Sunday, April 30, 2023

The Great Chicken Wars (Part IX)


Recap - Phoebe found an absurd video of a rubber chicken "singing" the theme song from Indiana Jones. I flung little chickens at Phoebe. Phoebe filled every inch of the office with chickens. I replaced Phoebe photographs with ones of Nicolas Cage. I put her stapler in Jello. I tried to scare her with a plastic spider, but that backfired badly. We filled Dan's office with teeth, and Dan scared Phoebe with a rubber snake. And here we are.

As I mentioned before, I have to leave my office several times a day to monitor students in the morning, and again at lunch. I break a teacher so they can have lunch every day. I'm pulled to sub in classrooms often because there are never enough subs to cover teachers who are out. And every time I return to the office, I walk slowly and carefully over to my desk, paranoid that something will jump out at me.

One day in February, at some point in the morning, I noticed that my desk had been moved forward. "Oh wow, the custodians actually vacuumed in here!" I exclaimed, noting the little marks on the carpet where my desk used to sit. "It's about time," I continued.

A little later in the day, upon returning to the office, I noted once again, that my desk had been pushed forward for the custodians to vacuum. And it crossed my mind that it was weird to think of the custodians, who never even vacuum at all, actually moving my big heavy desk so they could vacuum under it. I joked to Phoebe, "Or maybe the custodians didn't vacuum at all and you moved my desk. Am I going to find my desk in the bathroom later today?"

She looked up at me, blank expression, like she didn't know what I was talking about.

In the afternoon, I returned to my office after 5th period, and my desk had been very noticeably moved. "Phoebe! You ARE moving it! Oh my gosh, I was joking before! You snot!"

I had to leave the office one more time, and when I returned, my desk was halfway across the room. 😑

Thursday, April 27, 2023

The Great Chicken Wars (Part VIII)


If you're just joining us, here's the recap -  Phoebe found an absurd video of a rubber chicken "singing" the theme song from Indiana Jones. I flung little chickens at Phoebe. Phoebe filled every inch of the office with chickens. I replaced Phoebe photographs with ones of Nicolas Cage. I put her stapler in Jello. I tried to scare her with a plastic spider, but that backfired badly. And here we are.

One of the deans in the office, Dan had taken off time here and there throughout the last several months to go to the dentist. Phoebe and I teased him about it.

"Where are you really going, Dan?"

"Yeah. No one goes to the dentist that often!"

It became a running joke in the office. Oh, you're going to the "dentist" again, huh? 

"Are you having an affair with the dentist? What's really going on, Dan?"

One day, when Dan was supposedly at the dentist, Phoebe and I decorated his office with teeth. Many, many teeth. What? At least they weren't chickens!

Dan didn't find the teeth amusing, and started planning his payback. The plastic spider with which Phoebe and I had pranked each other gave Dan an idea. With a maniacal laugh and a decidedly evil smile, he brandished a rubber snake. With a length of clear fishing line, he tied it to the legs of Phoebe's chair, pushed in her seat, and carefully set up his phone, framing Phoebe's desk in the screen before pressing record, and walking away, rubbing his hands together like a cartoon villain.

First of all, you have to understand that we live in Florida. Schools are often situated around an outdoor courtyard. I have encountered snakes on school campuses. More than once! We have a family of raccoons on our campus currently. I've seen many stray cats, Sandhill Cranes, vultures, armadillos, hundreds of anoles, and other various creatures on and around school campuses over the years.

We were all out of the office when Phoebe came in and encountered the snake, but it was recorded on Dan's phone. I won't include the video here, but I will say that Phoebe let out a part-English, part-Spanish, part-gibberish expletive that sounded like the pained cry of a wounded animal. And I don't blame her. I would've reflexively jumped out of the second story window had I discovered a snake slithering toward me as I moved my chair away from the desk.

But, you know what they say about payback . . .

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

The Great Chicken Wars (Part VII)


Previously on The Great Chicken Wars, Phoebe found an absurd video of a rubber chicken squawking out the Indiana Jones theme song. She laughed herself silly and thus began her year-long obsession with chickens. Many chicken pranks ensued. Then a stapler was suspended in a pineapple flavored Jello mold. 

Because the stapler in Jello just wasn't quite dramatic enough, I borrowed a plastic spider from a teacher who has an entire supply closet full of Halloween decorations because this lady goes ALL OUT for Halloween! I placed the plastic spider on top of a bag of candy in Phoebe's desk drawer. 

Then, to give her a head's up, I placed a styrofoam cup on her desk like this - 

Now I was not in the office when Phoebe discovered the spider nestled in her candy, but I was told her reaction was a matter-of-fact, "Oh, there's the spider." No reaction! How disappointing. I started thinking of other places to hide the spider that would be more dramatic. Hmmm, or maybe a spider just wouldn't elicit a reaction from her no matter where it was lurking. As I was pondering my next move, I sat down at my desk and grabbed some paperwork to enter on my computer. As I reached for the mouse, I saw a huge spider perched atop the device! I unconsciously and instinctively jumped back and let out a blood-curdling scream that would rival any screech made in any horror movie ever. In fact, you, my reader, most likely heard me from whatever part of the world in which you reside.

