“Oh, man” The Plain mutters.
The Plain often mutters to himself. Usually it’s about things IT related — in your short time with the firm, you’ve never seen anyone more prone to software crashing, computer rebooting or hunt-and-peck typing than The Plain.
“Oh, man” he mutters again. You hear the mutter from behind you; your attention is face-forward on your work.
“What is it?” you ask, still not turning around.
“It would seem,” begins The Plain — who, while being completely fluent in English, speaks it for some reason with a Christopher Walken-like delivery — “that I’ve gotten myself into a predicament.”
You turn around. The Plain is standing behind you, looking distressed. In his hand is a stack of printouts. At a guess, you’d say around 400 pages of printouts. You immediately burst into laughter.
“Dude, what did you do?” you ask, still laughing.
“I merely intended,” The Plain responds, his face unflinchingly stoic, “to print a single paragraph of this legal document, which I had highlighted. Unfortunately, I printed the whole section.”
Your gaze flashes from The Plain’s intimidatingly large frame to the childlike look of discomfort on his face back to the stack of papers in his hands. You’re unable to control yourself and you burst into an even louder bout of laughter. The Plain eyes you a moment, and then his usually stony features melt and he’s laughing as hard as you.
“Man,” you begin, finally coming up for air, “what are you going to do with all that?”
“I’m not sure.” He eyes his bookshelf. “Put it here, perhaps?” He places the stack of papers on his shelf; it is by far larger than any of the specialized dictionaries he keeps on his shelf, which sets off a fresh round of laughter.
“Nice phone book you’ve got there,” you quip, which gives The Plain a hearty laugh.
You turn back to your work. It is a completely uninteresting piece, and you find yourself resenting the fact that you have to work overtime to proofread it. You’re vaguely aware of The Plain getting up from his desk, walking somewhere and then returning.
“Oh, man,” you hear from behind you.
“What now?” you ask, eyes still on your work.
“This is something else. Could you come here please?”
You get up from your desk, follow The Plain toward the copier. When you get there, suddenly you’re laughing so hard that you’re clutching your sides and trying not to fall over.
“Apparently,” begins The Plain, already beginning to chuckle, “I printed not just a section of the document, but the entire document.”
You eye the massive stack of printouts, completely weighing down the printout tray and threatening to start spilling onto the floor, and break into another peal of laughter.
“How many pages is this?” you ask, wiping a tear from your eye.
“But … this looks like more than 1,600 pages.”
“Yes. It would seem I printed it twice.”
The Plain hoists the stack of papers, dropping it onto his desk with a massive THUD that echoes through the office. The two of you giggle like schoolkids again.
“Seriously, what are you going to do with all that?” you ask when you can finally catch your breath.
“I think,” comes the thoughtful reply, “that for some time, my children will have no shortage of scratch paper.”