Not a Shred of Intelligence

If ever proof were needed that it was the Scarecrow and not me who was given the brains by Oz, this story provides that proof.

I went to shred some stuff at work, only to find that the shredder was jammed with paper not fully shredded by the previous user. I promptly went off to the kitchen, got a knife (like you do), turned on the shredder and poked away at the jammed paper with the knife, forcing it down bit by bit into the machine.

This went really well until all the paper cleared and then, just as I was going to take the knife out, the shredder sucked it in up to the handle.

The mechanical half-slurp-half-clunk noise that this made aroused the attention of the people who work nearest to me. To them it must have looked as if , in a stress-filled moment, I’d plunged a knife into the machine’s heart. Blondiebird rushed over to me.

“What have you done?” she said.

“I was trying to clear a paper jam,” I answered.

“You shouldn’t stick a knife into a machine while it’s turned on,” she said. Then she looked pointedly at my chest (imagine if I’d done that to her) and said “you of all people.”

Actually it’s possible a sudden electric shock might be good for me, like double espresso for mortals. Perhaps I’d be able to work quicker. Perhaps I’d develop superpowers.

Looking at the expression on her face, however, I decided not to say any of this. Blondiebird unplugged the machine and we tried to remove the knife. For a few minutes we each tugged away like knights trying to pull Excalibur from the stone, but to no avail.

At this stage TallNeuroticGirl – seventy inches of nervous energy and self-esteem issues topped with a Robert Plant hairdo – came over to join us. (I’ve made her sound dreadful there, but she’s a great girl, and we’re all really really fond of her). She grabbed the handle of the knife firmly and rocked it violently back and forward. (“Never let me get off with her”, I whispered to Blondiebird, which did not improve her mood).

As if to prove my point, TNG suddenly ripped the knife free.

Well, most of it….


The good, if surprising, news is that the shredder still works, which is just as well, since it cost twelve hundred euro.

The other good news is that I’ve re-thought the whole superpowers thing. The only powers I’d have gained from an incident like that would have involved shredding in some way, and I can only think of two ways in which it might work.

One would involve eating the paper…

4 thoughts on “Not a Shred of Intelligence

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