Phoebe about fell out of her chair laughing. I glared at her as I grabbed my phone to dial 9-1-1 because I was pretty sure I was in cardiac arrest.

"I can't believe that scared you!"

"It's a huge spider!" I defended myself while clutching my chest.

"But it doesn't even look real! It has GLITTER on it!" Phoebe laughed.

"I think I need to quit," I announced which only made her laugh even harder.

So . . . my spider prank totally backfired on me more spectacularly than Phoebe could have ever imagined or hoped for. And maybe I (a little bit) deserved that. 

But I was still going to pay her back.

Monday, April 24, 2023

The Great Chicken Wars (Part VI)

Previously on The Great Chicken Wars, Phoebe found a video of the Indiana Jones theme song being squeaked out by a rubber chicken. For unknown reasons, it cracked her up. I flung chickens at her. She filled the entire office with rubber chickens. I enabled her chicken obsession by crocheting several chickens for her. Teachers and students walk into the office daily and ask, "Why are there all these chickens??" I raise my eyebrows and look pointedly at Phoebe in response.

Being such avid fans of The Office, I felt the need to try out a certain prank Jim pulled on Dwight. I wasn't sure it was possible so I had to see if I could actually make it work. 

I'm happy to report that it is indeed possible to encase your coworker's stapler in Jello.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

The Great Chicken Wars (Part V)

Previously, on The Great Chicken Wars - Phoebe laughed at a rubber chicken video. The office was taken over by chickens. Yeah, that's about it.

For my job, I need to go downstairs to monitor kids before school. I also go downstairs to monitor kids at lunch. I go back down in the afternoon to give a teacher a break for lunch. In other words, my coworkers have at least three three times a day when I'm out of the office and they can wreak havoc in my workspace. 

Time and time again I've come back to the office only to encounter some really strange things. This particular time, Phoebe arranged my Groot planter, and her assortment of chickens (I admittedly crocheted a bunch of these for her. I know, I know, I'm encouraging her chicken obsession. I'm a total enabler.)

For the rest of the afternoon, these guys were staring at me. It was very disconcerting.

When I left for the day, I moved the little chicken party over to Phoebe's desk.

Why yes, yes her chicken-chihuahua party IS roasting marshmallows around a campfire.

But once again, when I got back from lunch, these guys had been moved back to my desk in a disturbing display of cannibalism.

As things tend to escalate over time, so have our pranks. Oooo boy, did they escalate after this!

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Great Chicken Wars (Part IV)


Previously on The Great Chicken Wars – Phoebe found a video of a rubber chicken squawking the Indiana Jones theme song which cracked her up. She put a pink rubber chicken on my desk. I flung little chickens somewhere near at her. She defiled my lovely, festive Christmas decorations with chickens, then she got one of the deans involved by inundating her office with several dozen rubber chickens. That about catches you up.

So Phoebe was out of the office for several days, and being a nice person, I wanted to show her how much we missed her so I decorated her space with paper chickens that were painstakingly cut out and colored. 

And, because sometimes you just need to spice up your coworker's pictures.

Phoebe had the audacity to remove the beautiful Nicolas Cage picture right away. So I replaced it with "Asian Jim." (If you're not familiar with The Office, that link will explain it.)

I am so good at showing my coworkers I care!

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The Great Chicken Wars (Part III)

Previously on The Great Chicken Wars - Phoebe found a video of a rubber chicken squawking the Indiana Jones theme song and it cracked her up. I may or may not have started the practice of randomly flinging little chickens across the office.

Because I like to crochet various things in order to procrastinate and avoid actual productive activities like cleaning, paying bills, and feeding my daughter I'm a nice person who likes to do kind things for others, I crocheted a chicken hat for my coworker. I'm not sure why since we live in Florida where on any given day, it's roughly the same temperature as the surface of the sun, and no one in their right mind would wear a crocheted hat. And honestly, no one, even if it were 20 below 0, would wear this particular hat in public. But I made it anyway because of the aforementioned procrastination tendencies. 

By now it's December so I bring in Christmas decorations to make our office look festive. And what does Phoebe do to my lovingly arranged, festive adornments? She puts ornament "earrings" on the chicken hat, she puts the chicken hat in place of the star on the tree, she fills all the stockings, hung by the chimney with care, with rubber chickens . . .

And she leaves a trail of Hershey kiss "chicken poop" on the table.

And while Rachel was out of the office for a few weeks, Phoebe bought every last rubber chicken at the dollar store and hung them from the ceiling in Rachel's office. We're talking 30-some brightly colored rubber chickens hanging from her ceiling. Unfortunately, the fire inspector came and apparently it's a hazard to have string and plastic chickens dangling from the fluorescent lights. Who knew? So Phoebe rearranged them, placing them on every conceivable surface in Rachel's office.

When Rachel returned to the office, she walked in, saw the dozens of chickens, looked at me and Phoebe, and muttered, "I can't with you two. I just can't."

Excuse me? "You two??" I had nothing to do with this chicken extravaganza! Meanwhile, Phoebe just sits there snickering to herself, letting me take the fall for Rachel's office redecorating.

