I succeeded in moments where it took others months. I'm proud of my accomplishments.
When Vinnie first bid into the control center they tried forever to get him to crack on the radio and he wouldn't. He was a rock. A stoic. Old Stone Face Himself. No matter what they did.
Then one day in the middle of count, Sgt Puddle tossed something innocuous on the desk in front of him.
Quoth Vinnie: "All it took was a moist towelette on the right day. I just lost it."
This evening I was an extra so they put me on the front desk. Being as how it was both Presidents Day and Card Reading Day (I should have known that!) the place was both overstaffed and under-eventful. No case workers, no admin, no mail, no education, no library. And hip deep in CO's.
I quickly grew very bored. That's never a good thing.
Them Mr Strangle up in the comm room convinced the lieutenant on the books that he should be allowed to go home and told me I was taking his place. Snap! I was looking forward to going out on the yard for a few hours instead of more boredom in the comm room.
So Vinnie invited me to hang out in the control center for a little while until I had to go up there.
That just wasn't a good idea. On several levels. First thing I did was lean back on the wrong counter. My radio case hit a button on one of the printers and it started spewing out paper. When I moved away from the printer one of the phones rang right in my ear and startled me and I almost fell down the stairs into the bathroom.
Everybody in the room pointed to a vacant chair and told me to sit and behave myself.
Well, I sat.
When Vinnie started to call count over the radio I started quacking in the background. And when he raised an eyebrow and shot me a dirty look (while still talking on the radio) I gave him my best sheep imitation.
That did it.
He started laughing in the middle of our radio call sign and just kind of lost it after that. And when he tried to call count clear I sat there and quietly muttered in a Groucho Marx-esque imitation of his voice.
It was a good thing I was out or arms reach.
See? It isn't a good thing for there to be too many of us in one place with nothing to do. It can get hazardous.
About fifteen minutes after they tossed me out of the control center, Vinnie calls and tells me "I have that item ready for you to pick up." It's kind of like code. He'd written me something and wanted me to read it. That's always fun. I write odd things now and then and just print them off on the printer in the control center. Somehow they always know it's me.
"It isn't mine to wonder why, tis only mine to weep and cry.
Or rather ponder or to try,
While the wife plays 'Yellow Submarine'.
The jack of all trades is the master of none,
But at what great length could work be done,
As he steals and burgles just for fun,
Like the pirates of Tortuga.
When at last the workday is done,
I hope that I can call on you,
And rejoice we shall 'Koo Koo Kachoo!' as if we knew each other.
And 'Chew the fat!' the fat man shouted,
Until he ran and we rerouted,
Not knowing what he said undoubted, no attention to the end.
This is the bridge which should sum up,
Where all this nonsense should end up,
Like reading teal leaves in your cup,
It's over there is no more."
And all of that because one of us said something silly and I said he should write it down.
I'm telling you, with his head on my shoulders, we could wreck civilization.
Tomorrow is Be Humble Day. I wish I could tell everybody I invented that. It would be so cool! Oh, and it's also Washington's Birthday. Happy Birthday George!
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