As a bit of variety for our readers, I’ve decided to throw together a periodic humor piece inspired by Simon Travaglia BOFH. It’s not exactly an angry rant… but it is Friday — you deserve a few laughs. For those new to the HoS series, the first episode is here.

Every so often, your narrator gets a little disappointed. Today is one of those days. With my academic status hanging by a thread, none of my faithful readers have anything to offer me to help save myself. Such is life, I suppose.

I sit pondering these deep, dark realities as I wait for Li to leave his office. It’s about 9pm and he’s showing no signs of quitting. Thanks to a webcam I stuck up in the hallway, I can watch Li’s door from the safety of The Love Nest, drinking Mountain Dew and munching on pizza. It’s about 10:30pm by the time Li leaves the office, just after I finish a quick game of Goldeneye against Jimmy on the big screen. Thanking the good janitor, I head up to the department offices with my mystery backpack full of goodies and powertools.

Thanks to her carelessness in a previous episode, the one department secretary with a key to everything has “loaned” me (a copy of) her swipe card. After a quick stop by her office to snag a key to Li’s, I’m ready to go. Mental note: Just copy the key next time.

Once in Li’s office, I carefully remove the grating from the vent and in a personal homage to Star Trek, stash an “enhanced” version of a MP3 player pre-loaded with an In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida marathon up where it can’t be seen. With the speakers (and a large brick) placed at the exact position my calculations had warranted, Phase #1 complete.

Phase #2 was relatively easy — using a modified RJ-11 plug and a set of crimpers, I ensure that Li’s phone will not be functioning correctly tomorrow. While it would be tempting to pull his box out of the wall and install a programmed tone generator on the ‘ring’ wire (the red one, btw) to ring out Li’s “favorite” song every 15 minutes or so, I don’t really want the campus telecom guys figuring out that the phone short was intentional.

Phase #3 is a bit trickier. I needed to time delay the release of pepper spray into Li’s office. Too much too quickly, and he never enters his office in the first place. Too little, and this entire experience ends with annoyance, not the soul-breaking confession I’m envisioning. Enter the (unwitting) assistance of my super. You see our building has a bit of a bug problem. So, the super bought one of these as a way of dispensing pest killer over a long period of time, since the man is too cheap to pay for a real exterminator to come by. With a few warranty-voiding modifications later, the device should switch on a little after 5pm tomorrow and start dispensing its payload every 25 minutes or so. Unfortunately for Li, its payload will be pepper spray. Given the poor state of ventilation systems in the building, I estimate it’ll be at least 7pm before Li’s office becomes a unbearable. It’s only a shame so few people will be around to
see it.

Given the work of Phases #1 and #3, Li will desperately want to leave the office. Since Phase #2 and Phase #4, which is the cell-phone jammer (formerly deployed against Professor Chain Smoker in a previous episode) are in place, he will be unable to call for help. That just leaves preventing him from physically escaping, Phases #5 and #6. Phase #5, involving glue, will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon. Phase #6, the car battery rigged to the handle, can be installed in the ceiling right now, but with an open circuit until the stars are right for his return. Oops. I guess I should stop reading Lovecraft before I go to bed.

Regardless, all is set and ready for action. Now all that is left is to wait…