Now that it's been a full week since I tried to burn my workplace down, I've finally stopped hyperventilating enough to share the story.
It was Friday and everyone had bolted early for the weekend. I love when the office gets quiet even if it does feel somewhat haunted. I can drown out ghost vibes with laser focus and was in a happy, productive groove when a new, unanticipated problem suddenly presented itself.
I planned to stay late but I had not planned to be hungry.
(Now you know where my logo comes from.)
This new information (that I was about to die due to limited caloric intake) presented itself instantly, as it always does.
There is never a “lead in” to starvation.
Sleep comes on slowly and allows one to adapt to increasing drowsiness at a leisurely pace, leaving enough time to crawl into bed. Thirst also creeps up sluggishly.
But not hunger.
Hunger ambushes you into a perilous hostage situation.
The need to eat at regular intervals, despite being fairly predictable, escaped me. I had a hearty lunch and somehow this registered as never needing food again.
I started searching my cubicle for snacks but only found mouthwash and ibuprofen.
Not even a stray soy sauce packet! The entire space was a wasteland.
Now, there ARE vending machines in the building but they were several floors away and I didn't want to sneak past the guards on the way back with fistfuls of cheetohs as my bounty.
This was becoming a terrible dilemma.
Suddenly, with the razor-sharp instincts of a malnourished hyena in the middle of a long, bleak arctic winter, I remembered…
Two weeks ago someone brought a gigantic cookie the size of a pizza pie to the office Halloween party. Slices had been energetically carved off since then and it was mostly decimated but earlier I passed by the tray and noticed that not only was it still there, it WASN’T EMPTY.
A sliver of cookie was still left!
That would be JUST enough nourishment to sustain life for one more hour until I could escape and find real food.
Have you ever seen Naked and Afraid? If a single mealworm could save somebody's life, that cookie sliver could save mine.
I knew what I had to do.
Office parties are like shipwrecks. Free food is immediately decimated by the nearby wildlife. The North American Colleague is a voracious and vigilant creature. But somehow a single shard of confectionary goodness survived.
There was no way to tell, however, if the tray been closed properly in between feedings. This could be bad news, as we have mice at night.
Bravely fending off my demise required a quick calculation between life and one of TWO imminent deaths:
1. Either DON’T eat the cookie, and die of starvation, or
2. EAT the cookie, and die of hantavirus.
I decided there had to be a third option.
3.MICROWAVE the cookie to disinfect it from the myriad invisible mouse germs that must inevitably be blanketing it.
Satisfied with the plan, I snuck to the kitchen to nuke my prized morsel. I set it for one minute; scientifically calculating the delicate balance of time between desiccated cookie crumbs and hantavirus destruction.
Alas, I overestimated.
White smoke began pouring out of the microwave door like I had set off a volcanic reaction. I was positive this meant the cookie was on fire. I cracked open the door to check and more smoke billowed out. I panicked and tore out of the kitchen looking for help.
Since this story started with the spoiler that the building did NOT, in fact, burn down, I’ll fast forward a bit.
A guard came and saved my life, the building AND all the cheetohs in the vending machines. (I know, right? Miraculous!)
No one was injured from smoke inhalation, the charred cookie remains did NOT get a second chance to burn the building down by flaming up in the the trash can (thank goodness to a hearty soak in water), and your heroine slunk out of the building in shame, narrowly escaping starvation.
I lived to tell the story and even awkwardly learned to draw using my toes. (Just kidding, it only LOOKS like that. Trackpads make clumsy drawing pads.)