Thursday, September 18, 2008

They Walk Among Us

There is -- and I swear I am not making this up -- some sort of bizarre pencil-eating cult operating in secret at the the downtown or main portion of the Skunk Works. When I left to spend a week Doing Great Feats at the North Campus, the Engineering Shop had plenty of pencils, nice fat yellow #2 ones, at least one per bench and in the top drawers of the various shared desks.

Got back there Tuesday and there is one (1) pencil in the engshop, total. Well-chewed and lurking between the least-used cordless phone, electric pencil sharpener and the Old Shop Computer (which does dribble a little steam now and again and will catch your hand a nasty pinch in the gears, but we can't bear to give it up, plus it's the only one we have that is able to run the what-wire-goes-where database [last updated in 1982]), I'm pretty sure it survived the demented feasting only by being overlooked and from the signs, may well have been dropped in the process of being masticated by one of the cultists.

It's dreadful! Why do they do it? What possible benefit can accrue from the consumption of incense cedar, yellow enamel and a mixture of graphite, clay and Secret Ingredients? Do they eat the eraser and ferrule, too, or is there some midden-pile of those items in a dark corner or atop a ceiling tile just waiting to be discovered?

You can have your Bermuda Shorted Triangle, your Mysteries of the Great Pyramid or of the Great Auk; I've got my own little slice of Arkham right in the office.

I almost grabbed a handful of my own personal pencils to take in this morning, then thought better of it. I'd only be enabling them. I keep watching, quietly, for the tell-tale signs: the silver/black teeth, the slivers of wood at the corners of the lips, but they're too careful for me. Sooner or later, though, one of them will slip!

Howard Phillips Lovecraft, I will not let you down! This scourge must be brought to book!

PS: I notice I now have a few Followers. Your sacrifice and dedication has not been unnoticed; haven't quite determined what to do with this latest feature-like-offering from Bloogle/Gogger, is all.

12 comments:

George said...

Oh noes. It is spreading. Do you know where my glasses are?

Mark said...

It brings a tear to my eye to see the word "ferrule" being used properly.

Thank you, Roberta. You have moved my tiny, self-centred universe a little this bright morning.

Shermlock Shomes said...

"ferrule". . . pencils. That explains it. They ran away.

staghounds said...

No, if that were the case, they would already have been at liberty.

Milton Friedman explained that it takes literally millions of people to make a pencil and put it in a user's hands.

Putting it in the stomach is a solo activity.

BobG said...

The pencils are probably residing in the same place as all of the lost socks.

Old Grouch said...

You could always try dipping the pencils in Tabasco, then watching for any reactions.

I blame the sales-droids.

Somerled said...

Some needy school children may have some new yellow no. 2 pencils today thanks to whoever boosted them and your employer.

Mark@Sea said...

I have an absolutely true eyewitness Bermuda Triangle story. Don't need 'the looks', though, so it remains untold. Didn't see any pencils there, though....

Roberta X said...

Oh, there's definitely a triangle to be traced -- but weird stuff happens outside it as easily as inside, on a per-person basis.

I'd like to think those pencils are going to needy schoolkids but my bet is, if they're not et, they're being smoked.

Shermlock, Oh. My. $DIETY. That is so terribly wrong. And after Mark was all happy, too. Tsk.

HTRN said...

Roberta, want a suggestion? Tape a package of them on the underside of desk, way in the back, as an "emergency supply". Just don't tell anybody.

(learned the hardway after working in shops for 10+ years where everything not bolted down disappears)

og said...

Get a bottle of Mavala.

http://www.amazon.com/Mavala-Stop-Nail-Biting-Deterrent/dp/B000J428AC

Bitter and nasty tasting. Paint pencils. Offenders will be the ones walking around with disgusted looks on their faces, wipin g their tongues off with scotchbrite.

Somerled said...

Full strip searches plus body cavity checks for all those leaving the work place?