immediately.  Just think of the innocent children.  With the innocent children image fresh in his mind, Joe leapt around the cubicle wall, screaming nonsense, anything to get his coworker’s attention off her human snack and the rest of his officemates’ attention onto this crime against humanity.
            Joe landed and accusatorily pointed a shaking finger at her.  She looked up at him quizzically.  Everyone else in the office also shared her expression.  Joe looked down at her hands.  A cracker.  A plain, old cracker.  Not a piece of human bone or scrap of flesh in sight.  She slowly, cautiously raised up her hand and took a bite out of the cracker.
            Crunch.  Crunch.
            Cracker crumbs fell out of her mouth, getting stuck between the keys on her computer keyboard.  Awfully clumsy for an IT person.  But that’s beside the point.  The point—and Joe was still pointing at her, not knowing what else to do—was that she was not a cannibal.
            “Can I help you?” she asked Joe.
            “Uh.”  Joe couldn’t get out a word, understandably.
            His coworker bent down and reached into her purse.  She pulled out something long and white.
            “I don’t know about you, but I’m still starving.  Femur?”

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