It's a wonderful day today - nothing could spoil my mood, with the prospect of a long Easter weekend with nothing more to do but eat junk food and catch up with hours of TV watching.
My good mood swells even further when I stumble upon a wadge of banknotes taped to the underside of a drawer in my former supervisor's desk. Large denomination, uncirculated and consecutively numbered, they're quite obviously the result of some extortion scheme that I was not a party to and for which my share of the profits had been withheld...
But no longer!! The old eyecrometer estimates the sheaf of 50s as being somewhere around the two thousand quid mark.
If that weren't enough good fortune, I notice that the CEO's brand spanking new all-bells-and-whistles laptop has just arrived and the courier didn't get a signature. BONUS!!!
Holidays, dosh and a new media centre for home - what more could I ask for?
The irritatingly repetitive reminders that I need to restart after this week's OS patches have been applied wash over me, as if someone had already added the blatantly obvious "Don't remind me any more" checkbox to the restart prompt...
Even the arrival of a greenhorn beancounter doesn't sully my good cheer.
"I've come for the new laptop," he says.
"New laptop?" I ask, nudging the aforementioned carton under my desk.
"Yes, it was delivered this morning. Security said they told the guy to bring it up here."
"Here? No, I've not seen anyone. Mind you, I've been in and out of the office all day - he probably took it back with him because he'd need to get someone to sign for it."
"So you've not seen anything?"
"No, but feel free to look," I suggest, reaching into my drawer for the overvoltage cattleprod.
"Nah, it's OK, it's probably been dropped off somewhere else."
The next two minutes (which ordinarily would have been scheduled for rapidly cramming the CEO's new laptop into the shredder wheelie bin prior to sneaking it down the basement car park) have stalled upon the discovery of another wadge of banknotes under the drawer above the cattleprod...
And now I'm in two minds.
On one hand, Simon may have hidden them under my drawer knowing they would be the last place I'd look if I were searching for undisclosed profits - but on the other hand he may have intended to disclose their location to me as a form of Christmas bonus before 'accidentally' electrocuting himself on some Christmas tinsel...
We will never know..
A closer examination of the latest bundle reveals that the sequence numbers start 100 bills after the last of the first wadge, which leads me to conclude that there's at least another two bundles of notes stashed somewhere on the premises.
. . .
crash< >rattle< >crash<
Twenty minutes and an office trashing later, I have eight bundles of 50 quid notes, all but the first taped under, in or around my desk. It looks like my first guess was correct - they were put in the last place I'd look. Still, someone's loss is my gain - in this case my weekend upgrade.
I pop them into the shredder wheelie bin along with the laptop and make my way slowly to the freight elevator, allowing myself a cheery whistle along the way... Pressing B2 and turning the key to non-stop, I contemplate my Easter shopping list. Perhaps a company gyrocopter?
Strolling over to my vehicle I pop the boot and empty the contraband in. I've barely slammed it shut when the basement is flooded with light.
"There he is!" a voice says.
"Beg pardon?" I say, feigning innocence.
"The money in your boot," the Head of Security says, stepping out of the shadows. "Yours is it?"
"What money?" I say, stalling for time.
"A foreign diplomat's... uh... consultancy fee. It went missing from the CEO's safe two nights ago."
"Preposterous!" I splutter. "This money's been on my person for a month..."
My innocence plea is silenced by yet another figure stepping out of the shadows. A figure in a khaki green KiwiFoo T-Shirt...
"Arrest that man!" he says, pointing at me, as the 'beancounter' breaks out a set of handcuffs.
"I... would like to converse with a lawyer," I state calmly.
"A good plan," the figure says. "Before or after the extradition?"
"Yes," the bogus beancounter says. "Apparently the... consultancy fee had already been handed over to the official concerned but was to be stored for safekeeping in the company's safe while the diplomat went out for an evening's... uh... entertainment. As the money has therefore been stolen from a foreign government, there's a grey area as to whether the case should be tried in this country or in the small island nation with vast mineral resources and a judicial system that favours sentencing people to many years of hard labour at its completely manual sewerage works - just for shoplifting."
"And you have no idea how long it took to find that small island nation," the figure in khaki shirt chuckles drily. "Or you could opt for a plea bargain..."
Something makes me think the plea bargain might change the country but perhaps not the sentence...