Screwed …



In my work, I sometimes use screwdrivers. Specifically, I most often find myself working on laptop computers, most of the many screws of which require a #0 Phillips screwdriver. Look at the image above: it’s the third one from the left. The second one from the left is too small, and the fourth one from the left is too large – I need the THIRD one from the left. ONLY the THIRD one from the left.

They keep vanishing.

I have five or six sets like the one pictured above. All are meticulously complete, EXCEPT FOR THE CONSPICUOUS EMPTY SPOT AT THE THIRD POSITION FROM THE LEFT!!!

I’ve interrogated our maintenance people, our custodians:  they look at me funny and ask “You feeling’ alright these days Mistah Scott?”

I’ve appealed to my Boss:  he looked at me funny and suggested I might need some time off.

Look, I’m not paranoid, ok?  I’m just sick of buying whole new screwdriver sets to replace the ONE vital screwdriver that I MUST have to do my work – because the darned things keep vanishing from my office!

I’ve searched all my drawers. I’ve moved furniture around. I’ve looked behind and under things. My office looks like it’s been freaking burglarized, and our student workers keep stopping in my doorway, wide-eyed, and suddenly inquiring whether I can turn them on to my Pot-Supplier. When I scowl at them, they look at me funny and ask if I’ve taken my meds.

They aren’t in my pockets. They aren’t in my car. They aren’t in my tool-bags or laptop bags. They are just GONE!

I’ve contacted the Police and asked whether anyone else has reported thefts of screwdrivers. An entirely humorless Desk Sergeant told me that he didn’t find me funny. He then looked at me funny and eased away from his desk – presumably to make it easier to draw and fire his sidearm.

I returned to my office and sat there in despair, wondering if I’d finally gone completely insane. I contacted my shrink at her emergency number. There was a funny pause after I’d explained my problem, then she gently asked if I’d had any other symptoms, recently.

Fine. I’ll solve it myself. When a person in my position has some weird problem he’s never seen before he goes to the net and begins to search. I brought up Google, and typed “Missing #0 Screwdrivers”. Nothing useful – just lots of ads about where I might buy new #0 screwdrivers, and who sold the best #0 screwdrivers, and consumer reviews of #0 screwdrivers, and where to find the very bestfree screwdriver porn.

In despair, I began to meditate on the problem, bringing the whole of my vast intellect and encyclopedic knowledge to bear.

Let’s start with the commonplace. They could have been kidnapped. Unfortunately, FBI statistics suggest that a kidnap victim gone for longer than 48 hours was most likely dead.

Quantum mechanics suggests an alternate possibility: perhaps tiny wormholes – precisely the size of a #0 screwdriver – open up at regular intervals, swallowing my #0’s, ignoring all other screwdrivers, and transporting them via subspace to the same bizarre dimension where all the mis-matched socks from our dryers go.

Neuro-Psychiatry suggests yet another possibility: a friend could be sneaking in and swiping them to screw with my head – except, well, I don’t seem to have any. Judging from the funny looks I’ve been getting, this situation isn’t helping that condition one darned bit!

Then again, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle suggests you can know EITHER the location of something, OR it’s velocity, but not both at once: if the screwdrivers are somehow in motion, I’d never know their exact position. However, statistical methods, used to determine the probable locations of electrons in their quantum orbitals have entirely failed to find my screwdrivers.

The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics, as championed by Professor Erwin Schrödinger, hints that the screwdrivers might be both there AND not there, so long as no one is looking — and directing my attention to them will force a final quantum state upon them. That state, however, should have equal chances of being present or not present, so at least 50% of my screwdrivers, at any given time, should be findable! This is clearly hooey. Also, Prof Schrödinger is currently wanted for questioning by the ASPCA regarding possible mistreatment of a cat.

A colleague who is deeply into transcendental meditation placidly pointed out that the screwdrivers are disappearing about every 40 days, which is also the length of time Buddha meditated under his Bodhi Tree, before touching enlightenment. This suggests that they might, in fact, be achieving oneness with all things, thereby no longer HAVING a single physical  location or form. I looked at him funny and said “We’re talking about SCREWDRIVERS, here!” He smiled tranquilly and pointed out that all things are one.

Christopher Marlowe might suggest that the screwdrivers have each made a pact with Mephistopheles, trading their souls for the power to open up laptops for 40 days. Upon reaching the term of the contract, the demon discovers that screwdrivers have no souls, and is forced to drag them bodily into the underworld.

Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, might suggest the screw-drivers have a life-cycle similar to that of ratchet screwdrivers, which, after a certain amount of time gestating in a dark drawer, emerge from their Ratchet screw-driver chrysalis as an unidentifiable flange, while the chysalis itself disintegrates into dust.

Twitter, to which I posted an appeal for my screwdrivers, replied with 1,419 variations on ‘Are you loopy? #nuts #crazy #bananas #jerk’

Facebook, where I first posted accounts of my loss and search, yielded 1,323 supportive replies offering well-wishes and prayers for the safe return of my screwdrivers, and 10,597 bullying replies along the lines of ‘It serves you right! You should off yourself!’

No terrorist organizations have claimed responsibility for my missing screwdrivers.

I have received no ransom notes or demands. The FBI told me they could take no action without clear evidence of a kidnapping.

America’s Most Wanted60 Minutes, and Dateline have each flatly refused to feature my story.

I briefly considered the suggestion that they might be Alien Abductees.

I contacted Anonymous through a guy I know who knows a guy, who knows a guy, who asked to not be identified. At length they declared they could find anything and asked for the IP Address of the screwdrivers.

I posted an inquiry on the deep web. My computer was immediately taken over and I was instructed by a creepy text message not to ever post there again – or I could forget about ever seeing my screwdrivers in this lifetime. I asked our Server Specialist whether they might actually have them … he looked abashed, apologized, and said it had been him, and no, he didn’t have my screwdrivers.

All indications are that they are just gone, and gone for good. It would appear that without my screwdrivers, I’m screwed.


~ by dourscot on January 5, 2016.

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