Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Romanian Job

I looked over at Tumbleweed intensely viewing his computer screen. "Hey you know it's against the paper's policy to look at porno at work, bro'." Tumbleweed looks up then replies, "They're just friends of mine." Curiosity gets the better of me. I jump out of my chair then walk over to Tumbleweed's computer to have a peek. Tumbleweed clicked through a number of scantily clad pictures of a couple of women though none showed any naughty bits. "Damn candy ass. Nice. Who's the ladies?" Tumbleweed explain how he met them over the internet and that they were living in Romania. "You looking to buy a Romania bride there Tumbleweed?" Tumbleweed is never really sure how he should respond to me. He weighs his words carefully. The wrong answer could be turned around making Tumbleweed play the fool. "No not really. We're just friends is all." This causes Me to raise my eyebrows and laugh. "I wish I had friends dressed like that sending me pictures. Did they ask for your credit card number or offer you any Nigerian opportunities, bro'?" Now Tumbleweed is really not sure what to say so he remains silent for the time being. I continues poking fun at Tumbleweed. "Hey this isn't just a cover is it. You know? For the gay thing." I say under his breath so only Tumbleweed could hear me. "You're the gay one Tom." Tumbleweed blurts out causing  people nearby to look over and giggle.  I put one hand on his hip and reply, "So you're saying you are gay? Or just bi-curious?" "I'm not gay Tom. You're gay." Tumbleweed again defends his sexuality. I wink at Tumbleweed and gives him the okay sign. "I'm not gay, Tom."

Dave worked at his computer but he got that uneasy feeling. Something wasn't right. He looked over his shoulder and realized Randy was standing silently just behind him. Immediately Dave starts to check his back for kick me signs, spurs on his heels or other practical jokes. This was a sound move whenever Randy was found hovering behind a person. It took a few Randy pranks but now Dave knew the deal. Anytime Randy was around you had to be on your guard. For example Randy was standing behind Dave one day and made a buzzing noise like a fly as he touched Dave's ear from behind while he focused on his computer. "Knock it off Randy." Dave ordered but Randy made another fly buzzing sound then touched Dave's ear once again. "What's a matter Dave?" Randy inquires. "Afraid of a fly?" Dave trying to get some work done says, "No." He goes about trying to ignore Randy who touches Dave's ear once again but this time Dave pays him no mind and does not react. So Randy makes the fly buzzing sound one last time and touches Dave's ear from behind then returns to his own desk. Dave having paid Randy no mind continues riding ads onto the pages. Unfortunately for Dave he did not realize how cunning Randy could be. Randy knew the first couple of times he buzzed Dave and touched his ear that Dave would give Randy the brush off. Then once Dave stopped reacting, hoping Randy would just go away, he touched Dave's ear one last time pretending to be a fly - as far as Dave was concerned. What Dave didn't realize was that Randy had ear ringed him. This is when Randy took a small strip of paper and curled it into a ring. Then he rolled a piece of tape into a circle so it would stick to both the paper ring and whatever else the ring was stuck to - like Dave's ear. For the next hour or so Dave walked around the floor past lots of snickering coworkers. This wasn't as bad as it might have been as Randy only single ear ringed Dave as opposed to a double ear ringing. Still, one could look rather foolish with even one large paper ear ring taped to the ear. Randy walked by Dave's desk a couple times saying, "Do you hear a ringing in your ears?" To which Dave stopped working for a second to listen then replied, "No. I don't hear anything." Randy presses Dave once more about the ringing but Dave has to finish closing his section and doesn't have time to fool with Randy. He goes back to working on the computer. Then, perhaps as a result of the tape irritation Dave scratches his ear and feels something. He pulls his hand back only to find a paper ear ring wrapped around his finger. He is momentarily perplexed until he hears laughing behind his work station. He whirls around in his chair and sees Randy, Alan and half the floor giggling at him.

Once Dave was sure he hadn't been victimized by Randy again he asked, "Why's up?" Randy replied, "Have you heard about Tumbleweed's upcoming Romanian adventure? He had not so Randy filled him in as it appeared Tumbleweed would have preferred to escape town without answering any "probing" questions from Dave or Randy. However since vacation time was involved and Randy was his supervisor the cat was out of the bag. Apparently Tumbleweed was going to spend two weeks in Romania with his two internet negligée ladies who appeared to be around twenty years old from Dave's reckoning. Neither Dave nor Randy like the sound of it and joke the ladies could be a guy named Boris. Despite the warnings, real and ones just for laughs, Tumbleweed took off for Romania with a couple bags and his credit card with the five thousand dollar limit. The two weeks he was gone went by quickly. Tumbleweed having the most seniority always got the lion's share of the paste up work each night. So when he was not at work it meant the other paginators had to work twice as hard to close the paper on time.

