At work last week, Turtle walked by on his way to refill something and placed his hand on my lower back. I thought this was strange, yes, but as I was busy, didn’t really stop to think about it. A few minutes later, Turtle said, “Check your back.”
“What?” I said.
“Check your back.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Check. Your. Back.”
Finally I got what he was saying and turned around, and there was a sticker on my back–a tail sticker.
Turtle grinned. “It’s Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” he said.
I grinned back, and stuck it on Bob the next time he walked by. Bob, being busy and…well, Bob…never caught on to the “Bob…check your back” thing, and so, two hours later, I suddenly noticed that it was still there. I pointed this out to Turtle, who went and told Bob that it was there and that I had done it. We all laughed about it, and it was forgotten.
Two days ago, Michelle was standing near me when I happened to notice that there was a sticker on her shoulder that said, “HOT DOG, $2.99” (or however much they cost). I immediately assumed that Turtle had done this, and pointed it out to Adrianna. We started snickering about it, and then Adrianna showed Bob. Michelle still had no idea what was going on, and we finally filled her in. Bob, recalling that day last week, told her it was probably me, which seemed to be the case–I was, after all, the one who had spotted it. But Turtle made more sense to me, because he was the one who had originally stuck it on me. So I told Michelle as much.
A few minutes later, Turtle approached me and said, “Why would you frame me!?”
“I did no such thing!” I said.
“You told Michelle I stuck the hot dog sticker on her back.”
Suddenly realizing that Michelle had taken off the sticker before he’d seen it, I thought my name was clear. “Ah-ha!” I said, pointing at him accusingly. “How did you know it was a hot dog sticker if you didn’t put it on there?”
“Michelle told me,” he said, without missing a beat.
“Oh.” I looked at Michelle, who had just come up, for clarification. She clarified. My name was not clear.
I have the misfortune of, for some reason, always looking guilty, even when I am not. It has always been so. I don’t know exactly why this is; I think I just get nervous that I won’t be able to find evidence enough to clear my name; I’ve never been good at defending myself. And when I’m nervous, I laugh. Nervously.
Anyway, the important thing is that I was not guilty. But something about Turtle made me think he wasn’t, either. Although who else could it have been? So I assumed it was him, and he assumed it was me. Michelle informed us that she didn’t trust either one of us.
We all went back to serving, and I was standing there thinking, How can I argue my way out of this using logic? There had to be a way.
At last, I thought of something, and walked down to where Michelle was. I placed my hand deliberately on her shoulder and said, “If I came down here and placed my hand on your shoulder, just like this, it would feel kind of strange, wouldn’t it? You would definitely notice it, wouldn’t you?” Michelle was visibly uncomfortable. I continued. “On the other hand, if Turtle came down here and put his hand on your shoulder like that, it wouldn’t feel quite so strange, would it? You may not even notice that it was there, it would feel so normal.” (Michelle and Turtle have been dating for a while now.)
Michelle looked enlightened as she shoveled taco toppings onto a plate for the guy in front of her. “Just a second, let me serve this guy,” she said. “I think you’re onto something!”
I paused, beaming at the fact that I was so totally about to clear my name, when, from right behind me, I heard Michael the grill cook laughing very hard.
At first I thought, I love that Michael is completely amused by the whole mystery of the hot dog sticker thing. I know we’re all getting a kick out of it. But as I continued to stand there, waiting for Michelle to have a chance to turn around and discuss the sticker, and Michael just laughed harder, I thought, He’s laughing awfully hard…suspiciously hard…. And then it dawned on me that all of those hot dog stickers were right there on the counter, within Michael’s grasp….
I whirled around and pointed my finger at Michael. “It was you!” I said, realization dawning. “It was you the whole time!”
Michael had tears in his eyes from laughing so hard. And then he confessed.
I found it all quite amusing, too. So did Sandra, when I went back to my line to tell her the story. “Elementary, my dear Sandra,” I said.
At one point at the beginning of work, Michelle came up to me and said, “Adrianna just got ‘Let It Go’ stuck in my head.”
“Aww!” I said, expressing my disgust.
“I know!” She walked away, leaving me to think, Of course, now I’ll have it in my head, just because she mentioned it. And then she came back, grinning evilly, and said, “So…is it in your head yet?”
“Good.” And she walked to the other end.
A minute later, I walked down to her end, tapped her on the shoulder, and said, “I just have four words for you, Michelle.” She looked at me expectantly. I grinned. “It’s a small world.”
“I HATE YOU!” she said, as I turned, threw my head back, and laughed a perfectly divine evil laugh. It was so splendid; I was incredibly proud of it. No evil laugh I had ever laughed compared with this one. This means my practice has been paying off.
I knew it was wonderful, and so I turned back and said, “Did you hear my incredible evil laugh?”
“Yes!” Michelle said. “That was awesome! But Adrianna didn’t like it.”
I turned and looked at Adrianna, who was scrunched down, with huge eyes and mouth gaping open…she looked like a frightened rodent. It was priceless.
“That was so scary, Ginny!” she said.
I grinned even more widely. “Good.”
Then I ran back to my line to ask if Sandra had heard it; she’d been impressed, too. And then we spent the rest of the night going back and forth, trying to get the most annoying songs stuck in the other side’s heads.
We really do work some of the time; I swear.