ASSOCIATES (vol. 3, no. 2, November 1996) - associates.ucr.edu
Table of contents
*Library Life: A Column of Eclectic Rantings* by Katie Buller Central Technical Services Memorial Library University of Wisconsin - Madison firstname.lastname@example.org This case will remain open until further notice. A summary of findings: The new employee. Knows a few people, knows about a few people. Trying to stay alive while learning a new job. Thought to be conspiring with earthly cohorts already present in the general vicinity. Last seen standing near coffee pot when a light glows from above and is quickly sucked up by a UFO--Unidentified Festering Objector to decaf coffee pots. Coincidence? Maybe. Coffee pot. Not just any coffee pot. Found lying in a field, a strange carcass riddled with holes and...no wait, that's cattle mutilations. Introduced by alien..er, I mean new employee shortly after arrival. It's small, innocent, constructed only of plastic and glass with a short cord leading to an electrical energizer output plate (wall outlet). When in motion, it gurgles. Strange, very strange. UFO: Unidentified Festering Objector to decaf coffee pots. Invisible cultist devoted to theory of constant caffeination. Infidels are warned with a visit from the UFO's earthly assistant, who elevates from across the gargantuan chamber to somberly warn: The UFO doesn't like decaf coffee pots. Smile, nod and ignore. The earthly assistant floats away to acquire an offering of water (10 cups to be exact) for delivery to the UFO. The Computer: lies dead, silent and unNOTISable. The Locator: ethereal being capable of designating desk and computer outlet pole locations without benefit of physical labor. All work is done on the astral plane and those of us on the physical plane find it impossible to notice any movement of furniture despite the fact that it has all been done in front of our eyes. All objects must be placed by the Locator. The decaf coffee pot is an usurper which has violated the Locator's realm. It sits on a table long vacant, due to Locator's designation of "relocated to other office". Physically, the table still does not appear to have moved to that locale however and the faithful wait in fear and trepidation. The Supervisor: floats through the office irregularly. Moans "I'm late for a meeting" over and over. It has no feet and is seen only by new employees. Ignores the decaf coffee pot and disappears without warning, not to be seen again until another new employee arrives, when it repeats the same routine. The Speaker: disembodied voice emanating from above. Periodically calls names and numbers. No one leaves. The New Employee hates the Speaker and wants the Speaker disemboweled by the Locator. The Locator says it was done long ago, when the table was removed. The Door: some say it leads to the outside, while others say it must remain locked forever. A chosen few have been given the key but have never been seen again once they use it. The Locator is said to have a key but no one has ever seen the Locator use it. The Locator never seems to leave...ever. The Books: filling the room, stacked to the ceiling in such a manner that indicates it was not done by human hands. Attempts to ascertain their age were thwarted by an infestation of tiny red spiders and mildew of other-worldly origin. Some have small slips sticking out of them, containing notes in an ancient language: "C2 TO SB FR APRVL AWT INV". Our language experts were unable to decipher any more. The Box of Elevation: It remains a mystery--an open door, a step up into a darkened box and nothing more. Where does it go? What does it do? Who is responsible for it? No one seems to know or willing to find out. The Box of Elevation is claimed by no one and appears to have nothing to do with coffee pots. This is borne out by closer examination. The Box of Elevation is a non-entity stuck between physical planes. Map of the world with a newspaper photo of Clinton's head tacked to Kansas: Appears to have no relevance whatever to the coffee pot but the conflagration of thumbtacks surrounding the clipping are noted. A poster depicting Cupid lying dead with one of his own arrows in his back is situated in the same area. There appears to be no relation between the two. The Sheep poster: situated near the coffee pot. There is no immediate significance seen to the location of this poster but the eyes of the Hampshire Down and Lincoln Longwool seem to follow people passing by. The odor of lanolin is sometimes noted and the occasional otherworldly "baaaa" can be heard late at night, when only the original catalogers are present in the immediate area. The Caffeine Coffee Pot: the old pot, the original. Sits silently in its own area, revered by all who pass by. The thick stench of Maxwell House fills the air around it and there are signs of recent movement. The pot has heavy brown rings over its plastic-crowned top and on the pedestal that supports it. Soaked coffee grounds cover the surrounding floor and marks were noted..shuffling marks like a small object dragging itself across the open floor toward the new coffee pot. Its voice is that of a submerged hippo, groaning and bubbling as the brown liquid it extracts from itself is produced and then consumed by its worshippers. Then finally it punctuates its activity with a loud hiss and the odor of burned coffee fiber is emitted from its bowels. The last sound it produces is not unlike the word "exxxxxterminate..." It is good to the last drop.