ASSOCIATES (vol. 3, no. 2, November 1996) -

Table of contents

                  *Library Life: A Column of Eclectic Rantings*

                                  Katie Buller
                             Central Technical Services
                                Memorial Library
                          University of Wisconsin - Madison

This case will remain open until further notice.  A summary of

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?

Coffee pot.  Not just any coffee pot.  Found lying in a field, a
strange carcass riddled with holes wait, that's cattle
mutilations.  Introduced by, 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

The last sound it produces is not unlike the word

It is good to the last drop.