Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Mensa Brain Trust Reinvents the Wheel

Yesterday, I went to school with the purpose of putting my classroom in shipshape before the students arrive next week. The Pony went along to help, and Genius showed up later for the heavy lifting.

Last year, one of my rolling chairs inherited from the business lab suffered a major health crisis. He cracked a wheel. Still, he had five good wheels left. And if you could keep from rolling, he proved to be a regular throne in comparison to the hard plastic student seats. But the time came when I had to hang a "Broken Chair" sign on his back. That's because you really don't want the principal choosing him as a perch when he comes in to evaluate you.

I had another rolling chair just like Brokey. But he was not as comfortable. His back would not adjust to my back. Let's call him Inflexible. On the last day of school, I left the sign on Brokey's back. I didn't trash him, because some boys kept offering to take him to the shop and superglue his cracked wheel. Time got away from us, what with their final projects needing to be finished.

I returned yesterday to find Brokey, Inflexible, and a new chair in town. New Chair was exactly like the other two, but with all parts working. I came up with the idea for Genius to take the back off Brokey, and put it on Inflexible. Then I would have another sound seat, and we could do away with old five-wheel and stuck-back. I ran this by the custodian, who said that sounded fine to him, just carry Brokey to the equipment room so his exposed screw did not scuff the newly-waxed tiles.

Therein lies a mystery. What happened to Brokey's broken wheel? It was there all along. But if you turned wrong or leaned on that side, the wheel snapped and you could tip. If you propped it right, and sat still, Brokey didn't dump you. Stranger things have happened over the summer, when furniture is stacked in the hall during waxing. Having not staked out my equipment for nine weeks, nor viewed the surveillance tapes of the hallway, I can only imagine scenarios that might have led to the disappearance of Brokey's wheel.

Scenario 1-Wheelie fell off and was discarded. All equipment was carried back into the room. The crew wiped their collective brow. "Whew! That one's done. What's this? We even had an extra wheel left over. Huh. Throw that thing away before it scratches the wax." August wax is king.

Scenario 2-Wheelie was abducted by another teacher missing a chair wheel. "Hey! There's a wheel nobody's using. I might as well put it on my chair. No need to let that go to waste. There's no name on it." Because in the summer, it's finders keepers.

Scenario 3-Wheelie was chucked at a student during summer school. "Get back. I was first. There's enough water to go around. What's that? Man, this thing will hurt. Watch me nail Timmy between the shoulder blades." C'mon. Who among us hasn't picked up a loose chair wheel and had the urge to fire it at a friend?

No matter what happened to Wheelie, the fact remained that some type of intervention was necessary to salvage a seat. Genius borrowed a socket set from the custodian. The Pony handed him parts like an underage, unknowledgable surgical assistant. While I was away looking for the teacher resources for my new textbooks, Genius discovered that he could only remove the bottom seat cushion. The back cushion and metal part that wouldn't adjust were welded in place.

Then the lightning bolt of truth struck. That's why I was valedictorian, you know. Because I got some smarts. "Why don't you just take a wheel off of Inflexible and put it on Brokey?" He tried my brilliant plan. But my Genius could not make the wheels come off the chair. Unless he broke them. And that would kind of defeat the purpose. But it WAS the most sensible idea. If I do say so myself.

I hope nobody comes after New Chair. He was not marked. I found him in my room. But just in case, I'm going to flip him over and check his nether regions for a masking tape label. No need being caught red-seated.


labbie1 said...

Caught red seated! LOL

I read the title and was expecting to hear that your sons have started to think like men already, coming up with solutions that are way to elegant for a simple 5 minute task!!!! ;-)

Sioux said...

And if there is NOT a masking tape label, take a Sharpie and write your name on it immediately to stake your claim.

Someone tried to get a cool bookcase/workstation on wheels that I snagged in the hall a couple of days ago. Thankfully, the custodians did not want me going into a hormonal melt-down, so they told her it was mine.

Unfortunately, somewhere between the top of the steps (where I wheeled it to, to make it as easy as possible for them) and the bottom of the steps (since my room is right there), two of the wheels "disappeared" and could not be found, just a minute after they dropped it off in front of my door, now unable to roll.

Perhaps your wheel and my two wheels are having a party somewhere?

irishoma said...

Finders, keepers in summer, ehh?

Hope your chair problem is solved.

Donna V.

Val Thevictorian said...

Oh, you mean like the brilliant idea Genius had a couple years ago to deliver the mail. Each house would have a pneumatic tube like the banks use. Mail would be shot from the post office to each home. From bigger distribution centers to the local post office. Never mind all the digging and tubing required to make this plan come to fruition. The expense would be offset in future years in the gasoline savings. The mail canisters would automatically know when to make a turn through the tubing network.

I think his next project might be building a better mousetrap.

In the past, I've used Wite-Out (I'd like to know why they chose that spelling) to put my name on dark objects. Sure, it can be flaked off. But at quite an effort. That practice started after a fellow faculty member in another building told the custodian to take a chair from my room, and replace it with one of his. Like I wouldn't notice. Mine was hard blue shiny sturdy plastic. His was flexible blue textured flimsy plastic. That was the first thing I noticed when I unlocked the door. I cried shenanigans. I asked the custodian if he knew what happened, and he confessed. And brought back my chair. Which kind of upset the other dude. Because his dastardly plan was foiled. And he got stuck with his own bad chair.

Those wheels are bad seeds. I'd really like to know how they just melt into thin air. Why would somebody throw away a found wheel when he could put it in front of the faculty mailboxes for the wheel-misser to claim? Unless...it's being held for ransom, like some wastebaskets I have known.

Right now I have two working chairs. We'll find out Monday when the entire faculty returns if my problem is truly solved. I'm not volunteering any information. It WAS in my room like it belonged. Anybody who cared about furniture would have marked the chair. In the past, some have even requisitioned fancy schmancy executive chairs, so I doubt anybody will claim this business-lab castoff. I figure Even Steven is rewarding me for my altruism the year I spent sitting on a hard student chair.