It was 4:59pm and our office and the police had just learned that the two 3-hole punches had never been stolen but that I had forgotten them in my desk drawer. I couldn't believe I had been put through such a crappy day, and demanded an apology from Sheila, our boss.
SHEILA: Here's something that might be better than an apology, and might save us the inconvenience of removing a dead body from this office: you're fired.
ME: You can't fire me.
Sheila glanced down at her watch.
SHEILA: I'm heading home. Officers, I apologize for calling you out here for... this.
ME: You're discriminating against me.
Howard huffed angrily, unable to hold back his annoyance.
HOWARD: How is she discriminating against you?
SHEILA: Howard, please, don't get him started.
ME: Well, for starters, I've always been told that I'm forgetful. That's why I forgot about the 3-hole punches. That's how you're discriminating against me. I'm remember-challenged.
SHEILA: You tried to Mace the entire office.
ME: I thought it was Febreze. I didn't remember it was Mace.
SHEILA: You are uncontrollable.
ME: I'm uncontrollable-challenged. You're still discriminating.
SHEILA: You are a volatile personality, Eric. And I can't jeopardize the safety of the rest of the people in this office.
ME: I'm volatile personality-challenged and jeopardize-the-safety-of-the-rest-of-the-people-challenged. I'm afraid I've got you in a corner there, Sheila.
SHEILA: Will you promise to calm down, and think before you talk?
ME: You know... I have done nothing wrong here. If anything is wrong, it's you.
SHEILA: See what I mean?
ME: And all of you too!
I looked around angrily at everyone.
ME: Boy, if I had a can of Mace right now. I swear.
SHEILA: You're not helping your cause here.
ME: Howard, where did you put my Mace?
I shuddered, then took a deep breath.
ME: All right. I'm making a surprise. For tomorrow. How do you all like mayonnaise-iced tuna puffs? I'm making a whole bunch. For everyone. Is that good? All right.
When I showed up for work the next day, everyone asked about the mayonnaise-iced tuna puffs.
SHEILA: No one brought their lunches today, Eric. Where are the tuna puffs?
ME: You know, I came home, my wife told me about her day, and then I ran out and rode down the hill in my soapbox car for the rest of the night. There's only so many hours in a night, you know. You people are conceited. Anybody have ten bucks to spot me until next payday? I'm starved.
I changed the subject then. But it was official: I was back! Ready to work. My name back to being as good as gold.