Monday, October 08, 2007

Little White Pill, Final Update

The little white pill that occupied an unswept landing in the stairwell of my office building for several weeks is no more.

The building's cleaning staff changed, and suddenly the pill was gone.
Gone, but not lost. The day after I noticed it missing and broke the news to colleagues, a group of us walking to lunch downtown found the pill where it had come to rest in a groove between two bricks of the new brick sidewalk that passes next to our building. I told them the whole boring story, which confirmed certain of their impressions of me - how many people do you know that monitor the life-spans and life-histories of items lost or discarded that persist in out-of-the-way nooks at their place of employment?

Our theory is this, and it is ours, and what it is is this: The new cleaning staff, being good new employees who hadn't yet found ways to shirk their after-hours time away like their recent predecessors, swept the little white pill down the stairwell and out the employees' entrance door at the base of the stairwell. They continued sweeping the small brick plaza just outside the door, until the sweepings met the nearby sidewalk. With a flick of the broom they propelled the sweepings, including the little white pill, westward down the sidewalk, out of their scope of work and responsibility, where the little white pill bounced and skidded for a few yards before coming to rest in the place at which it was eventually noticed by us.
That is our theory, and it is ours.

For two days the little white pill persisted in the chink of the brick walk, only to succumb to afternoon rains, during which time it was replaced in the stairwell by a green peanut m&m, whose stay lasted all of those 2 days. For all we know, the janitorial staff ate it. We have no theory about that.

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