Mr. B-Natural, for instance, elected to hang around and wait. He lurked on the fringes of the computer area, watching them like a bald vulture for any sign of someone departing. (And, yes, I realize vultures typically are bald already, but this would be an extra-bald vulture in Mr. B-Natural's case. Or, perhaps, an extra bald vulture who once spent several hundred dollars on a bright silver toupee which he wore for all of a week before sending back.) At one point, I was helping an innanet crowder with a computer issue that required me to reboot their computer. As soon as I started the reboot, Mr. B-Natural came rushing over to sit down at it.
"Can I help you?" I asked as he waited for me to get out of his way.
"Yeah. You were signing on that computer for me," he said.
"No. I wasn't," I said, icily. "Someone is still using this."
A little bit later, I spied Mr. B-Natural walking with the local newspaper in one hand, pen in the other.
Surely, oh surely, I thought, he wasn't carrying OUR copy of the local newspaper and surely, oh surely, he wasn't planning on doing the crossword in pen in the actual paper itself. No, surely not. Not after the hell he raised last week over someone taking the puzzle from the Wa11street Journal ahead of him. No, I must be mistaken, I thought. Mr. B-Natural MUST have brought in his own copy of the paper. It would be unthinkable otherwise.
Mr. B-Natural eventually did get a computer, used it for all of ten minutes and left. Shortly after this, I found our copy of the newspaper had been returned to the desk, crossword puzzle completely filled out. In pen.
I wrote a note on the staff notepad to the effect that Mr. B-Hypocrite had done the puzzle in our paper. I figured Mrs. A would dish out some hell of her own.
Toward the end of the day, Mr. B-Natural returned to use the computer again. This time I was unable to keep my mouth shut.
"Hey, what's the deal with doing the crossword puzzle in our paper?" I said. "You were just complaining about other people doing that last week."
A look of joyous guilt passed over Mr. B-Natural's face. I saw in that expression the Rogueish Mr. B-Natural of old who used to take great pleasure in signing his name upside down on the sign in sheet and trying to sneak his coffee back to the computers for no other reason than to piss us off.
"No, last week I complained about somebody taking that whole section of the paper," he corrected. "Besides, who else you know around here even does the puzzle?"
As much as I hated to admit it, I had to give him that one. Mr. B-Natural is indeed the only person I've known in years who's even looked at a crossword puzzle.
This whole episode, however, reminds me of a famous quote originally spoken by Groucho Marx, but more famously reused by another character with the initial B.
"Of course, you realize this means war."
-- B. Bunny
-- B. Bunny