I feel the need for a little true confession today. It all started with a box of chocolates that I had brought in to work. It was one of those tall pass-it-around-and-share-it boxes of individually wrapped assorted chocolates. I passed it around. We shared. After four or five chocolates had been taken, someone reached in and pulled out an empty wrapper. Strange. I peered into the box, and there was another empty wrapper. Not nice flat wrappers, but crumpled up ones, still twisted at one end. I delved in further, then horror of horrors, I found a half unwrapped chocolate with what looked like little tiny nibble marks in it. And then another partly nibbled one…and another!
“A mouse must have got into the box!” Someone cried.
“Impossible!” I shouted. “I’ve only just opened the box now from new and there are no holes in it or anything!”
“Well a mouse must have got to them in the factory then,” somebody else suggested.
“You must complain Vanessa, you must write to the company and complain!” They told me. I knew they were right, but first I asked the question that was on everyone’s lips, or so I thought, but it turned out it was only on my lips…
“Should we eat the other chocolates anyway first? You know, the perfectly good ones that still have the wrapping intact?”
Everyone was aghast. “Noooo!!!!” They cried. “Noooo!!!”
“But they are perfectly good!” I protested.
“They’re not perfectly good Vanessa, they are contaminated! The whole box is contaminated!”
I reluctantly conceded that they were right, I must eat no more, I must instead complain. I shoved the box into my bottom desk drawer, fully intending to write a complaint letter later. But instead I forgot all about them. Until a few weeks later when I was searching for something, and opened the bottom drawer. My eyes lit up, for a second…
Chocolates!…Oh wait..no…they’re the mouse chocolates…I was supposed to complain about them. I expect it’s too late now. I should probably just throw them away…only…there’s some perfectly good chocolates still in there, and none of us got ill from the ones we ate before…plus, there’s no actual evidence that it’s mice, it could just be mechanical damage…yes, that’s it, mechanical damage, so…
I looked up and glanced around. Everyone was busy, nobody was looking my way. I reached into the box, and pulled one out, I held it under my desk and looked at it. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s perfectly good. I slowly and quietly unwrapped it and popped it into my mouth. And so it went on. Over the next two or three weeks, when nobody was looking, whenever I got a hankering for chocolate, I would slowly and quietly reach into my box of mouse chocolates, pull one of the fully wrapped ones out and eat it. Until they were all gone. And nobody knew.
And not once when I had run out of the fully wrapped ones, and had a desperate craving for chocolate, did I take out one of the half nibbled ones, and have my own little nibble from the other, perfectly good, end. Not once, because that would be a step too far…right?