'I've brought in some fruit scones' announced Val, as she arrived in the office later than usual. It turned out that she had a morning meeting to attend to first thing, so did not arrive at the office until a few minutes before her team stopped for their breakfast break. Val is the department Principal Officer.
As she turned her back and headed towards the coat stand to hang up her coat, there was a scurrying of feet on the ground and the sound of plastic wrapping being torn apart, like piranhas surrounding and stripping their prey. When Val turned back to head to her seat there were no staff to be seen, and, even worse, there were no scones. This stopped Val in her tracks.
The place looked like the Marie Celeste, seats that had been sat on for 2 hours were slowly spinning to a stop and remoulding and puffing back into shape. There was an eerie sensation that people should be here, but they were not, and a real feeling that the Starship Enterprise had beamed everyone one onboard, including the scones.
Val tentatively approached the demolished scone wrapping in the vain hope that her eyes were deceiving her - hoping at least there was one left in the carnage that remained - but all she found were two currants and a handful of crumbs.
'Is the flora still in the fridge?' she remarked angrily, but sadly nobody was there to answer her. Val asked Katy, who sat close by, if she saw anything. Katy was too busy to notice but did remark 'well you know what that lot are like'.
Disgruntled and sconelss, Val got her cup and headed to the kitchen to prepare a coffee. She stormed in, enraged, almost bending the hinges as she opened the kitchen swing door with her right foot. The door swung open with such force that the low calorie strawberry yoghurt that was perched at the end of Akif's teaspoon blew off onto Billy favourite football page of the Metro newspaper, but Val seemed oblivious to this minor incident.
I was sitting quietly reading my newspaper and my scone was now a delightful memory. Val stood square in front of me, I looked up from my chair and had never seen eyes that red since Christopher Lee in Count Dracula some years back. In a soft voice, Val said quietly 'did you swipe my scone?'
I quickly realised that this was a serious situation to be in, and as a bead of cold sweat appeared on my brow I thought quickly about lying. I opened my mouth, but no words came out. As she stared at me the silence was deafening, and with my bottom lip now trembling I prayed that if Scotty was up there then please beam me up now.
A few seconds of silence ensued and then she noticed a rogue currant tucked away in a fold on my shirt, and a few crumbs scattered on my brogues. Sadly for me, the cat was out the bag.
I apologised and blamed Paul saying that he said it would be okay. I offered Val a Freddo bar as a replacement, which was snatched faster than a gunslinger going for the draw.
Later that afternoon I bought some fruit scones and Val eventually got her scone and flora, which thankfully for me smoothed a tricky situation. I learned a valuable lesson that day and forever more when scones arrive in the office from any source I always ensure that Val gets the first one, and I get the second.