The following story may make you sad or it might make you laugh. Or maybe a little of both. Either way, before you proceed, here’s your warning that your reaction may be completely different from mine.
My place of work is in a rural part of NE Ohio. If you live in a rural area then you know 1) the only fast food place you’ll likely have nearby is McDonald’s and it’s going to be at least 3 or more miles away; 2) downtown is postage stamp size and 3) there are a lot of wild animals that like to make their appearance in or around your house not normally seen when you live near a city. There are other indicators that prove you live in a rural setting of course but those are the main three in my opinion.
My job consists of a small building that was later built upon. So there’s the office side and then the plant side where all the hustle and bustle takes place. The plant attracts all kinds of critters who are looking to find a warm place to sleep. Just yesterday we pulled a shipment out of storage and it was covered in raccoon pawprints. Not only have raccoons made an appearance but in the last couple of months we’ve had a groundhog run through, birds flying around as well as stray cats making a home.
Yo-Yo was this year’s cat. He stumbled in right before winter and made the plant his home. This is a normal occurrence and Mr. Grumps usually befriends them and ends up taking them home. He’s accumulated four cats this way.
Anyway, the story goes like this. On my desk, I like to keep candy out for the guys in the plant. It’s a way to get them to come visit me and to make their hardworking days sweeter. Before it was just mini packs of Skittles and Starburst. One day, I decided to ask them what their favorite candy was and the general consensus seemed to be a Hershey chocolate variety. I went to Sam’s Club and bought the big bag of Hershey mix and a second bowl of candy was added to my desk.
A few weeks ago, I would walk into my office to find shredded candy wrappers either on the ground or on my desk. Something was eating my chocolates. I told everyone about how I was finding these perfectly unwrapped wrappers and was told there was a ghost in the place since it’s been open since 1971. The other theory was one of those raccoons has been helping himself and prefers chocolate over Skittles. So of course I started getting scared I was going to walk in my office and raccoon would be sitting on my desk. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked many years in wildlife rehab but raccoons are mean so you just never know. This became an ongoing mystery for days and I started locking the candy in a filing cabinet at the end of the day.
Last week our resident chocolate ghost mystery was solved. When Mr. Ghost can’t get chocolate (poor shunned Skittles), he goes next door to my co-workers office for her coffee. She sometimes forgets to dump it because we get caught up in work and there was one such occasion when she came in and there was a tipped coffee cup with a trail of coffee across her desk.
She came in, like she normally does, and grabbed her coffee cup to dump the old and fill with fresh. I was talking to Mr. Grumps when all of sudden we here this scream and she’s like “NEL! GRUMPS! Come see this now!” I’m like oh god. Grumps walks in front of me and HE screams and jumps back! Now I don’t want to look but of course I do anyway. In the sink was a little, dead field mouse. I’m like “Where did that come from?!?!?” and she goes, “my coffee cup…..” I burst out laughing because I’m a terrible person and say, “That’s the ghost??!”. You see when Mr. Mouse couldn’t get into my Hershey bowl, he went into her office to get some of that mocha deliciousness. The last time it happened, her coffee was in a paper cup so he was able to knock it over. This time, he was a tall ceramic cup and the poor little guy fell to his doom and drowned.
For now, I’ve decided not to keep any more chocolate on my desk at least until winter time where hopefully all these little critters are in hibernation somewhere.