Art History

A brief bit of history is required to set the stage.

Over the weekend of January 16, 1999, the company I (Andy McFadden) work for did a minor cube reconfiguration to accommodate more people. This required changing the wall panel that forms the entrance to my cube, so my doorway got a foot wider (4' total). This was annoying, so for fun, on Monday the 18th, I moved a 3' wide metal cabinet into the doorway.

Art Clarke, a coworker with a nearby cube, thought it might be fun to slide the cabinet over 6 inches whenever I was in the cube. I'd slide it back to one side, and a little while later it would mysteriously be back in the middle again.

After a bit of light sparring, which at one point had the 3' wide cabinet and a 1' wide stack of laser printer paper boxes blocking my 4' doorway, I put the cabinet into Art's cube, and pulled it up against the panels that formed the entrance. I noticed that it was slightly wider than the doorway, so I hopped over the wall, braced the back of it with a chair, then hopped out again. The cabinet couldn't be pulled forward, couldn't be pushed back, and there wasn't enough of a handhold to push it sideways.

Art's a Cal Tech grad, so this sort of activity is nothing new to him. He just went over the wall and cleared it out, with a look in his eye that said he wasn't giving up yet. As he put it, "you know you can't win".

That was Monday evening. On Tuesday afternoon I left early. When I arrived at work on Wednesday morning, I noticed that the cabinet and stack of laser printer boxes were back... and my entire cube was filled, to a height of four or five feet, with cardboard boxes of various sizes.

I'd been expecting something like this to happen after the events on Monday, and had been quietly planning my countermove since then. After Art struck on Wednesday, I enlisted the aid of my dad, who has performed innumerable feats of carpentry over the years. We made plans for that weekend.