My brother, who will be 50 on his next birthday, still complains about the tremendous financial reversal he suffered when Mom threw out his baseball cards.
Well, I can top him on that: I returned from vacation, and the new cleaning people who started here last week had thrown out my Barack Obama water bottle! So much for my best opportunity to get rich on E-Bay.
You may or may not be aware that all things Obama are hot. You would definitely know this if you
worked here and saw the people lined up in our lobby to buy copies of the Nov. 5 front page pictured at right. And that was just a reproduction of a page ABOUT Obama.
So just imagine how much I could have gotten for a water bottle with actual Obama DNA on it. I had picked it up when I was gathering up my stuff from the table after our editorial board interview on Jan. 21 of last year. Actually, I wasn't entirely clear on whether it was HIS water bottle or MINE. But then, the photographic evidence indicates I was drinking coffee, while he was drinking water (from my special Initech cup from "Office Space"), not water, so it was most likely his (of course, I also have a photo below in which he had no water bottle before him, but what are you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?). The photo above, by the way, is a blown up detail from the wider shot back on this post.
Anyway, I had left it on a credenza on the other side of my office, and it had sat there unmolested for 11 months. Every once in a while I'd look at it and wonder what I should do with it, then promptly forgot about it.
When I went on vacation Dec. 26, I cleaned up my office. My desk was spotless. There was no debris apparent anywhere — except for that old water bottle, which I no longer noticed. But obviously our new cleaning people did. They were getting paid to clean the office, and that was the only thing that looked out of place to them. Just my luck. (I only realized it was gone when I used a water bottle to water a dying plant — which I see the cleaning people or somebody had also trimmed back from where it had been trailing on the floor, and started to leave the bottle next to the plant, but thought that wouldn't be tidy, and happened to think of the Obama bottle…)
Weirdly, they left an empty water bottle on my window sill that says "Galivants Ferry Stump, May 1, 2006" on it. I guess it was more obviously a souvenir.
Of course, it might not have been the cleaning people. But I don't think my Mom has a key to my office, so they're at the top of the list. And there's nothing I can do about it, because they have a perfect comeback — it looked like trash. In this sort of dispute, the authorities never side with the pack rat…