They can start out on any subject imaginable, from work topics to television shows and series, from golf stories to why my spouse is leaving me, and lots more. (NO, NOT CAROL!! I meant somebody else’s spouse leaving him/her! Sheesh!)
Last week our Production Engineer (a chemical engineer by education) and a technician were discussing the failure of a trial fix to a recent small problem. The engineer had theorized the reason for the problem, completed some calculations based on his assumptions, and applied the “solution.”
His comment to the technician was, “Well, it should have worked, but those were just ‘paper numbers’.”
In the 5-second pause that followed, my fertile brain (“full of fertilizer,” is how most co-workers describe it) came up with the following. Unable to resist (rarely can I resist an opportunity like this one), I swallowed my food, stood, held out one arm and crooned:
(To the tune of “Paper Roses”)
“Paper numbers, paper numbers,
Oh, how real those numbers seemed to me.
But they’re only, calculations,
With no basis in real-i-ty.”
I stood, took a bow, and sat again.
That verse has now been posted in the engineer’s office above his computer.