But it doesn't end there. Oh no. There's more.

(Another important thing to know for future episodes, both Phoebe and I are HUGE fans of Friends and The Office.)

Saturday, April 15, 2023

The Great Chicken Wars (Part II)

Previously, in the Great Chicken War, we learned how Phoebe split her sides laughing at a video of a rubber chicken squawking the Indiana Jones theme song. This led to Phoebe buying a pink rubber chicken and leaving it as an unexpected surprise on my desk.

Wanting to share the delight of the pink rubber chicken, I hung it up on the wall along with a sign proclaiming it the office mascot. Believe me, we see a LOT of crazy stuff here in the discipline office. It can really get to you after a while so, for our mental well-being, it’s essential to have a little fun now and then, and what’s more fun than squeezing a rubber chicken that makes the torturous wail you would make yourself if you weren’t afraid of getting fired?

Did you know that Amazon sells chickens of all sorts? And for a small fee, they will deliver, right to your door, a whole bag of flingable rubber chickens. And let me tell ya, these things can FLY! Unfortunately, I have terrible aim. Ask my kids. Ten years after this happened, they still talk about the time I made them sit at the top of the stairs Christmas morning while I poured myself a cup of coffee and got my camera ready before letting them come down to see what Santa brought. They whined that they were hungry so I tossed a couple granola bars up the stairs to them. Only, I throw like a girl monkey and the granola bars landed on the second step. Then down the hallway toward the kitchen. Then off to the side in the laundry room. Then on the fifth step up, until I finally just walked the damn things up to the poor starved children.

So at work, I grab one of my new flingable chickens, stretch it out, and let it fly. It nosedives into the floor nowhere near my coworker’s desk. I grab a second one and slingshot it across the room toward the front door. Again, it doesn't land in the vicinity of my coworker. Stretching out a third chicken, I hold it close to my face, focusing as if I’m staring down the barrel of a gun and Phoebe’s desk is in the crosshairs. The tiny rubber chicken takes flight, soaring on a trajectory that appears to be heading in Phoebe's direction. The air is still as the chicken glides gracefully ever-closer to the target. And then it passes her desk and keeps going, smacking the wall with a squish. This catches the attention of Phoebe who looks up toward the wall, then over at me. Her confused expression as I sit there giggling to myself makes me burst out laughing. She sees the chicken sitting on the floor and starts laughing. I'm not sure if her laughter was because of my abominable aim, or because chickens in any form, bring her giddy delight and happiness for unfathomable reasons.

It was great fun. Until Phoebe's retaliation (which was entirely disproportionate to little flying poultry!)

Tune in for the next installment.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

The Great Chicken Wars (Part I)

I carefully walk around the credenza toward my desk, eyes darting to and fro, ever-vigilant of possible booby traps. I scour the surface of my desk, searching for spiders, cockroaches, or any other creature that may be lurking under papers, poised to attack. I cautiously peer under my chair, praying I don’t find a snake coiled, ready to sink its fangs into me. My eyes furtively flick up to the ceiling because you never can tell from which direction an ambush will occur. I feel like Indiana Jones, in The Raiders of the Lost Ark, primed to evade poison darts, a mammoth boulder, and any other perils designed to exterminate me.

What has made me so full of paranoia, you ask? I’ll tell you. It was a video of a rubber chicken squawking out (ironically) the Indiana Jones theme song.

So my coworker, Phoebe (names have been changed to protect the innocent, and the guilty. The very, very guilty) is sitting at her desk watching this video, and gasping for air because she’s laughing so hard. She brings her phone over to me, shows me the video, which honestly, is completely and absurdly inane. However, I laugh my head off, not-so-much at the video, but mainly because she’s still laughing so hard I’m afraid she may stop breathing.

She then shows the video (that still has her in stitches) to the deans in the office. Rachel looks at the video, then totally straight-faced, looks at me and Phoebe and says, “I can’t with you two. I just can’t.” This throws us both into more fits of laughter. Tears are running down Phoebe’s face in little rivulets, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to pee my pants if I don’t stop laughing immediately. The dean clearly thinks we’re unbalanced, and honestly, she may be right.

The other dean, Dan shakes his head and starts to walk away.

“You don’t think it’s funny?” calls Phoebe to his back as he retreats to his sanctity of his office.

“Nope,” he said in his best no-nonsense, I’m an important professional voice. (But don’t let that voice fool you. It isn’t true.)

The next day, I return to my desk after lunch duty. Monitoring a bunch of sixth graders at lunch is well, hmm,  how to describe it . . . Think Chris Pratt and the velociraptors in Jurassic Park. Anyway, I get back up to the office after lunch duty and this is what I see.

I burst out snort-laughing. Because it’s so unexpected (or well, once upon a time, back in those innocent days of September, it was unexpected) to see a random rubber chicken just staring at you, doofy expression on its face, from your computer keyboard.

This incident, of course, did not have me tip-toeing around my desk, scared that something was going to attack me. Oh no, this was just the beginning. This was the start of the Great Chicken Wars. Tune in tomorrow for the next installment.

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