This time, I do own something! Yay!

I own the ritual for getting a snack for the vending machine! The "D'Arvit!" can be substituted for the cuss of the speaker's preference!


"Foaly?" Grub cried as he stumbled into the Ops booth. He had a small computer that was hissing and emitting smoke in his hand.

The centaur's rapid typing came to a screeching halt.

"Problem, Grub?" he asked, knowing perfectly well that if Grub were there, there was a problem. Or there was about to be one.

It was at precisely that moment that the small computer decided to explode. Random bits of computer innards where strewn all over the place and both fairies just barely had time to duck.

"That's the problem," Grub said, looking at what used to be his automatic reference/communications device.

"What did you do to it?" Foaly asked, taking the still-intact, micro-chipped backing out of the elf's hand. "Give it to a troll to play with?"


"Well, what then?" Foaly was irritated.

"I pressed a weird button."

"Hm…" the centaur started, "did it happen to have a little skull and crossbones on it?" he asked sardonically.


"Huh! Then I wonder why it exploded!" The centaur went over to one of his desks and took out a set of prods, welding prods, goggles, and new pieces. "You're damn lucky, Grub, that these chips are expensive and I can't replace them. I'm not the repair shop!"

"But you're the only one who could repair it!" Grub countered. It was a rare moment of brilliance.

"Sadly," Foaly muttered, already bent over the backing, securing new pieces to it.

"Anything I can do?" Grub asked.

"Go stand in that corner. Don't touch anything."

Grub went over to the corner Foaly indicated. He was thinking of filing a complaint (for boredom) when something on one of the monitors caught his eye.

It was typed on a perfectly normal Faerie Word Document. The top read, "Dateline: 3/14/99 11:36 am, Foalonious Rydier writing."

Grub choked back a giggle. He never knew that Foaly had such a ridiculous first name.

His eyes scanned down the page until they landed on something interesting. The elf's features turned pale, then pink, and then they returned to the normal color. His lips curved into a small smile, and he had another rare moment of brilliance.

"Grub!" Foaly voice cut through the elf's meditation. "You alive?"


"You won't be if you mess with anything." The centaur lifted his goggles and inspected the freshly fixed reference/communications device. "C'Mere."

Grub came.

"See that button? No press that button," Foaly said slowly, pointing at the small button with a skull and cross bones on it.

"I know," Grub said indignantly. He took back his computer. "I need to go see Hol- er, Captain Short."

"Next time, Grub," Foaly said, already returning to his computers, "be sure to explode your helmet. Attached to your head."

Grub ran out of the Ops booth, to hear the sound of Foaly's typing again. He grinned a tiny grin, but then fell over a wastebasket. He made a mental note to write up a complainant about rouge dustbins.

Chay Whitfield was performing the ritual for getting a snack out of the vending machine: put in two coins, kick the right side twice, slap the left side, pound four times with your fist on the top, shout "Open up, D'Arvit!" and insert the last needed coins. Press the button, and shake as desired. He had just pulled his fungus cookies from the opening when Grub stumbled in.

"Whitfield!" the slightly-inept captain said, "do you know how much it would cost to replace that?"


"Then why are you beating it up?"

"To get a cookie."

"Cookie or no, I require your assistance!"

"Mmm-mm-hmm." Chay's mouth was full.

"Come on, swallow! You owe me!"

"What is it?"

"Do you know what month it is?" Chay did the math.

"March. Almost…St. Patrick's day."

"And what month follows this?"

"April, of course! What are you getting at?" Chay took another bite of his cookies.

"The first day of April is April Fool's Day in Mud Man. I want to begin the tradition down here, and you're going to help me!"

"What if I don't?"

"I'll tell about your method for getting a snack, and I'll file a complaint about too many cookies in the vending machines."

"You can do better."

"Have you ever sat on a cactus? I can arrange for you to experience it."

"Fine, fine. I'll help…what do we need done?"

"I need you to…." Grub whispered into Whitfield's ear. Whitfield smirked and took a bite of cookie.

"Got it," he said around cookie, and went back to his cubicle. Grub cackled. It was a rare moment of brilliant evilness.

Review and I'll go on!