Arkham Asylum has a long standing tradition where its employees bring their own cake on their birthdays (sucky tradition, yes?). It’s all fine and good until we hit July and August. July because there are 5 people with July birthdays which means a ton of cake in the kitchen which may sound like a good time but the reality is people nearly coming to blows because they cannot find space for their lunches in the mini fridge.
August is hard because it is Milton’s birthday month.
Every year we have to go through a series of polls and questionnaires provided by Milton and after we’ve answered everything to her satisfaction, she inputs the info in her Miltonwasteoftime Machine and buys the cake according to that information.
This year, however, we were all taken by surprise when she announced at morning meeting that instead of cake she was bringing bagels. There was a moment of stunned silence because nobody knows how to react to a change in routine (especially when it’s coming from Milton who is the Queen of all OCD routines) but I managed to squeak out an “awesome!” so that we could move on and not stand around staring at the wormhole that just appeared before us.
As the day grew closer to her Bagel Celebration, she kept asking me people if they would be at work on Thursday day of the lord the 18th because she wanted everybody to partake in cheesy bagels. Everybody reassured her that they would not be taking a vacation day so life ran smoothly, or as smooth as life can run when you work in a nuthouse, until this morning.
Cowardly Lion (to me): Can you give me direction on this issue? I want to get it done so I don’t have to worry about it because I’m taking tomorrow off.
Me: — [gets interrupted by a maniac]
Milton [jumps put of her chair]: BUT I TOLD EVERYBODY TOMORROW IS BAGEL DAY!
CL [taken aback and grabbing on to the back of my chair]: Oh. Yeah, I forgot.
Milton [relieved]: Okay, so you’ll be here, right?
CL [almost crawling on my lap]: No. I need to do something—
Milton: BUT IT’S BAGEL DAY! I GAVE EVERYBODY ENOUGH WARNING!
Milton [face red, cheeks puffing]: I WAS PLANNING ON BUYING A BAKER’S DOZEN! HOW IS THAT GOING TO WORK NOW? CAN YOU RESCHEDULE YOUR DAY OFF??
CL: No! I can eat my bagel on Friday! It’s just a bagel!
Oh lord. Knowing Milton as well as I do I knew that was the wrong thing to say because bagels are sacred to dear old Milton.
Milton: BUT IT’S BAGEL DAY! WE DON’T GET THOSE OFTEN ANYMORE! [and then she went into a weird quiet trance] I guess I can wrap it up for her in plastic wrap. Maybe I’ll put it in a bag too so it doesn’t get hard. [walks back to her desk muttering under her breath] gobbledegook bagel day…
In the meantime, CL is scratching at my sweater and I’m trying to pretend I’m in Hawaii.
I just found out a moment before I hit publish that CL will only be taking a half a day vacation so she'll be here in the morning for bagels. Ladies and gents, I wish I was making this up.