Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Things That Go ; What the Day Shift Failed to Mention Inspired Me to New Heights at Work

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Things That Go ; What the Day Shift Failed to Mention Inspired Me to New Heights at Work

Article excerpt

When I hear people talk about their affinity with animals, I try not to mention mine. The truth is, rodents appear to be magnetically attracted to me. (I trust it's not my cologne.) One story I never bring up is what I've come to remember as The Underground Creature Incident.

I worked evenings in the basement of an ancient building. One evening, the day-shift guy gave me the usual report and left. I settled in to do paperwork at the immense wooden desk. It was, as always in the bowels of the old building, very quiet. I sipped at an enormous styrofoam cup of ice water and scribbled away.

Scritchy-scratchy footsteps roused me from my trance. It wasn't at all uncommon to see mice in our area. So without looking up or pausing my pen, I stamped my foot and said, "Get out of here!"

Scritch-scratch, scritch-scratch, SCRITCH-SCRATCH. I looked up from my paperwork, and down toward the floor.

Advancing as if he were there for an urgent appointment with my foot - and like he was running late and in a ripping hurry - was a small animal. It wasn't a mouse, I realized, at about the same moment that I also knew it would be sitting on my toe (or mountaineering up my leg?) very soon.

I stamped passionately. I said, "Whatever you are - scram! Vamoose! Take off!"

As I stamped and exclaimed, the creature headed straight for me. He picked up speed. I yelled and pounded my foot on the ground. He became a frenzied, little furry blur arrowing at a bull's eye named Terry.

I leaped onto my desk, sitting on top and drumming my heels enthusiastically on the drawers. The critter bumbled around under my feet for a few minutes. Then he meandered off.

About that time, I noticed I was sitting on my flattened styrofoam cup. The ice water had soaked my pants in a most unflattering and unrefreshing way. It didn't bode well for my dining in the cafeteria later.

But at least the creature was gone. I looked around furtively. Gone. He was gone. I squished back down into my chair and resumed the paperwork. Scritch-scratch, scritch-scratch, SCRITCH -

I stomped! I pounded! I hollered! The creature came at me like a superhero to a needy victim. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.