How much does a roll of caution tape cost?
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As I write this, it occurs to me it’s April Fool’s Day. So far, no office pranks have taken place, after a chat the day before about how submerging my stapler in Jell-O would not be hilarious as assumed.
Although the word “quarantine” is now apparently seen by some as offensive, I remember a few years ago, when my desk was heavily quarantined, during a time when no one had ever heard of the coronavirus.
It was 2014, just after I had completed my famous performance of Chef Louise in the Lake Holcombe School and Community Theater production of The Little Mermaid. Not to brag, but pretty sure I will go down in history as the craziest actor they’ve ever worked with.
Anyway, I started feeling really terrible that last week of dress rehearsal. Tired, achy. I figured it was just because we were really hitting it hard, not to mention I was still working, mowing the lawn, etc.
Flash forward to the end of the week after the play was over and I was in a bad way. I just coughed and coughed, and coughed and coughed, and...well, you get it. Mom said she thought I had whooping cough.
Pffft! I scoffed. Where would I have ever picked that up? (Giving it some thought later, whooping cough was going around and I had stashed my stuff in a school locker during the play.) Besides, I reasoned, I had my shots for that.
After a major fight, I gave in and got an appointment to be checked out.
Pause reading here. I need someone to quickly revive my friend, Ashley, who is no doubt catatonic over the fact I once visited a doctor. Thank you. Please resume.
The doctor took one look at me, read my symptoms, gave a sound like, hmmm, and sent me home to wait for test results. I didn’t have to wait long. Whooping cough.
To her credit, Mom only looked like she was saying I told you so, but didn’t verbalize it.
So, now that I had a diagnosis, I was given instructions on what to do and how long I needed to be quarantined. Thankfully, my quarantine time limit fell between papers, so I could still fulfill my typesetting duties.
Once I got some antibiotics in me, I did start to feel better, and eventually, I even stopped coughing, which was a huge relief. A body can only cough so much before it is completely worn out.
On a side note, when I asked the nurse who called me, she explained that I got whooping cough because not all shots “take,” but it is extremely rare. Given I’m a Young, not very rare at all.
Finally, I was back to full strength and attending meetings again, interviews, covering events, you name it. One day, there was an important committee meeting I needed to go to – discussion on purchasing a bucket truck, I believe – so off I went.
Two hours of numbers, specs, and pros and cons later, I returned to the office, only to find my entire desk area was now quarantined. Literally.
My dear co-workers used yellow caution biohazard tape to cordon off my desk. But it wasn’t just a couple strands stretched across the desk. Oh, no. They went full on berserk. They must have gotten the economy size roll of tape, because EVERY SINGLE ITEM WAS WRAPPED!!!
My paper clip cups, my phone, my tape dispenser, my chair, my Kleenex box, my pens, my phone – even the little blinky chicken I had on my desk at the time!
“I can’t believe you!” I snapped as I stomped in and took stock of the situation.
Meanwhile, one of my co-workers was taping the whole thing and if anyone looks hard enough, that video can probably be found floating somewhere on the internet.
I was, and still am, furious/highly amused at the whole shenanigan. One co-worker pled innocent to the whole thing, but I was still upset with her. When she wanted to know why, I said, “Because you LAUGHED!” (Yeah, I know, I can be a hard case sometimes.) It escaped their attention, I guess, that by that point, I was no longer contagious, not to mention it was essentially a waste of money if they bought the tape. If they didn’t buy it, some crime scene investigator somewhere is probably still scratching their head, wondering where all that tape went. My poor desk, it’s never been the same mentally, I can tell.
Another co-worker also proclaimed her innocence, but I smelled something amiss and under cross questioning, she admitted she directed the other two still under suspicion, on what to do with the tape.
After that confession, the other two co-workers turned avian and sung like proverbial canaries, pushing off responsibility of whose idea it was on the other.
I gave them all the silent treatment, while trying to untangle all that caution tape. It took me a good 20 minutes and filled a plastic bag clear full. Seriously, guys, don’t you have anything better to do?
All the while, I maintained a wounded air, an aloof expression and a crisp tone when I began speaking again. Underneath it all, I was howling inside. Even though I wouldn’t want to go through that again and it’s much funnier to prank, than be pranked, it remains one of the most hysterical things I’ve ever had happen to me.
Now that the cat is out of the bag on how funny it was to me, I’d like to point out to said co-workers, that this does not, in any way, shape or form, give permission to do something like that again, or come up with any other brilliant prank idea.
As for the recent quarantine, I am grateful I’m not sick, but even healthy people are required to stay home as much as possible and limit their contact with others, so I am still essentially, quarantined. As this whole situation has unfolded, there’s one thing that has kept running through my mind.
Been there, done that, got through it.
Although, I do wish we’d kept that caution tape; you never know what we could do with a whole bag of it at our disposal. After all, it is April Fool’s!