“Give it back, you thief!” my voice in high dudgeon mode, “or else—or else, I’m going to stop spending all my spare time with you!”
All I got in response was a non-communicative, blank stare.
I drummed my fingers hard, clicking my long manicured nails on the surface in front of me impatiently (a long-time habit that annoyed anyone whom I lived with) as I waited for my friend to surrender the document.
“Ooooh! You make me so mad, I could spit! Last time you lost the finest thing I have ever written without even an ‘I’m sorry.’ I don’t mind you reading my essays, but when you take them and don’t give them back, that’s another story, if you’ll pardon my pun.”
Patty-cake, my nickname for Patricia Catherine, with whom I have shared an apartment for the past ten years, did not show any remorse and continued to be unresponsive, her face frozen.
I continued on my rampage, “And this time, you’re telling me you must have thrown away my submission in our recycle trash by mistake? I don’t THINK so! You outright stole it because you’re jealous that I write better than you, and now you conveniently can’t remember where you hid it! Now give it back—IMMEDIATELY!”
Patty-cake just winked back at me, humming a soft tune under her breath as my eyes darted back and forth and all around, trying desperately to find the missing article. Hands on hips, I tried to return glare for glare, hoping to stare her down into acquiescence. Much as I hated to resort to cajoling her, I realized my present tact was not working.
“Please, Patty, please? I’m begging you. I COMMAND you not to put me through this again. Think! Think! Where did you last see it? Maybe it will jog your memory if I give you a more detailed description?”
Another wink, which I accepted as an assent. So I closed my eyes, trying to conjure up an image of the missing object. . .
“Here, I’ll draw it for you; maybe that will help,” my hands and fingers rapidly skimming across my desk top, “there! See, Patty, it looked like this. Do you remember it now? I wrote it last week when we had to stay in because it was raining.”
I watched her face closely for any sign of recollection, hoping against hope that the bright light now flashing across her countenance was a positive sign. But, only silence. Just no answer accompanied by another blank stare.
“All right, Miss Persnickety, I’ve had it with your non-compliance and stubbornness; maybe THIS will refresh your memory,” as I booted her over the head, “how do you like that, huh?”
My mouth gaped in disbelief as I watched Patty-cake shudder, topple over and crash to the floor.
“Brrringg!” my cell-phone vibrated across the desktop in response to my emergency 9-1-1 call for help.
“Hello? Oh, thank goodness it’s you, Dr. Tech. Patty’s been acting up again—hiding my stuff, pretending to faint so she won’t have to suffer consequences for her actions—and I haven’t been able to get any responses from her at all today. Can you help us?”
“Does she have any other symptoms? Maybe I can diagnose the problem over the phone; otherwise you’ll have to bring her in to my office.”
I got in Patty’s face, peering thoughtfully.
“Well, she’s kind of pale. And she has been awfully sluggish lately. Oh, yes, and this morning, she acted like she was coming down with a virus or bug or something. She wasn’t coughing or complaining of a sore throat, though.”
“Now this is extremely important. Does she have a fever?”
I quickly swiped a hand across Patty’s forehead, “Yes! She’s extremely hot!
“My advice is to put her to sleep and see if she feels better in the morning. If that doesn’t revive her (you’ve already tried refreshing her, correct?), I recommend that you buy a new computer. And, refrain from giving it a nickname this time, will you? The guys think I’m nuts servicing a PC called ‘Patty-cake’!”
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