She insisted I go with her to the old building to reclaim them. Reluctantly, I do.
(Inside the old Alumni House with Lenore, kicking through junk, I discover the old and musty box of returned letters addressed to alumni.)
Me: (opening one of the letters) Lenore, this is four years old, from 2004. It's just a general letter. There's no personal information.
Lenore: Maybe we should ask Dave [our boss] about it.
Me: I don't think he'll want these. They're moldy. We can just throw them away.
L: Are you sure? There might be something important in there.
Me: No, it's spam. And they smell.
L: Well, could you at least bring some back to show Dave?
Me: (picking one letter out of the stack with the tips of my fingers) Fine. I'll bring one back.
L: Only one? Why don't you take three?
Me: Why three?
L: You might lose one.
Me: Then why don't I take two?
L: What if you lose two? Then you'll have an extra one, right?
Me: That makes zero sense.
L: You never know.
(I begrudgingly pick up three letters. Lenore smiles and continues to look through the garbage. She lets out a shrill cry.)
L: Look! Someone left a set of shot glasses! (holds up one of the shot glasses) Just beautiful! Look at it.
Me: (hurried) I need to get back now.
L: Why do you need to get back? Don't you want to look around some more?
Me: No. I can't breathe.
L: (ignoring me and rifling through junk) Last time I came there was an old, um, um (searching for the word) costume, no, um, what's that called when you dress up like an animal?
Me: I don't know.
L: No, it's uh, um, mascot! There was a mascot thing here. But I don't see it now.
Me: Why do you want that?
L: I wanted to take it home. It was so cute. Maybe I could wear it for Halloween or something. You know...
Me: Alright, I'm leaving.
L: No stay! I'll give you a shot glass.
Me: (stepping out the door to leave) No, thanks. I really have to get back. See you back at the office.
L: (yelling after me) I'll let you dress up in the mascot costume if I find it!
Originally posted April 11, 2008