“Please stock some brownies. Thank you!”
The idea of passing along messages to the guy who stocked the vending machine had never occurred to me. I had once spent a frustrating half hour on the phone trying to get a 75 cent refund just because I’m one of those people who will get into a small thing and not know when to let go, although I never did get my 75 cents back, but that’s another story.
I went back to my office and grabbed a post-it note and added a message of my own.
“NO! TARZAN NO NEED BROWNIES!”
The next day I noticed the original note-writer had added something new.
“Don’t eat the brownies then Tarzan.”
Did I mention I’m one of those people who’ll get into a small thing and not know when to let go?
“Tarzan have poor impulse control. Too many brownies make vine break.”
At this point a third voice entered the conversation.
“Jane agrees. Tarzan doesn’t need the love handles.”
And apparently this discussion had gotten some attention because, based on the handwriting, a couple of other people got involved as well.
“Cheetah suggest counseling for Tarzan. Worked for elephant.”
“Elephant fall off wagon. Crash heard throughout jungle.”
In the midst of this there was a test of the building fire alarm which meant that everyone who worked there gathered in the parking garage next door. And as we all stood around in our little groups I looked around. This was an office building. People from at least half a dozen companies, and at least three more departments within the place I worked for, were there. Which of you is Jane? I wondered. Cheetah? Elephant? Are you here? They were complete strangers but I still considered them friends. They were kindred spirits. They’d enabled my foolishness.
I added a final note.
“Tarzan thank Cheetah. Will look into therapy. Perhaps have deeper unresolved issues.”
That was the final note because a short time later a co-worker asked me, “Are you Tarzan?”
“Yes,” I said, a little sheepishly. A large part of the fun was the anonymity. I was glad I didn’t recognize the others because it would have spoiled the illusion.
“Well I’d stay out of the break room. The delivery guy is pissed.”
And from down the hall I could hear boxes being slammed around. Later when he’d left all our notes were gone. I guess he had deeper unresolved issues.
And there were no brownies.