Chef Janitor, despite all of my protests, decided to bring me in a plate of his famous pulled chicken (a left-over from his weekend job as a summer griller for horny older women).
"No, really," I said, recalling our conversation before the weekend. "You don't have to bring me in food!"
I cringed at the wild ideas swirling around my head - is he the kind of person who would poison food, or lace food with a drug that would render me unconscious so he can have his way with me?
Self-deprecating as I am, I still have to wonder about who is and who is not a threat to me.
Still, the weekend passed and most of the week before we caught up to discuss my impending meaty lunch. I had almost convinced myself that if he did, in fact, bring it in, it was surely safe to eat and that I would be very gracious about it.
From across the room, in a bright orange T-shirt, with a shit-eatin' grin on his face, he eagerly waved at me to come and talk. I didn't move from my cubicle, knowing he would have to come this way sooner or later - after all, my trash can was still full! In an instant, there he was, pointy teeth and and a couple of days growth on his face.
"Oh, heyyyyyyy," I coyly received him. "What's up?"
"Well, I gotta tell you something," he said with a kind of defeat I hadn't yet seen from the perpetually positive dude. "It's about your pulled chicken."
Here is where I must admit that even though I didn't really want to eat meat brought into work from the janitor, I felt somewhat disheartened to hear that something could possibly be wrong with my lunch.
"Someone ate it," he said sadly. "I left a big tray for you in the fridge in the cafeteria with a note on it that said 'please leave.' But someone stole it and ate it. They even took the tray with them."
"Someone ate my chicken?" I said baffled by the gravity of the situation (and also by the fact that he thought I would eat an entire tray for myself at lunch. "The bastards!" I said, loud enough for my supervisor to hear, causing him to poke his head over the cubicle and give me a look. Suddenly, the meal I didn't want to eat was eating me up inside by its absence.
"I'm really sorry and I'll try to get you more," he assured me.
"That's okay," I said, thinking that eating strange meat cooked almost at week ago is not a necessity.
"Well, next time," he said. "I'll even put your name on it."
Thanking him and seeing him off, I glanced around the office and pondered who would have stolen my precious meat. Really, I was just looking for an empty seat.
Whomever ate that chicken is probably unconscious and suffering greatly somewhere.