The incident at Store 2.625.

“Let’s roll the tape.”

The boss rotated the monitor on his desk so Jones could see the surveillance camera video playing on the screen. It showed Jones driving a forklift down the main aisle of the busy store with customers walking past. Lying on the floor in the forklift’s path was a Mylar balloon bearing the words “SALE!”. Instead of following company protocol and steering around the balloon, Jones chose to drive directly over it, causing it to burst with a loud bang. Dozens of customers were seen collapsing as they sought shelter from the sudden noise.

Jones was squirming in his seat as the video finished playing. “The evidence has been shown,” the boss said, “You know full well that our company has strict guidelines when it comes to driving a forklift near a Mylar balloon on the floor. Did you by any chance consider steering to the left to avoid running over the balloon?”

“No, sir,” was Jones’s tentative reply.

“How about to the right?”

“No, sir.”

“How about above?”

“Sir?”

“Did you consider setting up ramps so you could drive above the balloon without popping it?”

Confused, Jones replied, “No, sir.”

“I take it you never considered driving under it either.”

“How does one drive under a balloon?” Jones blurted out.

“Simple, you pick it up and toss it in the air so you can drive underneath before it lands.”

“I don’t believe this,”Jones sighed as he sat back in his seat.

“I don’t either,” the boss shot back, “You had all those options for dealing with the balloon and yet you chose to drive over it and make it explode with a loud bang and scare all our customers into thinking that it was a BOMB? Don’t you realize what a serious violation you committed?”

“So what happens now?” Jones asked.

“You’re …mmph.”

“What?”

Mmph.

“Fired?”

“FIRE!” screamed the secretary outside the office as she activated the fire alarm that turned on the fire sprinklers all over the store.

The boss shook his head. “That’s two company violations in one day. Want to go for three?”

“I like black jelly beans.”

Get out.

An open letter of complaint.

I wish to register a complaint about yesterday’s event during Employee Appreciation Week. Events from earlier in the week such as the burping contest were actually enjoyable but yesterday was when things went a bit too far.

Yesterday was Ice Cream Blast Day. I love ice cream, so I headed to the break room in hopes of serving myself a bowl of chocolate ice cream piled high with toppings. However, when I stepped into the break room, I heard a loud explosion and was instantly knocked down to the floor by what I presumed to be ice cream fired from a cannon. Needless to say I suffered from brain freeze for the rest of the day, not to mention the chocolate chips that were lodged behind my eyeballs. Some gratitude for all the overtime I put in just to save your widdle buttocks.

I see tomorrow is Bazooka Bubble Gum Day. It better not be what I think it is.

Pi: The Play.

(Man #1 is sitting at his desk. A knock is heard offstage.)

​Man #1: 3.14.

(Man #2 nervously enters)

​Man #2: (tentatively) 1592653?

​Man #1: 589793. (motions to seat. Man #2 sits down) 23846?

​Man #2: 26433832795.

Man #1: (angrily) 0!

Man  #2: (defensively) 2!

Man #1: (stands up, very angry) 8!

Man #2: (stands up, also angry) 8!

Man #1: (shouting) 4197169?

Man #2: 3!

Man #1: 9937510582!

Man #2: 0974944!

(The two men stare at each other in silence)

Man #1: 59?

Man #2: 23.

(The two men shake hands before Man #2 exits. Man #1 sits back down behind his desk and resumes working.)

FIN

Ian’s great escape.

Ian looked out the window and could see the swirling clouds hovering above his former home planet. As his ship left the last layers of Earth’s atmosphere and began drifting into space, he began to think if there was anything of value left behind on the ground far below.

Let’s see, I’ve been disavowed by my family, dumped by my friends and disregarded by everyone else. There really is nothing left for me. Time to move on.

Ian glanced at the flashing red button on the dashboard in front of him.

My ticket out of this sorry galaxy.

Bracing himself, he pressed the button and immediately the engines roared to life and began to propel his ship faster and faster. Soon Ian was flying so fast that the stars around him turned into long lines of light.

I’m flying at the speed of light.

The planets literally zipped by, starting with the Moon, then Mars and Jupiter. As the ship passed the remaining planets in the solar system, Ian finally began to feel he was no longer within sight of the Earth, the home of his troubles he had managed to escape.

Then he switched on the camera mounted on the stern of his ship to catch one last glimpse of Earth before it disappeared from view behind him.

What’s this?

He could see Earth, up close as if he had just left it just moments ago.

But I just passed Jupiter. Something’s not right here.

He switched off the camera and instructed the onboard computer to increase his speed to double the speed of light. The computer complied and seconds later stars turned into a single tunnel of light as his ship left the solar system behind. Nervously, Ian switched the rear view camera back on and gasped.

Earth is still behind me.

What’s more, it’s closing in on me.

Confused and frightened, Ian was set to accelerate his ship even further when he suddenly felt a jolt. Switching on the rear view camera one more time, Ian could not believe what he saw.

It’s drawing me in.

Earth was now so close to Ian’s ship that the ship fell victim to the gravity’s grasp and began drifting backwards towards the atmosphere. Ian worked himself into a frenzy trying to escape but it was no use. His ship had re-entered Earth and was now in a free fall back towards the ground far below. Suddenly Ian lost consciousness and passed out before he could see what happened next.

One instant later, in the delivery room of a hospital, the doctor carefully wrapped the newborn baby in blankets and gently placed it in the mother’s arms.

“Congratulations,” the doctor said, “it’s a boy.”