Dave got to work remembering tonight was the night that Tumbleweed would return from his Romanian sex vacation. He was going to get screwed one way or another and Dave was curios to hear which it would be. As Dave walked by Chris's desk Chris motioned for Dave to come over for a second. "Dude. Watch this. I'm going to coup de chaired Tumbleweed." This perplexes Dave who repeats Chris' new expression. "Coup de chair...what the hell is that?" Chris bent down pointing to the six legs that support the chairs that each employee gets to sit in. He pointed to the end of each chair leg roller. "What I did was pop off one of the wheels on his chair. He can roll this way or that everything operates normally..." Chris explains as the two watch Tumbleweed doing just that when suddenly Tumbleweed rolls the wrong way and momentarily disappears below his cubicle wall. "Looks like he just roll the wrong way." Chris whispers as Tumbleweed reappears from behind the cubicle wall with a confused look on his face. He looks down then sees the missing roller where Chris had left it nearby his sabotaged chair. He stoops down picking up the missing wheel then stands upright again holding the wheel in his hand. Tumbleweed starts looking around only just realizing that this may not actually be a naturally occurring phenomenon. As he looks in the direction of Chris and Dave they both look away innocently. Chris starts to whistle. Normally, the thing a person who just committed a practical joke would do is try to blame the attack on some other innocent third party - Randy for example. That way you could get two practical jokes for the price of one as the victim of the original prank then retaliated against the wrong person. Randy especially enjoyed these false flag attacks.

Chris and Dave both squatted below Chris's cubicle so they could laugh without Tumbleweed noticing. "That's pretty good, Chris. How'd you come up with that?" Chris smiling replies, "It was Tom's concept. When they move any way the chair moves normally except... When the deposed sitter moves in the direction of the missing wheel they get toppled. Hence the tag, coup de chair. He did it on my chair and you really get the feeling when it starts to go that you are falling - but only two inches before the leg with the missing wheel hits the floor. We did Randy's chair too." Dave smiles. "When? You mean now?" Dave has a wide grin appear as the two stand up and begin watching Randy. Randy rolls back and forth but does not fall over. Dave is beginning to wonder what is wrong with Chris's prank when suddenly Randy disappears from view behind the cubicle. He immediately springs back up with his hands on his hips and a "what kind of shit is this" expression on his face. He looks down at his chair and evidently seeing the missing wheel on the floor by his chair where Chris left it he bends down and retrieves it. The two jokers start to laugh as they see Randy mouth the words, "Son-of-a-bitch." He begins to look around for the culprits causing Chris and Dave to dive below the cubicle wall hiding their guilt. They were still squatting there as Randy walk around the corner with his arms folded. He knew right where to look. "I thought so." He said with disgust.

Ronny didn't mind practical jokes but they better not delay the close of the paper. Randy is standing over Chris and Dave who sit up finally. Chris starts prepares his things to leave for home. "What? You boys see a mouse down there where you were stooping? You know about this?" Randy asks holding up the wheel from his chair. "Looks like one of them there rollers for them fancy chairs we got here." Dave comments innocently as the two do their best to keep straight faces. "You can't damage company property, man." Randy warns as Chris gets up to leave. "They'll fire you." Before passing by Randy, Chris pleads his innocence as well. "Beats me boss. Maybe Tumbleweed did it."  Chris throws his bag over his shoulder then leaves for the day. He was departing with a signed taped on the back of his bag stating, "Warning - Domestic Terrorist." He should have known something was amiss as he heard laughter from various people as he passed them through the halls while exiting the building. Apparently he got all the way home before his wife once again asked about the sign. Only then did he come to realize Randy had already counter attacked him for the coup de chair affair. Dave wondered what would be his fate as well though not technically duplicitous.

Dave began working on his section and looked over as Tumbleweed returned to his desk from getting a diet coke from the machine. "Hey it's that wild and crazy guy from Romania." Dave remarks as Tumbleweed sits down popping open his drink. Then remembering his earlier mishaps it was standard that Tumbleweed remember to recheck his chair to verify that is has a full complement of wheels. Then he looks up at Dave. "Hi Dave." He says to his coworker and starts laying out his sections of the paper. Dave wants to hear about the trip and says, "Well...how was the vacation?" Tumbleweed replies, "Good." But Dave want's to know more than just that and asks, "Did you get any...vitamin P." Tumbleweed comments vaguely, "We're friends Dave. It's not like that." It's clear to Dave that there is not much to talk about or Tumbleweed doesn't want to talk about it. Dave notices Randy looking at him. Randy drags one finger across his throat signaling for Dave to cut out the line of questions. So Dave drops the inquiry and goes about closing his section. Still he is curious to hear how things went in Romania.

Later in the evening once Dave has closed with his sections he walks over to Randy's desk. "I'm closed." He comments then sits down in the chair next to him. Randy takes note but continues finishing up his nightly report. Then he looks back over to Dave and say in a low voice, "Did Tumbleweed say anything about his Romanian vacation yet?" To which Dave replies, "I asked Tumbleweed but he didn't seem to have much to say. Why?" A concerned look comes over Randy's face then he continues. "I figured he wouldn't tell you. They cleaned him out. The Romanian chicks max'ed out his credit card." Dave interrupts and wonders aloud, "Did he at least get laid?" Randy replies rolling his eyes, "Oh he got screwed alright but not like that. Apparently the two girls kept dangling the snatch and the possibility of some kind sex with them and kept asking him for gifts during the whole trip."  Dave just shook his head. "He was left jerking off again. Damn shame. Damn shame." Now Tumbleweed had an over priced condo, a huge car note and a credit card he took to the limit. Things would not get any better for the boy either and it would become more and more obvious as time passed. The same should be said of the paper as well.



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