Me and Ralph, the 600-year-old gremlin living in my teacup, have always gotten along together pretty well. I mean, we’ve had our ups and downs. He’s kind of a trickster. But everyone has their quirks so I can’t exactly hold it against him. He’s been living in anonymity since he retired from the Air Force in 1930, but he got bored without having much to muck up, lonely in his little gremlin apartment, and we’ve been friends ever since.
Imagine my surprise that first day, when I’m about to take a sip of my earl grey and Ralph’s cozied up in there, like he’s in a hot tub, gnawing on the tea leaves with those sharp little teeth and purring contentedly. I stuck a finger in there and quickly learned to keep my extremities away from those biters. I’m not one to be territorial anyway though, so now I just keep two teacups at my desk, problem solved. If I were him I’d probably want to lounge around in tea myself. And since he’s a gremlin he doesn’t even get pruney. I think it’s because his skin is always pruney. You know, all withered and gray.
The problem is Ralph is usually great about giving me work advice and workshopping my data tables, checking for errors, etc. In return, I feed him a wheel of cheese or a bit of avocado. He then dips the morsels into the tea and eats them, which I find odd, but whatever. I thought he was happy with our arrangement, but today he seems distant. He hasn’t tried to tie my shoelaces together once. He hasn’t sat at the nape of someone’s neck and inauspiciously knotted their hair together. He hasn’t laughed at my inaccurate use of the word “there” in my emails. He hasn’t even raged at me for messing up our performance analytics again.
All he’s done all day is muddle around in the tea leaves and cover his body with them like dirt, and then sigh discontentedly. When I ask, “Ralph, what’s wrong?” He only looks up at me with those strange large eyes and chants, “Kill the machines! Kill the machines! Kill the machines!” I’m not sure what it means, and he doesn’t say anything else. He screeches something terrible though, so I don’t want to ask him again. I never filled out the proper form to keep a gremlin in my teacup, after all, and I don’t want to be caught by the Work Authorities. They came dashing into the room when they heard, “Kill the machines! Kill the machines! Kill the machines!” and I told them I was just exercising my vocal chords, same as any other day.
Dear reader, what do you do when your teacup gremlin grows weary? Any and all advice appreciated.
This article was written by the wonderful Veronica Nelson, who lives in the woods, but mind your own business. Follow her @_VeronicaNelson.