Saturday, May 1, 2010


It's not easy being pals with a serial killer. Not when you have to dedicate an entire lazy office afternoon, screening and scouting victims for him. But then it's not that I want him outed. I find it no small thrill to be a mere witness to his muffled and extraordinarily fierce violence. I always know where to find him, quietly he waits in the little ante-chamber outside our glass partitioned space on the 15th floor of our office building. Still as a statue, he seems to be deep in thought, crouching next to the coffee machine that never works and the water cooler that never fails to spit toxic, unpotable, warm water.

I cast a furtive look around before zeroing in on those unfortunate enough (although some of them do thank their lucky stars for being chosen) to catch my fancy. This is a super collection of oddballs if there ever was one. A posse of rejected ideas which never made the leap from meetings to workstations; a bunch of has-beens whose glory days in the sun were as brief as their wait for annihilation seemed infinite; crowds of those elements which had been used, abused by the system of quality input & output and now needed to be disposed, their lowly duties performed - in short, the perfect targets as no one would really notice when they were gone. What they knew was deemed too precious to allow for them to be dumped in the dumpster as is yet no one cared enough to award them a dignified death. Until today.

I gather them all and walk, the Pied Piper leading them to their demise, an unrepentant agent of doom. "Beep" goes the sensor at the slowly opening glass door as my ID card flicks past it announcing the end of the green mile, the final march to the executioner's chamber. I take a deep breath before flipping the power switch on. Jack is awake now and the stacks of papers in my hands almost leap out of my hands and down his rotating blades of fury. He hacks, he slashes, he chews - all with a deep seated but low intensity murmur at the same time almost begging for more. All that remains of those doodled sheets, changed drawings, redlines, intermediate designs, work completion estimates, loading charts are thin, thin, thin shreds of garbled information, something which even God couldn't put back together if He wanted to. That is all I can offer you for this month, my friend. Thank you for gifting me that true inner peace only attained through complete and final destruction. Thank you, Jack, my office's beautifully dutiful paper shredder a.k.a Jack the Shredder.

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