Gather round children for I have a story to tell you.
The ratio of men to women is currently around 1:10 in my office. We used to have two gents toilets but it was decided to turn the smaller one into a ladies, for obvious reasons. The remaining gents toilet is umm quaint but not perfect: the light takes around 10 seconds to turn on (not ideal when you’re busting for a whizz wazz wongle), the hot water tap doesn’t work so they had to get an extra one with a heated unit and the dryer is so poor that it’d be quicker to blow on your hands yourself.
Due to the hand dryer being as effective as a car made of wet cheese, I started putting paper towels in the gents so that we had options. There was a small bundle stacked on top of the dryer and a spare lot in the (broken) cupboard above the urinal. I had started doing this before the Bovona virus took hold and every so often the same thing would happen; the paper towels would vanish completely. There one day and gone the next. I thought it was the cleaners moving them or something else. Baffled but thoroughly British, I said nothing and merely replaced the towels. This happened at least half a dozen times over a period of about twelve months.
When I came back from furlough, mainly working from the office, I did the same for what few men remained in the building. To my astonishment the same thing kept happening; a few weeks would pass and the half-used stack of paper towels would be gone with no explanation. I finally decided to do something about this so I mentioned it to the office manager, who was just as puzzled as I was. There was absolutely no reason for anyone to remove the towels. She said that she would mention it to the cleaners and get back to me.
The next day I entered the gents to put my contact lenses and smiled as there was a newly opened pack of paper towels waiting to dry my moistened paws. After putting the lenses in I walked over to the office manager’s office and thanked her for sorting it out. She looked confused, “sorted what out?” I mentioned the towels. “I haven’t spoken to the cleaners about it yet though.”
I asked if she was winding me up, an elaborate prank which I had completely fallen for. Given how grim the world is right now anything light-hearted is very welcome, even at my expense. She swore that she knew nothing about it. There was nobody else in the room when I asked her about it the day before. The towels re-appeared out of nowhere.
There is talk of a ghost who haunts the office at night. Colleagues working late have mentioned hearing noises and bumps after dark. The building is over a hundred years old so it has gone the rounds, so to speak. Do I think that a ghost is playing a trick on me? Do I think that this spectre is yanking my chain by throwing away paper towels?
I don’t have a foggy froggy fog fog fogey Phileas Fogg the foggiest idea.