Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dense isn't only for cake

My brother was recently paying cash for groceries when he noticed the cashier inspecting his money, paying particularly close attention to the one dollar bills.

He asked her why she was doing this.

She said, “Because someone has been taking ones and converting them to tens and twenties.”

“Then why are you looking at the ones?” he asked.

“Because someone has been taking ones and converting them to tens and twenties.”

“Yes, but why are you looking at the ones?”

Slightly aggravated, she said, “Because someone has been taking ones and converting them to tens and twenties.”

My brother, always a glutton for punishment, tried again. “Yes, I understand that, but why are you looking at the ones?”

She looked over at the bagboy and rolled her eyes as if to say, “Got a real stupid one here!” The bagboy looked back with raised eyebrows and shrugged — “Sure do.”

She said, “Because… someone… has… been… taking… the… ones… and… converting… them… to… tens… and… twen… tees.”

My brother just gave up and left.

I had taken off my shoes at work the other day. I do this occasionally just because any sign of Bohemianism makes the enginerds slightly uncomfortable. That, and I was hot. I was walking through the maze of cubicles to the microwave to make a cup of tea, and one of the secretaries came around the corner, looked at my feet and said, “We have mice, you know.”

I looked at her quizzically. “And?”

She repeated, "We have mice."

When I still looked at a loss, she scowled and said, “You're barefoot and we have MICE!” And walked off.

Oooookaaaaaaay. Can someone tell me if these two things are related somehow? Is my being barefoot causing us to have mice? Was I supposed to squeal and jump up on a chair in case a mouse ran out and viciously attacked my feet? Does she think I’m secretly keeping mice in my shoes? What?

When I relayed the story to my brother, he said I should have told her to check her ones because people were changing them into tens and twenties.


artificialhabitat said...

Okay, it's a good thing I wasn't drinking a cup of tea (I know, I know, how quaintly British - but I don't like coffee) when I read that, otherwise it would now be all over my screen and keyboard.

In any case I got some quizzical glances from my officemates. They were probably taken aback to hear me laughing at something on the internet, rather than just loudly swearing. Which I do rather a lot of; they're probably used to that.

Oh dear. It's just occured to me that I'm not wearing my shoes at the moment......

Kia said...

Perhaps our brillant cashier thought that your brother was in the process of converting the bills and then abandoned his plans part-way through? And maybe the mice have less-than-fussy choice of bathroom locations? I dunno. Anyway, thanks for a good laugh!

Laurie said...

Andrew - I read your comment while at work today. I was barefoot again, at the time AND had luckily JUST put my cup of tea down. Hopefully your officemates are other bohemian biologists, and don't worry about the foot and mouse dilemma.

Kia - Speaking of mouse bathroom locations, I was wondering if maybe she was worried about me catching hantavirus through my feet. I'm pretty sure that wasn't it, though. I should have just told her that we have nice mice on our side of the building. We name ours. (pointing) There goes Mousie Tung!

Laurie said...

Just to set things strait:

Mousie Tung was actually a mouse that my brother rescued from my snake and kept as a pet when we were growing up.

AND we really haven't seen mice on our wing of the building for at least a couple of years.

Mr Farty said...

You have mice and you were walking around barefoot? Are you mad? Do I have to spell it out for you?

Mice like to eat cheese.

If you don't wash your feet for a month or so, you get a build-up of toe cheese.

So if you then walk around the office barefoot, the mice will smell the cheese between your toes and come running out to eat it.

Do you want office mice nibbling at your toes?

But you've got me stumped with the dollar bills. That's just mad.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I don't think there's enough room in our office for mice!

Laurie said...

Mr Farty - Eeeeeeeew.

Hmmmm. Actually, now that I think about it, allowing the mice to clean my feet might be the easiest way to keep toe cheese to a minimum...

Andrew - typical graduate student office? I managed to snag a window seat at Purdue University at least. I think because it was so cold nobody else wanted it. Not even the mice.

oops. I just noticed I misspelled straight (contextually).

Anonymous said...

Yup. Seven people to a not-exactly-vast room. It is not ideal, even though all seven of us are seldom there.

I missed out on the window seats by about ten minutes. Which is rather irritating, since we do have quite a good view.

Anonymous said...

I meant 'all seven of us are seldom there at the same time'

Brother Phil said...

People have been bleaching the ones...

Anyway, what was left out was that as I took my change and my frozen pizza, I said "I think I understand now..." and then under my breath as I walked out I finished "You're a couple of bloody idiots."

Brother Phil said...

Alternative responses:

We haven't had mice in our building since my rat snake experiment lost it's budget...

We haven't had mice here since we introduced the Beelzebufo frog to control the rat snake population...

We haven't had mice here since Bill started bleaching all of his twenties and turning them into ones using the color copier.

Laurie said...

Brother Phil - I see you remembered your password and fake e-mail address.