Some time between Monday night and this morning, someone dropped off several thousand pounds of Swiss cheese at our door.
We did not want to sell it. It had already half-melted in the morning’s warmth and began to smell rather bad. Transitioning it to a place inside, so that we could get the forklift in and out, took a fair struggle that required all-hands-on-deck and an early vegan lunch.
Wally went into his little office and reviewed last-night’s security footage. After twenty minutes emerged, we got the news:
“Someone was definitely here last night,” he informed us.
We all pretended to be shocked.
“It was a big, burnt-reddish van that stopped by at 4:15 in the morning. Two guys jumped out and unloaded the Swiss faster than a flapjack on the 4th of July. It was actually pretty cool watching how fast they moved. I was impressed. Angered, but impressed.”
“Did you catch a company name on the van?” I asked.
“Oh, you know what? That’s a pretty good idea. I guess I should’ve been looking for that, but there’s just a lot on my mind right now with the holiday and all. I’ll check it out.”
He did that, and we opened some windows. We packed some orders that had come in yesterday, but everyone was left anxious by the cheese’s presence.
I tapped on Wally’s office door. He opened up with a note in his hand. “Deer Dairy–they’re the ones who gave us the cheese.”
“What took so long?” I asked, again the one to question authority.
“Huh? I fell asleep. You know, anxiety. Anyway, they’re just down the road, so I’m going to put in a call and see if I can’t figure out what happened last night.”
Unsure if we had the integrity to wait out another elongated period by standing around without getting anything done, Fouvre and I decided to play a round of horseshoes with some spare croquet wickets we had found in a bin for assorted sports equipment. The game ended promptly, though, when the notoriously square BARNDALE Junior asked us what we were doing.
Without any orders coming in or going out, thanks to management’s preoccupation, we began growing indignant, throwing fits, catching drifts, and just being all-around blunderpuffs.
Wondering why Wally’s next task was taking longer than the first, I flipped out my phone and dialed up his office line. After three rings, Wally finally picked up his end of the call and answered:
“This is Wally Walid Washington. How can I help you?”
“Hey, Wally, um… we’re all wondering what’s going on.”
It took five seconds for him to burst out of his room and say, “Oh–Great Scott–I’m sorry. I guess I must’ve drunk something I shouldn’t have. Anyway, uh, they confirmed that they did drop off–this is Deer Dairy–that they dropped off cheese here and that they thought we were Futuristic Coney Island.”
“We don’t look anything Futuristic,” Barndale shouted. “At least we throw our trash out!.”
“I said those exact words,” Wally laughed. “They apologized and said they’d take the cheese back for its proper disposal. I didn’t even know that that was a concern for cheese.”
“Oh, yes,” I said, “cheese is very concerned about apologies.”
However, one hour later, as the cheese was still sitting on our floor and causing irritation, we received a call from the dairy saying that they were done, but our previous estimate of several thousand pounds was way too high.
It became clear what they meant when the suited-up MR. MADGE, owner of Futuristic Coney Island (and several other locally misnamed businesses), pulled his full-size sedan into our drive. Crinkled napkins and paper cups fell from his door as he stormed up to Wally’s office.
“This isn’t funny, Sawyer! You think you can just walk into my place and steal cheese? Yeah, well you can’t! Well, you apparently can, but it’s still not funny!”
Wally opened the door and looked at him.
“Hey,” Mr. Madge said, “you’re not Sawyer! Where’s he hiding?”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t know who you’re talking about.”
“Of course you do! He owns this place…!” and then he paused for about twelve seconds, taking a good look at the surroundings. “…This isn’t Deer Dairy, is it?”
Boy, did his expression change real quick. He fixed his tie with one hand and retreated to his car, which in turn retreated to the street and drove away.
This afternoon, a representative of the real Dear Dairy showed up with a cheesecake-gift and informed us that their delivery van’s GPS had been malfunctioning recently. We all had a good laugh and partook of the kindly gift with high spirits.
I realized that Wally wasn’t present by then, though, so I searched the premises for him. He was nowhere to be found. I even briefly interrogated our hoarder coworker, asking if he had kidnapped him. (He said no, but that doesn’t generally mean much.) The mystery, therefore, stood: Who would eat Wally’s piece of cheesecake?
Wally had, in fact, driven home in secret, admitting to himself that he was unable to stay awake anymore. He called the rest of this week off, leaving us plenty of time to clinch our horseshoe prowess.